The capital of the United Arab Emirates and the largest Emirates of all has once been a simple fishing village and a couple of pear divers; that city is now an unbelievable metropolis of over 1.5 million inhabitants. Abu Dhabi is indeed a city of wonders and despite its location, Abu Dhabi is one of the safest cities in the world.

Abu Dhabi is home to mouth-watering and exceptionally tall buildings and skyscrapers. The city boasts a fair number of expansive shopping centers, such as the Marina Mall and Luxury attractions, like the Ferrari World. UAE’s largest emirate is also the ideal place to learn more about the nation’s traditions. Spending your days touring places like the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, which is one of the only two mosques in the country that offer entry to non-Muslims, the Heritage Village where you can explore the traditional culture of the nation, and many more, will give you an insight of the nation’s history and rich culture.

Listed below are are the 10 best things to do on your visit to Abu Dhabi.

1. Don’t miss out on the most iconic building in Abu Dhabi

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The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque was constructed between 1996 and 2007 at the request of Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the founder and first president of the United Arab Emirates. The mosque is by far the most popular of all Abu Dhabi’s sights, and it’s very easy to see why. One of the largest mosques in the world, the holy place has a total of 82 domes, more than 1000 columns and a white and gold facade. This is not the City’s oldest wonder; people who have visited the Grand Mosque have testified that a stop here is an essential for those who are looking to understand the city’s real religious identity.  However, visitors must have a couple of things in mind when visiting this place;

  • This mosque will be closed to tourists on Fridays.
  • Dressing should be very modest because it is a holy place.
  • You will have to leave your shoes at the entrance. Shoes are not allowed in mosques.

2. Too Fast, Too Furious!

If you are a fan of car racing, then Abu Dhabi is the best place to be. While those who are interested in the nation’s heritage will head to the camel race track, visitors with a need for speed only need to look to the Ferrari World. While you can watch the professionals lock horns on the track, you can also test the track when there aren’t too many professional activities going on around the building.

The Ferrari World is also home to the world’s fastest roller coaster named Formula Rossa. In addition to that, there are several other roller coasters and family-friendly rides and simulators. Around here, it is always required to come with closed shoes and not dress too lightly as the whole place is aggressively air-conditioned.

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3. How about one for the culture?

Although Abu Dhabi is constantly evolving, the remaining of the UAE’s heritage is not so hard to find. If you want to learn about the roots and cultural heritage of Abu Dhabi, the Heritage Village is the place to be.

Heritage Village is a representation of the original fishing village that once stood there. While touring the living museum, you’ll stroll past Bodouin tents and wooden huts housing workshops where you can watch weaving and metal-working demonstrations.

4. Marina Mall

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One of the things Abu Dhabi is mostly known for is the fact that it is home to exotic shopping malls and stores. The city has no shortage of high-end mega malls, with the Marina Mall being one of Abu Dhabi’s most popular shopping venues. Located near the Heritage Village in the southwest corner of Abu Dhabi; the gigantic complex is home to more than 400 stores, as well as a movie theatre, amusement centre, bowling alley, and rides. You are also sure to find a variety of restaurants and faces in addition to a big food court.

5. Emirate Palace

The Emirate Palace is the third most expensive hotel ever built and it features 394 rooms, 92 suites, and 22 residential suites. It also has a private beach of 1.3 kilometer, 2 helicopter pads, and a ballroom for up to 2500 people.

This resort occupies nearly 250 acres of coastline along the Corniche and stretches more than half a mile from wing to wing. It is also one of Abu Dhabi’s most recognizable landmarks.

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6. Sir Bani Yas Island

Sir Bani Yas Island is a must for all Abu Dhabi visitors. This incredible island is dominated by the Arabian Wildlife Park which is home to more than 10,000 free roaming animals like giraffes, cheetahs, gazelles and many more; and takes up more than half of the island. Furthermore, the island features multiple archaeological sites which include the ruins of an ancient Christian monastery, beaches, sea kayak routes and a shipwreck.

Sir Bani Yas Island is the complete package as it features everything from wildlife and adventure-based activities, snorkeling, sunset kayaking trip to exploring the island with a sunrise Wadi walk.

7. Yas Waterworld

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Abu Dhabi is usually a hot place and it can be quite intense in the summer and that’s where the Yas Waterworld comes in because it is a perfect place to escape the scorching heat. They have plenty of slides and a water roller coaster. Yas Waterworld is located right next to the Ferrari World and there’s even a two-day ticket available to see them both.

8. Louvre Abu Dhabi

Louvre Abu Dhabi was officially opened to the general public on the 11th of November, 2017. The museum, which covers an area of 24,000 square meters, has been attracting art loves from around the world.

What we love most about this building is that when you are inside, the building looks like rays of sunlight are passing through palm fronds in an oasis. That gives you some natural feeling asides having access to beautiful works of art.

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9. Al Jahili Fort

The existence of this building can be traced back to as far back as late 1880s. The building was made from mud bricks and it has been recently refurbished for public visitation. Visitors are welcome to explore the fort’s battlements and watchtowers, which surround an expansive courtyard that often acts as a backdrop for outdoor concerts.

10. Al Ain Oasis

Visitors describe the oasis as a nice place to explore, though some travelers admit that finding your way around can be a challenge but that won’t much of an issue as guards are stationed at strategic spots around the oasis.

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This oasis occupies nearly 3,000 acres of central Al Ain, this quiet park is best known for its date palms with nearly 150,000 of them. These towering trees are part of plantations that still help supply Abu Dhabi with the popular regional snack.