Last Updated on
If you’ve been thinking about paying a visit to the United Arab Emirates, then the famed capital of Abu Dhabi is sure to spring to mind. The majority of this wonderful city is located just off the mainland on an island in the Persian Gulf!
Its skyline is defined by modern towers and shopping megacenters that reflect what the city is all about. With a focus on oil and commerce, Abu Dhabi has a thriving economy that never sleeps!
If you enjoy extravagance, there are a multitude of Abu Dhabi attractions that will pique your interest!
Here are the best places to see in Abu Dhabi!
Table of Contents
Although Abu Dhabi and the entire United Arab Emirates region is very safe, there are still things you need to be careful of when you visit Abu Dhabi!
The city is dominated by Muslim culture, so it’s important to be respectful of their traditions and customs. This is particularly true when it comes to the way you dress, especially for women. It’s best to wear clothes that cover the majority of your skin. Be sure to wear a top that covers your shoulders and a skirt that covers your knees!
It’s also a good idea to buy a headscarf that you can wear when you’re in the city center, this will ensure you don’t stick out like a sore thumb.
No matter how safe Abu Dhabi is, you NEED to travel with insurance, and World Nomads is our favorite provider! World Nomads has some great (and affordable!) policies for Abu Dhabi – fill out the form below to get a quote 🙂
The main part of the city is a bustling hub of activity at all hours of the day! Shopping centers, offices, bars, hotels and restaurants that never seem to sleep.
The residential buildings in the area are all either low or high rise buildings, giving you the opportunity to enjoy apartment-style-living in the heart of the hustle and bustle of the city!
If you love to socialize and dine-out at a multitude of different restaurants, then this just might be the best area for you to visit. There’s always plenty going on, allowing you to have an incredible time as an Abu Dhabi tourist!
If you’re ready for the liveliest street life, and the densest concentration of cafes and shops, Downtown Abu Dhabi is waiting for you!
Our Favorite Places to Stay in Downtown Abu Dhabi
Will you also visit Dubai? We know great places to stay in Dubai too!
This area is bordered by the Corniche (waterfront) and acts as the central business district of Abu Dhabi! The area is also a very commercial shopping area that tourists flock to in their hundreds.
Branded stores line the streets feeding a consumerist culture so rife in the area. If you love a great shop-til-you-drop experience, this is a great place to spend an afternoon (or an entire day).
There is a newly opened central market shopping complex which has become a major focal point for the area and for Abu Dhabi itself! If you’re looking for the best things to do in Abu Dhabi, this is where you’ll likely find them!
Have an early flight? Grab a hotel near Dubai AIRPORT to have a stress-free time!
Our Favorite Places to Stay in Al Markaziyah, Abu Dhabi
Excited to visit Dubai? Get excited to take an amazing day trip too!
Al Wahda is a wonderful place to visit in Abu Dhabi as it’s a lot quieter than central Abu Dhabi, yet it’s still easy enough to catch a bus or a taxi to the city center.
Again because Adu Dhabi could be considered one of the shopping Meccas of the world, there are a variety of great shopping locations in this district!
Al Wahda is a great area to base yourself during your time in Abu Dhabi as it’s easy to travel from.
Our Favorite Places to Stay in Al Wahda, Abu Dhabi
Need a hotel near Dubai Mall? Read our guide to our favorite hotels near Dubai Mall!
Khalidiya is the cultural hub of Abu Dhabi, where old meets new so effortlessly! Because of its central location, it’s very easy to get around and makes it a great place to stay during your time in Abu Dhabi.
The area has become synonymous with its overwhelming number of expats who seek a better life in Abu Dhabi.
It’s a great place to visit if your traveling with family as there are a multitude of fun activities to take part in that are very family-friendly!
Our Favorite Places to Stay in Khalidiya, Abu Dhabi
Do you want more Art or History? Find museums in Dubai that fit your interests!
Khalifa is a section of Abu Dhabi located on the mainland. It’s been an up-and-coming suburb for many years, and is sure to hold plenty of fun entertainment! The suburb is located on the highway that leads to Dubai, just a 25-minute drive outside of the famed city in the sand.
If you plan to travel to Dubai during your trip, this is a wonderfully central location to base yourself, as you’ll have easy access to Abu Dhabi island, mainland and Dubai city center!
If you’re trying to decide what to do in Abu Dhabi, this perfect location adds numerous choices to your list and ensures a good time!
There are plenty of cafes and small shops in the area, so there’s no need to venture into the main town everyday when staying in Khalifa City.
Our Favorite Places to Stay in Khalifa City
Do you have an open schedule? Figure the best things to do in Dubai, UAE before you visit!
Ferrari World is so big, it is a neighborhood all in itself! In fact, it takes up approximately 86 000 square meters! People come from all over the world to see this incredible amusement park, and it’s not hard to see why.
The park holds a variety of attractions for people of all age groups! You’d think with a name like Ferrari world, the park would be full of motor-heads and engine junkies, but you’ll actually find people from all walks of life!
You’ll find Ferrari themed roller coasters, in fact, the fastest roller coaster in the world is located in the park, so if you’re a thrill seeker, be sure to give it a try.
Once you’ve had enough of the theme park rides, test drives and simulations, be sure to check out the restaurants for a bite to eat before heading to the shopping area! There you’ll be able to buy souvenirs, accessories and clothes (some Ferrari themed, and others not).
Our Favorite Places to Stay near Ferrari World
I’m sure you know a bit about Dubai, but we have a few history facts you might not have heard yet.
Al Ras Al Akhdar is a beautiful portion of Abu Dhabi that stretches along the coastline and boasts of magnificent views! Turquoise waters and grassy green patches contrasted against the desert skyline is truly a scene to behold.
If you’re looking for the ultimate paradise during your Abu Dhabi trip, this is an absolute must! The neighborhood is dominated by the Emirates Palace, the grounds of which take up an incredible 85-hectares!
Other luxurious properties that scatter the neighborhood are Jumeirah At Etihad Towers which are some of the tallest buildings in Abu Dhabi and give you a wonderful view over the entirety of Abu Dhabi.
The private bay has pristine white sandy beaches with turquoise waters lapping at its shores. The hotel has a new yacht marina and a handful of really great restaurants! Be sure to explore the excellent galleries on the property too, and the 1500 seat auditorium that hosts a variety of shows throughout the year!
Our Favorite Places to Stay in Al Ras Al Akhdar
Tired of making plans? Our favorite tours in Dubai remove the stress from the equation!
Yas west is a neighborhood in Abu Dhabi that has the sea on either side, making it the perfect spot for a summer vacation. It is known for being a quiet residential area that can give you a much-needed break from the hustle and bustle of the city, but that doesn’t mean it’s not loads of fun!
The area combines Emirati heritage with modern housing, to create the iconic Abu Dhabi look! If you’re looking to do some Abu Dhabi sightseeing, this is the perfect place to do it! With incredible views and a wonderful atmosphere, you’ll love every minute!
The hotel offers magnificent views of the water from each room, so be sure to venture inside for an even better look.
Our Favorite Places to Stay in Yas West
If you were wondering what to see in Abu Dhabi, I’m sure we’ve made your mind up for you! A little bit of everything is the answer. This wonderful city has so much to offer, from bright city lights to luxurious resorts by the sea!
From sightseeing to gazing at some of the best architecture you’ve ever seen, you’ll struggle to get bored in the bustling city that never sleeps!
Now that you know the very best places to visit in Abu Dhabi, it’s time to start planning for the trip of a lifetime!
*** Some of the links on Hotel Jules are affiliate links, which means if you do make a purchase, we may make a small commission (at no extra cost to you.) Thank you for using our links! Your support keeps the site going***
Emma Johnson lives to travel! Born in Washington D.C., Emma is a hotel connoisseur and a staff writer at Hotel Jules. An army brat, Emma got the travel bug early and has never been able to stop. Now, she has proudly visited 70+ countries and plans to visit every country in the world! Passionate about her ukelele (obviously) and her family, Emma eventually wants to retire in Thailand and write a book about all of her travel experiences.