24 November 2017
Abu Dhabi boasts a rich culture, with a blend of historic sites, artistic marvels, culinary delights and traditional Arabian wonders. Take in the captivating cultural offerings of this global city on a trip to Abu Dhabi, by including the following attractions and activities on your itinerary.
The story of Abu Dhabi is an intriguing one, and you can explore this tale by stopping at the city’s historical sites. Discover the various illuminating attractions that are situated in Al Ain which is a 90 minute drive from Abu Dhabi city. One such attraction is the Al Jahili Fort, a 19th century structure known for its manicured gardens and cultural exhibitions. See Qasr Al Muwaiji built in the early 20th century which is an impressive structure that has watched over the oasis for more than 100 years and the Al Ain Oasis the UAE’s first curated UNESCO World Heritage site visitor experience.
Discover more about Abu Dhabi’s culture by visiting the region's impressive Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, which features ornate marble columns, Swarovski-adorned chandeliers and the largest carpet in the world. Complimentary one hour guided tours of the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque run from Sunday to Thursday at 10am, 11am and 5pm. The times on Friday and Saturday are 5pm and 7pm along with 10am, 11am, 2pm, 5pm and 7pm respectively.
The much anticipated Louvre Abu Dhabi opened on 11th November 2017 and is the Arab World's first universal museum. It is the first of three museums to open on Saadiyat Island's Cultural District - the Zayed National Museum and the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi will follow in years to come. The Louvre Abu Dhabi is the region's most talked about attraction, and represents a fundamental statement in Abu Dhabi's long term cultural ambition. The museum is designed by international architect Jean Nouvel and has a remarkable latticed dome creating a "rain of light" through layers of geometric shapes. It will display artworks and objects of historic, cultural and sociological significance from different civilisations in an over-arching timeline. The museum has a permanent collection as well as works of art on loan from thirteen art institutions in Paris. The entrance is fee is 60 AED (approx. R230) for adults.
Experience age-old local practices while visiting Abu Dhabi. Learn traditional skills such as pottery-making at workshops in the Heritage Village; a reconstruction of an oasis settlement. A must-see is the Abu Dhabi Falcon Hospital, where you can meet these noble creatures and witness demonstrations of the popular desert sport of Falconry.
Car enthusiasts, Abu Dhabi is the destination for you, with various attractions on offer. Visit Yas Marina Circuit, home to the F1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix during the last weekend of November, giving you a whole array of driver and passenger experiences - take the wheel of a Mercedes AMG or Formula 3000 around the track. Perhaps you might like to walk or cycle the track instead? You can do this free of charge on Tuesday evenings. Take a desert safari on a 4 x 4 Toyota Landcruiser for an experience in the Al Dhafra desert region - otherwise known as the 'Empty Quarter' - this is a spectacular desert backdrop.
Immerse yourself in Abu Dhabi’s vibrant culinary scene. Savour real Arabic coffee, which is blended with saffron and cardamom and served ritualistically, at outlets across the Emirate. Head to the Dates Market near Mina Port for a wide selection of this Arabian delicacy, many of which are grown in the fertile oases of Al Ain. Abu Dhabi provides international culinary experiences across the city's hotel restaurants, with celebrity Michelin star chef establishments such as Marco Pierre White's Steakhouse at the Fairmont Bab Al Bahr. Try exquisite Emirati cuisine at the award winning Mezlai restaurant at Emirates Palace.
Tour the city’s traditional Souks where you can pick up authentic goods. These include Persian rugs, handmade Arabic Majlis cushions, aromatic perfumes like the Arabic Oud fragrance created from the bark of Agarwood trees, bolts of vivid patterned fabrics and intricate gold jewellery in Middle Eastern styles. The Emirate is also home to first class malls like the Yas Mall on Yas Island with 400 stores, the Marina Mall in front of the Emirates Palace and the very high-end The Galleria on Al Maryah Island.
Relax on Abu Dhabi's fine sandy beaches. The Corniche Beach has blue flag status, as well as shaded walk and cycle ways to enjoy, with the backdrop of the city's skyline. On Saadiyat Island's idyllic 9km of white sand beach you might spot dolphins, turtles or a flock of flamingos - you can enjoy the public stretch of the beach or pamper yourself at the spa at the luxurious Saadiyat Beach Club complete with its restaurant overlooking the turquoise water, for an indulgent lunch. Head to Yas Beach on Yas Island too, try your hand at various water sports including paddle boarding or catamaran sailing.
Abu Dhabi is a destination known for its rich Arabian heritage and chic cosmopolitan style. With wall-to-wall sunshine, a stunning city skyline and world-class attractions, it’s the perfect place for your sun-kissed getaway! Over seven nights explore all sides of this captivating city with a stay at the exquisite Emirates Palace. Located in the heart of Abu Dhabi, this award-winning five-star hotel offers a range of first-class facilities, including a 1.3 km stretch of pristine beach, two landscaped pools, a sublime spa and a private marina overlooking a natural bay. Stay healthy by participating in yoga classes, jogging or cycling on beautiful outdoor trails. Dining here is a pleasure, with a variety of delectable restaurants serving award-winning culinary cuisine from around the globe. After a relaxing drink at one of the chic bars, retire to your beautiful Coral Room with its luxury Arabian furnishings and a private terrace or balcony offering exquisite views over the verdant gardens.