Abu Dhabi
United Arab Emirates

Things to Do in Abu Dhabi

Qasr al-Hosn

Landmarks

If these walls could talk! The Qasr al-Hosn fortress is a view into the city’s distant past, or at least when your grandpa was in short trousers. In the 70s it was the city’s only major building. Today its 250-year-old bricks stand out against the glinting skyscrapers around it. Visit the annual Qasr al-Hosn Festival for innovative cultural shows and traditional markets.

Accommodations near Qasr al-Hosn
  • Al Hosn, Sheikh Zayed the First Street, Abu Dhabi
  • Not officially open to the public. Informal tours can be arranged with the management.
Al Wahda Mall

Shopping Areas

Once upon an Arabian night you may have explored Abu Dhabi’s traditional souk markets. Today, those cluttered grottos have given way to a veritable “Cave of Wonders”. The Arabian-style Wahda Mall has one of the city centre’s grandest façades. Before you can say “Open Sesame!” you’ll be flitting between stores and bagging bargains faster than a flying carpet!

Accommodations near Al Wahda Mall
  • Hazza Bin Zayed 11th Street, Al Wahdah, Abu Dhabi
  • Open Sunday-Thursday 10:00-22:00, Friday-Saturday 10:00-23:00
Marina Mall

Shopping Areas

Dive into Abu Dhabi’s own seafront shopping centre. If you don’t want to waste valuable tanning hours searching for souvenirs, a 5-minute trot will get you from beach to boutique. From fashion to perfumes, antiques to local crafts – you can zip round Marina Mall and be back relaxing on your towel in no time. After getting yourself a nice big ice cream as a reward, of course!

Accommodations near Marina Mall
  • Corniche Street, Abu Dhabi
  • Open Saturday-Wednesday 10:00-22:00, Thursday 10:00-23:00, Friday 14:00-23:00
  • http://www.marinamall.ae
The Corniche

Attractions

Even when temperatures soar, Abu Dhabians still manage to exude cool. Fancy joining the in-crowd? Grab a flashy ride and cruise down the Corniche’s seafront strip. The more easy-going locals head to the promenade cafés for sunset views over the Gulf. Parks are scattered along this stretch with playgrounds, go-cart tracks and even stages for open-air shows.

Accommodations near The Corniche
  • Corniche Street, Abu Dhabi
Sheikh Zayed Mosque

Monuments

The Grand Mosque’s scale is awe-inspiring. Its great white domes billow up into a vast and endless sky. Saying that, the beauty here is in the detail. Any corner of this palatial sanctuary can become a tiny cosmos. Chandeliers glitter like stars, pools shimmer like oceans and intricate carpets roll out like lush landscapes. Take the sunset tour for something truly otherworldly.

Accommodations near Sheikh Zayed Mosque
  • 2nd Shaikh Rashid Bin Saeed Al Maktoum Street, Al Khaleej Al Arabi Street, Abu Dhabi
  • Open Saturday-Thursday 09:00-22:00, Friday 16:30-23:00
  • http://www.szgmc.ae
Yas Waterworld

Attractions

And you thought the desert was dry! This waterpark is Abu Dhabi’s worst-kept secret for anyone looking to escape the city heat. Hang ten on the surf simulator, fly into watery battle on the Bandit Bomber roller coaster, or plunge into the belly of the beast on The Rattler. For more sliding and less queueing, avoid the Emirati weekend (Friday and Saturday) or get a VIP pass.

Accommodations near Yas Waterworld
  • Yas Island, Abu Dhabi
  • Open Monday-Sunday 10:00-18:00. Changes seasonally.
Ferrari World

Attractions

Buckle up, people, this is quite a ride! Hop into F1 racing simulators, whizz through 4D experiences, and put pedal to the metal on Formula Rossa – the world’s fastest roller coaster. Take a tour around a miniature Italy and stop off for an authentic Neapolitan pizza afterwards. For anyone who’s ever said a car is “just a car”, Ferrari World will make you think again.

Accommodations near Ferrari World
  • Yas Island, Abu Dhabi
  • Open Monday-Sunday 11:00-20:00
Yas Mall

Shopping Areas

Furniture shopping one second and skiing the next? Yas Island’s “super mall” is about so much more than retail therapy. Practise your twirl at Snow City’s ice rink or swing by the Fun Works adventure zone with the kids. Even if you’re not so keen on rides, could you really say “no” to dinner delivered on mini roller coasters at Rogo’s Restaurant?

Accommodations near Yas Mall
  • Yas Island, Abu Dhabi
  • Open Saturday-Wednesday 10:00-22:00, Thursday-Friday 10:00-00:00
  • http://www.yasmall.ae/
Yas Marina Circuit

Marinas

This place has the winning formula for F1 lovers. The world-famous track snakes around majestic event venues and the sparkling marina. Those short on time can get their adrenaline kick in the karting zone. For the more adventurous – get behind the wheel of an Aston Martin GT4 or an F1 racing car, or slide into the passenger seat and let a professional show you how it’s done.

Accommodations near Yas Marina Circuit
  • Yas Island, Abu Dhabi
  • Check website for details.
Emirates National Auto Museum

Museums

Out in the desert, you’ll find a pyramid. This one’s not in honour of a great ruler – but great automobiles. Motor-mad Sheikh Hamad created the site for his own collection of classics, giving car lovers a place of worship. Swap the Great Sphynx for giant replica 4x4s, cash in the pharaoh’s riches for hot rods and Merc’s, then fall to your knees before the world’s largest truck.

Accommodations near Emirates National Auto Museum

Accommodations and Hotels in Abu Dhabi

Beach Rotana - Abu Dhabi

8.3 Very good

Score from 2010 reviews

$74

Average price per night
  • Al Zahiyah (Tourist Club Area), Downtown Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi
Emirates Palace Hotel

9.1 Wonderful

Score from 2637 reviews

$272

Average price per night
  • West Corniche, Abu Dhabi
The St. Regis Saadiyat Island Resort, Abu Dhabi

9 Wonderful

Score from 1834 reviews

$186

Average price per night
  • Saadiyat Island, Saadiyat Island, Abu Dhabi
Khalidiya Palace Rayhaan by Rotana, Abu Dhabi

8.7 Excellent

Score from 1543 reviews

$70

Average price per night
  • Corniche Road, Abu Dhabi
Le Meridien Abu Dhabi

7.3 Good

Score from 1859 reviews

$62

Average price per night
  • Tourist Club Area, Downtown Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi
The Ritz-Carlton Abu Dhabi, Grand Canal

8.6 Excellent

Score from 1222 reviews

$157

Average price per night
  • Khor Al Maqta'a, Abu Dhabi
Sheraton Abu Dhabi Hotel & Resort

8.1 Very good

Score from 1765 reviews

$65

Average price per night
  • Corniche Road, Al Salam Street, Downtown Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi
Hilton Abu Dhabi

7.6 Good

Score from 969 reviews

$70

Average price per night
  • Corniche Road, Abu Dhabi
Grand Millennium Al Wahda Abu Dhabi

8.3 Very good

Score from 4230 reviews

$68

Average price per night
  • Hazza Bin Zayed Street (Defence Street), Abu Dhabi
Discover Abu Dhabi

Popular Neighborhoods in Abu Dhabi

Downtown Abu Dhabi

58 properties

Welcome to the jungle. While the city grows and changes around it, Abu Dhabi’s untamed heart mixes international style with an extravagant Emirati flourish. Explore the Capital Garden, hunt for bargains at WTC Mall, climb up to the canopy at the Crowne Plaza’s Level Lounge, then revive your senses at the Beach Rotana’s poolside watering hole.

Yas Island

7 properties

Yas has a need, a need for speed. Discover the turbo-charged Ferrari World theme park, fun-filled Yas Waterworld and the famous Yas Marina racing circuit. Yas Mall dominates its centre, an ultra-modern shopping centre with its own ski slope and adventure park. If you want to squeeze the most out of your day, then Yas Island has you covered.

Al Maryah Island

2 properties

Al Maryah is cutting edge – from the jutting steel skyscrapers right down to the sharp-suited bankers on the street. Principally the city’s business district, you’ll also find the chic Galleria shopping centre with its own Emporio Armani Caffè. After a busy day, adjourn to the Rosewood hotel’s rooftop lounge bar Glo for some well-earned R&R.

Saadiyat Island

2 properties

This once-forgotten island was crafted by nature but redesigned by man. Some come for Saadiyat Beach Golf Club, others for camel burgers at Fanr Restaurant. Whatever brings you here, there’s more in store for this corner of the city. Soon to be added are a wetland nature reserve and a cultural district with Abu Dhabi’s own Guggenheim and Louvre.

Local Tips for Abu Dhabi

Sa’adiyat Public Beach
Olga by Olga

Olga just can’t get enough sea and sun, and has recently become fixated on paddleboarding.

Mangroves conceal Saadiyat Public Beach’s fine white sands and clear blue waters, adding a touch of seclusion and peacefulness. If you’re lucky, you might spot a dolphin popping by or baby turtles making their way to the sea.

  • Sa’adiyat Public Beach, Abu Dhabi
Manarat Al Saadiyat
Samer by Samer

Samer aims to leave his footprints all over the world as he explores new cultures and cuisines.

The name of this visitor centre literally means “the place of enlightenment.” Interactive exhibits and art galleries immerse you in the island’s rich history and bright future. Saadiyat Experience tells a narrative using multimedia features that present the island’s new developments.

  • Saaadiyat Island Cultural District, Abu Dhabi
  • Open Monday-Sunday 09:00-20:00
Best Abu Dhabi Panoramic Skyline view.
Hussam by Hussam

Throughout his 30 years in Abu Dhabi, Hussam has picked up jet skiing, salsa music and the latest tech.

The Breakwater is the perfect spot for a romantic excursion or a peaceful stroll. Head up to the flagpole (one of the world’s largest) just before the rocky beach and marvel at sweeping views of the Abu Dhabi skyline. The winding walkways also offer respite from the bustling city.

  • Abu Dhabi Theatre, Corniche, Brakewater, Abu Dhabi
Boat tour with Yellow Boats
Ahmed by Ahmed

Ahmed is a skilled driver who is fanatical about muscle cars and loves the rush of drag racing.

The Yellow Boats offers an exciting and informative way to tour the city. Hop aboard one of the yellow boats at Emirates Palace Marina and let the knowledgeable tour guides lead you through the city’s exciting new developments. You’ll cruise by majestic buildings, Corniche and Lulu Island.

  • Emirates Palace Marina, Abu Dhabi
Abu Dhabi Classics
Antonios by Antonios

Travel-loving Antonios enjoys singing, playing the ukulele and spending time with his cat, Elmo.

The Abu Dhabi Classics brings together prestigious performers and upcoming talents of the classical music world. Held in the Emirates Palace auditorium and other venues around Abu Dhabi, this musical event includes orchestras, operas and singers from both Western and Arabic traditions.

Emirates Park Zoo
Loma by Loma

Loma loves the outdoors and spends her free time close to nature in parks, farms or on the beach.

Also known as Kids Park Zoo, this small zoo is worth seeing for its Siberian white tigers alone. Visitors are encouraged to interact with the monkeys, camels and giraffes – you can even buy leaves, carrots and dates to feed them. Supplies often run out early so consider bringing your own.

Kayaking in the mangroves
Ibrahim by Ibrahim

Muscle car devotee Ibrahim is a keen gamer who’s always up to date on the latest tech.

The Eastern Mangroves National Park is right in the heart of Abu Dhabi but it doesn’t feel like it! To really get away from it all, a guided kayaking tour lets you paddle through its peaceful waters on a 90-minute adventure.

  • Eastern Mangroves National Park, Abu Dhabi
  • noukhada.ae
  • Open Monday-Sunday 08:30-17:30
Classic Movie Nights at Yas Marina
Sandeep by Sandeep

Sandeep is a vegan foodie who spends his weekends dining out and watching the latest blockbusters.

Yas Marina’s Classic Movie Night is a chance to see timeless English, Arabic and international films beneath the stars. This free event is held every Tuesday – just show up and pick your spot on the lawn. Even better, the surrounding restaurants often offer promotions on takeaway meals.

See what other visitors said

Best of Abu Dhabi

Crowds? That is one of the things we liked; no crowds, no pushing and shoving through cramped streets. "Big Bus" is a great way to start.

A visit to the Grand Mosque a must ... Not even watching it on megastructures compares to it's magnificence....

Fish market, Dow Cruise,Rock Concert, Corniche, Shopping Malls, It`s all there.

visiting the Grand Mosque and walking throuch Abu Dhabi Mall

Beautiful buildings and entertainment and friendly people!

plenty of bargains in the right places.

YOU HAVE TO FOUND THIS, IT'S UP TO YOU

Booking.com asked travelers...

Why do you recommend Abu Dhabi for food?

Great variety and well presented

SAND, SUN, SEA, RELAX

Transportation

Abu Dhabi Transportation

Air – Abu Dhabi International Airport

Abu Dhabi International Airport is the city’s main airport. The fastest and most convenient way to reach the city centre is by taxi. The 6-seater black Mercedes Vitos line up at the lower curbs of Terminals 1 and 3. A taxi to the city centre will take about 30 minutes and cost around AED 75. Fares must be paid in cash. Alternatively, green and white A1 buses line up outside the terminals and take about 45 minutes to the centre. Fare is AED 4 and can be paid on board.

Bus

Abu Dhabi’s public bus system is well connected and has stops marked by signs in English and Arabic. The blue and white buses run 24/7 and arrive every 10-20 minutes depending on the route, with less frequency after midnight. One-way fare within the city is AED 2, which must be paid in coins on board. Regional routes cost AED 4. Chewing gum is prohibited on board and women and families have priority seating in the first 3 rows.

Car

Driving in Abu Dhabi is relatively easy, and rental cars are readily available at the airport. To rent a car, foreign travellers must present an International Driving Permit and a copy of their passport and visa. Delays are possible during rush hour, which is generally from 7:00–10:00 and 17:00–20:00. Parking is difficult, but hotels and malls generally have availability. Parking meters cost between AED 2 and AED 3 per hour, depending on the place.

Taxi

Taxis are a convenient and relatively cheap mode of transport in Abu Dhabi. The silver cabs can be easily hailed throughout the city, or reserved in advance by downloading the Abu Dhabi Taxi app. Alternatively, reservations can be made by phone. Cabs are always metered, and price increases incrementally based on distance travelled and time spent waiting. Tipping for good service is customary but not compulsory. Fare must be paid in cash unless otherwise noted.

Yas Express Shuttle Bus

The Yas Express is a hop-on, hop-off shuttle connecting all the major attractions of Yas Island, including most hotels, the beach and marina, Ferrari World and Waterworld. The Blue Route runs from 09:00–21:00 daily, while the interlinking Red Route runs from 09:00–02:00. The Saadiyat Route connects Yas with the neighbouring Saadiyat Island from 10:00–19:00. The Yas Express is free to use – just look for the designated bus stops around the island.

Food in Abu Dhabi

Top Restaurants in Abu Dhabi

Mid-Range Fare
Indian
Lazeez
Cheap Eats
Indian
Salam Bombay
Cheap Eats
Indian
Arya Bhavan Restaurant
Mid-Range Fare
Italian
Pizza Di Rocco
  • Near Corner of Salam and Al Falah Street (9th Street), Salam Street, Al Dhafrah
  • Open Saturday-Wednesday 11:00-00:00, Thursday-Friday 11:00-02:00
  • www.zomato.com
  • 00971 026418300
Cheap Eats
Local
Najd Palace
  • Blue Tower building, Near Jumbo Electronics, Opposite Al Falah Plaza, Old Airport Road, Al Dhafrah
  • Open every day 11:00-00:00
  • www.zomato.com
  • 00971 24913336
Cheap Eats
Turkish
Sofra Istanbul
Cheap Eats
Indian
Mahfil Hyderabad Restaurant
Cheap Eats
Indian
Chicken Tikka
Cheap Eats
Japanese
Sushi Art
Upscale Dining
Japanese
Zuma
Mid-Range Fare
Moroccan
Almaz by Momo
Upscale Dining
French
Bentley Bistro & Bar
Mid-Range Fare
Cafe
Café Bateel
  • The Galeria Mall, Al Maryah Island
  • Open Sunday-Wednesday 08:00-23:45, Thursday-Saturday 10:00-23:00
  • 00971 26712284
Mid-Range Fare
Cafe
Emporio Armani Caffe
  • The Galeria Mall, Al Maryah Island
  • Open Sunday-Wednesday 10:00-22:00, Thursday-Saturday 10:00-23:00
  • 00971 26766995
Cheap Eats
Indian
Biryani Pot
Cheap Eats
Indian
Damascus Flower
Mid-Range Fare
Japanese
Sushi Central
Mid-Range Fare
Cafe
Urban Bites
Mid-Range Fare
Middle Eastern
Al Safadi Restaurant
Cheap Eats
Middle Eastern
Saj 2 Go
Cheap Eats
Middle Eastern
Shish Shawerma
Mid-Range Fare
Cafe
La Brioche
Mid-Range Fare
Mediterranean
Safina
  • Saadiyat Beach Club, Saadiyat Beach East, Exit 14, Saadiyat Island
  • Open Saturday-Wednesday 12:00-15:00 and 18:00-22:00, Thursday-Friday 12:00-15:00 and 18:23
  • www.zomato.com
  • 00971 26563500
Upscale Dining
Mediterranean
Tiara Restaurant
Mid-Range Fare
American
Fuddruckers
  • Marina Village › Level 1, Marina Mall, Marina Village
  • Open every day 11:00-23:00
  • 00971 26818160
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