Things to do in Abu Dhabi

A 3 day Tour of the Capital!

getting henna on a desert safari

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Here are all the great things to do in AbuDhabi!

You can easily see the highlights of Abu Dhabi is three days by following this outline, of course make adjustments where you feel the need but the basic plan will get you through 3 fascinating, fun packed days in Abu Dhabi. 

Day 1 - Things to do in Abu Dhabi in 72 Hours!


Day 1

8:30am - Qasr Al hosn Fort, the Old Fort or the White Fort was constructed in 1793 and was the official residence of the ruling Al Nahyan family. Today the fort is home to a museum.

10:00am - Take a free tour of the Sheik Zayed Grand Mosque, one of the biggest mosques in the world the stunning architecture is a perfect example of Islamic style.

11:30am – 1pm - Rainbow Car Museum or the Falcon Hospital

1pm – 4pm - The five museum complex on Saadiyat Island may not be completely open to the public yet but already the building has won architectural acclaim and at least two of the galleries are open. Eventually (scheduled opening is some time in 2012) the complex will include the Zayed National Museum, the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi, the Louvre Abu Dhabi, a performance center and the Maritime Museum.

4pm- 530pm Having refreshed yourselves at your hotel take a stroll along the Corniche and watch the sun go down.

530pm-7pm Enjoy a delicious meal at one of Abu Dhabi's best restaurants.

7pm-9pm Finish off your action packed day with a cruise up the Abu Dhabi Creek and a relaxing dinner aboard a traditionally built wooden dhow boat.



Day 2: Cultural Things to do in Abu Dhabi

Day 2

8:00am – 9:30am – Get an early start before it gets too hot and visit the Abu Dhabi Heritage Village (read more) where you can see a recreated traditional Bedouin village and how the locals used to live before their lives changed with the discovery of oil. There is a souk, old mosque, Bedouin tents, camels, craft workshops and demonstrations in weaving, pottery and glass blowing. The site also has restaurants and amenities.

10:00am – 1pm – A visit to Abu Dhabi would not be complete without some time spent on one of the beaches or by the side of your hotel pool. Many of the hotels have private beaches you can access from the pool area.

1:30pm – 3pm - For lunch try one of the authentic Arabian restaurants in the finest Abu Dhabi hotels.

3:30pm – 8:30pm - Your desert safari starts when you get picked up from your hotel by a professional tour guide who will whisk you away in a 4X4 jeep into the Arabian desert.

These tours typically include dune bashing (driving at high speed up and down the sand dunes) and a visit to a camel farm.

Also on these tours you can try sand boarding or maybe even buggy driving (depending what you agree with your tour guide). The tour ends at a traditional Bedouin camp where you will be fed with Bedouin delicacies, can have henna designs painted on your hands or feet and honored with some entertainment, like belly dancing.



Day 3: Shopping and more Things to do in AbuDhabi

Day 3

8:30am – 9:30am – At the Women's Handcraft Center you can see traditional crafts on display in the Exhibition Hall and in the back workshops see women at work weaving on looms, embroidering, basket making and making textiles. Some of the items are also on sale.

12:30pm - Stop to catch your breath at the elegant Emirates Palace Hotel where you can enjoy afternoon tea. While in this hotel check out the Cultural District Exhibition which traces the creation of the museum complex being built on Saadiyat Island.

2pm – 8pm - Use the rest of the day to partake of one of Abu Dhabi's favorite sports – shopping!

You won't have to look far for a shopping center, there is the Marina Mall (with a musical fountain) in the Water Breaker area (read more here); the three story Abu Dhabi Mall in the Tourist Club Area; the Al Wahda Mall; the Khalidiya Mall and the beautifully designed Shangri La Souk attached to the Shangri La Hotel. For gold go to the Madinat Zayed Gold Center and close by you'll find the Abu Dhabi Gold Souk with about 100 stores selling gold jewelry. Visit the Central Souk on Khalifa Street for more retail therapy.


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