Attractions in Abu Dhabi: More than just Sun, Sand & Shawarmas!

  • Mosque in Abu Dhabi

  • Mosque at night in Abu Dhabi

  • Emirates Palace, Abu Dhabi

  • Inside Emirates, Abu Dhabi

It’s all too often that I hear ‘what’s there to do in Abu Dhabi?’ Well, there’s quite a lot actually!

This breathtaking capital city is a place that I’ve been fortunate to call home for more than 2 years (and no, contrary to the common misbelief, Dubai is not the capital of the UAE). Abu Dhabi has a lot more to offer than one may think.

If you give it a chance, your weekend in Abu Dhabi (Friday & Saturday!) could look like this:

  • Get a breakfast start at Café Bateel Nation towers. Go all local and have the Bateel Shakshouka! This will certainly charge you up for the rest of the day while enjoying the view overlooking the blue waters of the corniche.
  • Head over to the Emirates Palace for an Arabian version of ‘tea with the queen.’ Do not miss the GOLD BAR vending machine in the lobby (Yes, really!). That’s your picture moment.
  • Spend a few hours enjoying the Manarat al Saadiyat Gallery to see masterpiece artworks from local and international artists. There is also a great restaurant there with a gorgeous outdoor patio, and they serve homemade camel burgers!
  • Fast forward to Ferrari World at Yas Island. Sit back, buckle up and enjoy the Formula Rossa – the world’s fastest roller coaster.
  • You cannot leave Abu Dhabi without a sneak peak of the largest mosque in UAE – Sheikh Zayed Mosque. Join one of the free guided-tours for more insights, and if it’s full moon, let your camera go crazy. The scenes are just stunning!
  • Head to the Fish Market for dinner! Just down the corniche, see the local fishmongers doing what they do best. Here you can get your hands on some fresh shrimps, have them cleaned up, and get them grilled up for you! Seafood has never been cheaper or tastier in Abu Dhabi than this.


Lastly, and my favorite thing about Abu Dhabi, is how it comes alive at night! For the best dining & nightlife:

  • Visit Ray’s Bar. It’s on the 62nd floor of Jumeirah Etihad Tower – The building was famous in many scenes from the recent Fast & Furious movie. The night view of the Emirates Palace and the corniche from there is another picturesque moment.
  • Asia de Cuba: This is the perfect spot for dinner. Their ceviches, churros and Cuban dishes with an Asian twist will leave you wanting for more!
  • To end the night and dance the calories away, go to People by Crystal at Saadiyat Island, or head over to Jazz Bar Hilton Abu Dhabi to enjoy the tunes of the 5-piece band plus DJ.


And now, you tell me: is there nothing to do in Abu Dhabi? 🙂

Have you traveled to Abu Dhabi before? Are there any local favorites I missed? Let me know in the comments, or tweet our team @HiltonSuggests!


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This post was written by Hilton Suggests Team Member, Darshini G. Are you interested in traveling to Abu Dhabi? Let us know if we can help you with any other recommendations. Tweet us for more great local travel tips!

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