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Top 12 Places To Visit In Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

Capital of the United Arab Emirates, Abu Dhabi is a well-ordered, industrious city with a pretty waterside location.

First inhabited by the nomadic Bani Yas tribe in 1760, the settlement remained a small fishing village until oil was discovered. The revenues transformed Abu Dhabi into the modern city of today – a bustling center of government and business.

With a coastline rimmed by beaches, Abu Dhabi is one of the best places to visit in the UAE to combine sun and sand with a city break. The Abu Dhabi tourist places are known for their traditional Emirati experience which will surely impress you. While the Capital gates happen to be the world's furthest leaning manmade tower, the Ferrari world holds the title for the biggest space frame structure.

Here are the Top 12 Places to Visit in Abu Dhabi, which are worth visiting on your Abu Dhabi Trip:

1. Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque

Clad in white marble, the beautiful and absolutely mammoth Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi's landmark building and by far the most popular sightseeing attraction in the city. The mosque fuses Mameluke, Ottoman, and Fatimid design elements to create a harmonious and thoroughly modern mosque that celebrates Islamic architecture.

Artisans used glasswork, mosaic tiling, and intricate carvings to spectacular effect on both the interior and exterior.

2. Eastern Mangroves

To see a different side of Abu Dhabi's steel and glass exterior, head into the mangrove forests that still ring the islands along the shore surrounding the city. There's a bundle of kayaking tours available for all levels of experience and age, ranging from 1.5 hours to three hours of paddling. The Eco Tour allows you to understand the important ecology of mangroves, as well as explore these beautiful last remnants of the city's forests.

3. The National Aquarium

The largest aquarium in the Middle East, The National Aquarium in Al Qana is literally swimming with aquatic wildlife featuring over 46,000 animals from more than 300 unique species. Spread across 10 nautically-themed zones, from the UAE’s Natural Treasures, sunken sea wrecks, and Atlantic caves, right through to flooded forests, fiery volcanoes, and a frozen ocean, there are more than 60 attractions that will be sure to delight and excite the whole family.

In addition to its spectacular biodiversity, The National Aquarium also boasts an array of exciting and engaging experiences. Visitors will be able to fully immerse themselves during their visits, with glass bottom dhow tours and personal animal encounters with sharks, puffins, and freshwater rays.

4. Emirates Palace

An iconic Abu Dhabi landmark, this beautiful hotel blends Arabian splendor with the latest luxuries to create a magical and memorable experience. During the daytime, the hotel's golden color contrasts with its fresh green gardens, silvery water fountains, and the blue sky. At night, the hotel's lighting changes subtly, featuring a majestic rainbow-changing effect over the main dome.

5. Saadiyat Island

Saadiyat Beach is a long strip of white sand on the island's western shore, with a small admission fee for beachgoers. It has excellent facilities, including on-duty lifeguards, a café for refreshments, and plenty of sun loungers and shades. For active sun-seekers, you can rent kayaks and windsurfing equipment on the beach.

The beach is backed by a rim of protected dunes where hawksbill turtles nest. Access to the beach is on a raised wooden boardwalk so that this area is not disturbed.

6. Yas Island

Yas Beach on Yas Island is a popular choice for a full day at the beach. Day passes here grant beachgoers access to a wealth of facilities that will please both families looking for an easygoing beach day and groups of friends seeking a fun-filled beach experience. There are cafés, restaurants, and food kiosks on-site offering a range of cuisines; a large swimming pool area with cabanas for rent; plenty of sun loungers and shades for lazing on the sand; and more lounging areas off the sand.

7. Ferrari World

Small children can test out newly learned driving skills on the Junior GT track, while speed junkies can buckle up and ride the Flying Aces roller coaster, which clocks up speeds of 120 kilometers per hour on a 52-meter loop (the tallest in the world). This branded theme park brings the thrill of Formula One racing to Abu Dhabi and is one of the city's top things to do for adrenaline seekers and families alike.

8. Warner Bros World

With six "lands" all captured under one roof (the entire theme park is inside and air-conditioned) this is one of the best places to visit for families. There are rides suitable for tots to teens. Bedrock and Cartoon Junction are specifically set up for little ones, while Gotham City and Metropolis are home to some of the big-hitter highlight rides, which combine 4D interactive content with roller coaster-style thrills and spills.

9. Nature Reserve on Sir Bani Yas Island

Yas Island was first established by Sheikh Zayed. Indigenous Arabian wildlife such as gazelles and the endangered Arabian Oryx plus introduced animals, including giraffes and leopards, free roam within the vast reserve, which covers the interior of Sir Bani Yas Island.

10. Abu Dhabi Falcon Hospital

The Abu Dhabi Falcon Hospital is a working veterinary hospital for ill and injured falcons, but it also provides guided tours of its facilities for interested visitors. The tours allow you to get up close and personal with these birds of prey in the wards, while an on-site museum explains the history of falconry.

11. Observation Deck

Abu Dhabi's answer to the Burj Khalifa in Dubai is this observation deck. It offers skyline views from the highest point in the city, on the 74th floor of the Conrad Abu Dhabi Etihad Towers hotel (at 300 meters above sea level). There is an entry fee for non-guests of the hotel, but the ticket price can be redeemed for food and drink from the observation deck's restaurant, which serves snacks and light bites; soft drinks; and a popular high-tea experience.

12. Louvre Abu Dhabi

The Middle East's most spectacular museum, Louvre Abu Dhabi traces the entire history of humanity's artistic achievements, from the Neolithic right up to the current day. The wealth and diversity of art on display, from ancient Egyptian statuary to famous paintings by Picasso, is mind-boggling, while the museum's contemporary architecture, with its galleries gathered under a vast silver dome, is a reason to visit in itself.

Besides the above attractions, Abu Dhabi is famous for a lot of things offering a huge scope of shopping that you will have a hard time choosing what to buy and what not. But if you can, indulge yourself in shopping in Abu Dhabi for all these things which make the place famous worldwide. Carpets, Perfumes, Arabic Coffee Pots, and Dates (Khajoor) will definitely be on your shopping list.

If you have had enough of the modern, gigantic malls, you can pay a visit to the Central Market which still carries the authentic feel. It is the best mall in Abu Dhabi to buy antiques, perfumes, and traditional handicraft items.

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