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5 Reasons to visit Abu Dhabi

Discover vibrant shopping, exhilarating attractions and colourful culture in Abu Dhabi.

Abu Dhabi

5 Reasons to visit Abu Dhabi


Abu Dhabi is a wonderful city of captivating contrasts. Effortlessly blending modern sophistication with traditional Arabic architecture, this charismatic destination offers vast desserts, rich culture, and exhilarating attractions, quite frankly no day in Abu Dhabi is the same! A great destination for a short stopover or a standalone destination in its own right take a look at our five reasons to visit Abu Dhabi...

After you've relaxed by the pool and explored your luxurious Abu Dhabi resort, why not invigorate your senses and consider one of our destination highlights during your stay - our five reasons to visit Abu Dhabi. 

Colourful Culture 

Gaze in wonder at the city's stunning architecture as you meet friendly locals and wander through the vibrant souks. A must for any visit to Abu Dhabi is the serenely beautiful Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque home to more than 80 domes and 24-carat gold-gilded chandeliers. 

Mary, our Senior Reservations Consultant says the mosque is "a must-see! Just make sure you check the dress code before going and wear sunglasses as the sun reflecting off the white buildings can be blinding!" 

Due to the customs carefully observed in Abu Dhabi and the Muslim religion, you will need to demonstrate respect and adhere to certain ethics and rules during your visit. Both women and men should avoid wearing transparent clothing, shorts or tight clothing. Women must wear a headscarf and loose-fitting ankle-length trousers or skirts, the Grand Mosque does also provide black Abayas if you haven't come prepared in respectful and appropriate clothing. 

"The best time to visit is early morning or late evening when the heat is at its lowest and for the ultimate shot head to the mosque just before sunset." Sarah, our Senior Reservations Consultant. 

Unlike many other major tourist attractions in Abu Dhabi, the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is free to enter and you can even join a free 45-60 minute guided tour throughout the day. General visiting times are 9 am to 10 pm Saturday - Thursday and 4:30 pm - 10 pm on Fridays. During Ramadan the opening times change to 9 am to 2 pm Saturday - Thursday with the mosque closed to visitors on Fridays. 

Treat yourself to the Royal Afternoon Tea or the world-famous Palace Cappuccino sprinkled with edible 24 Carat gold flakes, at the opulent Emirates Palace. 

Fun in the sun 

A playground for thrill-seekers, Yas Island is guaranteed fun for all ages offering great shopping, dining and entertainment attractions. With so much to do here, we defy anyone to feel bored! 

Take a break from the Arabian sunshine and cool down at Yas Waterworld.  One of the world's best water parks, this is a great place for both adults and children with over 40 rides and slides to satisfy every thrill seeker. 

Costing more than a billion US dollars, the newest addition to Yas Island is the Warner Bros. theme park. With six indoor climate-controlled lands, you and your children can set your imagination alight as you explore the world of your favourite characters. Jump in Batman's Batmobile or journey along a river with The Flintstones, the possibilities are endless. 

F1 action 

Start your engines and take a pit stop at the thrilling Yas Marina F1 Circuit where the most anticipated Formula 1™ race of the year - the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix falls every November. Test your nerve on the world's fastest rollercoaster at Ferrari World Abu Dhabi or take to the circuit yourself for a thrilling motor adventure! 

The Abu Dhabi Grand Prix 2019 will take place from 29 November to 1st December. If you are lucky enough to have tickets, be aware that Yas Island can get jammed with traffic over the race weekend so you should aim to give yourself plenty of time to get there so you aren't caught in a giant queue. This year we can't help hoping that Lewis Hamilton makes history and edges closer to a sixth world drivers' championship title. At the end of each race day, ticket holders can access the post-race concerts where stars such as Lana Del Ray, The Killers, and Travis Scott perform. 

Or head to the world-famous Ferrari World attraction and go for a spin on the Formula Rossa and experience the thrill of hitting a top speed of 240km/hour along the 2.2km course. Do you have a future Formula 1 driver in your family? Test it out and give your children the chance to cruise along in their first Ferrari (a fun-sized 430 GT Spider). Then embrace your competitive side and rev those engines as you race your friends along the twisting tracks of the Fiorano GT Challenge

Arabian Night Moments 

Swap the city for the Arabian desert and embark on an exhilarating adventure. We love the range of exciting desert-based activities that you can try in Abu Dhabi, with some peaks exceeding 300m! The desert here stretches to the west of the city and is, in fact, the largest expanse of uninterrupted sand mass in the world. 

Get your heart racing and head for the dunes in the early morning when temperatures are lower. Strap on a sandboard and sashay down the slopes or enjoy a true Arabian Nights experience as you join a caravan of camels for a sunset desert safari. Of course, no trip to the desert would be complete without a dune bashing experience by 4x4 or quad bike - just make sure you have those motion sickness tablets ready as it can get a little bumpy. 

Blissful beaches

Sweeping beaches, mangroves, and warm turquoise waters, not exactly the Abu Dhabi image that springs to mind is it? However, we think you'll be pleasantly surprised to discover that beach bliss is within easy reach of the main city sights, so you can enjoy the best of both worlds on your Abu Dhabi holiday. One of our favourite places for a little rest and rejuvenation is the stunning beachfront at St Regis Saadiyat Island. If you are lucky you'll even spot the original residents of Saadiyat Island - dolphins and Hawksbill Turtles. 

Are you dreaming of Abu Dhabi? For more inspiration search 'Abu Dhabi' on our blog or speak to our reservation team to book your Arabian adventure.