Abu Dhabi is the largest emirate and replete with jaw-dropping architecture, cultural sites, impressive museums, state-of-the-art amusement parks, and historical landmarks. The capital city of the UAE may not be as famous as its more glamorous counterpart – Dubai, but there are still loads of things to do here. There is plenty on offer for people who love the outdoors, including beaches, deserts, mangroves, and more. So, let’s take a look at some of the top things to do in Abu Dhabi in 2021.
Qasr Al Watan
Firstly, Qasr Al Watan or the Presidential Palace is a great place to get some insight into the rich culture of UAE. This magnificent palace is divided into sections and takes you on an enriching journey of the city’s past and history. It has many exhibitions and a vast garden that is a treat to the senses. It has a sprawling library consisting of an extensive collection of books, historical resources, manuscripts, and other artifacts. History buffs will enjoy learning about the rulers who have played significant roles in shaping the great nation.
Mangrove National Park
Secondly, The Mangrove National Park is like an oasis in the middle of the desert. It is the perfect place to escape the chaos of the city and spend some time with nature. This beautiful biodiversity spot accounts for approximately 75 % of the total mangrove forest in the UAE. It is rich in flora and fauna, and you can find herons, fish, dolphins, crabs, turtles, and other marine inhabitants. Also, This place is a paradise for photographers, birdwatchers, and nature lovers. The best way to explore these lush mangroves is to sign up for a guided kayaking tour. However, thanks to the ‘Mangrove Walk,’ you can also see this place on foot through one of the many walking trails.
Louvre Abu Dhabi
Opened in 2017, the Louvre is a recent addition to the excellent list of things to do in Abu Dhabi. However, The major highlight of this place is the awe-inspiring dome and the stylish interiors. The famous architect Jean-Nouvel designed this remarkable place, and it is one of the most important cultural centers in the region. Situated on Saadiyat Island, this breathtaking museum is home to brilliant masterpieces and other beautiful pieces of artwork by world-renowned artists. You can register in advance for free seminars and fine art-related screenings held often in this place.
Thrill-seekers will love visiting this gigantic theme park. The famous Ferrari World brings guests up, close, and personal with Formula One racing. It is believed to be one of the largest amusement parks in UAE and also it has an incredible collection of Ferrari cars. Apart from an exciting Ferrari driving experience, some of the exhilarating rides here include Flying Aces – the world’s tallest non-inverting loop and Formula Rossa – the world’s fastest roller-coaster at 150 mph. You can also participate in a Ferrari knowledge game show and visit a Ferrari factory.
Observation Deck @ 300
Observation Deck @ 300 occupies the 74th floor of the imposing Jumeirah at Etihad Towers. It is the best place to enjoy sweeping views of the entire city and spot iconic landmarks such as the Persian Gulf and the Corniche. On a clear day, you can even see the striking Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque at a distance. This place is well-known for its ‘High Tea,’ and you can try freshly ground coffee and unique blends of tea. You need to pay an entry fee that can be used against snacks and drinks from the restaurant.
KidZania Abu Dhabi is an award-winning concept that combines learning and entertainment. This interactive and exciting place replicates a mini-city that uses innovation to offer a fun and lively environment to the children. Kids can pick and choose from more than 80 activities and role-play their dream profession. Whether it is a pilot, a chef, a police officer, an astronaut, or a doctor, they can get real-life experiences and discover which profession they enjoy the most.
The Corniche is a seaside promenade that stretches from the Heritage Park in the northeast to Emirates Palace in the southwest. This 8 km waterfront development is brimming with shops, restaurants, hotels, bars, and cafes. Locals and tourists throng this place to watch the spectacular view of the city’s skyline and the Arabian Gulf. Also, You can cycle or explore this area on foot and be treated to stunning Dhow Harbor views. You can also find parks, a public beach, fountains, and a kids’ play area. Play volleyball, swim or try other watersports in the calm waters here.
Sheikh Zayed Mosque
A visit to the grand Sheikh Zayed Mosque should be on the top of your Abu Dhabi things-to-do list. This architectural masterpiece looks majestic and can accommodate up to 40000 worshippers at a time. It’s one of the most treasured landmarks in the city. It is built with Macedonian marble, and the construction style is a combination of Ottoman, Mameluke, and Fatimid design of architecture. It proudly displays an enormous chandelier and the largest hand-woven carpet in the world. The sheer beauty and luxury of the mosque will leave you tongue-tied. You can also book free guided tours if you are interested in learning about Islamic customs and heritage. You must dress modestly as this is a religious place of worship.
Warner Bros. World
The fun and exciting Warner Bros. World features more than 29 rides. Situated on Yas Island, this massive amusement park transports you to the world of your favorite characters from comic books and cartoons. This theme park offers immersive experiences through the use of artificial intelligence, virtual reality, and robotics. However, The theme parks consist of six immersive lands – Gotham City, Metropolis, Warner Bros. Plaza, Bedrock, Cartoon Junction, and Dynamite Gulch. Not only children but even adults can relive their childhood here.
Lastly, Abu Dhabi boasts of some of the best deserts in the world. So, a desert excursion is an ideal way to enjoy a slice of Emirati life and top-notch hospitality. A desert safari takes you on a memorable tour into the heart of the red sands. You can enjoy stimulating activities such as a camel ride, a 4×4 dune bashing, quad biking, falconry, and sandboarding. Witness the magical sight of the sun going down on the horizon. Watch mesmerizing cultural performances such as Tanura Dance Show and Belly Dancing. You can smoke flavorful shisha pipes or get your hands and feet painted with intricate henna designs. Gorge on some lip-smacking BBQ dinner before you wind up for the evening.
Abu Dhabi has several other fabulous attractions like Yas Waterworld, Falcon Hospital, Heritage Village, Qasr Al Hosn, Saadiyat Beach, and Marina Mall. You can plan a more extended holiday to enjoy the other attractions as well. This fantastic city offers an ideal holiday for couples, families, and friends. It does not matter if you are a culture vulture, an adventure enthusiast, or a nature lover; this marvelous city has something or the other for everyone.