Abu Dhabi is the capital city of the United Arab Emirates and the second most populous, after Dubai. It is also the capital of Abu Dhabi Emirate, the biggest in the country.
Even though it’s the capital, it is not nearly as attractive as Dubai.
We have visited the city several times, either with some guests we had during our stay in the country or due to professional matters.
Below I mention some of the places worth visiting in a one or two day trip to Abu Dhabi.
Emirates Palace: This is the most luxurious hotel I’ve ever visited. It’s owned by the government and managed by the Kempinski group of hotels. This is the second most expensive hotel to have ever been built. The interiors are all golden and it has some of the most expensive stores imaginable with luxury products like jewelry and watches. It usually has a trio of classic musicians playing by the lounge nearby the main entrance. It has one gigantic dome right after the main entrance that makes you feel small. The entrance is free of charge and you are not allowed in wearing shorts or flip-flops.
Sheykh Zayed Grand Mosque: If you only have a couple of hours in the city, this is where you want to go. When entering the premises of the mosque, you will be left in awe. It is truly one of a kind piece of marble art. The mosque houses 7 massive chandeliers with millions of Swarovski crystals. It can hold more than 40000 worshippers. If visiting during the week, you will have a better experience as it will definitely be less crowded and if you’re lucky enough to be there during the praying calls, you will feel a chill down the spine as it starts. Check the video of this beauty here.
Qasr Al Hosn (known also as the White Fort): Initially built as a defense watchtower to the only fresh water well in Abu Dhabi in the 18th century, the first fixed building in the city became the house of the ruler of Abu Dhabi later that century. It was reconstructed several times and was the house of the government until 1966. Though there is only a small part of it open to the public and a small museum explaining the history of the city, it is well worth the visit as it gives you a perfect idea of how the city grew from a desert to a metropolis, surrounding the White Fort of skyscrapers.
Corniche: The corniche has a lovely beach along its way and it holds a long bicycle path. The beach has a 10 AED entrance fee but it’s totally worth it. Stroll along the sea for a couple of hours and delight yourself with the Abu Dhabi skyline. There is an area with a few restaurants and coffee shops, so sit for a while and relax.
Also visit: Yas Island – Where Ferrari World, Yas Mall and Yas Waterworld are located.
Saadiyat Island – Home to some of the best beach clubs in Abu Dhabi. The Louvre and the Guggenheim museums are in construction phase and are expected to be open over the next couple of years.
Check more picures from the UAE here.