The 16 Best Attractions and Things to See in Abu Dhabi


Capital of the United Arab Emirates, Abu Dhabi is an orderly and industrious city with a beautiful seaside location.

First inhabited by the nomadic Bani Yas tribe in 1760, the settlement remained a small fishing village until oil was discovered. The revenue transformed Abu Dhabi into today's modern city, a bustling center of government and business.

With a coastline lined with beaches, Abu Dhabi is one of the best places in the UAE to combine sun and sand with a city break. What to see in Abu Dhabi?

He Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque and Louvre Abu Dhabi are the main tourist attractions, although, with trips in kayak With the eastern mangroves and desert dune landscapes of the Liwa Oasis just a short drive away, there are plenty of adventures and things to do on the city's doorstep.

Plan your stay with our list of the top attractions and things to do in Abu Dhabi.

1. Visit the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque

What to see in Abu Dhabi - Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque
Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque

Clad in white marble, the beautiful and utterly hulking Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is Abu Dhabi's landmark building and by far the city's most popular tourist attraction.

The mosque melds Mamluk, Ottoman and Fatimid design elements to create a harmonious and thoroughly modern mosque that celebrates Islamic architecture.

The artisans used glassware, mosaics and intricate carvings to spectacular effect both inside and out.

It was inaugurated in 2007 after almost 20 years of construction. With a capacity for 40,000 worshipers, it is the largest mosque in the United Arab Emirates, and like the Sheikh Zayed Mosque of Fujairah (the second largest mosque in the UAE), is dedicated to the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan al-Nahyan.

Non-Muslims can enter all areas of the mosque (including the extensive library), and the mosque regularly hosts free guided tours.

Abu Dhabi city Visit It is a good way to get to know the city. This 5-hour tour visits the Sheikh Zayed Mosque and the Etihad Tower observation deck with a guide. Transportation and hotel pickup and drop-off are included.

Address: Al Khaleej al Arabi Street, Abu Dhabi

Official site

2. Admire the Global Collection of Culture and Art at Louvre Abu Dhabi

View of the Louvre Abu Dhabi


View of the Louvre Abu Dhabi

The most spectacular museum in the Middle East, the Louvre Abu Dhabi traces the entire history of humankind's artistic achievements, from Neolithic times to the present day.

The richness and diversity of the art on display, from ancient Egyptian statuary to famous Picasso paintings, is mind-boggling, while the museum's contemporary architecture, with its galleries gathered under an immense silver dome, is a reason to visit in itself.

In addition to the permanent collection, which spans 12 galleries, several major temporary exhibitions are organized each year.

The Louvre is the first of three major museums scheduled to open on the island of Saadiyat, which will become the cultural heart of Abu Dhabi in the coming years.

The other two - Guggenheim Abu Dhabi and Zayed National Museum – They are still in the planning phase.

Official site


Cheap flights to Abu Dhabi

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Cheap Flights to Abu Dhabi

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3. Kayak through the eastern mangroves of Abu Dhabi


Kayaking at sunset in Abu Dhabi


Kayaking at sunset in Abu Dhabi

For a different side to Abu Dhabi's glass-and-steel exterior, venture into the mangrove forests that still encircle the offshore islands that ring the city.

There are a number of kayak tours available for all experience levels and ages, ranging from an hour and a half to three hours of paddling.

He eco tour it allows you to understand the important ecology of the mangroves, as well as explore these beautiful last remnants of the city's forests. Another interesting thing that you can do to live a really special experience is to sign up for night visits and discover the mangroves sliding through the waters at dusk.

Official site

4. Relax on the sandy shoreline of Saadiyat Island


Hammocks on the beach of Saadiyat Island


Hammocks on the beach of Saadiyat Island

Saadiyat Island is one of Abu Dhabi's top destinations for sun seekers.

Saadiyat Beach is a long stretch of white sand on the western coast of the island, with a small entrance fee for bathers. It has excellent facilities including lifeguards on duty, a cafeteria to cool off and plenty of sun loungers and parasols.

For active sun seekers, you can rent kayaks and windsurfing equipment on the beach.

The beach is backed by a protected dune edge where hawksbill turtles nest. Access to the beach is via a raised wooden walkway so that this area is not disturbed.

For a more luxurious day on the sand, head further north along the coast of Saadiyat Island to the private beach Saadiyat Beach Club. A day pass allows you access to this exclusive strip of beach with all its facilities, such as the swimming pool, restaurants and several rest areas.

5. Seek excitement at Ferrari World


ferrari world


Ferrari World | Aziz J.Hayat / photo modified

This branded theme park brings the excitement of Formula 1 racing to Abu Dhabi and is one of the top things to do in the city for thrill seekers and families alike.

Young children can put their newly learned driving skills to the test on the Junior GT track, while speed junkies can buckle up and ride the Flying Aces roller coaster, which reaches speeds of 120 kilometers per hour in one loop. 52 meters (the highest in the world).

There's also a collection of Ferrari cars, with models dating back to 1947, and a Ferrari factory tour and Ferrari knowledge game show for true car geeks.

Address: Yas Leisure Drive, Yas Island

Official site

6. See the city from the water on a cruise


Boat travel


Boat travel

To get the best views of Abu Dhabi's glittering skyscrapers, you have to get out on the water. The views of the skyscrapers are quite spectacular as you cruise from the marina.

Several different operators organize excursions for all kinds of budgets. During the day, island hopping excursions are very popular and offer a relaxing sightseeing option. They include beach time and snorkeling on various islands in the bay.

However, if you want to see the city, take a sunset or dinner tour to see the city lights come on at dusk.

There's also visits to the pearlswhere you enter the mangrove area on a small dhow and learn about Abu Dhabi's heritage in pearl diving.

7. Sunbathe on Yas Island


Yas Island


Yas Island

Yas Beach, on Yas Island, is a popular choice for a full day at the beach. Day passes allow beachgoers access to a host of facilities that will satisfy both families looking for a leisurely beach day and groups of friends looking for a fun-filled beach experience.

There are cafes, restaurants and food kiosks offering a wide range of cuisines; a large pool area with rental cabanas; plenty of lounge chairs and umbrellas for lounging on the sand; and more rest areas outside the arena.

Yas Beach's water sports offices offer a number of equipment rentals for active visitors, including kayaks, and there are lifeguards on duty around the clock.

Official site

8. Take the kids to Warner Bros World, one of the best things to see in Abu Dhabi


Warner Bros World


Warner Bros World || life in the world Ankur P/ photo modified

The latest addition to Yas Island's theme park, Warner Bros World, is dedicated to its heroes and villains from cartoons, movies and comics, with all attractions based on these characters.

With six "lands" all under one roof (the entire theme park is indoor and air-conditioned), it's one of the best places to visit as a family.

There are attractions suitable for children and teenagers. Bedrock and Cartoon Junction are geared specifically for the little ones, while Gotham City and Metropolis are home to some of the standout attractions, combining 4D interactive content with roller coaster-style thrills.

Official site

9. Refuel in Formula 1 at the Yas Marina Circuit


Yas Marina F1 circuit track


Yas Marina F1 circuit track

The Abu Dhabi Formula 1 Grand Prix, held in November, is the city's biggest annual event and is held at the Yas Marina Circuit on Yas Island.

If you're not in town for the races, you can still experience some Formula One glamor all year long. There are regular guided tours of the circuit, including pit, grandstand and podium visits for Formula One fans who want to see the track and get a behind-the-scenes look at the circuit.

However, for fans of speed, at the Yas Marina Circuit you can book various driving experiences (as a driver or passenger in various styles of racing cars) on the Formula 1 circuit itself.

If you just want to walk (or run, or cycle) around the track, every Tuesday and Saturday night the circuit is open to anyone who wants to use the track for exercise, and admission is free.

Address: Yas Leisure Drive, Yas Island

Official site

10. Day trip to the desert dunes


liwa oasis


liwa oasis

The most popular day or overnight excursion from Abu Dhabi city is a desert safari to the southern Emirate of Abu Dhabi, either to the beautiful liwa oasis, which sits right on the edge of the Empty Quarter, or to the Al Khatim desert near Al Ain.

The Empty Quarter desert contains the largest sand dunes in the worldand the dunes in both areas are a fantastic playground for anyone who wants to ride buggies, try sand boarding, camel trekking or just soak up the vast starry desert sky at dusk in a desert camp.

Most trips include stops to visit a camel farm for a taste of traditional desert life, as well as trekking into the dunes themselves.

the night desert Safari is a great option for visitors short on time, as it offers a six-hour tour of the emirate's desert surroundings. Visitors take a 4×4 drive through the dune landscape before settling in for dinner at a desert camp, complete with traditional tannura and belly dancing entertainment. Once at the camp, guests can choose from a number of free activities, including sand boarding and camel riding. All transportation, with pickup and drop-off from Abu Dhabi hotels, and food are included.

11. Discover the Sir Bani Yas Island Nature Reserve


Gazelles on the island of Sir Bani Yas


Gazelles on the island of Sir Bani Yas

One of the best getaways from the city of Abu Dhabi is to the Sir Bani Yas Island Wildlife Reserve, created by Sheikh Zayed.

Indigenous Arabian wildlife such as gazelles and the endangered Arabian oryx, as well as introduced animals such as giraffes and leopards, roam the vast reserve, which covers the interior of the island of Sir Bani Yas.

The luxurious resort offers guests various activities such as 4×4 safaris, walking safaris and horseback riding to see the wildlife within the reserve, as well as other activities such as trekking, mountain biking and kayaking.

The island is accessed by boat (booked through the resort) from Jebel Dhanna, 260 kilometers west of the city.

12. Get up close and personal with hawks at the Abu Dhabi Hawk Hospital


Abu Dhabi Hawk Hospital


Abu Dhabi Falcon Hospital | maarten daniel / photo modified

The Abu Dhabi Falcon Hospital is a functioning veterinary hospital for sick and injured falcons, but it also offers guided tours of its facilities for interested visitors.

Tours let you get up close to these birds of prey in the rooms, while an on-site museum explains the history of falconry.

Guided hospital tours (which must be booked in advance) run twice a day, Sunday through Thursday, and are one of the few opportunities a visitor in Abu Dhabi has to connect with traditional Emirati heritage.

If you're up for the challenge, you may also get the chance to hold one of the birds, or even feed one, depending on what activities the vets are running at the time of your visit.

Address: Sweihan Road, Abu Dhabi

Official site

13. Cool off at Yas Waterworld


Yas Waterworld


Yas Waterworld | Sarah_Ackerman / photo modified

If the heat is crushing you, go to Yas Island to cool off in the water park. Yas Waterworld is a gigantic 37-hectare theme park with 40 attractions, including several water slides and an inner tube river ride.

For thrill seekers, there's also the world's first hydromagnetic tornado rafting attraction, the world's largest surfable wave, and the Jebel Drop, a free-falling water slide.

For families with younger children, there are also areas dedicated to softer games.

The facilities are excellent, with plenty of restaurants, cafes and shops that make it easy to spend a whole day of water park action.

Address: Yas Leisure Drive, Yas Island

Official site

14. Go up to the observation deck at 300 for tea


Observation Deck on the 300


Observation Deck at 300

Abu Dhabi's answer to Dubai's Burj Khalifa is this observation deck. Offers views of the skyline from the highest point of the city, on the 74th floor of the Conrad Abu Dhabi Etihad towers hotel (300 meters above sea level).

There is an entrance fee for non-hotel guests, but the entrance fee can be exchanged for food and drinks on the observation deck observation deck restaurant, serving appetizers and light bites; refreshments; and a popular high tea experience.

Sipping high tea here is a leisurely way to take in the views, which take in the coastline and the city with the arid desert plains beyond.

Address: Jumeirah at Etihad Towers, Corniche Road, Abu Dhabi

15. Qasr Al-Hosn


Qasr Al Hosn


Qasr Al Hosn

The recently restored Al-Hosn Fort, also known as the Old Fort or White Fort, is the oldest building in Abu Dhabi and one of its main historical attractions.

It was built in 1793 as the residence of the ruling family and the seat of government.

The interior of Al Hosn Fort has been modernized and is now used as a museum which traces the history and culture of Abu Dhabi, with oral accounts and many historical photographs on display.

Highlights include the courtyard and magnificent tile work above the north main door.

Address: Hamdan bin Mohammed Street, Abu Dhabi

16. Heritage Village


heritage village


heritage village

The Abu Dhabi Heritage Village is an authentic replica of a typical Bedouin village, giving visitors a glimpse of Emirati life before the oil boom.

It is located in a beautiful beach from the city, which is a nice place to wander after a visit.

There are exhibits of traditional objects from everyday life, workshops where you can watch artisans demonstrate their skills in Emirati metalworking and weaving, and exhibits that introduce visitors to local farming and the pearl-diving trade, major economies here before oil was discovered.

The heritage village is a bit dilapidated today, but it remains one of the few places in the city where you can explore traditional Emirati life.

Address: Breakwater Road, Abu Dhabi

Things to do in Abu Dhabi for shoppers


Arab traditional shoes


traditional arabic shoes

To go shopping in the mall, Yas Shopping Center on the island of Yas it is the main destination, with 370 stores.

For crafts, the world trade center souk in the center of Abu Dhabi is a contemporary interpretation of a traditional bazaar, designed by architect Norman Foster. The shops here sell nice gift items, from incense and spices to wood inlays and textiles.

To get a piece of classic Arabic-style gold jewelry, head to the Gold Souk, inside Madinat Zayed Shopping Center, where you will find dozens of gold sellers.

Where to stay in Abu Dhabi for sightseeing

The city of Abu Dhabi is huge, and hotels are scattered throughout the area. You can learn more about the distribution with our article on Where to stay in Abu Dhabi: The best areas and hotels. For first-time visitors to the city, the downtown area near the Corniche is a good base and has a wide range of hotels. If it's a resort-style stay you're looking for, check out Saadiyat Island and the area near the Sheikh Zayed Mosque, along the coastlines that separate Abu Dhabi Island from the mainland.

Luxury hotels

  • Near the Corniche, the opulent Emirates Palace is one of the best hotels in Abu Dhabi, pampering its guests with luxurious suites and personal butlers
  • Nearby, the trendy Conrad Abu Dhabi Etihad towers it offers spectacular views of the Arabian Gulf from its famous Observation Deck, as well as apartment-style accommodation for families.
  • To live in a resort, the Shangri-La Hotel, Qaryat Al Beri it has a private beach overlooking the Sheikh Zayed Mosque just across the water, a high-end souk connected to the hotel, and a pool set within lush gardens
  • Also in this area is the Ritz-Carlton Abu Dhabi, Grand Channel, known for its family-friendly features such as the kids' club, play areas, and multiple pools, as well as its excellent restaurants.

mid-range hotels

  • The Sheraton Abu Dhabi Hotel & Resort it is popular for its private lagoon with beach and pools in the center of town, allowing for a resort feel right in the center of town
  • Sun of the South Abu dhabi is a modern skyscraper in the center of the city, known for its superior service, lovely rooftop pool area and spacious rooms.
  • the holidays Inn is another well-rated mid-range option, just outside the city center and within walking distance of the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque. It has a gym, spa, swimming pool and spacious rooms prepared for business and leisure travelers.

budget hotels

  • Budget accommodation is hard to find in Abu Dhabi, but many mid-range hotels offer deep discounts, especially in low season. If you're watching your wallet, the Novel Hotel City Center It offers excellent value for money in the heart of the city, just a few minutes from the Corniche. There's a pool and gym and neutral-toned rooms
  • Also in the city center, the Al Diar Dana is a very popular budget option with rooms that have kitchens
  • On Yas Island, the Yas Island Abu Dhabi Center by Rotana It is reasonably priced, with a pool and restaurant. It is very close to Ferrari World, the island's famous theme park.

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8 comentarios en «Las 16 Mejores atracciones y cosas que ver en Abu Dhabi»

    • ¡Totalmente de acuerdo! El kayak por los manglares suena mucho más emocionante y auténtico. Además, te permite estar en contacto directo con la naturaleza. ¡Volar a Abu Dhabi puede ser un sueño, pero el kayak es una experiencia inolvidable!

  1. ¡Vaya! No puedo creer que no mencionen el Ferrari World Abu Dhabi. ¡Es una visita obligada para los amantes de la velocidad!

    • ¿En serio? No entiendo cómo puedes estar tan emocionado por visitar una mezquita. Hay tantos otros lugares más interesantes y emocionantes para visitar en el mundo. Cada quien con sus gustos, supongo.

    • ¡Abu Dhabi es un destino increíble! No puedo esperar para disfrutar de su cultura, arquitectura y lujo. Definitivamente, estaré agregando este lugar a mi lista de deseos de viaje. ¡Gracias por compartir estas atracciones emocionantes!


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