10 Best Abu Dhabi Tourist Attractions

abu dhabi destinations

Introducing Abu Dhabi

When you decide to tour UAE, Dubai grabs all the eyeballs. But, with a lot of activities and emerging fashion hubs, Abu Dhabi can be termed as the new Dubai. The glam and glitz of Dubai may attract tourists from over the globe but Abu Dhabi is home to perfect scenic views and new experiences. The capital of UAE is perhaps the best place to visit and is ready to mesmerize the tourists with its wonders.

Located on the island of the Persian Gulf, Abu Dhabi is an amalgamation of magnificent architecture, traditional and cultural monuments, stunning beaches, adventure-sport destinations, and ultramodern shopping malls. The Abu Dhabi destinations are a  perfect mix of traditional ethos and modern culture.

The capital of the United Arab Emirates, Abu Dhabi stands as a very well-ordered, industrious city with good waterside locations. First discovered and inhabited by the nomadic Bani Yas tribe in the year 1760, the settlement remained as a small fishing village until oil was discovered. The stupendous revenues transformed Abu Dhabi into the modern city of today i.e a hustling bustling center of government and business.

The best 10 destinations of Abu Dhabi are as follows:

Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque

abu dhabi destinations

Source : accsal.com

The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is the prime sightseeing attraction and mesmerizes to a great extent all who visit this holy shrine.

Clad completely in Macedonian marble, the extravagantly beautiful and absolutely mammoth Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is Abu Dhabi’s prime landmark building and by far the most popular and wonderful sightseeing attraction in the city. The mosque architecture fuses Mameluke, Ottoman, and Fatimid design elements to create a very very harmonious and thoroughly modern mosque that celebrates Islamic architecture. Artisans employed the usage of glass-work, mosaic tiling, and intricate carvings to spectacular effect on both the interior and exterior. It was opened in 2007 after nearly 20 magnificent years of tireless construction. With a capacity to hold an approximate of 40,000 worshippers, it is certainly the biggest mosque in the United Arab Emirates and is dedicated to the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan al-Nahyan. Non-Muslims are also allowed into all areas of the mosque, including the vast library area. The necessarily guided tours are available.

 Mangrove Kayaking Tours

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To view a different side of Abu Dhabi’s steel and glass exterior, one must head into the vast mangrove forests that still surround the islands along the shore surrounding the city. There’s quite a bundle of kayaking tours available for all bases of experience and age, ranging from 1.5 hours to three hours of paddling. The Eco Tour allows you to understand the importance of ecology of mangroves in addition to exploring these beautiful last remnants of the city’s forests. To avail a really special experience, sign up for the night tours and discover the mangroves by gliding through the waters after dark.

Ferrari World

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This branded theme park brings the extreme thrill of Formula One racing to Abu Dhabi and is definitely one of the city’s top spots to explore for those thrill seekers and families likewise. Small children can easily test out newly learned driving skills on the Junior GT track, while other adrenaline junkies can buckle up and ride the Flying Aces rollercoaster, which usually clocks up speeds of 120 kilometers per hour on a 52-meter loop (the tallest in the world). There’s also a wide collection of Ferrari’s cars, with antique models dating back to 1947, along with a Ferrari factory tour and Ferrari knowledge game show held for true car enthusiasts.

Observation Deck at 300

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Source : mediastream.jumeirah.com

The observation deck of Abu Dhabi offers stunning skyline views from the highest point of the city. Answering to Dubai’s Burj Khalifa, this deck is located on the 74th floor of the Jumeirah at the Etihad Towers Hotel. An entry fee is required for non-guests of the hotel. But tourists can redeem the ticket price for food and drink from the restaurants of the observation deck. The restaurants here serve light foods along soft drinks. However, alcohol is barred. Spending time up there with a full view of the city beneath is definitely a thrilling experience that an Abu Dhabi itinerary will want to be a part of. 

Qasr Al-Hosn

abu dhabi destinations

Source : thenational.ae

Al-Hosn Fort is considered the oldest building in Abu Dhabi. Witness to many historical events, Al Hosn Fort is commonly known as the White Fort of Abu Dhabi. It is a palace that was built in the year 1793. The sprawling mansion acted as the residence of the then ruling family and later became the seat of government. The skilled work inside the palace is a treat to our eyes. It has been renovated and now is promoted as a museum that tells about the culture and history of Abu Dhabi. The magnificent and intricate design over the main gate of the palace is one of the main tourist attraction.

Abu Dhabi Falcon Hospital

abu dhabi destinations

Source : visitabudhabi.ae

An interesting tourist spot, the Abu Dhabi Falcon Hospital is a veterinary hospital for the ill and injured falcons. But it provides guided tours of its facilities across the hospital for interested visitors. This unique tour allows you to see and get personal with these prey birds in the hospital wards. The hospital also acts as an on-site museum that explains the history of falconry. You are allowed to touch and hold the birds and feed them in the presence of a pet.

Yas Waterworld

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It is common knowledge that Abu Dhabi is a hot place to be. So in order to escape this grinding heat, the place has numerous water parks. Yas Waterpark is best of the lot. It is a theme based park which offers soothing water rides, tube river rides along with the world’s first hydromagnetic tornado water rafting ride. The park also offers the world’s largest surfable sheet wave and a free-fall speed water slide known as the Jebel Drop. If all these like much of an adrenaline rush, there are dedicated and protected areas for families and kids. The water park has its own restaurants, cafés, and shops that cater to all the tourists.

Emirates Park Zoo

abu dhabi destinations

Source : abudhabi2.com

The Emirates Park Zoo is a treat to wildlife lovers. Families with small children can have a fun day at the zoo. The zoo is home to a lot of animals including tigers, elephants, giraffes, zebras, Siberian bear and also rare white tigers. There is a dedicated primate section that has different types of monkeys, a flamingo park and a sea lion enclosure. Domestic breeds of animals can be fed in presence of guides.

Saadiyat Cultural District

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Source : abudhabi2.com

The cultural hub of Abu Dhabi, Saadiyat Island is home to the Louvre in Abu Dhabi. The Zayed National Museum and the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi are in the planning and construction phases that will be located here. Art exhibitions are arranged at Manarat Al Saadiyat making the island UAE’s artistic hub. The UAE pavilion located next to the Manarat al Saadiyat is a cultural center with galleries, restaurants and a space for an exhibition about the Saadiyat.

Heritage Village

abu dhabi destinations

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An authentic replica of a Bedouin village, Abu Dhabi’s Heritage Village, gives the tourists an idea of Emirati life before the oil boom. It is situated in a beach area of the city, where you wonder about after a visit to the village. The pleasant place has exhibits that feature traditional objects and workshops where you can watch craftsmen demonstrating metalwork and weaving skills. It also introduces visitors to local agriculture and the pearl diving trade which were the main economies before oil was discovered.

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