The largest of the 7 emirates, Abu Dhabi is the capital city of the UAE. With grand sand dunes, pristine beaches, and sunshine year around Abu Dhabi is a must-visit destination. Among many things to do in Abu Dhabi, Neha from DubaiWikia wrote this article to cover this wonderful travel destination.
Known for its massive oil reserves and beautiful mosques, Abu Dhabi is rich with Arabic hospitality and world-class infrastructure. From luxurious spas to designer golf courses to state-of-the-art convention centers, you will it all in Abu Dhabi.
Best things to do in Abu Dhabi on a budget.
1. Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque
One of the most beautiful structures in Abu Dhabi, you must not miss visiting Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque. Not only is it one of the most magnificent buildings in Abu Dhabi, but it also accommodates 41,000 people who actively participate in worship. It is also the resting place of the Late Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al-Nahyan. The pristine white walls, minarets, and domes of this majestic structure are hard to miss during the day. It has the largest hand-woven carpet of 5627 sq. mt and the largest marble mosaic floor in its courtyard.
2. Qasr Al Hosn
Believed to be the oldest building in Abu Dhabi, Qasr Al Hosn was built around 1790 as the city’s first permanent watchtower. This commanding structure overlooked the coastal trade routes and the settlements growing on the island. The Qasr Al Hosn mainly comprises of two buildings – the inner fort that was constructed in 1790 and the outer fort constructed between 1939 to 1945. Transformed into a museum in 2018, it has been restored extensively and it details the development of Abu Dhabi from the times of a settlement relying on fishing and pearling to modern global metropolis.
3. Qasr Al Watan
The soul of any city lies in its oldest neighborhood. The same is the case with Abu Dhabi. Uncover what once was a tiny fishing hamlet at the Qasr Al Watan. This oldest building of Abu Dhabi recounts the challenges that once this desert laid out for the humble citizens and how they survived those odds. From the collection of rare old pictures to the artifacts found buried deep in history; the place is the must-visit if you wish to understand the city of Abu Dhabi to its core.
4. Enjoy the most celebrated and the oldest sport of the city- Camel racing
What more fun than cheering the racing kings of the desert at the Al Wathba racetrack. Oh don’t worry, these are no dull, boring, slow races; these are high-end camel races where the jockeys are robots controlled via vehicular troops carrying 4WD’s by their owners. A plush show of wealth, passion, and power, the fun seeing this camel racing at the Al Wathba race track should not be missed.
5. The Magnetism of the Emirates Palace
It is by far one of the most iconic landmarks of Abu Dhabi and the Abu Dhabi city tour of any budget traveler or luxury vacation can’t be complete without seeing it. A beautiful hotel that holds the richest of the world, it is an epitome that redefines luxury for many and an exemplary place to visit and come back for a lot more. Yes, although it is a hotel, the place is no less than a tourist spot. You can freely roam in the corridors and the magnanimous halls of the palace without restriction.
6. Soak in the serenity of the Corniche
Not everything is about being adventurous. Sometimes it is important to stop, take a deep breath and soak into the peace of the surroundings. Amidst the city madness, a corniche is a place where tourists and locals come together and take respite in its calmness. One of the best things to do in Abu Dhabi on a budget, the Corniche allows you to simply sit back and relax; one of the most difficult things to do these days.
7. Trip to the Emirati Town at the Heritage Village
This exceptional recreation of the Emirati village is what you must visit as it not only fits within the family travel budget well, it takes you down the memory lane and makes you almost literally a part of the bygone era. The era when there were stone huts, the potteries, swords, Arabian authentic teas, and Arabian horses in front of every house is practically bought to life in front of the visitors. It is the best way to indulge in the history of Abu Dhabi and the UAE.
8. Rule the Empty Quarter Dunes
Yes, you guessed right, the mighty Rub Al Khail aka the world’s largest uninterrupted sand dessert is right there in Abu Dhabi. Go and dive into the thrilling world of adventure desert sports at this majestic desert. From quad biking to sand dune bashing, everything’s here. Not an adventure junkie, no problem surrender yourself to the vastness of this astounding desert.
Desert Safari Dubai is one of the most recommended tours. It’s an affordable safari trip, they offer self-drive packages among many others. The trip costs around $10 (40 AED) and you’ll enjoy Camel Riding, Sand Boarding and taking pictures wearing Traditional UAE costumes.
9. Share a laugh with a free comedy show at Frankie’s comedy cellar in Fairmont
Laugh all your stress away at the free event of Frankie’s Comedy Cellar in Fairmont. While relishing the Italian delicacies at Frankie’s Italian restaurant, this comedy show that allows you a free entry every Saturday is a must-visit. It connects you instantaneously with the audience and helps you blend in with the vibe of the place.
10. Enjoy a Good Time at the Al Qurum Beach
Enjoy on a calm beach in a desert city, how great is that? Take your family on a fun day out at the Al Qurum beach and enjoy splish-splash together. A bit smaller beach compared to many others in UAE, Al Qurum is best known for family picnics as it’s kept clean with some delicious food options nearby.
You take the name of UAE and the grandeur of the capital city of Abu Dhabi flashes in front. But what most fail to understand that it may be a city of riches but it welcomes the backpackers and travelers from all pocket-size equally well. So, don’t wait anymore, go Abu Dhabi today!