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Visit Abu Dhabi: Your Travel Guide

Abu Dhabi’s as sleek as a sports car and growing at lightning pace. In a mere four decades, this dusty town of palm-wood houses transformed into a jungle of skyscrapers. Saddle up for mega-malls, eco-cities and adrenaline-pumping hyper-coasters, because this desert oasis is all about extremes.

Things to Do in Abu Dhabi

Qasr al-Hosn
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.
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
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!
Hazza Bin Zayed 11th Street, Al Wahdah, Abu Dhabi
Open Sunday-Thursday 10:00-22:00, Friday-Saturday 10:00-23:00
Marina Mall
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!
Corniche Street, Abu Dhabi
Open Saturday-Wednesday 10:00-22:00, Thursday 10:00-23:00, Friday 14:00-23:00
The Corniche
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.
Corniche Street, Abu Dhabi
Sheikh Zayed Mosque
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.
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
Yas Waterworld
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.
Yas Island, Abu Dhabi
Open Monday-Sunday 10:00-18:00. Changes seasonally.
Ferrari World
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.
Yas Island, Abu Dhabi
Open Monday-Sunday 11:00-20:00
Yas Mall
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?
Yas Island, Abu Dhabi
Open Saturday-Wednesday 10:00-22:00, Thursday-Friday 10:00-00:00
Yas Marina Circuit
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.
Yas Island, Abu Dhabi
Check website for details.
Emirates National Auto Museum
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.
E65 Road, Abu Dhabi
Check website for details.

When to Go to Abu Dhabi

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Traveler's Reviews & Photos

8
Very Good
It’s cool and not noisy, seems to be a family friendly place. We had our meals at different places but our best was at Eatgreek located in The galleria mall and shopping at Yas mall I’ll be returning soon hopefully for a longer stay. Can’t get enough of Ferrari world and Yas island
Josephine
United Arab Emirates
October 15, 2017
10
Exceptional
Excellent hotel,not much time to explore near by areas, would like to travel again,strongly recommend to stay in this hotel to Family and Friends very good gym,spa facilities.
Ponnusamy
Ireland
October 11, 2017
10
Exceptional
So far everything was perfectlly fine, knowing that this country is the safest place to stay, or a nice city to visit for a short period of time.
Imelda
United Arab Emirates
October 14, 2017
8
Very Good
It is worth going to Abu Dhabi just to see the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque. Go just before sunset and stay until it is dark. Amazing breakfast/brunch at Cafe Arabia.
Naomi
Australia
October 13, 2017
10
Exceptional
Stopped in Abu Dhabi on way to UK and back, prefer Abu Dhabi to Dubai, not as busy or built up as Dubai. Visited the mosque, had afternoon tea at Emirates Palace, stayed at Jumeirah Etihad Towers and Shangri-La hotels, both fantastic.
Margaret
Australia
October 15, 2017

Accommodations and Hotels in Abu Dhabi

Emirates Palace Hotel

9.1 Wonderful

Score from 3,014 reviews

$518

Average price per night
  • “great pool area”
    216 related reviews
  • “beautiful building”
    166 related reviews
  • “wonderful staff”
    147 related reviews
Khalidiya Palace Rayhaan by Rotana, Abu Dhabi

8.7 Excellent

Score from 2,778 reviews

$104

Average price per night
  • “great pool area”
    145 related reviews
  • “wonderful staff”
    110 related reviews
  • “location was great”
    41 related reviews
The St. Regis Saadiyat Island Resort, Abu Dhabi

8.8 Excellent

Score from 1,941 reviews

$299

Average price per night
  • “great pool area”
    260 related reviews
  • “wonderful staff”
    140 related reviews
  • “excellent quality of food”
    88 related reviews
Park Hyatt Abu Dhabi Hotel and Villas

9 Wonderful

Score from 1,037 reviews

$245

Average price per night
  • “great pool area”
    126 related reviews
  • “wonderful staff”
    65 related reviews
  • “excellent quality of food”
    38 related reviews
The Ritz-Carlton Abu Dhabi, Grand Canal

8.5 Very Good

Score from 1,380 reviews

$191

Average price per night
  • “great pool area”
    94 related reviews
  • “wonderful staff”
    72 related reviews
  • “excellent quality of food”
    36 related reviews
Beach Rotana - Abu Dhabi

8.4 Very Good

Score from 1,955 reviews

$136

Average price per night
  • “great pool area”
    142 related reviews
  • “wonderful staff”
    142 related reviews
  • “location was great”
    103 related reviews
Sheraton Abu Dhabi Hotel & Resort

8 Very Good

Score from 2,390 reviews

$95

Average price per night
  • “great pool area”
    173 related reviews
  • “wonderful staff”
    150 related reviews
  • “excellent quality of food”
    90 related reviews
Le Meridien Abu Dhabi

7.2 Good

Score from 2,195 reviews

$78

Average price per night
  • “great pool area”
    232 related reviews
  • “wonderful staff”
    159 related reviews
  • “location was great”
    99 related reviews
Shangri-La Hotel, Qaryat Al Beri

9.1 Wonderful

Score from 1,973 reviews

$204

Average price per night
  • “wonderful staff”
    180 related reviews
  • “amazing views”
    86 related reviews
  • “excellent quality of food”
    78 related reviews
Discover Abu Dhabi

Popular Neighborhoods in Abu Dhabi

Downtown Abu Dhabi

60 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
  • 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.

Read our FAQs on this destination –>

Recommended in 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

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
  • Behind E-Max, Near National Cinema, Hamdan Street, Al Markaziya
  • Open every day 12:00-00:00
  • 00971 26777070
Cheap Eats
Indian
Salam Bombay
  • Near Honda Showroom, Electra Street, Near Najda Area
  • Open every day 08:00-23:30
  • 00971 24463040
Cheap Eats
Indian
Arya Bhavan Restaurant
  • Near Fresh & More Supermarket, Al Falah Street, Al Dhafrah
  • Open every day 07:30-15:30 and 17:30-23:30
  • 00971 24450909
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
  • 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
  • 00971 24913336
Cheap Eats
Turkish
Sofra Istanbul
  • Next to ADNOC Petrol Station, New Airport Road, Al Dhafrah
  • Open every day 09:00-01:00
  • 00971 26777767
Cheap Eats
Indian
Mahfil Hyderabad Restaurant
  • Opposite Wear Mart, Al Falah Street, Al Dhafrah
  • Open every day 11:00-00:00
  • 00971 24430120
Cheap Eats
Indian
Chicken Tikka
  • 2nd Street, Near ADNOC Petrol Station, Al Dhafrah
  • Open every day 12:00-01:00
  • 00971 26421555
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
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
  • Commercial Bank of Dubai Building, Opposite Dana Plaza, Al Khalidiya
  • Open every day 11:00-00:00
  • 00971 600520007
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
  • 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
Find accommodations in Abu Dhabi

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