20 Best Things to Do in Abu Dhabi, UAE

Abu Dhabi, UAE
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If you're planning on visiting Abu Dhabi and are wondering if the capital of the United Arab Emirates is worth visiting, you've come to the right place.

The country's second-most populous city, Abu Dhabi is one of the biggest oil-producing nations in the world.

On top of that, countless treasures await you in this breathtaking city, which sits on an island in the Arabian Gulf.

Abu Dhabi is a city full of cultural values, with a diverse and multicultural population that keeps age-old ancient traditions and values alive.

It is truly mesmerizing to visit and spend time in this fascinating destination.

Here are the best things to do in Abu Dhabi, UAE—a beautiful place that never gets boring:

Watch a Sunset on Saadiyat Beach

Saadiyat Beach view
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One of the most fun things to do while you're situated on an island is to go for a swim at the beach, watch the sunset, make sandcastles, play beach Frisbee and volleyball, and spend quality time with your family.

Saadiyat Beach in Abu Dhabi is a well-maintained, less crowded, clean, sunny beach covered with crystal-like white sands; its white water beds and lounges add to the scenic beauty of the place and for your comfort.

Boardwalk at Saadiyat Beach
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The water is turquoise blue, and it is a great place to experience the Arabian Sea.

This is one of the rare beaches where you can find the notorious bull and tiger sharks.

Turquoise blue waves crashing on the white sands at Saadiyat Beach
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The sunsets here are dreamy, filled with hues of orange and purple, with dolphins swimming in the water.

It is a great place to watch the sunset, take pictures and hang around.

Take a Dive into the Arabian Sea

Water jetpack at Abu Dhabi
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It is time to turn your adventure mode on and indulge in water sports in the Arabian Sea.

Your journey to the beach won't be complete without indulging in some water-based activities.

Sail boat racing at Abu Dhabi
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Go parasailing at sunset and admire the beauty of life, take a dip in the water, and watch all sorts of coral reefs and marine life.

Water sports like scuba diving help relieve stress, calm the nervous system, and prove to be life-changing for the majority of people.

People enjoying their Jet ski ride at Abu Dhabi
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Apart from scuba diving, you can also go snorkeling, parasailing, scooter riding, banana riding, and try many other water sports.

So, sip your energy drink, put your shoes on, and experience the most life-changing water sports activities in the UAE.

Experience the Massive Qasr Al Watan Library

Gorgeous interior of Qasr Al Watan Library
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Are you a fan of reading or collecting books, or do you enjoy visiting quiet and beautiful libraries during your leisure time and love the smell of old pages and books?

The Qasr Al Watan Library is a very beautiful, well-kept modern library where you can find books from all over the world.

Breath taking exterior of Qasr Al Watan Library
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It preserves a lot of Abu Dhabi's history and culture within its walls.

It is big, alluring, and color-coordinated for aesthetic pleasure and a very significant library.

Grand hallway at Qasr Al Watan Library
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One can spend hours and hours admiring the beauty and calmness of the whole place.

This place should definitely be on your itinerary, as one does not get to experience libraries like these too often.

Have an Up-Close Look at Marine Life in the Abu Dhabi History Museum and Aquarium

Want to gaze at the beauty of marine life and watch all the fish in the sea without actually having to go through the anxieties of scuba diving and snorkeling?

The Abu Dhabi History Museum and Aquarium has got you covered.

It is one of those really great museums that walks you through a chair lift and explains the history of the UAE.

The museums of Abu Dhabi truly keep the culture alive.

You can find great species of water and land animals in the aquarium, from turtles, sharks, and small colorful fishes to camels.

Have a Splashing Good Time at Yas Water World Abu Dhabi

Water slide at Yas Water World Abu Dhabi
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Yas Water World is one of the most fun places to visit in Abu Dhabi.

This amusement park has each and every kind of water slide you can think of.

Swimming pool at Yas Water World Abu Dhabi
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With everything from more miniature rides for kids to giant water slides and rollercoaster rides to fulfill all your adventure needs, this park has got it all.

Artificial wave pool created for surfing at Yas Water World Abu Dhabi
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It is a well-maintained, family-oriented park with good quality food.

Yas Water World is a must-visit place if you are sporty and not afraid of rides.

Watch a High-Speed Car Chase at the Yas Marina Circuit

Tracks at Yas Marina Circuit
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One of the most astonishing and different places in Abu Dhabi is the Yas Marina West Circuit.

This Formula 1, auto racing, and running ground is an excellent place for young boys and girls to watch high-speed car racing and various other events.

Cars racing at Yas Marina Circuit
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This Olympic ground is excellent for cycling, exercising, and running and is definitely worth a visit.

Visit the Famous Ferrari World Abu Dhabi

Bird's eye view of Ferrari World Abu Dhabi
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You've probably been waiting for this one, haven't you?

This famous indoor amusement park on Yas Island is the world's first Ferrari-based theme park and records for the largest space frame structure ever built.

Ferrari World Abu Dhabi has a great collection of displayed luxurious cars, including vintage cars; it is like heaven for car lovers.

Roller coaster at Ferrari World Abu Dhabi
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This park is home to Formula Rossa, the world's fastest roller coaster, which makes this place super unique and famous.

The ambiance here is very chill and funky.

Souvenir shop at Ferrari World Abu Dhabi
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It is a family-oriented place, so you can definitely take your kids along with you for fun rides while you gaze at the beauty of high-class luxurious cars.

You cannot miss out on Ferrari World if you are in Abu Dhabi.

Witness the Majestic Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque

Marvelous exterior of Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque
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One of the most beautiful and serene places you could visit in Abu Dhabi is the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque.

It is the largest mosque in the country, and even though it is built with modern architecture, it is a perfect example of a building featuring traditional architecture.

Perfectly lined pillars at Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque
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The mosque has beautiful chandeliers, pearl-white walls, and exceptional glass and marble work with beautiful calligraphy designs.

It is a genuinely magnificent mosque, alluring both to the eyes and soul.

Astronishing interior of Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque
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The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is a great place of worship, open on all days except on Friday mornings, when it is only open for Muslims to provide tranquillity to perform their prayers.

It is definitely a must-visit in Abu Dhabi.

Admire the Works of Art at the Louvre Abu Dhabi

People looking at the displays at Louvre Abu Dhabi
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Are you a fan of art and aesthetics?

The Louvre Abu Dhabi has the most extraordinary collection of artifacts in store for you.

This art and civilization museum is located on Saadiyat Island.

Exterior of Louvre Abu Dhabi
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It is a monumental building covering over six acres of land, with 8,000 square meters of galleries, making it the largest art museum on the Arabian Peninsula.

The museum is well-built and well-maintained and is situated in a beautiful location with plenty of artifacts, rich with history and heritage.

People strolling around the Louvre Abu Dhabi
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This place is one of the most famous museums in the UAE.

You'll definitely be missing out on a lot if you do not visit this place.

Spend a Fun Day at Warner Bros. World Abu Dhabi

Exhibit at Warner Bros World Abu Dhabi
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Not into outdoor sports and activities?

Don't worry about it one bit.

The Warner Bros. World Abu Dhabi is an indoor amusement park with all sorts of rides, restaurants, attractions, shops, and shows for your ultimate experience.

Entrance of Warner Bros. World Abu Dhabi
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This place is very family-oriented, and the rides are perfect for kids between six to eight years of age.

Te cartoon-themed amusement park features characters from Warner Bros franchises such as Looney Tunes, DC Comics, and many more.

Tom and Jerry themed museum at Warner Bros. World Abu Dhabi
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This place caters to all age groups and is a great place to hang around and have a great time.

It is a must-visit, especially if you are into cartoons, comics, and traveling with kids.

Meet the Animals at Emirates Park Zoo

Lion at Emirates Park Zoo
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Emirate Park Zoo in Abu Dhabi not only provides you the opportunity to view some of the rarest species of mammals and reptiles but also gives you the firsthand experience of feeding and touching them.

With over a hundred species of plants and animals, including some scarce species of birds and tigers, this place is an excellent tourist attraction.

Kids feeding the turtles at Emirates Park Zoo
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What is more interesting is the fact that the animals are trained, and the park is totally safe for you and your family.

Sounds like a dream, right?

Tourists feeding the giraffe at Emirates Park Zoo
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Well, the land of Abu Dhabi is dreamy in itself; with the culture and history that it births, it has become one of the most magical, exquisite, and outstanding places to visit.

Fall in Love with Nature at Al Wathba Wetland Reserve

Tall grasses at Al Wathba Wetland Reserve
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Al Wathba Wetland Reserve is the most heartwarming place you can visit in Abu Dhabi; the area is covered with native flamingos sitting all over the shore and in the sea.

Flmaboyance of Flamingo at Al Wathba Wetland Reserve
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This protected wetland is a great place to relax, take a break, go for a peaceful walk, and just sit around in peace.

You can go here for a cute little picnic near the shore or up the hill; it is also ideal for wildlife photography.

Tourists walking on the narrow trail at Al Wathba Wetland Reserve
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It is one of those places that bring utmost joy to the heart, and if that is something your heart has been craving for some time now, you must check this spot out.

Enjoy the View from the Gorgeous Marina Eye

Marina Eye at Abu Dhabi on a sunny day
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Want to experience the most breathtaking view of the whole city from 60 meters high in the sky?

This vast observation wheel, situated opposite the famous Marina Mall, offers a panoramic view of the whole city.

Close up of the cabins at Marina Eye
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Its location near the shores of the Arabian Sea adds to its mesmerizing views of the sea, buildings, parks, and basically the whole of Abu Dhabi.

Visit the wheel at sunset to get the best experience.

Night view of rotating Marina Eye with the Marina Mall entrance in the background
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The Marina Mall has excellent stores for exclusive shopping and various food lounges to gratify your hunger needs.

This mall and wheel duo is truly a must-visit if you're planning a trip to Abu Dhabi.

Taste the Best of Abu Dhabi's Local Cuisine

Streetfood in Abu Dhabi
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They say that the way to a person's heart is through their stomach.

Did you know that some of your favorite cuisines and dishes may have originated from Arabian nations?

Women serving traditional arabian food in Abu Dhabi
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Abu Dhabi offers a wide range of diverse, mouth-watering street food, the most popular and flavorsome being shawarma.

You cannot miss out on this delicious wrap stuffed with chicken or lamb, served with tahini or mint sauce.

Men baking traditional arabian breads at Abu Dhabi
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There are various street food joints, like Modern Jabel Al Noor, Zahrat Lebnan, and Shish Shawerma Corniche, which provide yummy food.

You must definitely try traditional Arabian street foods while you're in Abu Dhabi.

Shop till You Drop at the Souks

Spices for sale in Abu Dhabi, Dubai's traditional market
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By now, it must be pretty clear to you that Abu Dhabi is a land of customs and traditions; it holds in its heart the history of its ancestors.

The art and culture here are vast and beautiful.

Thus, the souks or traditional marketplaces are among the liveliest places to visit in this city.

Snacks and dry fruits stacked up for sale at a Souk in Abu Dhabi
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The souks have some great items like clothes, carpets, rugs, cushions, gold, fruits, nuts, and a lot more in store for you.

These markets boast wallet-friendly items and deal in high-quality products.

Check out Carpet Souk for excellent quality handmade carpets, rugs, clothes, and more.

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Exquisite souvenirs sold at a Souk in Abu Dhabi

The Souk Qaryat Al Beri is an Arabian-style shopping mall where you can buy traditional-style Emirati products.

Souq Al Zafarana is a market that offers fresh fruits and vegetables.

Carpets at a shop in Souk
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There are loads of traditional markets in Abu Dhabi for you to explore—so what are you waiting for?

Conquer Abu Dhabi's Sand Dunes

Sand Dunes in Abu Dhabi
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For all of the adventurers out there who want to see some sand and conquer dunes, there are several different options available in Abu Dhabi.

The Middle Eastern city offers various trips into the desert, depending on what you crave.

Jeep ride on the sand dunes at Abu Dhabi
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You can explore the land on luxury 4×4 vehicles while taking breaks from traditional camel-riding on sandboards that zip down these scenic landscapes.

As if all that wasn't enough, some tours offer more than one of these activities.

Camel Ride on the sand dunes in Abu Dhabi
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There are even overnight desert tours where guests have the opportunity to sleep under the stars and be served a hearty breakfast in the morning.

Just be sure to find the perfect mix for your experience level and the time you'd like to spend in the desert.

Embrace Your Inner Motorhead at the Emirates National Auto Museum

Display of cars at Emirates National Auto Museum
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The Emirates National Auto Museum in Al-Dhafra is located in a small village away from the city's hustle and bustle.

It will take you approximately 45 minutes by car to get to this pyramid-shaped museum.

His Highness Sheikh Hamad Bin Hamdan Al Nahyan has over 200 vintage vehicles housed in this unique building, which makes it pretty much unmissable for any car lover visiting Abu Dhabi.

Exterior of Emirates National Auto Museum
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The Emirates National Auto Museum has some pretty serious cars that are well-equipped for anything the desert throws at them.

Opinions are divided over whether or not this counts as a sightseeing hotspot in Dubai, but don't let that deter you if you're a car fan.

There's something here for everyone here, including vintage American classics.

Vintage cars at Emirates National Auto Museum
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Some of these gems have been imported from overseas, while others were built in the UAE and have been kept pristine throughout the years.

If that doesn't make your head spin, maybe the Sheikh's rainbow Mercedes collection will.

The museum will be extra special for fans of Top Gear, too—many of the greatest moments created by that hit series were filmed at this location.

Catch Some Rays at Corniche Beach

Corniche Beach during sunset
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Are you looking to catch some rays at one of Abu Dhabi's most iconic beaches?

Corniche Beach is your best bet for a good sunny day out.

Home to clear, azure waters and pristine, white sand, Corniche Beach also has a gorgeous seaside walkway lined with manicured and pretty gardens.

Sandy shore of Corniche Beach
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Don't forget to take your cameras with you, as you'll surely want to take plenty of photos.

Beach-goers will be able to find the two-kilometer Corniche Beach separated into three sections, known as Al Sahil, Gate 2, and Gate 3.

Corniche Beach Promenade
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The first is ideal for singles and larger groups, while the latter two are suitable for families due to the fenced area that protects them from prying eyes.

Changing rooms, cabanas, and showers are available, and you can rent out some umbrellas and sun loungers.

A lifeguard watches over the beach all throughout the day.

Final Thoughts

Abu Dhabi, for all its uncountable treasures, is truly one of a kind.

The city offers plenty of exciting activities and programs in which to partake, no matter what you're after.

Whether you're a thrill-seeker, culture vulture, solo traveler, or on a couple's retreat, have fun by adding these unique things to do in Abu Dhabi to your itinerary.