If you say United Arab Emirates, one of the places that instantly comes to mind is Abu Dhabi. Aside from being the capital, Abu Dhabi is a well-ordered and modern city known as the center for business and government. It is a popular holiday destination with its golden beaches, water parks and desert drives. With the size of the city and the number of activities you can do, a day or two would not be enough to appreciate its splendor and wonder.
Flight availability is not a problem since flights to Abu Dhabi are offered by numerous major airlines and run weekly. Get booking and get to explore some (if not all) the amazing attractions this breathtaking city has to offer – all in 7 days.
Visit the Grand Mosque
The first place that tourists like you can visit is Abu Dhabi’s landmark building – the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque. This is the resting place of the UAE’s founding president, Shaikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan and is the third biggest mosque in the world. Made of white Macedonian marble, this structure has 82 domes, a central courtyard with 1048 columns faced with marble panels and inlaid with semi-precious stones, and the world’s largest carpet and chandelier. It can hold up to 40,000 worshippers and is open to visitors daily. Go on guided tours and explore all areas of the mosque – including the prayer rooms and vast library.
Stroll the promenade
Source: Achilli Family
After nourishing your spiritual side, spend the rest of the day and evening in the Corniche – a four-mile promenade in the heart of the city. Enjoy the amazing view of the Arabian Gulf and the towering skyscrapers that crowd the skyline as you walk through a sprawling green space. You can enjoy a picnic in one of the paved walkways lined with benches or you can spread a blanket in the public beach. End the day by grabbing a quick bite in one of the many kitchen available – be it Ethiopian, Middle Eastern or European.
Get pumped up at Yas Island
Source: Sarah Ackerman
Get ready for a day filled with adrenaline at Yas Island – one of Abu Dhabi’s top luxury hotel destinations. Start the day off by lounging and sunbathing along the sandy beach stretch. Then get yourself wet and wild at Waterworld – the world’s biggest water park that offers you raft rides, slides, ravines and wave machines. After you’ve had your fill of the water, hop on over to Ferrari World and experience the world’s fastest rollercoaster, Formula Rossa, which touches 150 mph! You can end the day by taking a run or cycle around the Yas Marina Circuit, where Abu Dhabi’s Formula One racing event takes place every year.
Peek into history at Abu Dhabi Heritage Village
Source: Guilhem Vellut
Start your day by taking a blast into the past at this heritage site. The Abu Dhabi Heritage Village is an authentic replica of a typical Bedouin encampment and the Emirati life before the oil boom. This is run by the Emirates Heritage Club and is located at the end of the Corniche. There are exhibits that features everything from crafts, spice shops and camels to local agriculture, pearl diving trade and photography.
Admire Emirates Palace
Source: Guilhem Velut
Make your jaws drop as you take in the beauty of the Emirates Palace – a seven-star hotel spread across 100 hectares of lush lawns and gardens. This is considered an architectural marvel for its 114 domes, 1,002 chandeliers and interiors that are decorated with gold leaves, marble and pearl. Take dozens of pictures and keep the memories with you as you get to stroll through this structure for free!
Soak under the heat at the Desert
Source: Zach Dishner
Escape to the south of Abu Dhabi and enjoy the beauty of Liwa Oasis. This oasis settlement is known for date farming and having one of the largest sand dunes in the world. You get to tick off activities like riding a dune buggy, trying sand surfing, or going camel trekking from your bucket list. If you want more of the desert, proceed to Al Ain – the Garden City. Enjoy the greenery with the mighty peak of Jebel Hafeet as the backdrop.
Have a taste of culture
Tickle your creative side by visiting the best collections and museums Abu Dhabi has to offer. Take ride to Saadiyat Island, the new cultural district. Take your pick from the Saadiyat Island Story, a permanent exhibition which explains the vision off the island, or the Louvre Abu Dhabi, which showcases collections on loan from its Paris namesake and other French museums. If you want to behold of local talent, proceed to Ghaf Gallery in the Khalidiya area. This is a 1500 square exhibition space that nurtures local talent and regularly features contemporary art by upcoming artists.
Enjoy a day at the zoo
A day at the zoo is always a good idea. It is an even better idea when you get to Emirates Park Zoo and see a host of animals that include rare white tigers, giraffes and elephants. There is also a primate section and a flamingo park with a sea lion enclosure. Get to pet and feed domestic breeds of animals at the petting zoo. If you still want more of the wildlife, visit the Abu Dhabi Falcon Hospital. This may be a working veterinary hospital for ill and injured falcons, but there are also guided tours that allow you to get up close and personal with these birds of prey.
Cruise through the boat tours
The locals say that the best views of Abu Dhabi can be seen when you head out into the water. So it is recommended that you slow down by taking a boat tour after an energy-filled day with animals. There are quite a few different operators that run tours for all budget types; but the most popular option is the sunset cruise that lets you experience dusk in Abu Dhabi as you appreciate the view of the high rise buildings when you drift out from the marina.
Watch a free movie
Your 7-day trip is coming to an end and what a better way to end it by taking things slow on the last day, specifically by catching a movie! What makes it even better is that it’s free! Go to The Space which is on the ground floor of the TwoFour54 Building. They regularly hold free movie nights; and with luck, you might even get the chance to watch and Emirati short film or a European art flick!
Bask in the beauty of the city
Source: Kathrin Mezger
Spend your last night in Abu Dhabi by appreciating the skyline view of the city for one last time. Go up the observation deck in the Jumeriah at Etihad Tower Hotel, which is considered the highest point in the city. There is an entry fee for non-guests of the hotel, but you can have your money’s worth when you enjoy food and drinks while taking in the view. Great food and drinks with a great view is the perfect ending to your Abu Dhabi experience.