A Comprehensive Travel Guide to Abu Dhabi

A Comprehensive Travel Guide to Abu Dhabi

Breath-taking architecture and beautiful skyscrapers are what call people from far and wide for an exceptional holiday in Abu Dhabi, the largest emirate of the UAE. It is a city of contrasts with everything delightful such as perennial sunshine, impressive dunes, pristine beaches and a lively cosmopolitan lifestyle. Besides, warm Arabian hospitality and excellent infrastructure make this wealthy emirate a hotspot for travel enthusiasts in the UAE. Let’s take a ride to this awe-inspiring destination through this article and know things to do in abu dhabi.

Though Dubai’s popularity often overshadows Abu Dhabi. The emirate catches attention with its incredible past and present, rich in effervescence and zeal. Travellers get spoiled for choice among many exciting things to do in Abu Dhabi. With countless places to explore, events to experience, natural attractions to admire and unique culture to enlighten, the capital of the UAE leaves no stone unturned in extraordinary adventures and novice travellers. 

The emirate might lack some fame and flair due to the hyped Dubai travel; however, there is no end to glitz and glamour to intrigue holiday-makers and keep them busy throughout their vacation. Blessed with magnificent weather and a wide range of activities, the city has evolved over the years from a fishing village to a luxury capital. It overwhelms visitors with endless ritzy high-rises, fascinating apartment buildings, broad boulevards and stunning shopping centres. With so much to offer, Abu Dhabi promises you an experience of a lifetime, and we are sure you would want to extend your holiday in the city amidst fantastic sporting, cultural and entertaining things.

Here, in this piece, you’ll stroll through the charms and spells of Abu Dhabi. Read on if you are planning a trip to the emirate anytime soon. Moreover, if you are holidaying in the city of gold, you cannot miss out on a trip from Dubai to Abu Dhabi that awaits you with countless life experiences. 

What is the Best Time to Visit Abu Dhabi?

Since the weather in the emirate remains hot throughout the year, it is advised to visit here during cooler months. From May to September, Abu Dhabi experiences excessive heat as the temperature reaches over 40 degrees Celsius. And it becomes difficult to bear up against the outside temperatures. The months from October till April are mild and calm; thus, they are considered the perfect time to visit the city. It is recommended to carry warm clothes such as sweaters and light jackets.

However, if you wish to indulge in beach life in the emirate, we suggest visiting in March, April or October. Also, you will not find any sort of difficulty in finding a hotel, be it any time of the year. But a huge footfall of tourists is spotted in the months from October till April since the weather is quite pleasant. So plan your stay accordingly to get the best deal in hotels beforehand. If you choose to visit the city in the hot months, you’ll find hotels at low prices as not many people prefer to head to the town at this time.

How to Get to Abu Dhabi?

Abu Dhabi International Airport is conveniently tucked at a distance of 30kms from the prominent location of downtown Abu Dhabi. The airport also offers easy accessibility to the Corniche, around 30 minutes away, and the well-renowned Sheikh Zayed Mosque and Yas Island standing around 15 minutes away. The national carrier of the UAE is Etihad Airways which has its hub located in the emirate. Since Etihad Airways is the most preferred airline to fly down to Abu Dhabi. Some other airlines are flying into the city, such as Turkish Airlines, British Airways, Air France, Alitalia, and KLM Lufthansa. 

What are the Mode of Transportations to Get Around Abu Dhabi?

If you’re holidaying in Abu Dhabi, we would suggest considering taxis as the mode of transport to get around in the city. You can get them at reasonable prices and also, they are comparatively quicker than other modes of transportation. The taxis in Abu Dhabi are grey and take only cash, so make sure to carry some money while travelling. Besides, you can also hire a rented car for around 100 Dirhams per day. You can find several car hire companies available at the airport. 

Currency Used in Abu Dhabi

The local currency in the UAE is Dirham (AED or DHs). The current exchange rate of US Dollar to Dirham is 1 USD to 3.67 DH or AED. We would suggest you use a free Charles Schwab Debit Card while travelling. This card gives you unlimited ATM Fee Refunds worldwide and a reasonable exchange rate. 

Now that you have learned about the best time to visit the city, how to get there, modes of transport and more, let’s walk through the top things to do and places to visit in Abu Dhabi:

Top Things to Do in Abu Dhabi

  • Delight in the beauty of the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque

An epitome of grandiose magnificence, the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is the landmark building in Abu Dhabi and the most popular attraction in the city. Designed with white marble, this architectural delight features Ottoman, Mameluke and Fatimid design elements and displays true Islamic beauty. An amalgam of glasswork, intricate carvings and mosaic tiling beautified on both the interior and exterior of the mosque catches eyes from one and all. You can opt for the Abu Dhabi City Tour. It takes you on a five-hour tour to the Sheikh Zayed Mosque and the Etihad Towers observation. Counted as the biggest mosque in the UAE and visited by a massive number of tourists all year round. 

  • Enjoy Kayaking through the Eastern Mangroves of Abu Dhabi

If you wish to witness a side of Abu Dhabi other than the architectural beauty. Head into the magnificent mangrove forests home to wonderful marine life. This place serves you with wonderful opportunities for paddle boarding and kayaking. It is calm and peaceful, an entirely peaceful world in the city away from its fast-paced life. You can take the Eco Tour with your family or friends that take you through the importance and beauty of mangroves. Another exciting experience is to take the night tour that lets you explore the mangroves through the waters in the dark. 

  • Have a Perfect Beach Time at the Sandy Shore of Saadiyat Island

The beach life in Abu Dhabi is one of the best experiences in the UAE. If you plan a holiday to the emirate, head to Saadiyat Island. One of the best sun-seeker destinations in Abu Dhabi that calls for peaceful moments along the waters. A long stretch of white sand on the island’s western shore comprises the beach where you can relax and soak at the moment. To satisfy that adventurous soul, one can indulge in unique activities like kayaking and windsurfing. There is a raised wooden boardwalk to access the beach. For a more luxurious experience, head to the north of the beach, where the private Saadiyat Beach Club is provided with all luxurious facilities such as a pool, restaurants, several lounge areas, and more. 

  • Take in the Thrill at Ferrari World

A holiday to the emirate is no less exciting than a Dubai travel and is incomplete without visiting the most renowned Ferrari World. This place brings the adventure of Formula One racing to the city and is one of the best things to do here for thrill-seekers. Speed junkies can ride the Flying Aces roller coaster for that adrenaline rush. Whereas kids can explore recently learned driving skills on the Junior GT track. If you happen to be a true car nerd, you can also discover a range of Ferrari’s cars with models from 1947, take a Ferrari factor tour and be a part of the Ferrari knowledge game show. 

  • Witness Art Collection and Global Culture at the Louvre Abu Dhabi

History enthusiasts cannot miss out on heading to Louvre Abu Dhabi, the most astonishing museum in the Middle East. This stunning structure displays the remarkable history of the artistic achievements of humanity. Right from the Neolithic age to the current times. While the galleries under an extensive silver dome and contemporary architecture draw everyone’s attention, an artistic display of ancient Egyptian sculpture and famed Picasso paintings are a sight to behold. Besides this, most tourists organise many major temporary exhibitions here every year. It is one imposing museum on Saadiyat Island that is sure to become Abu Dhabi’s most notable cultural treat in the coming time. 

  • Experience Beach Fun on Yas Island

Popular among travellers from different parts of the world, Yas Island is one of Abu Dhabi’s best tourist places. Families and adventure seekers can spend a day here filled with lifetime experiences across these facilities. Whether lazing on the sand along clear waters or indulging in water sports. Including kayaking, you are sure to have an ideal leisure time here. You can also delight in a range of cuisines at several restaurants, cafes as well as food kiosks on-site. The water sports offices on the island offer facilities like rental equipment such as kayaks and lifeguards throughout the day. 

  • A Sight to Behold: City’s Wonderful Skyline on a Water Cruise

There is no denying that the city’s skyline is a treat for sore eyes. Witnessing it on a cruise is a great experience one should not miss out on. If you are visiting Abu Dhabi, make sure you head out onto the water and delight in the most beautiful views of the city’s glittering skyscrapers. Treating the panoramic view of the high-rise buildings while sailing out from the marina is a lifetime experience.

There are several tours available for all sorts of budgets. You can take an island hopping tour during the day that serves you with a relaxing sightseeing option. You can also enjoy snorkelling on various islands within the bay. Besides, you can head out on a sunset cruise or an evening dinner tour for fantastic city views when dusk sets over the emirate. Moreover, you can also opt for pearl tours that take you to a mangroves area in a small dhow where you can learn about the pearl diving heritage of Abu Dhabi. 

Wrapping It Up

Now that you know Abu Dhabi is also an incredible holiday destination in the UAE other than Dubai. You cannot miss out on indulging in magical experiences in the city while in UAE. Apart from the awe-inspiring skyscrapers and romantic scenery. The town reflects its rich culture and history with its traditional markets and souks where you can enjoy a classic bargain shopping experience. We suggest grabbing a package deal to make the most of an Abu Dhabi holiday filled with several life experiences. 

Rohit Kumar
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