Trip to Abu Dhabi
Welcome to the capital city of the UAE, the superpower of oil, the luxurious Abu Dhabi. The city has one of the highest per capita income rates in the world and this is depicted on the buildings, lifestyle, as well as on product prices. In a few words, in the emirate of Abu Dhabi all that glitters is gold! Golden hotels, golden stairways, golden bathrooms…you will even find coffee with flakes of gold!
Abu Dhabi turned to the tourism sector during the last few years and it seems to go on at a satisfactory pace. The emirate’s primary objective is to be established as a main destination and not an interesting daily excursion from Dubai (which is the case today). For now it may hold a secondary role, but soon the day will come when it will become one of the most must-visit holiday destinations. This is, of course, supported by the unfailing source of wealth which is based on the endless oil reserves of its land.
In a country that lives and breathes with excess, the construction mania has no end and money is not an issue for residents, there will be no moment when you will stay with arms crossed…as long as your wallet is full! Abu Dhabi addresses to those who love excess and yearn to experience the fairytale of the emirates and the nouveau riche lifestyle.
Take the trip to Abu Dhabi and live, if only for a few hours, as a Sheikh!
What is worth seeing in Abu Dhabi ?
1) Sheikh Zayed Grand MosqueIt is undoubtedly the most beautiful mosque in the world! It stands out because of its resplendent white look and the vast spaces, which can host up to 40,000 worshipers! It is so white that when the sunlight hits it, it blinds you, to the point of not allowing you to look at it for long.
Mini tips: a) The entrance to the Great Mosque is free b) Opening Hours: Saturday to Thursday 09:00-22:00 & Friday 17:00-19:00, c) The Great Mosque is closed on Friday morning. It opens for two hours in the afternoon 17:00-19:00. It is also closed for the entire day of Friday during Ramadan.
2) Ferrari World (Ferrari World)The amazing world of the Italian Ferrari automobile company is one of the most important reasons to visit the emirate of Abu Dhabi. Either you are fans of motorsports or not, the world of Ferrari will fascinate you with its design, events and sets, as well as with the unprecedented speed experiences it offers!
3) Emirates PalaceThe Emirates Palace is the most well-known hotel-resort in the city and one of the most well-known in the world. Although it is pretty old, for the modernized Abu Dhabi, it manages to maintain its fame due to gold. The valuable metal is what “dresses” a lot of features inside and outside of the hotel and it adds luxury! The Emirates Palace was also the first place in the world that served coffee with gold flakes and coffee with camel milk!
4) The Louvre Abu Dhabi museum The new Louvre Museum (The Louvre Abu Dhabi museum) is yet another architectural gem for Abu Dhabi. Its exterior look is on its own a reference point, while inside it hosts more than 300 works of art. As expected, it follows the steps of the original museum which is located in Paris, but it has its own identity.
5) Warner Bros Abu DhabiIf you are fans of cinema, then all roads lead to the land of the giants of film industry, Warner Bros. The 29 sets of well-known films, Hollywood shows and attractions of the noted company will take you on a journey through the world of American cinema.
6) Formula 1 Yas Marina CircuitNext to the Ferrari World you will find the Circuit of the top motorsport in the world, Formula 1! The fans of speed and cars will be impressed by the luxurious Yas Marina race track, while they will have the chance to drive a Supercar or even a –sort of- F1 (high cost)!
7) Mushrif Central Park Visit the Mushrif Central Park, one of the most beautiful and organized parks of the city. Inside you will find spaces for relaxing, exercising, a mini garden with animals and plenty of activities for the children. On weekends, concerts and various events take place, which are framed with food kiosks.
8) Souk Abu DhabiA visit to traditional markets (Souk), such as the Al Qattara, Al Mina, Al Ain, Al Zafrana, and others, will bring you closer to the city’s culture. Do not miss out on this wonderful experience, which is accompanied by a lot of local flavors.
9) Aldar HQAdmire up close the first circular building in the Middle East, the Aldar HQ. Its architecture will not let you get your eyes off of it, while its aesthetic will make you love it at the very first sight.
10) Yas MallOn the artificial Yas island you will find the largest (until the next one) mall in Abu Dhabi, the Yas Mall. Inside the luxury mall there are dozens of shops for shopping, activities and dining.
11) Jumeirah Αt Etihad TowersThe impressive skyscraper complex is nothing more than a hotel owned by the Etihad airline! It is consisted of five state-of-the-art skyscrapers, which stand out for their elegant design and their luxury. Visit them and have some coffee on the rooftop…It’s a must!
If you stay more than one day..
12) Walk in CornicheIt is worth taking a walk along the walkway of the Corniche beach and gazing at the Persian Gulf, having on the opposite side the skyscrapers that cover the sun.
13) Abu Dhabi Desert and Falconry lessonThe excursion to the desert of Abu Dhabi is one of the most interesting experiences. There you will have the opportunity for a camel ride, barbeque, sand skiing, while you can spend the night in a tent or some luxurious hotel. If you are looking for something different, reserve a spot for a Falconry lesson.
14) Υas waterworldThe solution to the extreme heat of Abu Dhabi is a visit to Yas Island’s Waterworld. Waterslides and dozens of water games will entertain and cool off people of all ages.
Info Abu Dhabi a) Abu Dhabi means…the gazelle’s father! b) The emirate is one of the three countries with the highest date production in the world (90,000 tons per year)! c) The Capital Gate is the building with the biggest inclination in the world. It is inclined by 18 degrees, while the Tower of Pisa is “merely” inclined by 5.5! d) Abu Dhabi is surrounded by 200 islands and inlets! e) The Formula Rossa, which is located in the Ferrari World, is the fastest roller-coaster in the world, reaching 240km/h in just 5 seconds! f) The Hyperloop one which will be connecting Dubai with Abu Dhabi, will be the fastest means of public transport in the world, with its speed reaching as high as 1,200km/h!!
Accommodation Abu Dhabi ?The emirate of Abu Dhabi has, proportionately, the most five-star hotels in the world. Don’t let this discourage you. As long as tourism (of more than one day) remains at low levels, the prices of the luxurious rooms will also stay low. So, with less than 100€ per day you can live like Sheikhs, in five-star hotels with a rooftop pool, spa, luxury amenities and a rich breakfast.
Check out the best hotels for Accommodation in Abu Dhabi
Southern Sun Hotel: Modern rooms, tasteful spaces, gym, roof pool and incredible luxury, at a very low cost! It is probably the most VFM option for accommodation in Abu Dhabi! Cost 90-120€
Khalidiya Palace Rayhaan by Rotana: The hotel will offer you a pleasant and economical stay. It is built right by the turquoise waters of the Persian Gulf and it is only 6km away from the city center. Cost 100-120€
Emirates Palace Hotel: It is one of the most famous hotels in the world. Many of its features are made of gold, while its amenities are princely. Prices are high, but not prohibitive for those who would like to live a dream! Cost 350-400€InterContinental Abu Dhabi: The time has come for you to stay at an InterContinental! With an affordable price and luxury amenities, the InterContinental Abu Dhabi will “spoil” you into the life of luxury! Cost 190-220€
Royal Rose Hotel: A hotel with a scent of the East and an atmosphere of excess, in the center of Abu Dhabi. The low price and many amenities render it as a pretty good choice. Cost 70-100€
Bab Al Qasr Hotel: A hotel that combines quality and Middle-Eastern architecture. It is located next to the Jumeirah Αt Etihad Towers and opposite the Emirates Palace Hotel. Cost 250-300€
Transportation Abu Dhabi ?Transportation in Abu Dhabi is the biggest problem, that when solved (in combination with the constant reconstruction), it will help Abu Dhabi skyrocket in terms of tourism. Distances are vast and only the metro will solve this problem!
For now, the best way to move around the city is by taxi (0.40€ per kilometer), as distances are long and bus-tram routes are complex.
In order to reach the city (from Dubai) (a) the most economical way is the bus, with routes from 05:00 until 21:00 and cost 8-10€ per person, (b) The most restful way is the taxi with cost 60€, while (c) the Hyperloop One (that will start operating in 2020) will be the fastest way, as it will connect the two cities in just 12 minutes!!
Food Abu Dhabi ?Food in Abu Dhabi, as in Dubai, is an easy subject, as the city has welcomed cuisines and flavors from all over the world. So, nobody will leave hungry! The restaurants have beautiful, Middle-Eastern décor and –most- are located inside hotels, so that they have the right to serve alcohol. We suggest you enter traditional markets, such as the Mina Fish Souk and the Al Mina fruit & vegetables Souk and shop some local products. Also, around them you will find plenty of local taverns with reasonable prices. For a two-person meal you will pay around 40-60€.
The best restaurants for food in Abu Dhabi..
Cafe Arabia: It is a wonderful place, with great food and tea. It is ideal for any time of day, while it has a great variety in reasonable prices.
Al Dhafra: The absolute Seafood restaurant is located –where else- close to the Mina Fish Souk. The rules are simple. You See, you Choose and you Enjoy the freshest fish in the city! Prices are pretty reasonable.
Kuzbara: For breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner, the buffet of Kuzbara (Marriott Hotel) will impress you with its options and quality of its viands!
Le Café: The famous coffee with gold flakes or with camel milk is being served for years now at the café of the Emirates Palace Hotel. Will you miss out on this experience?Lebanese Mill: It addresses to those who crave traditional Middle-Eastern dishes in good quality. Prices are at very reasonable levels.
Vasco’s: One of the restaurants of the Hilton hotel, serves quality Italian dishes, with a wonderful view and high prices.
Almayass: If you are fans of Armenian-Lebanese cuisine, then Almayass is a good choice. It offers tasty local flavors, in slightly high prices.
Lebanese Flower Khalidia: At the Lebanese Flower you will try tasty local flavors, in reasonable prices.
Tips Άμπου Ντάμπι
- The emirate of Abu Dhabi is the most conservative and has stricter rules than the one of Dubai. Caution!
- The public transport in the city is not working well. Use taxis for your transportation, as distances are long.
- Rainfall in the city is an –almost- unknown weather phenomenon.
- Kisses and hugs in public places are offenses! Caution!
- You can check out all the events held at the Mushrif Central Park HERE.
- The best season to visit Abu Dhabi is November to December.
- The emirate of Abu Dhabi is one of the safest cities in the world, with crime rates being at zero levels.
- The ideal visit time is one to two days.
- The average temperature in the city is 38°C in the Summer and 26°C in the Winter.
- At night the city is empty, so make sure you are there early in the morning.
- Do not throw trash outside of garbage bins. There are cameras all over the city and fines are steep.
- Smoking is prohibited in public spaces (there are special rooms for smokers).
- At the Great Mosque there are Free Tours daily at 10:00-11:00-16:45 & 16:45. The area that the tour starts is right of the entrance.
- It is prohibited to wear shirts with insulting or anti-religious content. It is an offense and brings upon a number of penalties (even deportation).
- Women’s clothing must NOT be provocative (short skirts, halter tops etc.). Compared to Dubai, clothing rules are stricter.
- The Ferrari World is a life experience! SOS: Visit it around 17:00, there are fewer people. This way you will have the chance to get everywhere without waiting long and without having to pay a fortune for Skip Line tickets!
- But if you come across large crowds, then you can go to the desks located inside the facilities and upgrade your ticket (to VIP ticket). It is worth because it provides skip line everywhere. Cost 150AED.
- The Great Mosque is closed on Friday morning. It opens for two hours in the afternoon 17:00-19:00. It is also closed for the entire day of Friday during Ramadan.
- At the Ferrari World you will find the fastest race track in the world!
- At the Emirates Palace, apart from coffee with gold and camel milk, do not miss the chance to tour the hotel. Gold is present even on signs!
- The Louvre Museum is closed every Monday.
Trip to Abu Dhabi: Complete guide