Visit Abu Dhabi – Grand Mosque
Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque was built in 2007. The Grand Mosque is one of the largest mosques in the world and the most popular tourist attraction when you visit Abu Dhabi. Non-Muslims are welcome outside scheduled prayer times. Friday is not a good day for tourist visits, because the mosque is notopen to the public until 4:30 pm that day. There is no admission charge and it holds about 40,000 people. The National Archives, Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority and the Zayed Sports City are located beside the mosque. The Zayed Sports City Ice Rink is located at the Sports City.
Visit Abu Dhabi – Saadiyat Island
Saadiyat Island is home to the Louvre Abu Dhabi, the Zayed National Museum and Guggenheim Abu Dhabi. Saadiyat Beach, the 5-star Park Hyatt Abu Dhabi and the 5-star St. Regis Saadiyat Island Resort are found here too. See the Hawksbill Turtle Conservation Program in action on the island beaches.
Visit Abu Dhabi – Yas Island
Yas Island includes Yas WaterWorld, Ferrari World Abu Dhabi, the Yas Mall, Yas Marina and the 5-star Yas Viceroy Abu Dhabi Hotel. Cycle or walk on the Marina Circuit Formula 1 track for free on Tuesdays. The Yas Express connects all the major attractions on the island with complimentary bus service. The Abu Dhabi Grand Prix is run here each year in late November or December.
Visit the Abu Dhabi Corniche
The Abu Dhabi Corniche is a 4 mile waterfront promenade. It includes a bicycle path, cafes, restaurants and the Capital Gate building, which was constructed with an 18 degree lean. Spend the day at Corniche Beach Park. Nearby, see the Qasr al-Hosn (The White Fort), which was built in 1700s and is the oldest building in Abu Dhabi. Just east of Corniche Beach, you will find Abu Dhabi Beach and Lake Park.
Visit Abu Dhabi – the Emirates Palace
The 5-star Emirates Palace is a popular tourist stop and a luxury hotel. The hotel has over 100 domes and more than 1,000 chandeliers. Across from the Emirates Palace is the imposing architecture of the Etihad Towers, including the 74th floor Observation Deck at 300 in the Jumeirah at Etihad Towers Hotel.
Abu Dhabi Hotel Recommendations
Abu Dhabi Weather
The Abu Dhabi weather is pleasant from December to February when average highs are about 79 F (26 C) and average lows are about 57 F (14 C). The hottest months of the year are July and August. Averages highs in summer are about 108 F (42 C) and average lows are around 84 F (29 C). Expect sunny skies throughout the year, but very slight amounts of precipitation can occur from December to March. The winter months from November to January are a great time to visit Abu Dhabi, but those used to higher temperatures may prefer spring and fall.
Get to Abu Dhabi
Most people get to Abu Dhabi through Dubai, but you can also get to Abu Dhabi through its own International Airport (AUH). The Abu Dhabi airport is about 40 minutes from the downtown area by taxi. The Abu Dhabi International Airport is the hub for Etihad Airways, but most visitors enter the country through Dubai and then drive to Abu Dhabi. The drive Dubai to Abu Dhabi takes about two hours.
Abu Dhabi has modern taxi cabs and an ever expanding transit system. The Department of Transport Bus system was implemented in 2008.
Visit Abu Dhabi – See More Sights
- Visit Masdar City in Abu Dahbi, next to the airport. This research facility does not allow cars and is powered completely by solar and wind energy.
- The Abu Dhabi Mall has over 200 shops.
- The Aldar HQ Building has a distinctive upright round saucer design.
- Abu Dhabi Falcon Hospital.
- Visit the gold souk at the Madinat Zayed Shopping Centre and Gold Centre.
- Al Mina Souk – check out the date market there.
- Take an Abu Dhabi Dhow Dinner Cruise.
- See the distinct architecture and complexity of the Sheikh Zayed Bridge on the way in to town from the airport.
Visit Abu Dhabi Heritage Village
The man-made peninsula past the Emirates Palace is home to the Marina Mall, Marina Village, the Tiara Revolving Restaurant and the Abu Dhabi Heritage Village. Nearby is the Women’s Handicraft Center, the Abu Dhabi Theatre and the 400 foot high flagpole flying a gigantic Emirates flag.
Day Trips from Abu Dhabi
- Drive 1 – 2 hours southwest to reach the sand dunes near Liwa Oasis and go dune bashing in a 4×4. Alternately, try a Viator excursion to Liwa Oasis or their 4×4 and camel ride excursion.
- Al Wathba Camel Race Track is about 40 minutes east of Abu Dhabi on the Al Ain Road.
- Al Ain National Museum is two hours inland, east of Abu Dhabi. Also located there are the Ain Palace Museum. the Ain Camel Market and Al Jahili Fort, which was built in the late 1800s to protect the palm groves.
Savor the Tastes of Abu Dhabi
- Shawarma – meat cooked on a vertically rotating spit and served in a pita wrap with toppings. Call it a gyro in Greece.
- Shisha (hookah) and qahwa (coffee) houses.
- Stratos Revolving Lounge Bar and Grill on the 31st floor of Le Royal Meridien Abu Dhabi.
Visit Abu Dhabi – Background
Abu Dhabi Emirate is the largest of the 7 emirates forming the United Arab Emirates. Abu Dhabi city, in Abu Dhabi Emirate, is the seat of government for the United Arab Emirates and the second largest city in the Emirates, after Dubai. The city is located on an island in the Persian Gulf and has been enhanced by the creation of a number of man-made islands. The wealth of Abu Dhabi comes from the its rich oil reserves, which began producing in 1958. Most of the construction in Abu Dhabi began in 1967 and continues today.