Oil-rich Abu Dhabi has evolved from a simple fishing village to a luxurious metropolis dotted with show-stopping architecture, sumptuous hotels, high-end restaurants and palace-like shopping malls, as well as untouched desert and sandy beaches.
Its big must-see is the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, an architectural marvel with 80 domes, over 1,000 columns, gold-plated chandeliers and the world’s largest hand woven carpet. Equally impressive is the five-mile long Corniche, an immaculate beachfront boulevard with walkways, cycle paths, cafés, restaurants and sweeping sandy beach. Close by are the sprawling swathes of the Mangrove National park, a real haven for nature lovers and a great place for kayaking.
In addition, nearly 200 low-lying islands grace Abu Dhabi’s extensive coastline including Yas Island, an emerging entertainment destination and setting for the annual F1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. There’s also fast and furious fun at Ferrari World Abu Dhabi; futuristic Yas Waterworld; and Warner Bros. World, the world’s largest indoor theme park. Alternatively, tee off at Yas Links Abu Dhabi; dip your toes into the sand of Yas Beach; or enjoy some retail therapy at Yas Mall.
For wildlife adventure, head to Sir Bini Yas Island for a 4WD safari in search of Arabian oryx, gazelles, hyenas, giraffes and cheetahs. Along with a nice slice of beach, Saadiyat Island is Abu Dhabi’s cultural hub with the Zayed National Museum and Louvre Abu Dhabi.
For those who love to shop, Abu Dhabi won't disappoint. It's so diverse, there's everything from ultra-modern malls with the latest brands to small, souk like outlets where you can buy traditional handicrafts, spices and carpets. Yas Mall is Abu Dhabi's biggest shopping centre with nearly 400 stores and 60 restaurants and cafes as well as a 20 screen cinema. Other options include the Abu Dhabi Mall, Marina Mall and Khalidiyah Mall. Abu Dhabi's bustling souks are worth a visit for their vibrant atmosphere and eclectic variety of goods. Some of our favourite souks include the Fish Souk for a fascinating insight into the way traditional business is done, Al Mina Fruit & Vegetable Souk which bursts with colour, the Al Ain Souk is a great place to explore and practice your bargaining skills, and Souk Al Zafarana which reflects true Emirati culture and tradition.
GMT +4 hours
Abu Dhabi is approximately 7 hours from the UK.
Abu Dhabi enjoys virtually guaranteed year-round sunshine. Between November and April temperatures average in the mid-20sºC, while the scorching temperatures between May-September may be too much for some (usually in excess of 40ºC), it’s one of the few destinations when it’s cheaper to visit during our school summer holidays, whether travelling with children or not.
A Tourism charge is payable locally at all hotels and apartments in Dubai. Details will be advised at the time of booking.
During Ramadan, it is forbidden to eat, drink or smoke in public places (including hotels and those offering all inclusive) between sunrise and sunset; and no live entertainment is permitted. Hotels usually provide a private area where non-Muslims can eat during the day. Alcoholic drinks are not served in hotels (including those offering all inclusive) on dry days and other days stipulated by the government. Alcohol is available in Dubai hotels after sunset. Please ask for more details at time of booking.
At this incredible cultural landmark in Abu Dhabi, discover the legacy of knowledge and tradition that have shaped the UAE. More than a traditional palace, Qasr Al Watan is exquisitely crafted and houses significant exhibits and attractions within its halls including the Qasr Al Watan Library, House of Knowledge, Spirit of Collaboration area and Presidential Banquet. After sundown, don’t miss the family-friendly Palace in Motion event, a spectacular light and sound show.
For an awesome day out in Abu Dhabi, look no further than Yas Waterworld, where you can slide, surf, speed, loop, eat, shop and relax, all in one fantastic location. With over 40 rip-roaring rides, slithering slides and amazing experiences, everyone from tiny tots to waterpark veterans will find something they love. Between the thrills, there are lots of dining options along with shopping too.
At the world’s biggest indoor theme park, look forward to being transported to awesome worlds of action and adventure, whimsy and wacky straight out of your favourite cartoons and movies! Across six immersive lands inspired by legendary Warner Bros. characters, you’ll find 29 exhilarating rides, interactive family-friendly attractions and unique live entertainment. Meet iconic characters such as Bugs Bunny, Scooby Doo, Batman, Superman and The Flintstones!
Find that Ferrari feeling, as you ride the world’s fastest roller coaster, experience the world’s highest non-inverted loop or feel an incredible zero gravity fall. With 40 thrilling rides and experiences you’re in for a world full of Ferrari fueled fun at Ferrari World. Whether you crave the intense G-force of world-class rollercoasters, want to go-kart race with your family or challenge the best lap times in a state-of-the-art simulator, there is endless fun for all.