Become a member!

SIGN UP
Sign up for your free Privateupgrades membership and benefit from VIP perks as Room Upgrades, free breakfast and 100 USD with every booking!

Benefit from exclusive promotions and VIP perks
Free Membership!


Book the best 5 Star Luxury Hotels in Abu Dhabi

VIP Experience
Room Upgrades
Free Breakfast
Personal Travel Designer
From 196 USD
Park Hyatt Abu Dhabi

PARK HYATT ABU DHABI

A place synonymous with serenity and tranquility, the Park Hyatt Abu Dhabi Hotel is an elite sanctuary ideal for discerning leisure and business trave...

From 205 USD
St Regis Saadiyat Island

ST REGIS SAADIYAT ISLAND

Located in Abu-Dhabi, the St Regis Saadiyat Island hotel pays tribute to the south-Asian culture and offers the best experiences in the best ambiance....

From 353 USD
Emirates Palace Mandarin Oriental

EMIRATES PALACE MANDARIN ORIENTAL

The Emirates Palace is a 5-star, supremely opulent hotel in Abu Dhabi, the capital of the 7 city-states of the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The governm...

From 483 USD
Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort

QASR AL SARAB DESERT RESORT

Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort is located in the Liwa Desert of Abu Dhabi, and it is truly a desert oasis. There are plenty of activities to keep you bu...

From 209 USD
Shangri La Abu Dhabi Qaryat Al Beri

SHANGRI LA ABU DHABI QARYAT AL BERI

The enchantment is immediate at Shangri La Abu Dhabi Qaryat Al Beri. While the hotel is conveniently located near the airport, golf course, and city c...

From 170 USD
Conrad Etihad Towers

CONRAD ETIHAD TOWERS

Conrad Etihad Towers sets the scale for unprecedented luxury experiences in Abu Dhabi. This iconic 280-meter-tall beachfront hotel is part of the five...

From 209 USD
Al Wathba Desert Resort

AL WATHBA DESERT RESORT

Al Wathba Desert Resort lies deep within the desert landscape, a Luxury Collection Resort Abu Dhabi. It is an intimate retreat imbued with natural bea...

From 148 USD
Andaz Capital Gate

ANDAZ CAPITAL GATE

Andaz Capital Gate Abu Dhabi, only 15 minutes away from the airport and most key attractions, adjacent to ADNEC, an impressive 18º leaning design stan...

From 160 USD
Ritz Carlton Abu Dhabi

RITZ CARLTON ABU DHABI

The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque and the Ritz Carlton Abu Dhabi Grand Canal provide a stunning background for the hotel's 447 exquisite guestrooms, suite...

Hotel Promotions for Abu Dhabi

Map view

Weather Forecast for Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi

Good to know about Abu Dhabi

When it comes to luxury travel, Abu Dhabi is a destination that you must visit. Whether you're looking for a relaxing beach getaway or an exciting city experience, Abu Dhabi has it all. From its glistening skyscrapers to its stunning beaches, it is a city that is sure to impress. If you're planning a trip to Abu Dhabi, then you're in luck. This travel guide will provide you with all the information you need to help you plan the perfect adventure there. From the best places to stay to the best attractions to visit, you'll be ready to explore Abu Dhabi like a pro.

History 

Although the United Arab Emirates gained full autonomy in 1971, its history goes way back to 3000 B.C. Then, the people living in the region were nomads who lived off herding and fishing for sustenance. The area has remained the same for hundreds of years, except for the arrival of Islam. This brought about changes that either united or disintegrated the region.

Besides, the primary source of income for the region was camel farming and vegetable production in the mid-1900s. Although pearl diving and fishing were also crucial to the economy, they also played a minor role. Great Britain ruled the area for many years. But, after World War I, the tide started to turn. 

Although oil was first discovered in the UAE in 1958 by Sheikh Shakbut, the country's ruler, it was not exploited for its importance. The oil industry grew only after the family decided that Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahayan should be the ruler in 1966. After that, the UAE's oil industry thrived, thanks to Britain's support. In 1971, Britain handed complete control over Zayed.

Today, the UAE is thriving and has become very well-respected. According to Abu Dhabi's most recent census, the city had approximately 1 million residents. Furthermore, it is the largest of all seven emirates which make up the country.

Best Time to Visit 

Abu Dhabi's ideal times to visit are between April and May or September to October. Also, spring and fall seasons offer pleasant weather and low crowds. However, wintertime is the best time to visit Abu Dhabi, as it's not too hot or too humid. This is the peak season here. Business travelers are also able to snag all the city's taxis, and tourists flock to the beaches. Summer is the season to be if you want the best prices.

Things to Do & Places to See 

These are some of the best places and things to do in this city.

Al Mina 

Abu Dhabi's closest traditional souks are in the Al Mina port district. It is north of Al Zahiyeh. Also, Carpet Souk is located in the middle of small shops and a small square. Here, you can find valuable traditional rugs or kilims. Moreover, the Food Souk, located five minutes beyond this location, is primarily aimed at wholesale trading, but there are also colorful date merchants at its southern end. Also, the Al Mina Fish Market is a short distance to the west. It displays the day's catch along the quay.

Visit the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque 

The beautiful, magnificent Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is Abu Dhabi's most famous tourist attraction. It is made of white marble. This mosque blends elements from Mamluk and Ottoman designs to create a modern and harmonious building that upholds Islamic architecture.

The stunning effect was achieved by artists using glasswork and intricate carvings on the exterior and interior. It opened in 2007. It can hold nearly 40,000 worshippers and is the largest mosque in the United Arab Emirates.

Moreover, non-Muslims can enter all areas of the mosque, including the library. The mosque also offers regular guided tours for free. Furthermore, you can get to know Abu Dhabi by taking the Abu Dhabi City Tour. The five-hour tour includes a guide and visits to the Sheikh Zayed Mosque as well as the Etihad Tower observation deck. Besides, transportation and hotel drop-off and pickup are part of it.

Visit Heritage Village 

This is a scenic location on Corniche Road. It's a small, protruding piece of reclaimed land at its southern end. However, Heritage Village offers a selection of traditional Abu Dhabi. But the best part about it is the stunning Corniche views.

The village itself consists of several Barasti Houses. These include workshops where you can often see local artisans like carpenters and potters and brass-makers at work. However, the so-called traditional market is just a handful of women selling handicrafts.

Kayak Abu Dhabi's Eastern Mangroves 

See another side to Abu Dhabi's steel-and-glass exterior by exploring the mangrove forests still surrounding the island coastline. A variety of kayaking tours are also available. Besides, learn about the ecology of mangroves and explore the last remaining forests of the city with the Eco Tour. You can also sign up for night trips to discover mangroves while gliding through the water after dark. This is a unique way to have an unforgettable experience.

Explore Marina Mall 

This mall dominates Breakwater's center. It is built around a series of disorienting circular atriums with miniature fountains and covered with tent-style roofs. Non-shoppers will love the Corniche's glass-faced highrises. These views are best enjoyed from the hovering Marina Sky Tower at the back of the mall. You can also view them from either the Colombiano cafeteria or the Tiara revolving dining room. 

Masdar City 

If Yas Island seems like something you would expect from a place built on oil, Masdar City will surprise you. It is the core of a new zero-carbon, zero-waste green city that is car-free, utterly self-sufficient in energy, and uses solar power. This area is well worth a visit. It offers an excellent glimpse of what the twenty-second-century city might look like.

Enjoy a relaxing day on Saadiyat Island Beach.  

Saadiyat Island is Abu Dhabi's most popular sun-seeking destination. Saadiyat Beach is a white sand strip along the island's western shore. There are excellent facilities here. These include lifeguards on duty, a cafe, and lots of sun loungers.

You can also rent kayaks or windsurfing gear on the beach. Moreover, the protected dunes that surround the beach are home to hawksbill turtle nesting areas. The boardwalk is raised and wooden, so it is safe for visitors.

You can spend a more relaxing day on the sand by heading to the private Saadiyat Beach Club. Also, get a day pass to access this exclusive beach strip, which includes a pool, lounges, restaurants, and other amenities.

Culture & Customs

Abu Dhabi, the capital of UAE and one of seven UAE emirates, covers over 80 percent of the total area of the United Arab Emirates. This city is located on an island along the western coast. Abu Dhabi rose to the top of the list as the world's wealthiest city in 1958. Moreover, each emirate has its chief, which is entirely sovereign over his territory. The UAE, however, is governed by a federal government, with the sheik from Abu Dhabi as its president.

Visitors to the UAE can expect to see standard religious practices. These include prayer sessions five times per day and the observation of the Muslim holy days (every Friday). Although many business places and attractions close on Fridays due to Ramadan, the Islamic holy month, some businesses still operate during this time. However, avoid eating, drinking, and smoking during Ramadan if you are visiting.

Emirati culture also values modesty. Both men and women can be seen in Kanduras or Abayas. Locals also tend to cover their heads with headdresses. They call these Ghutra. Women also wear Sheylas and long veils called Burkas. While female tourists don't have to cover their heads in public, they must wear headscarves if visiting the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque. Also, visitors should not wear anything too revealing or tight and refrain from engaging in affectionate gestures such as hand-holding, kissing, or touching.

Abu Dhabi and UAE speak Arabic as their official language. However, English is widely used in the UAE. In terms of money, Emiratis do business in UAE dirhams. 

What to Eat 

Abu Dhabi is home to many cuisines. The city's popularity has led to the introduction of everything from Korean food to Russian dishes. You would be remiss to leave the UAE without trying some of the local dishes.

Emirati cuisine is heavily influenced by its location. The UAE's position in the Persian Gulf means that the UAE relies heavily on fish. Middle Eastern spices such as saffron and cardamom are prominent. Besides, chickpeas, yogurt, and meats such as chicken and goat are all popular ingredients. You may also find camel meat on the menu. Al Majboos is a spicy meat boiled with dried limes, saffron rice, and spices. Al Madrooba is a salted fish with nuts and spices in a thick sauce served with white rice.

Sometimes it is hard to find traditional Emirati cuisine in tourist areas. However, many eateries in Abu Dhabi's Al Mina district serve local cuisine.

Where to Stay 

These are the top places to stay in Abu Dhabi if you are unsure where to start.

Yas Island 

Yas Island is a great place to live in Abu Dhabi. Your family will enjoy a top-quality residence. It is also home to popular theme parks in the UAE. In addition, Yas Marina Circuit is home to Formula One events. Overall, this island is an excellent place to have fun. It has a famous mall and great nightlife.

The Corniche Area 

The Corniche Area is one of Abu Dhabi's most desirable areas for living. This is Abu Dhabi's most exemplary community, surrounded by stunning views of the sea. The iconic location offers many entertainment options. In addition, you'll enjoy a waterfront residence at the towers overlooking the ocean. Besides, every morning, the blue waters of the sea are your view.

Moreover, you don't need to worry about the services and facilities. Everything you need is right here. You will also have easy access to the beach and its modern facilities all year round.

This amazing community is one of Abu Dhabi's best. You will indeed have an unforgettable stay. It is also home to the Etihad Towers, some of the most desirable buildings in Abu Dhabi.

Al Reem Island 

Al Reem Island is where you will find the perfect place to call home. It is known for its magnificent and luxurious residential towers.

It is also a tranquil environment because it is a natural island. Besides, living on this island means you can stroll to the beach whenever your heart desires. It is also an excellent place for ex-pats to call home.

Mohammed Bin Zayed City 

Are you looking for the most affordable villa community? Then, Mohamed Bin Zayed City is the answer. This area can meet all your needs.

While Mohamed Bin Zayed City is the most affordable area to live in Abu Dhabi, it offers a unique experience. It also has top schools where your children can attend, so it is easy to move here and find a nursery or school that suits you. Living here is also a great choice if you are working in Mussafah.

Al Maryah Island 

What about living in an area with a vibrant feel but far from the crowds? Sounds wonderful? This is what you can enjoy at Al Maryah Island. It offers a modern lifestyle with a high-quality living environment.

It is Abu Dhabi's new Central Business District. There is also a separate residential area that can be used as a home.

Moreover, Al Maryah Island offers five-star hotels and tons of entertainment options. There are also shopping areas that feature top brands.

How to get around 

Driving is the best way to travel around if you plan to spend a lot of time in Abu Dhabi. However, although the major highways in the emirate are easy to navigate, there can be congestion. Therefore, if you plan to spend most of your vacation in Abu Dhabi, taxis and public buses will also work well. 

The Abu Dhabi Department of Transport maintains an extensive bus network in Abu Dhabi, as well as to and from other areas of the emirate, such as Al Ain, Al Gharbia, and Al Gharbia. You can also walk, but it is essential to avoid heat stroke, especially in the summer months. Furthermore, Abu Dhabi International Airport (AUH) is served by over 50 airlines. It is approximately 20 miles east of Abu Dhabi, near Yas Island's bridge.

How to Stay Safe 

Abu Dhabi, despite its geographical location, is very safe. The UAE does not intervene in conflicts that are taking place elsewhere in the Middle East. However, it would be best if you didn't let your guard down. Also, be vigilant in crowds. While women visiting Abu Dhabi should feel comfortable exploring on their own, it is essential to note that Emirati men are known to stare, most likely out of curiosity rather than to show disrespect.

Also, be careful with your valuables while exploring Abu Dhabi, just like in any other big city. The souks are a great place to hide petty crimes because of the large crowds.

Make sure you are drinking lots of water and that your skin is protected with sunscreen. Even if you don't plan to spend too much time outside, the sun's rays can cause severe health conditions such as heat stroke or sunburn.