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Abu Dhabi

4.3 / 5 43 votes

Country rank: 2 out of 12 Places To Visit In Uae

Sub-Region: North U.A.E


Ideal duration: 3 days

Best time: Late October - April (Read More)

Nearest Airport: Abu Dhabi (Check Flights)


"Abu Dhabi : A recreation of adventure"

Abu Dhabi Tourism

Abu Dhabi is a luxurious metropolis with flair of traditional values combined with the modernism of 21st century. It is the largest of the seven Emirates and referred to as a shopperês paradise. The city is dotted with some of the worldês best modern and historic architecture making it a must visit destination.¾

One of the richest cities of the world, Abu Dhabi is a perfect example of modern Gulf oil-city evolved from being a fishing village in about half a century. With its rich past tracing back to 3000 B.C., Abu Dhabi, unlike Dubai has preserved its distinct Arabian culture amid all glitz and shimmer. Nestled on a T-shaped island, the place is a federal capital city of U.A.E with all kinds of modern amenities and architecture. The desert city is also home to some of the most beautiful mosques and rustic old towns sprinkled with dust displaying its desert-trader past. A stroll in the city centre and along the picturesque corniche with its friendly beaches and lavish promenade are worth a visit. From well-preserved historic sites and religious centres to modern office buildings and high-end shopping mall, opulent restaurants and insanely priced hotels, Abu Dhabi caters to all kind of tourists._

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Arabic is the official language whereas English is also widely spoken. One will find road signs, menus and shop signs both in Arabic and English, however, as you move out of town Arabic becomes more commonly used both in written and speaking form. Commonly used phrases, which can be useful while travelling in UAE, are: Hi: Salam Good Morning: Sabah el kheer Welcome: Marhaba Thank you: shukran Good night: Tosbeho ala khair Goodbye: Maêa salama

Abu Dhabi was a modest village housing huts flanked by hundreds of palm about 50 years ago. The new shining city of Abu Dhabi started evolving about 30 years before, resulting in an assortment of glittering skyscrapers, pristine sandy beaches along the Arabian Gulf, and well preserved historic buildings. However, with all these changes and modernity, the emirate has been able to retain its culture and heritage. The major development began with the discovery of oil during 1950s, being the 10 per cent of the worldês known oil reserve.¾

The nightlife of Abu Dhabi is equally active and jazzy as its day life with numerous options of bar, clubs and Discs. Alcohol in the emirate is legally available, although there are strict rules to follow while purchasing alcohol. However, those on visitorês visa are hardly asked for the license. There are dress codes for men in bars, whereas jeans are acceptable while wearing sandals, flip-flops and shorts are not accepted. One can enjoy live music, themed bars and some very luxury places in Abu Dhabi. Alcohol served may be a bit costly with the standards of western countries. There are special Ladiesê nights at various bars and clubs where free drinks are served to women to attract customers.¾

Shopping in Abu Dhabi is like a luxury experience with so much to shop and so many places to shop at. Abu Dhabi houses very premium shopping malls to small traditional souq selling authentic Arabic products such as carpets, perfumes, spices, handicrafts etc. There are a myriad of luxury stores at extremely luxury destinations such as The Galleria on Al Marayah Island and Avenue at Etihad Towers offering 130 of the most exclusive brand outlets along with a VIP treatment. There are numerous air-conditioned shopping malls in Abu Dhabi, a perfect way for locals to beat the summer heat. During a festival such as Eid, these malls are also the venue for various cultural performances like dance. Marina Mall, Khalidiyah Mal, Abu Dhabi Mall, World Trade Centre Souk and Mall, Dalma Mall and Liwa Centre are just a few to be named. Abu Dhabi is a place that caters to the taste of all people. It offers small local souqs such as Fish Souq, Carpet Souk, Al Mina Fruit and Vegetable Souk etc being some of the traditional small markets in the emirate. One can spend thousands of dollars while shopping in Abu Dhabi or can buy so much in just hundred dollars. If your bargaining skills are perfect, one can break a good deal for textile, carpets and gold. Most shops in the city open from 10:00 to 22:00.¾

Various types of credit cards and debit cards are widely accepted in Abu Dhabi including Visa Card, MasterCard, Global Access, Cirrus and Plus System. The exchange rate for the international cards is generally competitive. One can get foreign currency and traveller's cheque exchanged at authorized exchange offices, banks and hotels by showing oneês passport. Personal cheques although accepted generally, can create a little trouble as many places do not accept them. If you are planning to shop in the souks or markets, cash is the perfect option.¾

Abu Dhabi is dotted with offices and banks where currency can be exchanged. Other than banks, one can also find licensed •Bureau de Changeê offices at almost all major malls and famous shopping districts. The rate offered by these exchange offices is often better than banks. Saturday to Thursday is the usual working days, from 8:00 - 13:00 and 16:30 to 20:30 and on Friday evenings. Travellerês cheques and money can also be exchanged at many hotels at standard (non-competitive) rates. One can easily locate ATMs at all shopping complexes, most of the petrol pumps, major supermarkets and the airport.¾


Arabs are very particular about their dress code, which is followed almost similarly throughout United Arab Emirates. Men usually wear dishdasha or kandura, a white full-length shirtdress, which is worn with a white or red checked headdress, known as a ghutrah. An agal, a black cord is used to secure ghutrah. For women, there is black abaya, a loose long robe to cover their usual clothes along with a headscarf known as sheyla. Some women also cover their faces with thin black veil. As a tourist, one is expected to respect the general culture and etiquettes. Foreigners are free to practice their religion and dress in liberal manner. Public display of affection is not accepted anywhere in U.A.E, although the presence of people from various ethnic groups has lead to the acceptation of other social customs such as a man and a woman holding hands. However, it is advised to avoid any such practices. Photography of tourist places are allowed but be polite to ask permission to photograph local people. Tipping is also widely practiced in Abu Dhabi but it is not obligatory in any form.

Abu Dhabi being a cosmopolitan city offers food and palates of various ethnicities. However, what it lacks is variety of cuisines. Delicious food served at fine-dine restaurants and hotel restaurants displays impressive fusion of international flavours and great culinary skills, but prices are a bit high. There are several small eating outlets and street side cafes all across Abu Dhabi that serves mouth-watering food. Al Harees (a dish of slow-cooked meat and wheat in a clay pot or oven served with ghee), Al Majboos (a dish made by boiling meat in water with addition of distinct fusion of spices and dried lime), and Al Madrooba ( a salted fish dish mixed with spices and thick sauce served with saffron rice) are the major dishes of Abu Dhabi. End the delicious meal with a round of renowned Arabic sweet dessert Baklava and special Arabic coffee.¾

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Abu Dhabi Reviews

9 months ago by Anam Shaikh

The world's largest hand-loomed carpet, the fastest rollercoaster, the highest high tea, the tower with the greatest lean, the largest cluster of cultural buildings of the 21st century – UAE capital Abu Dhabi isn't afraid to challenge world records. Due to hot and arid climate throughout the year, try visiting during winter. Abu Dhabi is a compulsive shopper's dream; shop at Abu-Dhabi Mall and Marina Mall. You also absolutely have to go to Ferrari World. Wear comfortable clothes and stay within the dress codes of the country.

9 months ago by Abdullah Haider

Arguably the best part of my UAE trip. The infamous rollercoaster is the world's fastest and the main attraction. You get to see the history of Ferrari and the rides are all free once you've purchased the ticket. Sit on the rollercoaster as many times as you want with no extra fee! The queue may be a bit long. Do see exotic cars like Ferrari Enzo!

Review for Ferrari World Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi

9 months ago by Abdullah Haider

One of the most beautiful mosques I've been to. It's very peaceful and calming, especially in the month of Ramzaan. Try visiting it at night to feel its true beauty as the marble reflects the moonlight. The mosque is named after Sheikh Zayed, one of the founding fathers of modern UAE. The mosque has intricate carvings and jewels in its walls.

Review for Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, Abu Dhabi

9 months ago by Taniya Batra

The Ferrari world, located on Yas Island, is one of the main attractions of Abu Dhabi. One of a kind, the place provides a thrilling experience to all age groups. The place is air- conditioned and working 365 days a year. However, Ferrari World does seem to have semi-strict rules about dress code. When visiting the place entry may not be allowed to woman wearing shorts as it may seem disrespectful. Hence, carrying a pair of jeans or three- fourths for the visit might be useful.

Review for Ferrari World Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi

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Hotels in Abu Dhabi

Top Hotels in Abu Dhabi

  • Four Seasons Hotel Abu Dhabi at Al Maryah Island

    AED 540 /night onwards

  • Jumeirah at Etihad Towers Hotel

    AED 630 /night onwards

  • The St. Regis Abu Dhabi

    AED 560 /night onwards

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