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Best Places to Visit in Abu Dhabi 2024 – Burj Diary

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When it comes to the UAE, Dubai seems to take all the limelight, which is a bit unfair to the other emirates of the country. Abu Dhabi, incidentally the capital of the UAE, rivals Dubai in terms of a modern, cosmopolitan urban center.

It may not have the largest, the biggest, or the tallest this or that, but it has its fair share of attractions that greet visitors for a rewarding time. So, here’s our list of some of the best places to visit in Abu Dhabi that will enrich your trip and create memories you will cherish forever.

Best Places to Visit in Abu Dhabi

Below we shared some best places in Abu Dhabi to visit in 2024. Please have a look at them and decide where to visit.

Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque:

The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is to Abu Dhabi, the Eiffel Tower is to Paris, and the Burj Khalifa is to Dubai. It is a truly magnificent mosque that took almost eleven years to complete, with an estimated cost of US$2 billion.

A labor of love and a homage to the late ruler and founder of the UAE, Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the mosque borrows elements of Ottoman, Arabic, Fatimid, and Moorish architecture with spectacular effect.

For a truly breathtaking experience, visit it before sunset, when the golden rays of the drowning sun magically showcase the pristine white structure of the mosque. It is one of the best places to visit Abu Dhabi during sunset. You will also see it aglow at night, highlighting the subtle artwork on its walls and pillars adorned with precious stones and gold trims. The mosque has no entry fee and is open for visitors for most parts of the day.

Qasr Al Watan:

The UAE is a monarchy, so visiting a royal palace should be part of your travel plans to the kingdom. The Qasr Al Watan, Arabic for Palace of the Nation, is a majestic palace right in the heart of Abu Dhabi that is a seat of government machinery and a tourist attraction.

The imposing building, with its arched hallways, colossal courtyard, ornate domes, and marbled floors, is awe-inspiring. It also has the iconic gold art piece in one of its halls that has made it world-famous, thanks to its viral images on social media. Getting clicked is undoubtedly worth it there.

Since it is a functional presidential palace, you must book before going there. You can also get a guided tour that will give you a glimpse of royal life, where the guests stay, and how they meet and greet.

Honorable Mention: The Qasr Al Hosn is also worth a visit to get a peek into history. It is an old watch tower expanded into a fort by the earlier Bedouin tribes. History geeks will love it.

Louvre Abu Dhabi:

It can’t be true, right? The Louvre is in Paris, so what’s going on here? It turns out that the Louvre is also present in Abu Dhabi. It is a joint venture between the French and the UAE governments; the museum cum art gallery has enough exhibits that demand a day-long visit.

But, forget about what artifacts are housed inside the building. Let’s talk about the building, which in itself is a work of art. A terrific representation of modern architecture, it masterfully uses the natural elements of water and sunlight to maximum effect. It is surrounded by water, and the aerial view gives the illusion that it’s a floating object. The sunlight that oozes out of its artfully designed roof structure also adds to its aura.

You can also kayak at the Louvre, Abu Dhabi, which can be a good activity if you visit as a family. All in all, this one will be an inspiring trip and should be part of your itinerary of places to visit in Abu Dhabi.

Observation Deck at 300:

If you like to get high, no pun intended, then the Observation Deck at 300 is your go-to point. It is the highest vantage point in Abu Dhabi, where you will be, you guessed it right, 300 meters above ground level. Enjoy a bird’s eye view of the gleaming skyline, the tranquil waters of the Arabian Sea, and the famed Corniche.

You can savor the view of some foods and drinks and the café located there, which is renowned for its high tea, so it’s a view with some good food to while away an afternoon.

The Corniche:

Now that we have mentioned the Corniche, it’s apt to include it and discuss it a bit in our list of best places to visit in Abu Dhabi. It is a wide palm-lined walkway along the water’s edge. A walk here is recommended to get some fresh sea air and enjoy the vibe.

It is a public space where people from all walks of life come to stroll, meet, and gossip. You will see an eclectic mix of people here having a good time. Cafes, restaurants, shops, and hotels line it. If you want to catch the pulse of Abu Dhabi, visit the Corniche in the evening, grab a shawarma, sit somewhere, and watch people go by. Believe us, you will feel rejuvenated after a visit to the Corniche.

Ferrari World, Abu Dhabi

It is a theme park that has captured the attention of thrill seekers worldwide. And that is understandable because it has the world’s fastest roller coaster, and the Ferrari branding excited everyone.

In addition to the rides, shops, and shows, you can also drive your own Ferrari here. We bet now you’re going to visit here soon. Ferrari World is on Yas Island, with many other sites worth visiting. We will cover another few in this blog, too.

Warner Bros World, Abu Dhabi

It is yet another collaboration done right for the benefit of others. It is an indoor theme park where you enjoy all the iconic movie and cartoon characters owned by the famous Warner Bros Studios. So get ready to be up close and personal with Batman, Wonder Woman, Scooby Doo, or Tom & Jerry in 29 exciting rides that will keep you entertained.

Saadiyat Beach

A visit to the beach is always a good idea. Abu Dhabi has no dearth of white sandy beaches, and Saadiyat Beach is the most famous among them. Soak up the Arabian sun or dive in the sea, enjoy water scooting or jet skiing, or spend time sipping the Pina Colada and watching waves go by. Saadiyat Beach has something for everyone.

You can also book a day pass with the Saadiyat Beach Club for exclusive fun and recreational activities.

The National Aquarium Abu Dhabi

See the spectacular sea creatures in all their glory at the National Aquarium Abu Dhabi. It is divided into 10 zones and houses as many as 300 species. It is not limited to fish alone, as there are sections for snakes, reptiles, and birds. Appreciate the natural wildlife and learn about the biodiversity of our planet. It can be an entertaining and educational experience, especially if you value wildlife and have kids.

Yas Water World

Earlier, while discussing Ferrari World, we had mentioned that Yas Island, where Ferrari World is located, has many other attractions too, and it is time to talk about one of them, the Yas Water World, among the top places to visit in Abu Dhabi.

Water-themed parks have become very popular everywhere and test riders’ courage with thrilling slides and rides. You will find 45 exhilarating rides, slides, and attractions in this water park that will take you for a ride in every sense of the word. It promises fun and entertainment for everyone, so get ready to slip and take a dip here.

Other notable attractions worth your time in Yas Island include a visit to the Yas Bay, Yas Mall, Yas Marina Circuit, CLYMB for indoor skydiving & wall climbing, and Sir Bani Yas Safari. You can check their websites for booking and fare details.

Jubail Mangrove Park

Mangroves are small trees and shrubs that grow out of water and create a forest on water. Mangroves play an essential role in the area’s ecology and are home to often rare flora and fauna. A trip to the Jubail Mangrove Park will enlighten you about its importance; spending time in nature is always a joy.

You can also kayak in Jubail Mangrove Park, a fun physical activity. There is also a boardwalk where you can enjoy the serene ambiance and reconnect with nature in its various manifestations.

Al Wathba Wetland Reserve

If you thought Abu Dhabi was about desert dunes, you are in for a surprise. Partly made by humans and nature, the Al Wathba Wetland Reserve and Salt Lake are for nature and adventure lovers. We are saying adventure lovers as this place is not high on most people’s must-visit places in Abu Dhabi and requires your transportation.

Coastal salt flats form it and have salt crust floating on the waterbed. The reserve attracts rare wildlife, including flamingoes you can watch prancing around and admire. The azure-green waters also make for some eye-catching Instagrammable moments. So, enjoy clicking here.

Abu Dhabi: a Fascinating Mix of the Old and the New

Despite being more affluent than Dubai, Abu Dhabi has kept a low profile from its flashy neighbor. It is also less populated and more laid back than Dubai. Perhaps it doesn’t want to go the Dubai way that has embraced showiness and is proud of it.

While not averse to development, Abu Dhabi is unfolding slowly and cautiously and wants to retain a distinct identity that doesn’t make it a clone of Dubai. We hope you have enjoyed our list of places to visit in Abu Dhabi. We are sure we must have missed some. Add them in the comments below, and tell us what you enjoyed most while visiting them.

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