Inspiring museums, family theme parks
and Arabian wildlife
Abu Dhabi is a thoroughly modern city. The elegant Arabian Gulf Corniche is backed by futuristic skyscrapers. Designed by Jean Nouvel, the silver dome of the Louvre Abu Dhabi holds some of the greatest art in the world. F1 fans flock in for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, and stay to ride the mega-fast Flying Aces roller coaster at Ferrari World and cool off in Yas Waterworld.
While keeping one eye fixed on the future, the emirate celebrates its exotic backstory at fascinating museums. Bedouin silverwork and weaving skills are showcased at the seafront Heritage Village, and the Abu Dhabi Falcon Hospital rehabilitates injured hunting birds. Exhibits in mosaic-studded Al Hosn Fort trace Abu Dhabi’s history up to the 20th-century oil boom.
Glittering Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, ornamented with crystal, marble and gold, pays tribute to the revered founder of the UAE. The Sheikh’s collection of classic cars is displayed in the Emirates National Auto Museum, and his love of nature is honoured in fountain-filled botanical gardens at Umm al Emarat Park.
Abu Dhabi is all about the natural world too. Kayak through the Eastern mangroves to spot flamingos and turtles. Liwa Oasis is a gateway to the dunes of the Empty Quarter, and Sir Bani Yas Island a refuge for endangered Arabian Oryx.
Vast malls offer exclusive fashions, but the traditional souks sell hand-woven carpets and pearl jewellery. Gourmet restaurants serve international dishes from Wagyu beef to dim sum, but you can still taste those old Abu Dhabi treats, shawarma and manakeesh pizza, at street stalls throughout the city.