Top 15 Attractions in Abu Dhabi You Can’t Afford to Miss

Today, Abu Dhabi is counted among the most luxurious cities not only in the Middle East but across the entire world. From high-end retail brands to architectural marvels, glamour oozes from every corner of the city. But, the city as you see it today wasn’t remotely anything like this a few decades back.

The transformation of Abu Dhabi from a small fishing village to a megacity is nothing short of a rags-to-riches story. The discovery of massive gas and oil reserves led to its rapid urbanization which has put Abu Dhabi on the map for the world to explore. It stands today as a major tourist hub along with a huge culture and commerce center.

This metropolis is the place to go in the Middle East owing to the innumerable landmarks that it has in its vicinity. This list brings before you the place in Abu Dhabi that you can’t miss out on. We have tried and curated a list that is diverse and gives you a feel of the different flavors the city has to offer its residents and visitors. So, let’s get to know these places up and close.

The Best Places to Visit in Abu Dhabi

From splendid mosques to picturesque commercial buildings, from breathtaking theme parks to mesmerizing zoos, from luxurious hotels to amazing museums, the places of interest in Abu Dhabi cover a wide range, thereby ensuring there is something for everyone.

Make sure to include the following sites as part of your Abu Dhabi travel itinerary. And if you are a resident of the city, it is about time you cover all these gems of spots that are there around you. 

Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque

One of the most recognizable symbols of the city, the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque holds the distinction of being the largest mosque in the UAE. With 82 domes, the mosque is large enough to accommodate an astonishing 40,000 devotees at a time.

Taking 13 years to build, the mosque was inaugurated in 2007, the mosque was initiated by the former president of the UAE, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, with the intent that it would lead to a place where the cultural diversity of the Islamic world will be united in one place. The architectural beauty of the mosque brings thousands of both believers and non-believers to the site.

The Kufic calligraphy impressions on the minarets, pillars, and walls of the mosque give it the artistic style that makes it a wonder to look at. The marble used in the construction of the mosque was of some of the finest qualities – Sivec, Makrana, East White, Ming Green, Lasa, Acquabianca, Bianco P that were brought in from Italy, India, China, and North Macedonia.

Louvre – Abu Dhabi Museum

Billed as “the largest French project abroad”, the Louvre is an art museum situated on Saadiyat Island in Abu Dhabi. Named after the iconic French museum, it was constructed after an agreement between the two countries was signed in 2007. Soon after it was established in 2017, it became the most visited museum in the Arab World.

With over 600 marvelous pieces of art kept on display, including the majestic works of Claude Monet, Leonardo da Vinci, Van Gogh, and Giovanni Bellini, among others, this is an ideal place for anyone who has an appreciation for art. Add to the fact that the web-patterned dome allows for the sunrays to filter through, creating beautiful imagery.

After a stroll through the finest collection of artwork, have a moment with yourself by sipping your favorite beverage at the Aptitude Café, the museum’s very own coffee bar, by the picturesque view of the lake beside.

Emirates Palace Mandarin Oriental

The epitome of luxury, the Emirates Palace Mandarin Oriental is the most sophisticated 5-star hotel in Abu Dhabi. With over 390 residences, you will have the pleasure of living in suites that are furnished with gold and marble, getting the royal treatment of your dreams. It is also one of the most expensive hotels ever built, with around $3 billion spent on its construction.

The hotel also boasts a marina, two spa facilities, two helipads, more than 40 meeting rooms, and numerous high-end luxury shops and world-class restaurants including BBQ Al Qasr, Hakkasan, Le Vendome, and Mawal, where you can fine dine in style. And, to top it all off, it also has its own private beach, which extends to over 1.3 km long, where you can take a leisurely stroll to unwind yourself from the chaos of the day. 

This is not just a hotel; it is the definition of Arabian hospitality at its finest. Offering modernity in every aspect while still maintaining the authenticity of the Arabian touch, this place offers you the grand staycation that you deserve. With two temperature-controlled swimming pools, lush gardens, and a kids club, among others, there is never a dull moment in this place.

Warner Bros. World Abu Dhabi

An indoor theme park like no other, you truly get a perspective of why over $1 billion was needed for the construction of Warner Bros. World Abu Dhabi once you have a tour of it. The world’s biggest indoor theme park, it will instantly take you to a whole new world straight out of your favorite fantasy movies filled with the iconic cartoon characters you grew up with.

As you stroll through the park, you will find your favorite cartoon characters all around the outlets, rides, and attractions. You will get to interact and click pictures with Bugs Bunny, Sylvester, Taz, Shaggy, Tweety, Daffy Duck, Scooby-Doo, Road Runner, Fred Flinstone, Catwoman, Batman, Harley Quinn, The Joker, Wonder Woman, Superman, Supergirl, Green Lantern, Aquaman, and Cyborg, among many others.

Its massiveness is apparent from the fact that even an entire day won’t suffice for you to explore all its rides and attractions. Whether it is the Tom and Jerry – Swiss Cheese Spin or the Batman – Knight Flight, the Scarecrow Scare Raid or the Fast and Furry-ous, the Justice League – Warworld Attacks, or the Riddler Revolution, this theme park will leave you with memories that will last a lifetime.

YasMarina Circuit

For all those adrenaline seekers, the Yas Marina Circuit is where you need to get yourself to if you want to get unparalleled views for endless thrills that will create unforgettable moments. The Yas Marina Circuit is home to the much anticipated annual Abu Dhabi Grand Prix that has seen the likes of legendary race car drivers such as Lewis Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel, Kimi Räikkönen, Nico Rosberg, ValtteriBottas, and Max Verstappen get behind the wheels. 

Situated on Yas Island near Abu Dhabi, this is one of the most popular Formula One tracks in the Middle East. With five grandstand areas, it has been hailed as the ultimate motorsports entertainment that allows you to explore the inside out of advanced Formula One circuits.

One of its highlights is that you get to experience the two-hour public guided tour that gives you an up-and-close look into the world of race drivers that is reserved only for professionals. The thrill of viewing the race cars is something that is unparalleled, especially when you see them in action. And that’s not all! You can even book a driving or passenger experience, which is the closest to a Formula One racing you will probably ever get in your life.

Ferrari World Abu Dhabi

Keeping in line with the race car driving experience, the next attraction on our list that you have to visit while you are on your Abu Dhabi trip is the Ferrari World. Spread over an area of a whopping 86,000 sq m, the Ferrari World Abu Dhabi is the first-ever Ferrari-themed indoor park in the world. This is for everyone who wants to experience an adrenaline spike at a moment’s notice.

Situated on Yas Island, the Ferrari World features more than 40 jaw-dropping attractions including the tallest space-frame structure in the world, the highest loop ride, and the fastest rollercoaster in the world. While here, stay prepared to always have your heart beating out of your chest in the most dynamic manner than it ever probably has.

The Formula Rossa which goes from a speed of 0 to 240 km/h in 4.9 seconds is an absolute favorite among the crowds. So are the Flying Aces, Fiorano GT Challenge, Turbo Track, Flying Wings, Mission Ferrari, and Junior Grand Prix. Just the sheer idea of being under the legendary Ferrari red roof is bound to spark your energy to a sky-rocketing height that is seldom achieved in regular life.

Emirates Park Zoo and Resort

If you are looking to get a respite from the hustles of the megacity to immerse in the wildlife, then the Emirates Park Zoo and Resort is awaiting your presence. Located in Al Bahyah, this zoo has an eclectic collection of wild animals from around the globe that will give you an edutainment experience like no other. Undoubtedly, you will get a whole new appreciation for making the planet a safer space for wildlife.

From wildcats such as tigers, lions, panthers, and leopards to herbivores such as donkeys, hippopotamus, elephants, deer, alpacas, goats, zebras, and horses, from birds such as eagles, cranes, ostrichs, hawks, toucans, owls, and parrots, to reptiles such as pythons, alligators, crocodiles, and iguana, you will find them all habituating in this destination.

Furthermore, you will also get the opportunity to participate in activities such as zip lining, bird show, sea lion show, and magic show along with feeding ducks, crocodiles, hippos, elephants, koi fish, ostrich, and giraffes, among others. Believe it or not, you can even have breakfast and dinner with elephants, birds, giraffes, and leopards.

Al Ain Palace Museum

Considered to be one of the most vital tourist spots of the country, The Al Ain Palace Museum used to host the founding father and the first President of UAE, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, and his family. Taking visitors on a time ride of how the city transformed after the discovery of petroleum, the museum opened its doors to visitors at the turn of the millennium in 2001.

There is no better place to get insights into the rich history of the UAE than this marvelous attraction. The conglomeration of the courtyards that brings together the private and the official facilities under a single complex is a sight to behold in itself. On top of that, the building materials used in the construction were both environmentally friendly and locally sourced.

The palm tree motifs present on the windows, doors, ceilings, and walls of the structure add to its aesthetic appeal. Get a closer look at the lifestyle of the royal family and witness the contrast between the traditional Emirati influences and the modernistic elements of design while appreciating the history of the city.

Al Jahili Fort

One of the most recognizable historical evidences still present in the city, the Al Jahili Fort was established in 1891 to protect palm farmers and later to maintain inter-tribal peace. Located on the southern side of Al Ain, this castle is a striking symbol of Arabian fine architecture with breathtaking watchtowers and balconies.

A favorite amongst historians and photographers, this place stands strong after it was restored and renovated in 2007-2008 by the Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture & Heritage. It was during this phase that several new infrastructures were erected including curio and gift shops, a visitor’s office, and a public square of cultural activities and exhibitions.

Giving you a taste of the old Abu Dhabi along with the modernistic touch of its restoration, this fort perfectly encompasses the merge between the old traditions and the modern adaptability of the city.  Stroll through the lush gardens and exhibition halls and get a gravity of the rich past of the city that is a matter of pride for the residents.

Yas Water World

Want to escape the scorching heat of Abu Dhabi by splashing into the cool waters and enjoying the effervescent waves of a lagoon? Yas Water World brings you the ultimate lagoon and sea experience. One of the largest water theme parks in the country, you have over 40 rides, attractions, and slides for people of varied ages to choose from to spend your weekend like a true beach lover.

If you are into bodyboarding, then the Rush Rider is for you, if you want to go surfing on the world’s largest sheet water, then head to Bubbles Barrel, drop straight down from the first freefall waterslide in the region in Liwa Loop, experience six slides together in Slithers Slides – honestly, you will run out of breath exploring everything the park has to offer.

In between enjoying the rides, you can leisurely treat yourself in the park lounges in the Al Waha Cabanas for a true VIP experience. And all the ladies out there, if you want to have some girl time in privacy, visit the park on a Friday where you will be surrounded by only female staff and visitors, for the ultimate girl’s day out.

Marina Eye

Standing at a height of 60 m against the backdrop of the Corniche Breakwater and one of the hottest shopping centers of the city – the Marina Mall, the Marina Eye is a striking symbol of Abu Dhabi, giving the skyline of the city a chic, modernistic appeal.  With 42 capsules, it offers unparalleled views of the city from an elevated height that will blow your mind away.

With a Ferris wheel decked with leather interiors, treat yourself to the air-conditioned ambiance as you see the city from a whole new height, thereby, getting a perspective on the vastness and modernization the emirate has achieved over the past several decades. A live audio guide gives you a narration of the history of the visible attractions from the Ferris wheel. 

As the sun goes down, its appearance is marked by striking night lights that just seem like a page from a fairy tale, adding to the aesthetics of the city. The entire five minutes of the ride that you spend in the capsule is worth it because the vibes you will experience here are going to be immaculate.

Mangrove National Park

The stark contrast that you will notice between the high-rise building and the ever-hustling urban area of Abu Dhabi and the peace and tranquillity in the Mangrove National Park couldn’t be any bigger. A perfect place to get acquainted with the environment and biodiversity, this park covers around 75% of the entire mangrove forest area of the country.

The park is protected by the EAD (Environment Agency Abu Dhabi) and comprises magnificent water channels, dense vegetation, and flourishing wildlife. To truly get an appreciation of nature, the park provides opportunities for you to go kayaking, paddle-boarding, and private boat touring led by instructors and professional operators.

You can extend the tranquillity by staying at the nearby Anantara Eastern Mangroves Hotel, which is a heavenly retreat within the backdrop of the lush landscape. Being this close to this part of nature will show you a whole new side of the city that you probably didn’t guess existed before. Develop an appreciation for the trees in the region that protect against tidal surges while curbing down carbondioxide. Even breathing here will be an enriching experience.

Etihad Towers

A splendid display of architectural art, the Etihad Towers is a 5-tower residential and commercial complex that provides a luxurious opportunity for its residents, workers, and visitors to live, work, stay, dine, tour, and shop in style while taking a panoramic view of the Arabian Gulf. There are three residential towers, a business tower, and a 280 m high 5-star Conrad hotel that will serve every single purpose that you may have as a resident, worker, or tourist.

Perhaps the most striking aspect of the complex is the Observation Deck at 300 located on the 74th floor of Tower 2 which will give you the pleasure of viewing the city in some breath-taking shots. The high-powered telescopes give you a detailed view of some of its architectural genius neighbors, like that of the Emirates Palace, Grand Mosque, and the Corniche. Not to forget, the sunset views make for a romantic outlet like no other.

If you are not staying at the hotel, then you can still have access to it through an entry fee which you can redeem for food and drinks at the restaurant present at the Observation Deck. We highly recommend you enjoy a high tea while taking in the skyline view of the city as part of your itinerary of Abu Dhabi.

Abu Dhabi Falcon Hospital

UAE pays extra attention to things that are a matter of pride to them, and among them is their national bird – the falcon. To provide relentless care and service to this majestic bird, the Abu Dhabi Falcon Hospital was established. One of the largest veterinary care centers in the country, the center provides exclusive services to falcons while also providing adoption facilities for a myriad of other animals.

Visit this animal shelter and be part of the positive change in the lives of these harmless souls. If you want to invest in a charitable cause for animals, this is where you need to visit. Even a casual visit to encounter the animals is bound to elevate your mood because of the unconditioned love that you witness from them.

A tour of the hospital is going to introduce you to the world of falconry and also allow you to participate in the traditional desert sport of letting a falcon perch on your arms under the supervision of a professional guide. Experience the falcon pedicure treatment and explore the on-site museum for truly a one-of-a-kind experience.


A dream destination for the young visitors and residents of the city, KidZania is one of the largest interactive indoor activity-packed city attractions that serves as a replica of the real city with elements of education and entertainment meant for children aged 4-16. Spread over an area of a whopping 55,000 sq m, there are more than 60 real-life activities for your kids to participate in while in here.

It offers ample experimental learning opportunities while having fun in the form of role play wherein children get to assume the roles of doctors, fashion designers, astronauts, airplane pilots, and police officers, among others, and develop core decision-making skills while learning how to be independent and self-reliant.

Professionally trained adults supervise your kids to become future educators, game-changers, pioneers, and community leaders in their respective fields while still having fun. Furthermore, children also develop an understanding of finance through KidZania’s functional economy and currency – KidZos, and participate in the citizenship program to take their learning to an elevated level.


Abu Dhabi is undoubtedly one of the cities that has lived through a Cinderella-like transformation. Its modernization can give most other developed cities around the world a run for their money. The diverse culture of the city is also reflected in its most visited tourist attractions which range from a mosque to a race car driving track.

These are some of the most iconic spots of the city that you have to visit to give your trip to Abu Dhabi a wholesome appeal. The city stands as a symbol of pride for the entire Middle East. The architectural geniuses and marvelous attractions prove time and time again why this is one of the most visited cities around the world.