Top 10 Tourist Attractions in Abu Dhabi
In Arabia, “Abu Dhabi” means “the land of gazelle”. The celebrated capital of the United Arab Emirates is a well organized, industrial city with every modern amenity one can think of. Just like Dubai, Abu Dhabi too was just a small fishing village until oil as discovered. The largest city of the UAE, besides being the center for industry and commerce, is a place of historic, cultural and religious importance.
The city of Abu Dhabi has many breathtaking sights, water wonders and historical marvels to offer. These are 10 of its best tourist attractions.
10 Abu Dhabi Tourist Attractions
1. Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque
One of the landmark buildings of Abu Dhabi, the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is a colossal architectural marvel depicting the Arabic culture in the most majestic way. With amazing glass work, mosaic tiling, spectacular carvings, it was opened in the year 2007 after being constructed in almost 20 years. The mosque can hold over 41000 worshippers at a time. Tourists, including non-Muslims, are allowed in all areas of the mosque and can also go on guided tours.
2. Ferrari World Abu Dhabi
Enjoy the world’s largest indoor theme park and the only Ferrari branded park across the globe: the Ferrari World Abu Dhabi. Amongst the best of entertaining rides, it also houses the world’s fastest roller coaster—Formula Rossa. Covering an area of 86000 square meters, it is a glittering name in the list of the best tourist attractions of Abu Dhabi. It has everything from the fastest roller coasters to the advanced simulators and numerous entertainment options for the enjoyment of the entire family.
3. Abu Dhabi Heritage Village
Heritage Village is the perfect place to spend a relaxed evening and take a peek into the pre-oil boom lifestyle of the Bedouin culture. Located in the tranquil beach area of the city, the village signifies the importance of preserving the Arabic tradition and culture in the heart of the locals even after the outbreak of modern development.
4. Etihad Towers Observation Deck
Agreed, it’s not Burj Khalifa, but it definitely is the best place to see the sprawling city of Abu Dhabi. Go to the observation deck of the Etihad towers hotel and enjoy a majestic view of the beautiful city of Abu Dhabi. Although, you will have to pay an entry fee to go to the observation deck (if you are not a guest of the hotel), you can redeem it by having drinks and meals at the observation deck’s restaurant.
5. Abu Dhabi Falcon Hospital
This one of a kind veterinary hospital for all types of injured and ill falcons is a must-visit while on your trip to Abu Dhabi. Falcons have been an integral part of the Arab culture. They were used in the early age and still are quite popular as pets to the rich. The hospital has exclusive air conditioned facilities, operation theatres, recovery and waiting rooms only for falcons.
6. Yas Marina Circuit
A treat to the eyes, the Yas Marina circuit is beautiful and a perfect way to spend an evening by the shore. You can either enjoy on the yacht, take a stroll on the promenade, or simply have a meal at any of its terrace restaurants while enjoying the panoramic view of the circuit. Yas Marina has something to offer for everyone, both afloat and ashore.
7. Qasr- Al- Hosn
Qasr- Al- Hosn is the oldest building entirely made of stone, in the Abu Dhabi city. Also known as the White fort, it was initially built as a watch tower and later expanded to be made the permanent residence of the sheikh of the city. The fort is now partially open to the public and houses a beautiful museum depicting the rich history of the place. It also has various weaponry of the early era. Visitors can admire the beauty of the fort while learning about the history of the capital city.
8. Al Ain National Museum
A perfect way to soak in the city’s rich history and cultural heritage, the Al Ain National Museum houses various important artifacts and archeological discoveries made from the pre-oil era like ancient weaponry, Bedouin jewelry, various traditional musical instruments and traditional Majlis. The museum is beautifully decorated and maintained to give the visitors a true feel of the Bedouin era.
9. Al Ain Camel Market
The last of its kind souk in the entire UAE, the Al Ain Camel market is an experience in itself. Walk around to see beautiful animals up close and personal and catch some hardcore bargaining and sales pitch by the camel sellers. It’s interesting to hear them praising about their animals including camels, sheep and goats. While there will be tour guides around to offer you a sightsee, it’s always better to walk around yourself and soak in the experience.
10. Women’s Handicrafts Center
Women’s Handicraft Centre is a perfect place to showcase the local art and culture and buying some great handicrafts made by the local women. You can see various female artists displaying their skills with the sale of distinctive handmade souvenirs, Arabian oils, local dresses, weavings, silver thread work and more. Ladies can get their hand painted with traditional henna as well.
The above listed attractions are just the start of the beautiful capital city of UAE. Abu Dhabi is full of amazing history and cultural heritage to discover. From the largest hand-loomed carpet to the fastest roller coaster, Abu Dhabi is full of the world’s best tourists attractions.
Top photo by Unsplash.