May 2019


Abu Dhabi: A City That Delights And Inspires
May 2019




The view of Etihad Towers – the iconic five-tower complex and the gate to Emirates Palace Hotel at dusk.

Whether you seek indoor entertainment or outdoor adventure, the UAE capital has you covered.

Words: Criselda Diala-McBride.

Abu Dhabi's appeal as a tourist destination hasn't come to the forefront until recently. Once eclipsed by its glitzy neighbour, Dubai, the UAE capital is building an identity of its own - offering attractions and activities that cater to multigenerational travellers.

So whether you're vacationing solo or in groups, Abu Dhabi can make the trip worth your while. From sedate cultural strolls and family-oriented theme parks to urban experiential tours and adrenaline-pumping nature excursions, the largest emirate of the UAE is a destination that packs a hefty punch.

Fit for a family
Abu Dhabi prides itself on being a family-friendly tourist spot with both outdoor and indoor offerings that will keep visitors young and old entertained for hours on end.

If you're travelling with kids, start your Abu Dhabi experience by visiting Yas Island, a leisure, shopping and entertainment hub located just 15 minutes from the capital's international airport. Here you can get your feet wet at Yas Waterworld, which boasts more than 40 slides, rides and attractions, including kiddie pools and the thrill-inducing Slither Slides, Liwa Loop and Jebel Drop.

Also based in Yas Island is Ferrari World, a theme park that bears the mark of one of global motorsports' most recognised brands.

Abu Dhabi prides itself on being a family-friendly tourist spot with both outdoor and indoor offerings...

There are many rides to keep the little ones' boredom at bay while adults enjoy the rush of Formula Rossa, the park's iconic rollercoaster where riders are blasted at speeds of 240 kilometres per hour in just 4.9 seconds.

The latest addition to Yas Island's offerings is Warner Bros. World, another indoor theme park featuring state-of-the art rides and attractions displaying some iconic characters, such as Batman, Superman, the Flintstones and Bugs Bunny.

Half-an-hour away from Yas Island is the Corniche, one of the capital's most popular attractions for families. This waterfront promenade is the ideal spot to stretch your legs and stroll along the beachfront or ride a bike. An eight-minute car ride from the Corniche will take you to the Marina area, where you can enjoy a carnival experience at the 196-foot-high ferris wheel, which offers panoramic view of the city in each of its 42 enclosed glass capsules.

If your kids (or you) are up for some indoor free-jumping action, go to Bounce, a trampoline park located in Marina Mall. It's an excellent way to blow off some steam and reconnect with your inner child.

A touch of culture
Despite its cosmopolitan urban ambience, Abu Dhabi places huge importance on nurturing and preserving Arabian art and culture. A visit to some of the city's popular cultural attractions may prove to be both educational and entertaining.

Your itinerary should include the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, a majestic structure dedicated to the memory of the UAE's founder, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan.

To further appreciate the depth of history and the intricate craftmanship that went into building this awe-inspiring architecture, make sure to avail yourself to the free walk-in tours. Remember to check the tour schedule before heading out to the mosque.

One of the region's most impressive cultural attractions is Louvre Abu Dhabi, a satellite branch of the famous museum in Paris, France. Unveiled in November 2017, the UAE-based Louvre has an extensive collection of Islamic and international art, sculpture and historical artefacts.

For thrill-seekers
For an adrenaline rush, put a helmet on and let a professional race car driver take you for a spin around Yas Marina Circuit, which is also the venue of the annual Abu Dhabi Formula 1 Grand Prix.

If you want to experience the great Emirati outdoors, then book a safari adventure. Soak up the desert landscape in Liwa and Al Ain and dune bash in a magnificent natural setting. While, you can hike or cycle Jebel Hafeet in Al Ain, which is the highest peak in the UAE at more than 1,200m. You can also book snorkeling or scuba diving trips in Abu Dhabi and get up-close encounters with the Arabian Sea's rich and diverse marine life.

Urban lifestyle
When it comes to urban attractions, you'll be spoilt for choice in Abu Dhabi. Across the city, opulent hotels and contemporary malls stand alongside traditional souks (marketplaces). Experience the shopping buzz in Yas Mall, Marina Mall and Abu Dhabi Mall. But if you fancy an Arabian flavour, head to Souk Al Bawadi and Souk Al Qaws where hand-woven rugs, handmade trinkets and a collection of spices will guarantee to give you a multi-sensory experience. For a city that delights and inspires, Abu Dhabi truly has something for everyone.

 

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    Get ready to splash, float and slide through the rides at Yas Waterworld.

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    Ferrari World has many adventures in store for the visitor.

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    Enjoy a thrilling ride with the world's fastest roller coaster, Formula Rossa.

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    Warner Bros. World is the latest addition to the Yas Island Theme Park.

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    Marina Eye Ferris Wheel and Marina Mall Tower as seen from Sailing and Yatch Club.

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    For free-jumping action, head to Bounce at Marina Mall.

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    Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is a massive architectural wonder.

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    The Louvre Abu Dhabi is a satellite branch of the famous museum in Paris.

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    The Jabal Hafeet Mountain Road has the highest peak in the UAE.

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    Experience an exciting dune bash in Liwa and Al Ain.

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    Indulge in the shopping buzz at Abu Dhabi Mall.

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