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12 Attractions That You Should Visit Abu Dhabi

Updated on August 18, 2016

Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque

A building that is not just a magnificent work of architecture but it’s the largest mosque in the whole of UAE. It is believed to be a symbol of unifying the cultural diversity in the Islamic world. The mosque was initiated by late president of UAE, his highness Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan and was constructed from 1996 to 2007. Natural materials such as gold, marble stones, crystals, semi-precious stones and ceramics were used for its design and construction. Its an amazing site to visit for all tourists from around the world. Some interesting facts:

  • The carpet in the main hall is considered to be the world’s largest carpet, for which it took 2 years to complete.
  • It has 7 imported chandeliers of which the largest is the second largest known chandelier inside a mosque and the third largest in the world.
  • Grand mosque is large enough to accommodate 40,000 worshipers, with main hall capacity of 7000.
  • You’ll find Persian, Mughal and Moorish architecture, designs and paintings on walls, pillars and even floor of the Sheikh Zayed grand mosque.

Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque Abu Dhabi
Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque Abu Dhabi

Emirates Palace Hotel

It’s a luxury hotel in Abu Dhabi which represents Arabian culture and hospitality. There are 302 rooms and 92 suites. Gold and marble is used in suites. The hotel has its own private beach of 1.3 km and surrounded with 85 hectares of gardens and lawns. If you plan to stay in this hotel then be prepared to be pampered like royalty.

Some interesting facts:

  • “Sex in the city” and “fast and furious 7” both these Hollywood movies were shot in and in the surroundings, accordingly, of this amazing hotel.

Emirates Palace Hotel Abu Dhabi
Emirates Palace Hotel Abu Dhabi

New York University Abu Dhabi Campus

Abu Dhabi is not just about partying; it’s equally good for education with a renowned university in the Marina District of Saadiyat Island. As a liberal arts college and research university, NYU Abu Dhabi offers 22 majors in the area of Arts and Humanities, Social Sciences, Science, and Engineering. It is one of the most selective undergraduate universities of the world. There are 60 student groups to provide students with opportunities to improve their skills and learn about their abilities. Some examples are sports, music, arts, technology and recreational.

For further details you may visit the university website:

New York University Abu Dhabi Campus
New York University Abu Dhabi Campus

Saadiyat Island (Center of Arts & Culture)

This island is a man-made island, a cultural and arts center, still under construction hopefully to be completed by 2020. Following are some of the features and services present on this beautiful island,

  • Zayed National Museum: will showcase the history, culture and socio-economic transformation of the UAE. A performing arts center, including five theaters, an opera house and several arenas for musical concerts.
  • 5 Star hotels and a golf course.
  • A maritime museum and Guggenheim Museum
  • Louvre Abu Dhabi: a branch of Paris museum will showcase all kinds of artistic creations to set up a dialogue between east and west, north and south helping in bringing the world closer together.

Saadiyat Island Abu Dhabi
Saadiyat Island Abu Dhabi

Yas Island (A Place for Entertainment Lovers)

It’s another man-made island which can be reached by car, plane or boat. A project started in 2006 turned the island into a multi-purpose leisure, shopping and entertainment center. There are several cafes and restaurants for food lovers. This island is full of entertainment with a fabulous theme park - the first and only Ferrari-branded amusement park.

  • Ferrari world has the fastest roller coaster in the world – Formula Rossa. Apart from rides there are some shows as well like 3D animations, optical illusions, BMX biking, acrobats, dancing and more. If you love rides and want some adrenaline rush this is a place to be.
  • Yas Marina Circuit is the venue for Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. It’s the second Formula One track in Middle East, with the first being in Bahrain. Circuit has been used for motor-sports and Abu Dhabi Tour cycle race in 2015. If you’re a Formula 1 fan, this a place you must visit during or off the racing season.

Yas Island Abu Dhabi
Yas Island Abu Dhabi

Etihad Towers

These are 5 towers in total featuring offices, apartments and hotels like Jumeirah hotel located in tower 1. There is a Japanese restaurant – “Tori No Su” in the hotel. Tower 1 is worthy place to be visited by food lovers and those who seek excellence in hospitality. Tower 2 is the tallest of all and has an observation desk in the 75th floor from where you can have an amazing view of Abu Dhabi.

Etihad Towers Abu Dhabi
Etihad Towers Abu Dhabi

Aldar Headquarters

Aldar headquarter is first of its kind in Middle East, a circular glass building located in Al-Raha, Abu Dhabi. It has been voted as the best futuristic design which looks like a coin. Good site for a visit by all tourists especially those who have interest in architecture.

Aldar Headquarters Abu Dhabi
Aldar Headquarters Abu Dhabi

Al Bateen Beach (Natural Beach with White Sand)

If you want to take sun bath or you want some water sports, this is the spot you should be at. For women there is a dedicated area, separate from rest of the beach (fenced off) where they can enjoy themselves as they like - one of the things which exhibit the Arabian culture.

Al Bateen Beach Abu Dhabi
Al Bateen Beach Abu Dhabi

Malls (For Shopaholics)

  • Marina Mall: features a unique range of fashion, leisure and entertainment brands.
  • Abu Dhabi Mall: located next to Beach Rotana hotel.
  • Dalma Mall: has 14-screen CineRoyal Cinemas, Fun City - a play center for children between the ages of 1 and 12 years

Marina Mall Abu Dhabi
Marina Mall Abu Dhabi

Al Ain Zoo

Located near Jebel Hafeet Mountains, mainly have Arabian antelopes, Oryx, Eland, Gazelle and Lechwe. The zoo also features a Cat house, variety of wild cats like leopards and jaguars are kept here. There is a reptile house as well and the zoo hosts a Dinosaur Trail – which includes mechanical dinosaurs and gives information about these creatures that lived a long time ago.

Al Ain Zoo Abu Dhabi
Al Ain Zoo Abu Dhabi

Souk Qaryat-Al-Bari

It’s a traditional Arabic souk that allows shopping - a great place to hang out.

Souk Qaryat-Al-Bari Abu Dhabi
Souk Qaryat-Al-Bari Abu Dhabi

Maqta Bridge

The only entrance and exit to Abu Dhabi (links the city with the island) - traditionally this was used as a trade point with the rest of the ports. It has improved the trade business and is brilliantly designed. Especially at night with the lights on its side, the bridge looks beautiful.

Maqta Bridge Abu Dhabi
Maqta Bridge Abu Dhabi

Desert Safari Abu Dhabi

There is one thing which is not free but it is worth experiencing. Desert Safari Abu Dhabi – it gives you the adrenaline rush and the thrill. Time spent in desert, dune bashing, quad biking and if you want overnight stay also called Overnight Desert Safari can be some of your lifetime memories.

Camping at Desert Safari
Camping at Desert Safari
Camel Riding
Camel Riding
Morning Desert Safari
Morning Desert Safari
Overnight Desert Safari Abu Dhabi
Overnight Desert Safari Abu Dhabi

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