6 unique things to do in Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi is the capital of the United Arab Emirates and its richest city. Home to man-made islands, silver skyscrapers, mega malls and lavish palaces, it is a modern, cosmopolitan city and a popular tourist destination. Here are six unique things to do in Abu Dhabi:

Ride the world’s fastest roller coaster

If you are a thrill seeker then this should definitely be on your bucket list. Ferrari World is the world’s first Ferrari themed park and home to two record breaking rides. Until recently it was also the world’s largest indoor theme park. Formula Rossa, the fastest roller coaster in the world, will blast you to an incredible speed of 240 km/h in 4.9 seconds. Flying Aces, will take you through the worlds highest inverted loop, while travelling at speeds of up to 120 km/h. You can also take a real Ferrari for a drive here.

Stay in the world’s most leaning building

The iconic Capital Gate building is the ‘World’s Furthest Leaning Man Made Tower,’ and has a certificate from the Guinness Book of World Records to prove it. The building leans at an astonishing 18 degrees to the west, four times more than the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Unlike the latter, this structure was specifically designed to lean this way. You can stay in this incredible building at the luxurious Hyatt Capital Gate Hotel, where you can also experience the highest spa in Abu Dhabi.

Marvel at the magnificent Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque

Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is one of the largest and most beautiful mosques in the world and Abu Dhabi’s most visited attraction.  Striking in pristine white, it boasts 82 domes, golden colonnades and giant floral marble inlays across the vast courtyard. This architectural masterpiece is home to one of the largest chandeliers in the world, which is 15 meters high and 10 meters in diameter. It also contains the world’s largest hand-woven carpet which measures 5,627 square meters and was made by over 1,200 specialized workers.

Visit the only other Louvre in the world

The Louvre Abu Dhabi is the only museum in the world to carry the Louvre name besides the original Louvre in Paris. It opened in November 2017 to great fanfare.  The museum covers nearly 64,000 square metres and contains a universal collection of ancient and contemporary artworks from around the world. The cosmic dome of the museum with its starry latticework is a work of art in itself. The current collection includes works by Leonardo Da Vinci, Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, and Vincent Van Gogh.

Go on a desert safari

Take a break from the city and escape to the sand dunes on a desert safari, a quintessential Arabian experience which is fun for the whole family. It starts with an exciting dune-bashing session in the desert as you speed up and down the biggest dunes in a four-wheel drive vehicle. This is followed by desert activities like sand-boarding and quad-biking as the sun sets. You are then taken to a traditional desert camp, where henna artists and shisha lounges await you. The evening ends with a sumptuous Arabic buffet dinner and live entertainment under the starry night sky.

Discover the historic garden city of Al Ain on a day trip

Al Ain lies between the desert and the mountains which provide the springs for its vast oasis. The oasis is one of the world’s oldest permanently inhabited settlements. More than 4,000 years old, it is also a UNESCO World Heritage site. Here you can visit the former home of the late founder of the UAE, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan al Nahyan. You can also visit picturesque old forts, the last camel souk in the UAE and the Green Mubazzarah Hot Springs at the feet of Jebel Hafeet, Abu Dhabi’s highest mountain.  The pace of life here is gentler and more traditional and it is a vestige of what the United Arab Emirates was like before the oil boom.

Comments (14)

  1. Wow that’s a quick rollercoaster! I went on Rita Queen of Speed at Alton Towers which hits 100km/h in 2.5s and that was insane. Would love to tour the sand dunes too, I’ve seen lots of photos and they’re beautiful, especially at sunrise.

    • Sara Essop says:

      I’ve heard of Alton Towers and would love to go there someday too. The sand dunes are such fun on a desert safari. Sleeping over and catching the sunrise the next morning would be even better.

    • Johnny says:

      I haven’t been to Ferrari World, but have been to Alton Towers many times. From what I’ve heard about Ferrari World, I would imagine Alton Towers doesn’t come close. It also won Middle East’s Leading Theme Park at the last World Travel Awards.

    • J Glazebrook says:

      Ferrari world is an amazing theme park with great rides and record breakers, really enjoyed it. But, it is not as good as larger open theme parks, Alton Towers being the first one I think about. Many more rides, open space and more attractions-same pricing structure too!

    • Joelle says:

      You cannot compare Alton Towers and Ferrari World. Ferrari World is a very small theme park as its mostly indoors under a huge dome. It has about 4/5 rollercoasters that are pretty impressive, but other than that there are lots of small kiddies rides and soon to be zip line. Alton Towers is over acres and acres of land and you can easily spend a couple of days there. Ferrari world (without kids) can be done in an afternoon. We were there for 3 hours yesterday and went on everything. Both great theme parks but you can’t compare.

  2. Dave says:

    Leaning four times more than the Tower of Pisa…?! Wow! I’m not really a theme park goer but Ferrari World does look and sound interesting (it’s been on my radar for a while). I hear that the mosque is impressive so would definitely like to go there, and I like the idea of a desert safari so long as it’s not overrun with tourists.

  3. Lal Gurung says:

    It’s really great to hear the world amazing places in the world. World tallest lean building is the most beautiful to see even in the photos..

  4. I am amazed to see this blog.Abu Dhabi is a great city with a large number of tourist attractions.The place I love the most in Abu Dhabi is Ferrari World And whenever I visit Abu Dhabi I visit Ferrari World First.

  5. Hijas says:

    Great post about Abu Dhabi and things to do. Would love to tour the sand dunes too, I’ve seen lots of photos and they’re beautiful, especially at sunrise.

  6. Silvia Niguez says:

    This is really a great contribution with very informative content, However I believe it does not mention one of the best pleasures in Abu Dhabi; the desert safari adventures! It is really an adorable activity to do when in the town specially on Friday when every other tourist attraction is closed.

  7. Tony says:

    I must have been to Dubai at least six times, though some of the visits were for work, before I ever got to Abu Dhabi. Now it’s my favourite Emirate. It’s a lot less brash and glitzy than Dubai and I feel a lot more relaxed too. This is a great list of attractions and I’ve not done the Louvre yet but as I’m going to Abu Dhabi for New Year I’m looking forward to visiting then. One other very unique attraction is watching international cricket. I’ve been lucky enough to see top quality cricket on two out of three of my visits.

  8. Just Awesome! Can’t wait to see the Grand Mosque and Desert Safari and off course to ride in Ferrari coaster.

  9. Dan Swan says:

    If we’re talking unique then you’ve really got to count in the Abu Dhabi Falcon Hospital. It’s quite close to the airport and in my opinion quite poorly marketed which is a pity as it’s quite a fascinating attraction. You book a two hour tour for either morning or afternoon.

    Falconry is big in the Arab World and the hospital has 45,000 birds on its books. Everyday something like 70 birds are dropped off in the morning as outpatients. They have talons and beaks clipped and broken wings replaced. If they are going to travel to other countries for competitions they have to pass a medical before they are allowed on the plane. Amazing place, an attraction not meant to be missed.

  10. jagjit singh says:

    Going to Visit Abu Dhabi next week as I don’t know much about it so I was looking for a blog to know the best things to there thanks for this information.

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