Hello Friends, hope you all are safe and healthy! I am back with my new blog on the Capital City of UAE, ‘Abu Dhabi’! It is one of the most beautiful destination I have ever seen and I am sure you would love it too! In this blog, I will post about my trip to Abu Dhabi, it’s tourist attractions, it’s culture and also the things to do in Abu Dhabi. So get ready to explore Abu Dhabi from the comfort of your homes!
Abu Dhabi is the capital city and the second most populous city of the United Arab Emirates (UAE). It is one of the beautiful cities which is located on an Island in the Persian Gulf. Although considered as a business city, Abu Dhabi has a lot to offer for tourists of all age. From Towering Skyscrapers to Beautiful Beaches and from the Gorgeous Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque to the World’s Fastest Roller Coaster in the Ferrari World, Abu Dhabi has a plethora of activities to enjoy which will you make u mesmerized by it’s beauty. I had visited Abu Dhabi and Dubai and was left awestruck by it’s beauty and so is definitely worth a visit. Also, Abu Dhabi has been crowned as the Safest Cities in the World for the fourth time in a row in 2020 which undoubtedly cements Abu Dhabi’s position as a Desirable Destination to Live, Invest, Work and Visit.
The best time to visit Abu Dhabi is from October to March when the climate is comparatively cool and pleasant. Abu Dhabi is known for it’s Stunning Beaches, Endless Desert Safari, Magnificent Cultural Monuments and also the Best Theme Parks in the World. If you haven’t visited Abu Dhabi yet, this beautiful place should definitely be on top of your Bucket List.
Culture and Festivals
Abu Dhabi is the capital of United Arab Emirates, and also the second most populous city there; second only to Dubai. While Dubai catches tourists for the wide variety of luxurious services it offers, Abu Dhabi has emerged as more of a business hub centred around oil and infrastructure. Almost two-thirds of the 400 Billion Dollar economy of UAE runs because of Abu Dhabi. Abu Dhabi has a Diverse and Multicultural Society where people from different parts of the world work in the city as expats. The Official Language of Abu Dhabi is Arabic but English is most common medium of communication due to their varied and diverse culture. The Culture of Abu Dhabi includes various types of Delicious Cuisines, Gorgeous Architecture, Folk Dance and Music, Art and Craft, Sports and Festivals.
The Cuisines offered in Abu Dhabi are never ending from Italian to Arabic to Indian. You can have any type of cuisine there which forms an integral part of Abu Dhabi Culture. Few Delicious Local Cuisines include Harees, Makboos, Salona, Madrooba, Falafel and Shawarma. The Architecture is like a reflection of what the culture of Abu Dhabi is actually like. The Emirates Palace and the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque are 2 good examples of Architecture in Abu Dhabi. The Music and Dance usually tells a story about the rise of UAE or about the valiant Arab Warriors that fought in Wars.
Football, Cricket, Tennis and Motorsports are very popular in the city. The Sheikh Zayed Cricket stadium is located on the outskirts of the city and is currently home to the Pakistan Cricket Team. The Dream11 IPL will be played in Abu Dhabi, Sharjah and Dubai this year due to the ongoing Corona Crisis in India, Since 2009, Abu Dhabi has hosted a Formula One (F1) race every year in November or December at the Yas Marina Circuit. The Abu Dhabi International Tennis Complex hosts the Mubadala World Tennis Championships which is currently sponsored by Mubadala wherein Tennis Greats like Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, Andy Murray have taken part. The One of the finest cities of UAE, Abu Dhabi hosts a variety of Cultural and Traditional Festivals and Events throughout the year. The major festivals celebrated in Abu Dhabi are EID, Abu Dhabi Music and Film Festival, National Day Festival, Al Dhafra Festival and Abu Dhabi Shopping Festival.
1. Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque
The Beautiful and attractive Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is Abu Dhabi’s landmark building and by far the most popular sightseeing attraction in the city. It was opened in 2007 after nearly 20 years of construction and is able to hold 40,000 worshippers. It was constructed in the memory of Late President of United Arab Emirates, Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan who wanted to establish a structure that would unite the cultural diversity of the Islamic world with the historical and modern values of architecture and art.
Non-Muslims are also allowed into all areas of the mosque and guided tours are available. It is the Largest mosque of UAE. The mosque is truly Eye Catching and is indeed an Architectural Marvel. Whenever u tour Abu Dhabi, this beautiful mosque is a must-visit tourist attraction.
2. Ferrari World
After the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, Ferrari World is the most popular attraction in Abu Dhabi. Located on Yas Island, Ferrari World is the World’s largest Indoor Theme Park comprising of various Ferrari themed rides and attractions. It is the World’s First Ferrari Themed Park and offers u some Adrenaline-pumping experiences for adventure lovers.
It houses two of the World Famous Rides, Flying Aces, which is one of the World’s Highest Ride, and Formula Rossa, the World’s Fastest Roller Coaster with a speed of 240 km/h in just 4.9 seconds. There’s also a collection of Ferrari’s cars, with models dating back to 1947, a Ferrari factory tour and Ferrari knowledge game show for true motorcar fans. All in All it’s a must visit destination for all Adventure lovers!!
3. Saadiyat Public Beach
The Saadiyat Public Beach is one of the best beach in Abu Dhabi. You can enjoy a relaxed and peaceful day with White Sandy Shores and Pristine Blue Waters along with a number of Water Sports and Activities. Although there’s an entry fee, still it is definitely worth a visit as it offers fantastic facilities and services. It is very clean and family-friendly and so is a must visit when you are in Abu Dhabi.
4. Emirates Palace
The Emirates Palace is one of the most expensive 5-star Hotels in Abu Dhabi as well as a Cultural Hub. Visitors have access to only the certain areas of the hotel like the lobby, exhibitions and outdoor areas.
The Grand Building of the Emirates Palace is an Landmark structure of Abu Dhabi in the same way as Burj Khalifa is to Dubai. The palace is renowned for hosting Operas and Orchestras during Abu Dhabi Classics Concert season. It also screens the Abu Dhabi Film Festival thus helping in cultural expansion of the city. Other attractions of the place include Barakat Gallery exhibiting the fine arts from Egypt, China, Greece, Rome and Africa and Gold Bars Dispensing ATM. Indeed it is truly worth a visit as it is one of the most beautiful Architectural Work of Abu Dhabi.
5. Yas Marina Circuit
The Yas Marina Circuit is a lifetime experience for Racing Enthusiasts. It is located in the Yas Island which is 30 minutes away from city of Abu Dhabi. The marina-based additions also house a Theme park, a Water park, as well as Residential areas, Hotels, Malls and Beaches.
With a lot of thought being put into the track, it has an intricate design with 21 Corners and Twists, traversing you through with a view of the Marina and Yas Viceroy Hotel Abu Dhabi. The highlight of the circuit is that each corner is said to be different and unique. The circuit has 5 grandstands (North, South, Main, West and Marina Grandstand). In addition to this, it has a Team building, Media Center, Dragster Track and a VIP Tower. The Yas Viceroy Hotel is a 5-star Hotel which is famous for being built above and across the F1 Yas Marina Circuit and is very attractive to watch! If you are a Racing Enthusiast, you will have a memorable experience here!
6. Yas Waterworld
The Yas Waterworld has been consistently rated as one of the top 12 water parks in the world. It boasts of 40 exciting and unique rides and slides, and five other attractions that are guaranteed to keep you entertained throughout your day here. There are multiple restaurants, cafes, lockers, children’s play area and all other essential facilities to make your visit a smooth one.
The 40 amazing rides include the World famous Dawwama, the world’s first hydro-magnetic-powered water slide (the hydro-magnetic technology offers a longer, smoother ride, according to the manufacturer) and the Bandit Bomber, a 1,804-foot-long (550-meter) water coaster. There are various rides catering to all ages so every family member can enjoy the Ultimate Water Experience of UAE! Undoubtedly it is true that You haven’t been to a water park until you’ve been to Yas Waterworld – Water’s Greatest Playground!
7. Abu Dhabi Corniche
The Abu Dhabi Corniche is an 8 km long stretch of a well maintained Waterfront that houses cafes, restaurants, children’s play zone and separate pathways for pedestrians and cycles. After a hectic day touring Abu Dhabi, just lazing around the Corniche gives you a sense of immense satisfaction and pleasure!
The white sandy shore and generous esplanade of the waterfront, Corniche is a perfect place to spend one’s evening. The view of sunset is too beautiful to watch and it is the best time to visit the corniche as the weather at this time is cool and pleasant which will surely make your evening a memorable one! You can also go for refreshments at the local cafes and restaurants at the western site of the road.
8. Marina Mall
A tour to UAE is incomplete without going for shopping in their gigantic malls! Marina Mall is located nearby the Corniche and is considered as one of the best malls in Abu Dhabi. It houses about 400 plus retail stores, a hypermarket, banks, specialty stores, some offices, and a Mercedes Benz car showroom. You can also try your hand at a state-of-the-art bowling alley, or visit the nine-screen VOX cinema inside the mall. The activity spots like the trampoline, slacklines, zip line, and an 18-meter free-fall are undoubtedly a treat for adventure enthusiasts!
9. Desert Safari
Desert Safari is one of the activities u just cannot miss while touring Abu Dhabi! Capturing a view of the sunset and the sunrise through the eternal sands of Abu Dhabi’s deserts is an experience everyone must have once in their lifetime. You have to book a Tour for Desert Safari wherein they will pick you up from the Hotel and also Drop you back in a luxury 4 x 4 land cruiser.
Apart from Safari, one can experience Camel Riding, Quad Biking, Sand Boarding, Dune Bashing and other thrilling and fun-filled activities. The Desert Safari ends with peaceful camping sites present right in the desert! Arabian belly dancers and musical events showcased under the stars along with delicious cuisines will leave you with memories that you can cherish for the rest of your lives!!
10. Observation Deck at 300
The Observation Deck at 300 provides a 360-degree panoramic view of the city of Abu Dhabi. With the use of binoculars for a closer view, one can enjoy a unique bird’s eye view of the skyline, the Corniche and the Arabian Gulf. As the name suggests, the Observation Deck is located 300 metres above ground, which makes it the highest vantage point in the city.
The Observation Deck at 300 boasts of a seafront location and can be found on the 74th floor of Tower Two of the Jumeirah at Etihad Towers complex. Photography is allowed so be prepared and carry along a camera to capture the phenomenal views!
The above mentioned attractions are my personal favorite spots to visit in Abu Dhabi. There are many other exciting places worth visiting in Abu Dhabi like The Emirates Park Zoo for all Wildlife lovers, Al Ain National Museum, Al Ain Zoo and Aquarium, CLYMB Abu Dhabi, Wadi Adventure to name a few!
Interesting Snippets and Future Dream Projects of Abu Dhabi
1. Masdar City
Masdar City, a one-of-its-kind revolutionary wonder of Abu Dhabi, is entirely powered by renewable energy. Masdar City in Abu Dhabi and Dongtan in China are the only two cities which are considered to be Carbon Neutral, that is it has no Carbon Footprint and it depends entirely on Renewable Energy thereby not harming the planet. Such Initiatives are incredible and it will surely pave way for more Carbon Neutral Cities in the near future.
Nestled in close proximity to the Abu Dhabi Airport, Masdar City is a planned project initiated by Masdar (also called as Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company) which is a subsidiary of Mubadala Development Company. The City is estimated to be completed by 2030, thereby housing 45,000 to 50,000 people and 1500 businesses, primarily Manufacturing and Commercial facilities specializing in environmentally friendly products. Designed by the British architectural firm Foster and Partners, the city relies on Solar Energy and other Renewable Energy sources. It also hosts the headquarters of International Renewable Energy Agency ( IRENA )
The place is open for the public without any charge. The normal cars are not allowed inside the place. The key highlight of the city is a unique mode of transportation i.e. small-Unmanned Electric Cars called Personal Rapid Transport (PRT) pods. Just leave your cars at the parking area and hop onto these electric pods that will take you directly to the city centre. It’s indeed a perfect spot for all Sci-Fi Lovers and Architecture Buffs.
2. Capital Gate
Capital Gate is often regarded as the Landmark Building of Abu Dhabi. Capital Gate, also called as Leaning Tower of Abu Dhabi, is a Skyscraper and is one of the tallest buildings in the city. The Glittering 35-storyed Architectural Marvel of Abu Dhabi is located in the southeast part of the city and is 520 feet tall. Leaning westward at about 18 degrees, Capital Gate holds the Guinness World Record for being the Furthest Leaning Man made Tower in the World, which is almost 4 times more tilted than the famous Leaning Tower of Pisa. It also houses a Luxurious 5-star Hyatt Hotel and serves as a centre point of the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (Adnec). It is indeed a Architectural Marvel and a must visit spot especially at night when it is fully Lit up!
3. First Hindu Temple in Abu Dhabi
The 70,000 odd Hindu Residents of Abu Dhabi will no longer have to travel out of the City to offer Prayers. Abu Dhabi’s first-ever temple BAPS Hindu Mandir is under construction and soon would be open for all. The site is located at Abu Mureikhah, which is near Al Rahba off the Dubai-Abu Dhabi Sheikh Zayed Highway. The mandir, upon completion, will be the first traditional Hindu stone mandir in the Middle East. In August 2015, the UAE government announced the decision to provide land for building a Hindu mandir in Abu Dhabi, during Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s first official visit to the country. In 2018, Modi laid the the Foundation Stone for the Temple.
The mandir, inspired by Pramukh Swami Maharaj, who is the President of BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha and blessed by Mahant Swami Maharaj, will be situated on 55,000 square meters of land. The temple is said to be a replica of the Akshardham temple in Delhi and another BAPS temple in New Jersey. Every corner and crevice made of pink stones from Rajasthan and marble from Macedonia are supposedly hand-carved by Indian artisans. These pieces of the temple were shipped to the UAE and assembled there. Abu Dhabi’s first Hindu temple boasts a cultural and spiritual centre with six to seven prayer rooms, play areas for children, lush gardens, vegetarian food courts, a library, gift store, exhibition halls, a visitor’s centre and more. Indeed it’s a Historic Moment for all Hindu Residents in Abu Dhabi because after the construction is complete they can offer their prayers from their City itself, all thanks to the Abu Dhabi Government and BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha Members!!
What to Expect from Abu Dhabi?
Well I feel if you want to experience Tranquility and Thrill both in one place, Abu Dhabi is the most ideal destination for you. Abu Dhabi is a mixture of Adventure, Peace, Culture and Luxury. From the Adventure in Ferrari World and Desert Safari, to the Tranquility in the Corniche, and from the Culture in Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque to the Luxury in the Emirates Palace you can experience everything in this beautiful city. A home to people from all different nationalities, Abu Dhabi is a fantastic place to experience a variety of food, festivals, religions and traditions, and also explore new places. Apart from Tourism, this city is the safest city in the world and so is a very desirable location not only for visiting but also for working. There are a variety of career opportunities in Abu Dhabi and so is an ideal destination for students too!
Personally I thoroughly enjoyed my trip to Abu Dhabi and I strongly recommend you to visit this place! I am sure you all have enjoyed the Virtual Trip to Abu Dhabi and would be eager to pack your bags and travel to this wonderful city!! You will surely fall in love with this beautiful place once u visit it!!
Here are some more exclusive pics from my tour of Abu Dhabi!
Hope you enjoyed my virtual trip to Abu Dhabi. Do Drop your views on Abu Dhabi in the comment section and share it with your friends!!