Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan Grand Mosque
The third largest mosque in the world, Sheikh Zayed Mosque is an architectural masterpiece that can accommodate up to 40,000 worshippers and it is the only mosque in the capital that is open to non Muslim visitors. It also showcases a Persian carpet reported to be the largest in the world.
For the ultimate Abu Dhabi sightseeing experience a visit to the desert is a must to see a glimpse of Bedouin life. The safari offers a number of unique moments from a thrilling roller-coaster experience in 4x4 driving across sand dunes, to a camel ride in the desert. End the desert excursion, by indulging in an authentic Arabic barbeque dinner while enjoying the playful tunes of oriental music and the artistic performance of a traditional belly dancer.
The island is located off the coast of the United Arab Emirates and is host to Ferrari World. Each year, the Abu Dhabi Formula 1 Grand Prix is held on the Yas Island Circuit which is located in the Yas Marina. The world-class Flash Arena also situated on the island and is the venue top international entertainment acts, including Prince, Stevie Wonder and Snoop Dogg.
Ferrari World Abu Dhabi
Ferrari World Abu Dhabi is the world’s first Ferrari theme park and largest attraction of its kind. It is an intense multi-sensory experience and a must-visit for families, fans and enthusiasts. The Park offers more than 20 Ferrari-inspired rides and attractions, including the world’s fastest roller coaster and advanced racing simulators.
Yas Waterworld Abu Dhabi
Yas Waterworld Abu Dhabi is the largest waterpark in the capital and its theme is based on a legend that represents local Emirati culture and heritage. Spread over 15 hectares, the waterpark features a thrilling range of 43 rides, slides and attractions. Four rides are first-of-their-kind, a premier for waterparks worldwide.
A living museum located across the west side of the Corniche road, Heritage Village showcases the history of Bedouin lifestyle of Abu Dhabi prior to the discovery of oil. Old fishing villages, mud brick houses and traditional mosques are only a few exhibits that take visitors on a journey back to the past.
Abu Dhabi Falcon Hospital
The first public veterinary hospital and one of the largest in the United Arab Emirates, Abu Dhabi Falcon Hospital provides health care services exclusively for this national bird. An unforgettable tour of the hospital’s facilities provides an insight to the fascinating world of these creatures and an understanding of the Bedouin affinity with falcons.
Jebel Hafeet Mountain
The mountain is located on the outskirts of Al Ain and forms part of the border of Oman. This 4,068 ft (1,240 meter) mountain features rugged terrain and natural cave systems. It is a must visit attraction with staggering views of the city and provides an ideal vantage point for photographs.
Al Ain Zoo and Aquarium
One of the largest zoos in the Gulf region, Al Ain Zoo and Aquarium has a large collection of wildlife from all over the world, including a variety of African antelope. It is renowned for its research facilities, in particular their programs for endangered native animals.
Al Hosn Palace
Commonly known as the ‘White Fort’, Al Hosn Palace is Abu Dhabi’s oldest building. Built in 1793 as the ruling family’s residence, it now houses the Cultural Foundation where treasured artifacts and historical photographs can be found.
Women’s Handicraft Centre
Women’s Handicraft Centre features the old traditional livelihood of local women in the form of textile, palm tree frond and basket weaving, embroidering and tailoring. Handicrafts are on display and are available for purchase.
Hili Archaeological Gardens
Guests can enjoy the picturesque landscaped gardens and an archaeological site where the remnants of a Bronze Age settlement was excavated and restored. In fact, the garden and its immediate land are the location of a large number of Bronze Age and Iron Age sites, dating to 2500-400 BC.
Al Ain Camel Market
The last of its kind in the United Arab Emirates, Al Ain Camel Market is an intriguing place to visit. Situated east of the Jebel Hafeet Mountain, this market offers a great opportunity to encounter these ‘ships of the desert’ up close and witness the bargaining process between traders as they discuss the value of their herds.
Al Ain National Museum
Once a palace belonging to the late Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, Al Ain National Museum showcases archeological and ethnographical exhibits and was the first museum established in the country.
A retreat from the modern day city life, Dhow Harbour plays tribute to one of the oldest local livelihoods - fishing. Discover traditional Emirati wooden boats (known as dhows) by the shores of Abu Dhabi, before they sail out to open sea to fish and return back for trading.
*Picture courtesy of the Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority.