Experience the magic of Arabian Nights in Abu Dhabi, combined with ultra-modern architecture. A sparkling skyline, white-sand beaches, and spectacular theme parks promise fun for the whole family. Far from the gorges of the city, Abu Dhabi attracts visitors with its wild and romantic landscape, its green oases and its historical monuments.
Here are the most exciting tours, the most beautiful attractions and the best sights in Abu Dhabi.
Ferrari World (Yas Island)
On Yas Island, north of the airport, is Ferrari World, the largest indoor amusement park in the world. But also in the outer area there are many places of interest. In an area of 8 hectares everything revolves around the world of racing. 20 attractions await visitors, including Formula Rossa.
The world’s fastest roller coaster accelerates to 240 km/h and simulates how it feels in a Formula 1 car. Extreme G-forces can also be experienced on the G-Force, which transports its passengers 62 meters vertically. If you like it more relaxed; visit the Ferrari models on display. For guests who want to get behind the wheel themselves, the park offers race tracks for beginners.
Sheikh Zayid Mosque
Visitors to the Sheikh Zayid Mosque marvel at the symbiosis of ultra-modern architecture and traditional Arabic architecture in Abu Dhabi. It was opened in and is one of the largest Islamic churches in the world. 40,000 believers can be accommodated in the superlative holy building, which cost US$545 million. The gleaming white domes of the mosque are reflected in the surrounding watersheds, and no expense was spared inside, either.
High-quality materials such as marble, Swarovski crystals and gold leaf decorate the interior, which houses the largest hand-woven rug in the world. Even non-Muslim visitors can admire the Sheikh Zayed Mosque from the inside if they pay attention to proper clothing. It is worth a visit at night with ambient lighting.
Places in Al Ain
Visitors discover the rich cultural heritage of the Emirate in the southeast, on the border with Oman. The “Garden City of the Persian Gulf” was an important oasis that traders passed on their way to Oman. Al Ain’s historic buildings were placed on the UNESCO World Heritage List as a testament to the early settlement of Abu Dhabi.
An ingenious irrigation system ensures that Al Ain presents itself in deep green. One of the most popular attractions is Al-Jahili, a lavishly restored fortress with gardens inside. Spices and clothing are sold in Al Ain’s traditional open-air souks, and at the camel market visitors can watch traders haggle for the best price.
Mangrove National Park
Located in the heart of Abu Dhabi, the Mangrove National Park is a vast nature reserve that is home to 75% of the mangroves in the United Arab Emirates. Tropical saltwater plants are of great importance for the cleanliness of the sea and protection against floods. They also provide shelter for a variety of animals, including crabs, turtles, and manatees, as well as waterfowl such as flamingos and herons.
Guests can rent several boats and explore the park’s picturesque lagoon on their own. Among the tall roots of the mangroves, numerous small fish frolic. In the silence, broken only by the chirping of birds, visitors almost forget that they are only a few kilometers from a big city.
Jebel Hafeet – the highest mountain in Abu Dhabi
One of the most beautiful sights for nature lovers and everyone who wants to taste the mountain air is the Jebel Hafeet (often also: Dschabal Hafit) mountain. Millions of years of erosion shaped its limestone rocks into interesting rock formations. Jebel Hafeet is 1,350 meters high and is the highest point in the emirate. With numerous species of plants and animals, the mountain has the most diverse flora and fauna in the United Arab Emirates. Shy animals like bats, snakes and lizards are at home here.
Many visitors come here to relax in the hot springs, visit 5,000-year-old tombs, and explore the vast cave systems. From the top of the mountain you can enjoy a magnificent view of nearby Al Ain. The atmosphere is particularly beautiful at dawn, when the surrounding desert slowly awakens.
Emirates Palace Hotel
Abu Dhabi opened one of the most luxurious hotels in the world. Known for the movie “Fast and Furious,” the hotel stands like any other building because of the richness and splendor of the desert state. The construction of the Emirates Palace, which combines traditional Arab architecture with the most advanced technology, cost 3,000 million dollars. A total of 115 domes adorn the mega-resort, which has a private beach and even its own marina and two helipads.
A 40-meter-high arch and silver fountains mark the entrance. Also worth seeing is the lobby of the Emirates Palace, which is decorated with a 2.5-tonne chandelier. Also at night it is worth a visit, because then the domes of the hotel shine in brilliant colors. Non-hotel guests may visit certain areas of the resort. A traditional high tea in a luxury hotel is very popular!