To see and experience the most that Abu Dhabi has to offer, there are a number of tours and activities that can be arranged for individuals or groups. Popular choices include:
Activities in the Capital
Experience the Arabian desert with an exhilarating dune-bashing adventure where you will be driven off-road in a four-wheel drive (4WD) on tricky desert sand dunes. Standard tour packages include camel rides, dune bugging and sand skiing, before concluding in a barbeque dinner on a desert camp under the starlit sky.Full day safaris include driving through Bedouin villages and camel farms in the desert, mountain climbing and watching traditional falconry demonstrations.
Traditional and cosmopolitan, Abu Dhabi is a shoppers paradise; visitors can browse the emirate’s traditional markets (souks) or visit designer shops at the modern shopping malls. The largest of the malls in Abu Dhabi are Marina Mall and Abu Dhabi Mall, and home to a wealth of prestigious brand names.
For traditional souks, Al Ain Souk is well worth a visit whilst Abu Dhabi offers the Iranian Souk, the most authentic in the city, and the Al Meena Souk which is a must for visitors looking for carpets. The modern-day mall of Madinat Zayed Shopping Centre offers an extensive selection of gold and jewellery.
Places of Interest
Abu Dhabi Heritage Village
Take a glimpse at the Capitals rich cultural heritage and experience first-hand how Abu Dhabi’s Bedouin lived in traditional desert encampments before the modern irrigation and agricultural system came to existence. The Abu Dhabi Heritage Village, situated near the Abu Dhabi Breakwater (close to Marina Mall), also features several workshops that simulate old-fashioned metal work, pottery and weaving, a min-museum and a number of shops selling local handicrafts, spices and souvenirs.
Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan Mosque
The majestic Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan Mosque is probably the most imposing religious and national landmark in Abu Dhabi to date. It is also arguably one of the most important architectural treasures of the contemporary UAE society - and one of the most beautiful in the world - initiated no less by the late president HH Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, who is fondly thought of as the father of UAE. Complimentary tours are conducted daily (except Friday).
This luxurious hotel, managed by The Kempinski Group, is probably the most expensive hotel ever built in the world, costing the Abu Dhabi government roughly US$3 billion. Often mistaken as the presidential palace, Emirates Palace features just under 400 rooms and suites, and most of its interior décor is in marble or gold.
Abu Dhabi Corniche
Offering beautifully landscaped parks and picnic grounds, traditional cafés, and an extensive waterfront promenade, the Abu Dhabi Corniche is a popular attraction during cooler months and is considered one of the city’s best hangouts.
A two-kilometre beach stretches out along the west end of Corniche, this public area is accessibly for a small fee and provides beach facilities and life-guarded swimming areas.