The mystique of Arabia with quieter, more relaxed ambiance than frenetic Dubai and a real traditional feeling epitomises the fairytale island city of Abu Dhabi on the Persian Gulf. In just over 50 years Abu Dhabi has been transformed from a desert inhabited by nomadic tribes into a thriving 21st century society. The capital of the United Arab Emirates covers nearly 200 islands dotted along its coast and hence island-hopping is a popular pastime.
Abu Dhabi enjoys a subtropical climate with sunshine almost every day. The city offers a range of fantastic leisure activities. Visitors can experience an authentic taste of Arabian culture and heritage. Here is our top 5 list of not to be missed Abu Dhabi experiences.
1. Sundowner Dune Dinner Safari
You will enjoy this all-inclusive dinner experience in the heart of the mystetious desert. It's a magical evening in the desert – an adventure you’ll never forget and includes dinner and unlimited selected beverages. Leave behind the crowds of the city and take a thrilling journey over the sand dunes, deep into the heart of the desert. The tour is led by trained safari guides on 4x4 vehicles who will take you to a feast under the stars including a Middle Eastern selection of grilled meats, Arabic mezzeh, fresh salads and aromatic shisha all in a traditional Bedouin-styled camp.
2. Ferrari World Abu Dhabi
Ferrari World is the world first Ferrari theme park and largest attraction of its kind. It pays tribute to the passion, excellence, performance and technical innovation that Ferrari has established over the years. There are over 20 attractions providing the complete Ferrari experience. Not to be missed is the world’s fastest rollercoaster, reaching speeds of up to 240 km/h, emulating the thrilling sensation of being in a Ferrari F1 car. This G-force experience takes passengers on an adrenaline-pumping ride through the roof and back down again.
3. Yas Waterworld Abu Dhabi
Enjoy a day of family fun at this 15-hectare waterpark with 43 rides, slides and attractions including four one-of-a-kind waterpark rides. Yas Water world Abu Dhabi is situated in Yas Island’s entertainment complex. This amazing waterpark promises all day fun for the entire family. Thrilling rides include: Flow Barrel – with 3m high waves for Flowboards and Bodyboards; Bandit Bomber–a 550m suspended rollercoaster; Slither’s Slides–a maze of slides and tunnels ending in a splash pool; Liwa Loop – a high octane looping water slide; Dawwama–a 6 person hydro-magnetic slide; and many other exhilarating experiences.
4. Behind the scenes at Yas Marina Circuit.
Take a tour behind the scenes of one of the world’s most technologically advanced motorsports circuits Yas Marina & Abu Dhabi GP. Abu Dhabi is home to the annual Formula 1™ Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. This international headline race joins an impressive line-up of world-class events which have enabled the Emirate to emerge as a major global events contender.
5. Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque
Why not finish sightseeing or shopping for the day and take the 5pm ‘Sunset Tour’? Get to the mosque around 4:30pm – a wonderful time to take photos. This is one of the largest mosques in the worldand can accommodate up to 41 000 people at once.
6. Falcon World Tour
Take a tour to the world’s largest Falcon Hospital - a rare opportunity to explore the world of falconry. One of nature’s most awe inspiring birds of prey, the Falcon has always played a prominent role in the history and culture of the Middle East. Learn more about the history, as well as tools and equipment associated with falconry. The tour concludes outside the hospital where guests can take pictures of falcons, pose for photos with a falcon perched on their arm and watch falcons fly in a large free-flight aviary.
Other notable experiences include a visit to the majestic Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque and the traditional Heritage Village to the magnificent Emirates Palace Hotel. The City Spectacular Tour is an ideal introduction to the city as it includes visits to the above mentioned Grand Mosque and other notable experiences such as the Cornice. For an Abu Dhabi shopping experience, do not miss a visit to the Port Zayed Markets. The Cultural District on Saadiyat Island is being transformed into a signature cultural, leisure and residential destination. The island will be home to the largest single concentration of premier cultural institutions including the Zayed National Museum, the Louvre Abu Dhabi and the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi all designed by award-winning international architects.