Although Dubai might be more famous, did you know that Abu Dhabi is actually the capital of the United Arab Emirates? It’s currently gaining popularity as an alternative stopover destination, too. Abu Dhabi has definitely caught my attention, as I’ve read a lot about it in the media recently. Here is my bucket list of Abu Dhabi attractions and adventures.
Marvel at the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque
This mosque is the largest in the United Arab Emirates, and it’s the seventh largest in the world. It features 82 domes, the world’s largest hand-knotted carpet, and 24-carat gold chandeliers. The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque website states that the architectural marvel was built to highlight “the heritage of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan. It commemorates his memory, his qualities, and his contributions to humanity.”
Image via All Dubai
Explore the Corniche
This promenade stretches along the water for over eight kilometres. Along the way you can stop at various restaurants, shops, and the beach. Corniche Beach actually has Blue Flag status, which guarantees clean and safe bathing water. Opposite the beach is Marina Mall, which is home to a giant Emirati flag atop a 110-metre flag pole. At the end of Corniche Road are the Etihad Towers, along with a mall filled with luxurious and exclusive brands.
Stay at the Intercontinental Abu Dhabi
I wouldn’t usually include a hotel on a bucket list, but not many hotels include private beaches or marinas on the Arabian Gulf. InterContinental Abu Dhabi is a five-star resort perfectly located between the city’s downtown area and Corniche Road. The hotel not only has a pool and private beach, but it’s also set high on a hill, which means it has breathtaking skyline and gulf views. You’ll also find a spa and several different dining options on site. In fact, it might be hard to leave the hotel to explore the rest of Abu Dhabi.
Have Fun on Yas Island
Yas Island should be renamed Fun Island. Car enthusiasts will love Ferrari World and the Formula 1 Marina Circuit. The whole family will enjoy a day at Yas Waterworld, with its 20 different slides and rides. This water park classifies its slides under four thrill levels, which helps the non-adrenalin junkies like myself. Yas Island also has a marina, a beach, a mall, and an arena that hosts many concerts. As I told you, it’s all about the fun.
Go on a Desert Safari
It can’t be an Arabian bucket list without venturing into the desert, right? Just an hour from Abu Dhabi, the adventure begins. There are plenty of desert safari options, and you can explore by camel, go dune driving or go wadi bashing. Visitors can also see the desert by day, night, or even stay overnight in a traditional Bedouin tent. Whichever option you choose, it is sure to be a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
These are just five things on my Abu Dhabi bucket list, but there are plenty more adventures waiting for me, and you, in the United Arab Emirates’ capital.
Thank you to IHG for sponsoring this post.