Vacation means different things to different people.

However, it is almost never complete without sand kissed beaches, some luxury in a beach resort and adventurous fun in the waterparks. If this sounds like your kind of vacation, then you must go explore the many things to do in Abu Dhabi.

The place is steeped in culture and all things money can buy. You can travel cheaply as well as lavishly to this Emirati holiday destination. So what are you waiting for? Check the fares online and browse through Abu Dhabi accommodation. If you are lucky, you may find a decent deal on your flights tickets and accommodation.

If you’re staying in Dubai, you can still explore Abu Dhabi on a day tour. Check this Abu Dhabi sightseeing tour out.

Things to do in Abu Dhabi

Now that you have arrived in Abu Dhabi, here are some amazing things you must do.

Take a Nice Stroll Down the Corniche

You can take a nice stroll down the corniche with a long promenade with plenty of places to stop along the way. Take an entire day to explore life by the corniche. You can also hire a bike and enjoy the sights at your own pace. There are many sight-seeing options and places to eat.

Water World in Abu Dhabi

Water World is an amusement park that is not for the faint hearted. From adrenaline pumping activities to dizzying rides, there is so much to do in Yas Island.

Ferrari World Abu Dhabi

The first and only Ferrari brand themed amusement park, that stretches over a 86000 square meter area, has managed to attract a lot of tourists from all over the world. Ferrari World has world’s fastest roller coaster ride, Formula Rossa, that covers the whole ride in around 5 minute.

Dune Bashing in Abu Dhabi

What good is a trip to Abu Dhabi if you didn’t go to the desert? You can choose from 4×4 tours and go for some dune bashing. You can also go dune bashing in Dubai!

Dune bashing Dubai
Dune bashing

Stay at a Resort by the Beach

There is nothing like a resort right at the beach. If you are looking for some luxury book yourself on one of the swanky hotels located right on the beach. You will not only get the best views of the horizon, but also have private access to the beach.

Masdar City

If you truly want to explore Abu Dhabi’s glitz and glamour, then don’t forget to visit the Masdar City that is located right close to the airport. This futuristic city may be small in size but it is entirely run on solar power and wind energy. The tour of this city will take you back and forth in time. One moment you will be seated in a driver-less pod; in another moment you will go down narrow alleys that look like Arabian streets from yesteryear.

Emirates Palace

No visit is complete unless you see the Emirates Palace which has been integral to Abu Dhabi’s cultural expansion plan. You can view the exquisite fine art collection or marvel at one of its thousands of crystal chandeliers. Emirates Palace is to Abu Dhabi what Burj Khalifa is to Dubai.

Heritage Village

If you want to experience and witness the Bedouin way of life before the oil discovery, a visit to the Heritage village is all you need. The village is in a beautiful beach area and exhibits traditional daily objects, pearl trade and falej irrigation system.

Al Hosn Palace

This palace is one of the oldest buildings in Abu Dhabi. The palace is also popularly known as the old or White fort, owing to its beautiful white and ancient structure. The building was constructed in 1793 as the living arrangement of the decision family and the seat of government.

Observation Deck

If Dubai has Burj Khalifa then Abu Dhabi has observation deck, offering horizon sees from the Jumeirah at Etihad Towers Hotel, the highest point in the city. There is an entry fee for non-visitors of the hotel, yet the ticket price can be recovered for sustenance and drink from the observation deck’s restaurant.

Women’s Craft Centre

A place where you will find women showcasing traditional skills such as weaving, spinning, embroidery and basketry. An excellent place to pick up exquisite souvenirs for your friends and loved ones.

Falcon Hospital

A working veterinary hospital in Abu Dhabi, Falcon hospital takes care of all the ill and injured falcons. The place also provides tours under guidance for interested tourists. If you are brave enough, you are even allowed to hold one of these birds.

Emirates Park Zoo

Enjoy a fun day out in the Emirates Park Zoo, just a short drive away from Abu Dhabi. There are different animals in the wildlife park, like the white tiger, elephants and giraffe. The park also holds a petting section that allows children to touch and feed domestic breed of animals.

Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque

World’s largest mosque, Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque can hold as many as 40000 worshippers in its premises. The place is made of intricate carvings and rich carpets, that adorns the whole temple giving it a rich, ancient and modern look at the same time. The mosque has been named after Sheikh Zayed, who has been buried on the site and his funeral was the first service to be held in the temple.

Join a Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque tour from Dubai – book here.

Things to do in Abu Dhabi, UAE
Abu Dhabi Sheikh

Epic watersports to try in Abu Dhabi

Watersports are among the most popular things to do in Abu Dhabi.

The number of water sports that are available to enthral any adrenaline junkie is numerous, but do you really know them all? Yes, I’m sure you’ve heard of snorkeling, diving and scuba diving, but have you heard of flowboarding?

Here are four epic watersports in Abu Dhabi:

1. Flowboarding

Always wanted to try surfing but was too terrified of the sea or of the unpredictable nature of the sport? Flowboarding is for those who have always wanted to surf, but in a more controlled environment. Flowboarding can be considered the opposite of surfing because you will be able to see the water rush towards you, as opposed to the waves building behind you like in surfing.

See whether you can overcome your fears and flowboard successfully at Yas Waterworld in Abu Dhabi, for this is one of the few places in the world where Flowboarding is available. Who knows, before you know it you may graduate to taking on those awesome ocean waves soon!

Watersports in Abu Dhabi, UAE
Flowrider in Abu Dhabi

2. JetLev Flying

If you’re staying at an Abu Dhabi luxury hotel, definitely make your way to the Ghantoot Marina and experience JetLev Flying. It is definitely worth the visit! JetLev Flying is only available in Abu Dhabi and involves a carbon fibre backpack that is attached to a hose. The hose is connected to an engine, and when started, the engine pumps water into the hose to propel the person wearing the backpack into the air at high speed. Hires of such jetpacks are usually for 30 minutes which means you can spend up to half an hour pretending that you’re on a rocket. Now, who doesn’t want that?

3. Cableskiing and Monoskiing

Cableskiing is quite similar to waterskiing; except that the boat is absent. Cableskiing involves you being strapped onto a rope which is connected to a raised cable. Expect to be dragged around the waters at around 40km/h. Some feel that even this does not provide them with the challenge and adrenaline rush they need and opt for Monoskiing. Monoskiing involves you on a very narrow board that puts your balancing skills to the test. Lose your footing once, and into the water you go.

Skiing in Abu Dhabi, UAE
Skiing in Abu Dhabi

4. Kayaking

Now, this is one water sport that you are likely to have heard of, but it is included here because it’s a sport that allows you to enjoy yourself immensely while also taking in the surroundings of where you are.

If you are in Abu Dhabi, seize the opportunity to kayak to little-known islands off Al Rahba. As numerous companies offer kayaking tours, you will be spoilt for choice. Most tour companies, such as Noukhada and Sea Hawk Watersports will also offer services like mangrove tours which will begin from launch points next to, or behind Eastern Mangroves Hotel & Spa by Anantara. Kayaking in and around mangroves off the coast of Abu Dhabi is undoubtedly going to be a very exciting and interesting way to explore the Persian Gulf.

Kayaking in Abu Dhabi, UAE
Kayaking in Abu Dhabi

If you have been confused about where you should travel this winter, let Abu Dhabi surprise you with its fine offerings and cultural experience.


  • Travel Dudes

    I'm sure you've had similar experiences I had whilst traveling. You're in a certain place and a fellow traveler, or a local, tip you off on a little-known beach, bar or accommodation. Great travel tips from other travelers or locals always add something special to our travels. That was the inspiration for Travel Dudes.