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 (2)

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  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.

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