Abu Dhabi – a luxury oasis in the desert

Abu Dhabi – a luxury oasis in the desert

A place, where heritage backgrounds meet futuristic innovations. A place, where local traditions combine with great hospitality and give you the opportunity to feel at home.

Welcome to Abu Dhabi!

Abu Dhabi is the capital of the United Arab Emirates, located on a stunning island of the Persian Gulf. It was named the safest city in the world during the last three years.  The official language is Arabic, but English is talked extensively as there is a huge ex-pat neighborhood. I am leaving more than 6 years in Abu Dhabi so allow me to share with you my top destinations, restaurants, and hotels in Abu Dhabi!

Must see in Abu Dhabi:
  • Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque 
  • Louvre Abu Dhabi
  • Emirates Palace
  • Qasr al Watan Palace
  • Yas Island
  • Saadiyat Island
  • Al Hudayriat Island
  • Mangroves Walk
Grand Mosque – Abu Dhabi
  • Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque  

Probably the most famous tourist destination in Abu Dhabi, and its totally understandable, Grand Mosque is simply magnificent.

With its white marble wall surfaces, 82 elaborately thorough domes as well as reflective pools in the courtyard, many people believe this to be the most gorgeous mosque worldwide.

It is also one of the world’s largest mosques (it can fit a staggering 40,000 individuals inside) and houses the globe’s largest carpet as well as the third-largest chandelier (covered in Swarovski crystals)! It set you back half a billion USD to develop.

As it is a sanctuary of prayer you have to dress appropriately. If needed, ladies will certainly be loaned an abaya to cover themselves up with as they need to be covered from their wrists to their ankle joints, in addition, to have their hair covered.

Sheikh Zayed Mosque is open daily from 9 am up until 10 pm other than on Fridays. Friday is the holy day in Islam so opening times on a Friday are from 4.30 pm-10 pm. It is cost-free for travelers to visit as well as it does obtain quite hectic right here so arrive first thing to stay clear of the groups as much as possible. In the evening time, it is illuminated magnificently so it is likewise good to see just after sundown.

Louvre – Abu Dhabi
  • Louvre Abu Dhabi

See Humanity in a new light, explore modern art, feel the touch of great creators. Louvre Abu Dhabi is definitely worth to be visited. Located on Saadiyat Island (just a 10-15min drive from the city center) museum is open 6 days a week (except Monday!) from 10 am to 10 pm. The entrance fee is 63 dirhams ($17).

The structure itself is a work of art– the roof is metallic as well as looks virtually like a planetary dome! Natural light pierces with the latticework and creates a beautiful impression inside.

The collections below are very impressive and include civilizations all over the world, from ancient times up until today. They likewise feature items from Monet, da Vinci as well as Van Gogh.

In the evening all visitors have a unique opportunity to take a tour on a kayak and learn all about Louvre Abu Dhabi’s architecture from a new perspective.  Sounds like lots of fun!

Emirates Palace – Abu Dhabi
  • Emirates Palace

Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi is a legendary resort. The unique architecture of the hotel is gorgeous both on the outside and on the inside, yet it is far also expensive for the majority of people to remain in ( The Palace Suite is priced at Dh55,000 or $15 000 per night!). However, you can see the Palace absolutely free to take a look around and take in the magnificence and charm of the flooring to ceiling marble and gold.

What’s even more, you can head to Le Coffee shop in the entrance hall to experience the renowned Palace cappuccino! This coffee is sprayed in 24 karat gold flakes (yes gold is real!). If coffee isn’t your point, try a selection of delicious sweets and just enjoy a sophisticated atmosphere. The coffee is valued at 60-75 dirhams, yes it’s 3 times more expensive than Starbucks, but in this case, experience is a value.

Golden Cappucino
  • Qasr al Watan Palace

Qaṣr AlWaṭan is the Presidential palace in Abu Dhabi, which first opened the door for the public in 2019. Unique landmark offers inspiring and educational tours of Emirati and Arabian excellence. Tourists have a rare opportunity to get insight into Emirati governance and culture through the Palace’s exhibits, to gain knowledge about the principles that have propelled traditional Arabian design to remarkable status.

Visitors will also enjoy exploring the expansive selection of timeless books and manuscripts at House of Knowledge and Qasr Al Watan Library.

Presidential palace – Abu Dhabi

We advise planning your visit to the Palace in the evening, as at 7:30 pm every day (Timing may change depends on sunset) starts spectacular Motion show: light and sound show that celebrates the UAE’s journey in three breathtaking acts that unfold in front of the main Palace. You can’t miss it out!

  • Yas Island

Spread over 25 km, the man-made highlight of Abu Dhabi Yas Island has lots of activities to offer tourists: Formula One track if you can’t imagine your life without adrenaline, stunning Marina with top restaurants and hotels.  Huge Yas Mall, where you can find the latest designer’s collection to treat yourself or just spend time with your friends, enjoying in your favorite cafeteria. 

Formula One track

Theme Parks as Ferrari World, Warner Bros, Yas Waterpark are delighting every member of the family. Very often for tourists who are staying on the Yas Island, hotels offer free vouchers or discounts for entries, 

  • Saadiyat Island

Thousands of tourists come to the United Arab Emirates to chase the sun. Saadiyat Island is definitely the best spot in Abu Dhabi to enjoy the beach: white sand and crystal clear turquoise water.

Public beaches open daily from 6 am until sunset. The entrance fee will depend on the weekday and chosen package. Private Saadiyat Beach club will cost you around Dh400 for swimming pool, Dj, wi-fi, bar, and SPA facilities.

Saadiyat Beach Club – Abu Dhabi

Nowadays island offers many options to enjoy a luxury experience in 5*Hotels as Rotana, Jumeirah, Rixos, Hyatt, or St Regis. A perfect option for beach lovers!

  • Al Hudayriat Island

Al Hudayriat is an island for a new generation. There are no skyscrapers, malls or hotels yet. And it gives this island special uniqueness: you can do so many activities over here! Swim and have fun on the beach, enjoy cycling with a stunning city view (if you don’t have your own bicycle you can rent it for Dh50 per hour), play football or basketball with friends, enjoy family time, and snacking at the truck shops. Everyone can escape from the busy city life and find a way to relax on this Island.

  • Mangroves Walk

The emirate of Abu Dhabi is known for its mangroves. The chance to spot some of the region’s local animal species amidst the waters are just some of the reasons why thousands of tourists opt for mangroves kayaking in Abu Dhabi every year. And now, opened in February, tourists get a chance to walk across the mangroves thanks to a new boardwalk in the emirate —The Mangrove Walk located at Jubail Mangrove Park in Abu Dhabi (10-15 min drive from the downtown).

Jubail Mangrove Park – Abu Dhabi
  • Timings: 08:00 am to 06:30 pm
  • Location: Al Jubail Island
  • Entrance fee : free of charge

You can head out to the boardwalk, which has three routes: the longest is 2 kilometers and the shortest is 1km.

A casual stroll through the longest route takes between 35 and 40 minutes.

Birds, fish, and crabs are among the wildlife. The water is clear, giving unblocked views of mangrove roots and marine life, and rangers are on hand to provide more information about the park and its flora and fauna.

It’s all about nature, no littering, fishing, or eating is allowed. The best time to visit is during high tide in the morning.

The walk also has six educational sections, which include a floating platform with a see-through net to catch a glimpse of the marine life underfoot, a viewing tower, and a beach platform where you can get your feet wet. Relax and enjoy nature!

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