22 March 2024 Author: Veronika Chursina

TOP 10 ATTRACTIONS IN ABU DHABI

The capital of the United Arab Emirates and the Emirate of Abu Dhabi is a massive modern city, home to around 1.5 million people. Abu Dhabi is not only the epicenter of political life, industrial activity, and culture, but also a thrilling destination for visitors. What particularly astonishes many tourists is the emirate’s great scenic beauty, individualistic style, and diversity. It’s breathtakingly located on the Persian Gulf islands and hosts architectural wonders and vast green spaces. We are eager to share some must-see city attractions that will ensure maximum enjoyment, also providing wonderful opportunities for memorable photos and videos. And let’s not forget that it’s the UAE you will find the largest number of luxurious and sports cars available for hire, enhancing your trip throughout Abu Dhabi and other emirates. With the wind in your hair, amid comfort, and not tied to public transport, it will not just be a journey but a truly joyful experience. You’ll be in control of your time and itinerary… So, let’s hit the road!

The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is the prominent religious site in Abu Dhabi

...and in the UAE, it is, without a doubt, the most monumental.

Located within the capital of the United Arab Emirates, Abu Dhabi, the mosque stands out with its unparalleled architecture, opulent decor, and massive scale, which make it truly distinctive. The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque made it to the Guinness World Records during construction as the largest mosque in the world, impressing to this day with its magnitude, beauty, and splendor of both interior and exterior designs. Currently, it ranks among the top six largest mosques worldwide…

This is a relatively new Muslim shrine, opened in 2007. The project, initially conceived as the largest mosque in the UAE, dates back to the 1980s. It took over 20 years to bring the idea to life, with five years dedicated just to the final finishes and a full 12 years to the overall construction. The mosque has already become one of the most visited attractions in Abu Dhabi, often referred to as the ‘soul of Abu Dhabi’ or ‘the white miracle of the East’. Its official name honors the first President of the United Arab Emirates, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the man who gave rise to the creation of the UAE. The whole compound covers 12 hectares, and the internal area of the mosque exceeds 22,000 m2. This allows accommodating up to 41,000 visitors at once. The height of the main minaret stands at a record-breaking 105 meters. The construction cost ran over €600 million.

The mosque during the dark hours of the day

By day, the mosque glows as if made from pure white and golden elements, while at night, as the lights come on, it shines with a blue and golden light, creating a spectacle capable of captivating any tourist, even those repeatedly visiting the UAE. The mosque is home to an extensive library housing the most influential Muslim works, and a museum that narrates the rich history and culture of the Islamic world.

Visiting the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is not just about a cultural and religious journey, but also an opportunity to experience the grandeur and serenity of this place. Regardless of your faith, this holy site has the power to inspire and soothe all.

A crucial note: The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is one of the few religious buildings that non-Muslim tourists can visit. However, adherence to the strict dress code reflective of the Muslim tradition is mandatory for any visitor. Women are required to have their hair entirely covered; everyone, including children, should have their arms covered down to the wrists and legs up to the ankle. No slits or low cut clothing would be allowed. If the rules are not adhered to, entrance to the main mosque of the UAE would be denied.

Qasr al-Hosn is an architectural complex.

...and this photo clearly shows why

The Qasr al-Hosn is one of the main historical attractions in Abu Dhabi. The complex is made up of two structures: the Outer Palace and the Inner Fort. The Inner Fort is considered the oldest construction within the city boundaries, established in the 18th century – construction started in 1761. The fort was originally constructed to protect a freshwater spring, a critical resource in the area. Locally, it’s referred to as “The White Fort”…

The Outer Palace dates back to the first half of the 20th century. Up until the early 1960s, it served as a residence for the Sheikh. Today, the complex houses a museum where visitors can explore the rich history and authentic culture of the United Arab Emirates. The museum showcases various artifacts, including jewelry, household items, and toys that once belonged to members of the Sheikh’s family. Everything in the museum is designed to immerse viewers in the past and provide them with a sense of Arab culture.

The Louvre Museum Abu Dhabi

This is a place where architecture becomes an art form in its own right.

The UAE has its own version of the Louvre called the “Louvre Abu Dhabi,” a recently opened art museum situated on Saadiyat Island, inaugurated in 2017. This cultural complex impresses with its architecture, impressive collection of artworks, and truly remarkable atmosphere that comes from a blending of cultures from around the world.

Visiting the Louvre Abu Dhabi, the first impression is of its stunning architecture, designed by French architect Jean Nouvel. Its dome-shaped roof, comprising 7,000 star-shaped elements, creates a “rain of light” effect, filtering sunlight and subsequently creating an impressive interplay of light and shadow.

Within the Louvre Abu Dhabi is a massive collection of artworks that span different epochs and cultures. The collection features works by well-known Western European masters such as Jacques-Louis David, Vincent Van Gogh, Pablo Picasso, and Leonardo Da Vinci. What makes this museum unique is extensive representation of artwork from other regions of the world like the Middle East, Asia, and Africa. One of the museum’s guiding principles is cultural dialogue, as demonstrated by having a variety of cultures and schools of art represented in a single space. This diversity makes the Louvre Abu Dhabi a truly special institution, the first-of-its-kind in the Arab world. Its amazing blend of styles and techniques creates a unique experience for visitors.

Exhibitions, concerts, and performances take place in the museum building.

Within each room of the Louvre Abu Dhabi, informational plaques offer detailed descriptions of each piece, their historical significance, and overall cultural importance. These details allow visitors to gain a deeper understanding of the history of art and appreciate the value of each exhibit.

Visiting the Louvre Abu Dhabi invites immersion in an amazing world of art that brings together different cultures and eras. It’s not just a cultural celebration, but also an opportunity to learn about world history while receiving aesthetic delight. The grand museum can rightly be called one of Abu Dhabi’s most significant points of interest and is a must-visit when journeying through the United Arab Emirates.

Ferrari World – A Thematic Park

Ferrari World is a truly mesmerizing theme park where love for speed, adrenaline, and luxury cars intertwines with the magic of entertainment. Located in Abu Dhabi, on Yas Island, it stands as the world’s first theme park dedicated to the legendary Italian car brand, Ferrari. Moreover, it is the largest indoor-themed amusement park globally, covering an impressive 200,000 square meters, all under one roof designed like a massive red Ferrari logo, becoming the most conspicuous feature in the landscape.

This is a place where classic and contemporary exist in harmony, embodying the true spirit of the car brand.

Upon entering the park, visitors are immersed into an exciting world of speed and luxury. Here, you can witness rare and classic car models on display, experience adrenaline-rushing thrill rides on the fastest roller coasters in the world, or be a spectator of thrilling car races.

It would be a mistake not to mention the children! Ferrari World offers myriad amusement options, including various attractions for the youngest visitors. They can enjoy thrilling rides, interact with immersive screens, and learn to balance on special devices designed in the form of rings from the iconic Ferrari cars.

Whether you favor extreme races or leisurely walks, Ferrari World has something exciting for everyone. It’s a place where living passion for cars turns into unforgettable experiences guaranteed for everyone who dares to step into its territory. If you haven’t visited Ferrari World yet – you surely don’t know everything about speed and adrenaline. It’s time to discover it all!

The Presidential Palace – Qasr Al Watan

This is what this luxurious building looks like.

The Presidential Palace, Qasr Al Watan, was built in 2017. It is the place of work for the Supreme Council of the United Arab Emirates, hosting visits from heads of states and high-ranking foreign delegations. Since 2019, the palace has also been open to tourists. It is well worth a visit, as you could easily spend a day exploring its lavish interiors that are adorned with all the opulence of Middle Eastern luxury. From banquet halls to meeting rooms and conference suites, you can marvel at the rich decor of both the building’s facade and its interiors. It’s no wonder that Qasr Al Watan is considered one of the main architectural landmarks of the Middle East.

It can be said that the palace not only combines visual elegance and luxury, but also serves as a real symbol of the power and grandeur of the UAE.

Qasr Al Watan is characterized by beautiful tall towers, large domes, marble floors, and the splendor of gigantic carpets. One of the main symbols of the palace is its library. This houses vast collections of books and manuscripts that shed light on the history, culture, and achievements of the UAE. Visitors are invited to delve into the past and learn more about the rich culture and heritage of this country.

A general view of the Presidential Palace

The breathtaking gardens of Qasr Al Watan also demand attention. Guests can stroll along many paths, see well-maintained lawns, fountains, beautifully trimmed trees, and the magnificent domes of the palace itself.

Visiting the Presidential Palace, Qasr Al Watan, offers a unique and unforgettable experience. It’s a journey into a world of prestige and splendor, guaranteed to yield great memories for anyone eager to immerse themselves in the culture and history of this beautiful country. If you’re visiting Abu Dhabi, it is simply a must-see attraction where history and raw emotion congregate, allowing each visitor to really feel the grandeur of the United Arab Emirates.

The Al Bahr Towers are twin skyscrapers

The Al Bahr Towers are a pair of twin skyscrapers, constructed in 2010. They reflect the perfection of third-millennium high-rises, where the age-old art of Arabian architects and innovative 21st-century technologies have seamlessly merged.

While the height of the towers might not seem that impressive for the UAE – they're 145 meters tall with 29 floors – take a look at the beautifully intricate facades.

The thing is, temperatures in Abu Dhabi can sometimes reach up to 50°C, and traditional air conditioning systems would be too bulky and expensive for skyscrapers. To protect the building from overheating and to reduce air conditioning costs, architects have used a unique shading facade, earning the towers their nickname “the moving towers”.

This shading facade comprises over 2000 movable hexagonal elements, which adjust the position according to the weather, darkening the space inside the skyscraper.

Here's how the configuration of elements in a smart 'living' shading facade changes depending on the level of illumination.

At sunrise and sunset, the facade of these twin towers comes alive with vibrant shades of orange and gold, giving the Al Bahr Towers a special charm and appeal. Every time you visit these skyscrapers at different hours of the day, you will witness a wonderful transformation of their facade, making each visit unique and unforgettable.

The Al Bahr Towers are not only a masterpiece of modern architectural and engineering art but also a place where every visitor can see an amazing interplay of light and shadow. This living, intricately designed beauty transforms the Al Bahr Towers into a genuine icon of Abu Dhabi, attracting tourists from various countries.

Presently, the towers house the headquarters of ADIC — the Abu Dhabi Investment Council, which makes decisions about where, when, and what new grandiose constructions will appear in Abu Dhabi.

Corniche Promenade

...combine harmoniously, creating an outstanding atmosphere of relaxation and leisure.

The picturesque Corniche Promenade in Abu Dhabi is a beautiful coastal area, stretching for 8 kilometers and rightly considered one of the city’s most attractive and popular tourist attractions. The Corniche demonstrates that relaxation and communion with nature are possible even in the heart of a metropolis.

After its renovation and beautification in 2003, the promenade has become a tourist attraction. Since then, its popularity has only grown, with millions of visitors annually. It’s a place where modern urban architecture meets refined landscapes…

One of the features of the promenade is the diversity of leisure and entertainment options. Here you will find well-maintained beaches with soft sand and clean water and a myriad of water sports and activities, such as yachting, ocean excursions, and watersports. The Corniche Promenade is also known for its green oases and well-kept parks, offering wonderful spots for walks, picnics, and relaxation. There are also running and cycling paths, making it an ideal place for active pursuits and outdoor sports.

However, the most significant aspect of the Corniche Promenade is the splendid view it offers of Abu Dhabi, and thanks to its location, it also serves as a perfect vantage point for watching magnificent sunsets.

Visiting the Corniche is an excellent opportunity to escape the hustle and bustle of city life and enjoy tranquility and beauty without leaving the metropolis. You can spend time here with your family and friends, relishing the beauty of the surrounding nature and the wonderful atmosphere. Do make a point to visit this promenade – it’s worth it!

The Falcon Hospital in Abu Dhabi

An example of a UAE banknote featuring a falcon image

In the UAE, birds are held in high regard. Their imagery embellishes the country’s currency and its national emblem.

Reflecting this deep rooted respect and affection towards birds, the UAE established the Falcon Hospital in Abu Dhabi in 2011. This unique institution, the only one of its kind in the Middle East, emphasizes the enduring connection between humans and wildlife. The hospital is dedicated to the preservation and rehabilitation of the falcon population, as well as promoting awareness and appreciation of these magnificent predators.

Equipped with state-of-the-art medical technology, experienced staff, and advanced treatment methods, the hospital attends to over 200 falcons in need of human assistance. Moreover, falcon owners (falconry is popular in the UAE) can visit the hospital to obtain a passport for their birds or implant microchips for tracking their whereabouts.

...here you'll find ornithologists, veterinarians, and even animal behaviorists working.

The Falcon Hospital in Abu Dhabi is not just a health rehabilitation unit for falcons, but also a research institution. Here, scientific initiatives are undertaken and programs are developed to protect and conserve the falcon population. For visitors, a trip to the Falcon Hospital is an opportunity not only to witness these swift and beautiful predators firsthand, but to also learn more about the world of falcons and the crucial task of ensuring their preservation.







Abu Dhabi’s National Mangrove Park

...also on offer are guided walking tours along wooden trails.

The National Mangrove Park in Abu Dhabi is considered one of the most beautiful and popular natural attractions on the Arabian Peninsula, where the UAE is located. It’s a protected area covering 8,000 acres on the western coast of Abu Dhabi. The park is home to a variety of animals and birds, including endangered species such as green turtles and dugongs.

Visiting the National Mangrove Park will immerse you in the world of wilderness, where tranquility surrounds you, making you forget about the hustle and bustle of cities. You will get a chance to appreciate the beauty and greenery of the mangrove trees and observe birds in their natural habitat. There are even boat tours available, including ones on kayaks.

The park also offers educational programs, tours, and events that allow visitors to familiarize themselves with the unique ecosystems and understand the importance of preserving these areas’ flora and fauna. Many visitors return to this park time and time again, drawn by the opportunity to take stunning photographs against the backdrop of nature. Trust us, you’ll want to come back too!

Saadiyat Beach

Look at these vibrant colors!

This stunning beach is located on Saadiyat Island, offering ideal conditions for relaxation. The beach stretches about 4 kilometers long and covers approximately 800,000 square meters. The crystal-clear waters and white sandy beach create an unrivaled atmosphere, inviting guests to enjoy the sun, sea breeze, and calming wave sounds.

Saadiyat Beach is well-known for its excellent infrastructure and advanced entertainment industry, as is the case everywhere in Abu Dhabi. Here, you’ll find comfortable sun loungers, clean showers and restrooms, as well as restaurants and cafes offering a variety of dishes and drinks. This is a place where you can indulge in beach water sports, such as water skiing, surfing, and snorkeling.

Visiting Saadiyat Beach is a great opportunity to take a break from the daily hustle and appreciate tranquility and beauty. Here, you can spend quality time with family and friends, basking in the warm sun and fresh sea breeze. And just imagine the fantastic photos and videos you can take at this beach – your social media followers will definitely love them.

Did you visit Dubai instead of Abu Dhabi? There’s no reason to miss out on the chance to see Abu Dhabi’s attractions. We’ve gathered a range of exclusive and sports cars available for you to rent today. Situated just a 1.5-hour drive from Dubai, driving through the unique desert landscape to Abu Dhabi is an adventure in itself. You’ll get there in breeze, and have the chance to snap some really interesting photos to remember your trip and share with your online community!

Conclusion

For instance, like these ones. The power of a car, the exoticism of the desert, and the wide-open sky — it's rugged and stylish.

Abu Dhabi is a remarkable emirate teeming with unique attractions, each embodying a distinct mosaic of history, culture, and architecture. When you visit Abu Dhabi, you will inevitably be fascinated by the beauty and originality of both the capital and the entire emirate. Abu Dhabi never ceases to draw in visitors with its attractions, leaving them with unforgettable memories that last a lifetime.

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