Abu Dhabi Things to Do

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 Top 10 Things To Do With Family In Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi is a city built on the solid foundations of tourism and trade. This magnificent city caters to expats worldwide, while simultaneously being filled with several delights for children. Families wishing to enjoy an adventurous and blissful experience can always look to Abu Dhabi.

This capital city is filled with kid-friendly and educational activities that will rival the more popular Dubai. From a vast collection of activities that you should enjoy in Abu Dhabi, families are guaranteed to enjoy a safe, yet exhilarating experience.

If you are in search of the perfect place to serve a recreational and educational experience, Abu Dhabi is the place to go. Here, the top 10 things to do as a family have been curated by us to make your search easier.

1. Louvre Abu Dhabi

The first place on our list is the biggest museum in the Arab world, known as the Louvre Abu Dhabi. This museum consists of several galleries that occupy a total of 9,200 square meters. Kids are sure to be spellbound by the incredible architecture of the Louvre, which includes a 180-meter high dome that produces a cascade of brilliant light in addition to the breathtaking exterior and interior of the museum.

Families can also explore the length and breadth of the Louvre through a kayaking tour on the still waters that surround this museum. The museum permits anyone less than 18 years of age to enter without any payment. However, children between 6 and 12 must be accompanied by an adult.

2. Quasr Al Hosn

The Quasr Al Hosn offers various educational and enthralling activities that will pique the interests of youngsters. The history and cultural heritage of the Emiratis are on wide and colourful display on this site. In this area is situated the oldest-standing structure built in Abu Dhabi, called the watchtower, in 1760. It also contains the outer palace (1935–1945) and the inner fort (1795).

Children and adults alike can learn about the Emiratis' rich and intriguing history, and artistic children can always enjoy sketching those structures. Families should endeavour to check out the cultural foundation, where children can partake in an art workshop at the time adults enjoy a creative class of mixed media, pottery, calligraphy, and so on. This cultural foundation also has a library complex crafted creatively to include fun activities like a book fountain, ancient irrigation canals with floating books, and a faux dune to read on.

3. CLYMBTM

CLYMBTM is devoted to thrill-seekers of every age. It features the tallest indoor climbing wall in the world, known as the SummyT, and five different climbing walls for all ages and agility.

Individuals of all ages are privy to the most enormous indoor skydiving flight chamber in the world. Pro skydivers will surely experience the time of their lives with this 32-feet flight chamber.

4. Wadi Adventure

Wadi Adventure is a high-end, power-packed sports park tailored to suit the needs of individuals and families. It is located at the base of the Jebel Hafit mountain in the Al Ain region. Wadi Adventure offers real-life practical activities that will appeal to any adventurous spirit.

There's a surf pool for families to cool off in, wakeboarding and waterskiing activities to start, whitewater rafting in the most extended whitewater channel in the world, and a flight over the park on a zip line to test everyone's adventurous spirit.

5. Desert Safari

white chevrolet car on desert

Families can bask in the vastness of the desert sand coupled with a beehive of activities makes for a perfect family bonding experience. You may start with a camel ride, either sand boarding or quad biking, and then proceed to dune bashing. Wrap up the day in the Bedouin camp, where families can enjoy the tastiest Arabian cuisine, complete with a campfire and camp stories.

6. Jubail Mangrove Park

Jubail Mangrove Park is the ideal place to appreciate nature in all its glory. Families may also use this opportunity to teach children about the dangers of climate change and mother nature.

Tourists are treated to extensive views of several animals, such as foxes, flamingos, birds, herons, etc., as they move and exist in their natural habitats.

7. Al Ain Zoo

brown deer in forest during daytime

Al Ain Zoo, with its incredible collection of over 40,000 animals, is guaranteed to leave a lasting impression on kids. In this zoo, tourists can interact with animals as much as possible through activities such as reptile encounters, parrot shows, birds-of-prey shows, camel rides, and so on.

Families can also book an Al Ain Safari tour that lasts for one hour. This tour involves a journey through the base of the Jebel Hafit mountain, where tourists encounter various animals, with cheerful safari guides sharing their knowledge of these animals and how they interact with their ecosystem.

8. Yas Island

This beautiful island city accommodates several structures and fun activities, making it a self-sufficient island. Families will do well to enjoy every activity this island offers.

The Arabian wildlife park on this island is a good place to kickstart your adventure while simultaneously arming your kids with knowledge of different wildlife. Kids will also enjoy a great time at the watersports centre that offers kayaking, sailing, and snorkelling activities.

9. Sheik Zayed Grand Mosque

A visit to Abu Dhabi wouldn't be complete without venturing into Sheikh Zayed, one of the grandest mosques in the Arab world. It will leave the kids speechless, and the adults astonished.

Visitors can venture into any part of this mosque regardless of their faith or race. While in this mosque, endeavour to get a glimpse of the world's largest hand-knotted carpet, according to the Guinness world record.

10. Heritage Village

A trip to the Heritage village will enable tourists to get a full display of the early way of life of the Emirati. Artisans display their works, such as pottery and weaving, for visitors to admire.

There are also remnants of the old way of life of the Emirati still visible, such as the falaj and irrigation system, the barasti, which are traditional leaf houses, and a fort built to prevent the entry of enemies.

10 Best places to visit in Abu Dhabi

As you tour through the marvels of this city, here are ten places you ought to cross off your list.

1. Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque

The Sheikh Zayed Mosque is one of the grandest edifices of our time. It required about 20 years to complete its construction, and it was only made open to the public in 2007. It features lustrous white marbles intricately added as finishing touches, with the artistic ingenuity of the Ottoman, Mameluke, and Fatimid added as design elements.

Glassworks and mosaic tiling adorn the length and breadth of this mosque, so not only is it the biggest mosque in the UAE, it's the most beautiful.

The Sheikh Zayed was built to have a capacity of 40,000 worshippers despite having an altogether different library for educational purposes. Tourists and non-Muslims are allowed into every breath of the mosque, and they provide free guided tours on request.

Present in one of the prayer halls is the world's largest carpet, infinitely clean and beautiful.

The history of this mosque tells us that the mosque was built by Sheikh Zayed in loving memory of his father, a truly great way to remember a loved one.

2. Louvre Abu Dhabi

Louvre Abu Dhabi is a museum of arts and culture located in the heart of this capital city. It's the homeland of carefully curated art pieces from all over the world. You will find famous names like Picasso and ancient Egyptian sculptures on display for visitors.

As if the architectural design of this museum is not enough to wonder about, Louvre Abu Dhabi runs over 12 galleries in its permanent collection section.

The Louvre is one of the three museums planned for construction on Saadiyat Island, which should become the economic hub of the UAE soon.

3. Ferrari World

Topping the list of things to do in Abu Dhabi is the adrenaline-stimulating car ride known as Ferrari World. While also doubling as the biggest indoor amusement park in the world, it houses the world's fastest rollercoaster ride known as Formula One.

Adrenaline junkies eager to ride will find speed cars like the Flying Aces roller coaster that can go as fast as 120 kilometres per hour on a 52-meter loop! Children are not left behind as there are provisions for a junior GT track that they can ride on.

Very true to its name, Ferrari World has a gallery showcasing Ferrari cars as far back as the 90s. Tourists are also treated to various restaurants, game shows, and car-shopping collections.

4. Warner Bros World

At Warner Bros World on Yas Island, tourists are treated to a cosmic display of every Warner Bros villain and hero.

The animated world also features several adrenaline-boosting activities, eateries, and shopping malls. It's the ideal place for family members hoping to enjoy everything this city offers.

5. Yas Island

green grass field near body of water during daytime

Are you hoping to have a fun-filled, tan-giving day in Abu Dhabi? Yas Island is just the place for you. A beautiful have-it-all island, Yas Island has a mall, hotel, theme park, beach, and Formula One racing circuit.

The Yas mall is every shopaholic's dream and if in need of a relaxing bath after shopping, the Yas Waterworld is just the right place to cool off. This Waterworld has about 40 rides, including the world's first hydromagnetic tornado wafting ride, and the world's grandest surfable sheet wave.

6. Desert Safari

The desert safari in Abu Dhabi features activities like sandboarding, Dune bashing, quad biking, camel riding, and so much more.

This Desert Safari houses one of the tallest dunes in the world, forming an adequate area for sandboarding and camel trekking.

Complete with a provision for a 4×4 tour of the dunescape and dining under the twinkling desert stars, the desert safari is every tourist's dream.

7. Nature Reserve

forest trees

The zoo in Abu Dhabi allows tourists to interact with more than 1700 animals. These animals range from giraffes and Arabian Oryx to elephants.

In this reserve, visitors are also brought closely in tune with nature through several activities like kayaking, camel riding, crocodile feeding, breakfast with parrots, mountain biking, and so on.

8. Observation Deck

Abu Dhabi's Observation Deck is situated at the highest point in the city. It offers tourists a skyline view of the entire city. It is a spectacular experience that every visitor to Abu Dhabi ought to enjoy.

It is situated on the 74th floor of the Ethihad Towers, which is a whopping 300 meters above sea level. Observers are gifted with an incredible view of the city, its coastal areas, and the desert beyond.

A small entry fee is required to gain access to this vantage point from non-guests of the hotel. However, the entry fee can be redeemed for food and drinks from the observation Deck's restaurant.

9. Water Cruise

Another way to observe the breathtaking beauty of Abu Dhabi is to head out onto the water.

Several tours are organized by different operators tailored for different budgets. The day tour allows tourists to view other islands and enjoy some beach experiences.

However, the evening tour enables tourists to appreciate the dazzling beauty of different skyscrapers at night, complete with a sumptuous dinner.

10. Heritage Village

The Heritage Village in Abu Dhabi is the perfect place to experience the simple pleasures of Abu Dhabi. While featuring ample beach space for relaxation, it also has a souq for goat trading, a mosque, and a fort.

The allure of this modernized village seems to be some carpet weaving process on display, pottery, a falaj irrigation system, a spice shop, and a campfire. It's the ideal place for people who want to see the humble beginnings of Abu Dhabi.

10 Best Places to Eat Out in Abu Dhabi

Wining and dining are some of the most pleasurable aspects of Abu Dhabi. At strategic places in this city, you are going to encounter some of the greatest culinary empires. Tourists have the option of satisfying their appetites with a vast array of dishes from restaurants in Abu Dhabi.

Mainly because Abu Dhabi welcomes people of all races into its borders, this city truly is a conglomerate of some of the best cuisines in the world. A quick tour into this city and you will see restaurants from different nationalities such as Mexican, Chinese, Morrocan, etc.,—it is literally a food tourist haven.

Just as too many cooks spoil the broth, too many restaurant options can be daunting to anyone. So, we’ve curated a go-to list of some of the choicest cuisines every food lover in Abu Dhabi ought not to miss.

1. Li Beirut

Situated in the heart of Abu Dhabi is this Lebanese restaurant, Li Beirut. After a long, adrenaline-stimulating day, you can always be sure to be thoroughly pampered there. Its menu consists of local and international Lebanese dishes guaranteed to make you a devoted customer. Wholesome dishes like the foie gras kebbe, falafel, sweet potato, and truffle are made with such mastery that it’s a pleasant surprise to customers.

While their food works its magic on you, you will be treated to the most spectacular skyline view of the city.

A soothing, almost therapeutic ambience bathes the length and breadth of this restaurant. To the delight of customers, there’s a mini bar in the restaurant, separate from the dining area. Every customer is treated like royalty by the professional and friendly staff.

2. Bord Eau

Bord Eau enjoys a good reputation as the best French restaurant in Abu Dhabi. This top-rated restaurant provides some of the choicest French cuisines, from the Loch Fyne wild salmon to the Dover sole a la Grenobloise.

Excellent customer service, artistic decor, and a generally blissful ambience are some of the qualities that make this restaurant a customer favourite. It’s also known for its assortment of vintage wines, which will impress any wine snob.

3. Villa Toscana

Living up to its name, Villa Toscana is the place to enjoy the thrilling and savoury taste of Italian cuisine. Complete with all the trappings of a plush and classy Italian villa, it serves all the contemporary and local Italian dishes.

Customers of this restaurant will be treated to the all-famous Italian hospitality and a range of dishes, such as the tasty tagliatelle with lamb ragout and chocolate powder. True to their Italian roots, they offer cooking classes to novices and some complimentary dishes in between meals. Be sure to experience their Friday lunch special at communal tables for customers.

4. Hakkasan

Hakkasan embodies both the well-known Chinese efficiency and the much-loved Chinese culinary expertise. They take this one step further with their complete mastery of the art of fine dining and impeccable customer service.

Some of the Chinese specialities this restaurant is known for are the tasty grilled Wagyu beef with soy sauce and the Penning duck with caviar, prepared by the world-renowned chef, Lee Kok Hua. The restaurant sits in a serene, almost romantic location, affording diners a beautiful view of the city.

5. Marrakech

The sophisticated and exotic beauty of Moroccan culture and architecture is well represented in this Moroccan restaurant. Once inside the restaurant, customers are immediately transported to a radiant, almost ethereal arena. It’s a popular joke that drinking in the sight and beauty of this restaurant is enough to satisfy one’s appetite!

Tasty dishes from Morocco, such as seafood, fish, meat grills, tagines, and salads, are all prepared to the highest standards.

6. Marco Pierre White Steakhouse & Grill

This one is for all the meat-loving folks who are always ready to sample the variety of delightful ways steak is prepared. Despite having mainly steak on the menu, their menu is very extensive and will easily rival the best steak place you know. To the immense pleasure of customers, they also serve other dishes like the Scottish Salmon, the Alaskan Crab Soup, and Kelly Oysters, just to mention a few.

All of these are available in their modern and classy restaurant, giving customers a refreshingly new feeling of quality service.

7. Quest

Are you on a quest for the best culinary experience of your life? Then run up to the 63rd floor of the Etihad Towers to a restaurant called Quest. This restaurant is arguably one of the best restaurants in Abu Dhabi. This restaurant seems to be an ingenious blend of several Asian cuisines, such as Japanese, Chinese, Malaysian, and Singaporean dishes.

Unsurprisingly, they serve choice dishes suitable for the appetites of vegetarians and non-vegetarians alike. You will also be treated to the refined taste of their cocktails alongside your order.

8. Punjab Grill

Another one for vegetarians and non-vegetarians alike is the Punjab Grill. This restaurant is situated in the famous Ritz Carlton and offers a fine blend of different spectacular Indian cuisines.

It is indeed a go-to restaurant for lovers of the finer things in life and wonderfully spiced dishes. Diners are also blessed with a scenic view of the city while enjoying all the pleasures of Indian hospitality. The staff are helpful and candid enough to help first-timers make the best choice for their meal.

9. Jazz Bar And Dining

clear glass drinking glass filled with beverage on table

Few pleasures in life can be compared to the experience of fantastic jazz music playing in the background while you feast on a sumptuous meal. At Jazz Bar and Dining, a live band plays in the restaurant six days a week.

A truly lively and popular restaurant among tourists of every race, Jazz Bar and Dining, offers a menu that cuts across several nationalities and cultures. It’s an attractive focal point in Abu Dhabi, and expats looking to interact with people of several races should endeavour to grace the walls of this restaurant.

Desserts such as raspberry sorbet, fruit strudel, and seafood make up the menu in this restaurant.

10. Byblos Sur Mer

With an unbeatable scenic view and an ambience to calm the most aching of hearts, Byblos Sur Mer promises only the best.

This hotshot Lebanese restaurant is often the culprit of many discussions bordering on fine dining in Abu Dhabi. Their Friday brunch is one to die for, with seafood, kebabs, hummus, and fatouch made to perfection.

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