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Best attractions of Abu Dhabi, that makes you forget Dubai

Which city comes immediately to mind when you consider a trip to the UAE? Dubai! Yes, it happens almost by default. Have you been to Abu Dhabi yet? You’ll be surprised at just how many fabulous attractions are there in Abu Dhabi; that rival what Dubai has and more. Have you seen the Grand Sheikh Zayed Mosque yet, or been to Ferrari Island? Yes, Abu Dhabi is chock full of surprises, even for those who’ve visited this wonderful travel destination before. So,  journey with us to find the wonderful attractions of Abu Dhabi.

Best Attractions of Abu Dhabi

Capital Gate

When you first look at the Capital Gate Tower, Abu Dhabi, you’ll feel some concern as to the building’s safety. Don’t worry, it’s meant to look like that. The building leans westwards to an astonishing 18-degrees. The Capital Gate Tower is located at Khaleej Al Arabi Street. The structure is meant to be a modern day challenger to the Leaning Tower of Pisa. The Capital Gate’s lean is more than four times that of Pisa’s famous Leaning Tower. The tower is 160 meters (524.9 ft.) high and has 35 levels. In fact, the Capital Gate has been certified by the Guinness World Records as the ‘World’s Furthest Leaning Man Made Tower.

Capital Gate Abu Dhabi- Top attractions of Abu Dhabi

Al Ain

Not far from the busy city of Abu Dhabi is the pristine, peaceful and lush oasis of Al Ain. It is dubbed as Abu Dhabi’s garden city. This golden world is empty apart from 100 feet dunes, the odd oil well or power pylon. It’s a lush paradise filled with palm trees and greenery far beyond your imagination of desert greenery. While at Al Ain, don’t miss a visit to the Al Jahili Fort, which is a permanent exhibition memento to the great British travel writer and explorer Wilfred Thesiger. Al Ain is one of the topmost tourist attractions of Abu Dhabi.

Al Ain Abu Dhabi -Top attractions of Abu Dhabi

 The Hidden Gold Souk

There’s a fabulous Gold Souk hidden in the Madinat Zayed Shopping Centre. The hidden gold market has so much gold it puts any Dubai market to shame. The quality and selection of the gold jewelry are undeniable. Watch in awestruck admiration as wall after wall of shelving is uncovered, all bearing the most fabulous 24, 22 and 18-carat jewelry. The Madinat Zayed Gold Souk is a real find for people looking for gold bargains.

Madinat Zayed Shopping Centre - Top Attractions of Abu Dhabi

The Corniche

The Corniche is a grand four-mile waterfront promenade that offers a number of places for families to picnic in verdant grassy alcoves. There are many pristine, fully-guarded beaches for people to enjoy as well. Pay homage to the Emirate’s flag, as big as a bus set on top of a 360ft pole and the 18-degree westward-learning Capital Gate Tower as you stroll along. Check out the Avenue Mall at Etihad Towers and the Qasr al Hosn Fort, Abu Dhabi’s oldest building a few blocks down the Corniche.

Abu Dhabi Corniche- Attractions of Abu Dhabi

Yas – The Island Of Adventure

Yas Island is an adrenaline-rich, red-hot arena full of the most energy-filled rides. Watch your knuckles turn white as you go adventuring on Yas Waterworld’s incredibly spectacular water slides. It is said to be the world’s biggest water park, Yas Waterworld will keep you on edge with a dizzying array of slides, endless wave machines and raft rides that pass through terrifying ravines, caves, and tunnels.

Yas Island - Top Attractions of Abu Dhabi
Yas Island – Top Attractions of Abu Dhabi

Ferrari World

Ferrari World is the first theme park in the world dedicated to the famous racing car, the Ferrari. The outstanding ride in Ferrari World is Formula Rossa, dubbed the world’s fastest rollercoaster, touching 150mph at its fastest. The city’s Formula 1 tracks await adventurous souls to take to the wheel of a true-blue racing car and zoom along. You can bike or even run on the Formula 1 racing track every Tuesday for free. Don’t miss the Du Arena, which draws great performers like Sting for star-filled music and drama performances.  

Ferrari World- Top attractions of Abu Dhabi

The Louvre Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi’s most ambitious project so far, the Louvre Abu Dhabi, is finally open. The Louvre Abu Dhabi presents the grandest and greatest of the world’s treasure trove of art borrowed from various European museums including the Louvre, Paris. It brings great culture and advancement to Abu Dhabi, at its cultural district on Saadiyat Island. The Louvre in Abu Dhabi is the only franchise of the Paris Louvre in the world, and as such is a unique must-visit destination in Abu Dhabi.

Louvre Abu Dhabi- Top attractions of Abu Dhabi

The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque

One of the world’s largest mosques, the Sheikh Zayed Mosque can hold an incredible 40,000 worshippers at the same time. Feast your eyes on the unbelievable 82 domes, 1,000+ columns, the world’s largest hand-knotted Iranian carpet, and 24 carat-gold-gilded chandeliers. The main prayer hall is dominated by one of the biggest chandeliers in the world; it measures 15 meters in height and 10 meters in diameter and weighs an astonishing twelve tonnes. The mosque is surrounded by reflective pools which amplify its ethereal beauty. Don’t miss watching the mosque’s striking white and gold colors that create their own reflected tapestry during sunset.

Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque - Top Attractions of Abu Dhabi
Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque – Top Attractions of Abu Dhabi

Futuristic Zero-Carbon City

Abu Dhabi is the first city to pioneer a zero-carbon footprint city, where cars are not allowed. Masdar City, located near the airport, is completely off the grid; it’s powered entirely by solar power and the hot, strong winds that blow off the desert sands. Driverless pods run all around the city, for transport. The layout of the city is similar to ancient Arabian streets, with narrow alleys. When complete, Masdar City will be the most eco-friendly Arabian town in the world.

Masdar City- Top Attractions of Abu Dhabi

Arabian Wildlife Park

The Arabian Wildlife Park is located on Sir Bani Yas Island. This park houses more than 10,000 free-roaming animals. The entire park takes up more than half the island’s space. There are purpose-built viewing platforms for visitors to get an eyeful of wild animals. From these platforms, it’s possible to get up close the island’s giraffes as they crop leaves. Each platform is made out of recycled materials. The park holds many Arabian Oryx, cheetahs, hyenas, gazelles, and giraffes, apart from other wild animals. The Arabian Wildlife Park is one of the tourist attractions in Abu Dhabi that you mustn’t miss.

Arabian Wildlife Park -Top attractions of Abu Dhabi

Conclusion – Best Attractions of Abu Dhabi

As you can see, Abu Dhabi has an array of wonderful attractions that Dubai cannot match. Each one is unique and must-see if you’re in the UAE. Dubai has much to offer; however, don’t discount attractions of Abu Dhabi in comparison. Abu Dhabi is slowly but surely shaping into a grand competition for Dubai. Make your travel arrangements today and check out the attractions of Abu Dhabi we’ve listed for you!

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Best Attractions of Abu Dhabi that make you forget Dubai

Guest-Post Author Bio

Neha Singh is a postgraduate in Mass Communications, who loves everything about life. Traveling is extremely close to her heart and writing came to her naturally. An avid trekker & explorer, who often takes off some time from her busy life for mountaineering. She loves meeting new people & gets attached to their culture very easily. Her ambition is to explore as many places as she can in her life. She strongly believes in Gandhian principle – “simple living high thinking”.

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13 thoughts on “Best attractions of Abu Dhabi, that makes you forget Dubai”

  • I did not knew there are so much places to see in Abu Dhabi. I liked Capital gate, Ferrari world and the the Louvre Abu dhabi. I think it will take a week day time to visit the place with so much to cover from great architect to Museums and the beach 🙂

  • I’ve only seen Dubai, but this post makes me want to visit Abu Dubai now! I’ve always drooled over pictures of the beautiful Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, but I had no idea about other places like their own Louvre.

  • I can’t believe the Capital Gate Tower leans 18 degrees. It is so amazing. The Yas Waterworld seems like fun. I am sure my kids would love to visit the worlds largest water park. From super unique arcitechture, wild life and rides and great shopping; guess I need to visit Abu Dhabi and soon. Thanks for the great article.

  • My Auntie and Uncle just returned from Abu Dhabi and loved it, and your pictures and list match their experience too. I would love to see the Grand Mosque. It really blows me away, I can’t believe something so beautiful exists. Capital Gate Tower is so unusual too!

  • Wow! Abu Dhabi is such a mixure of extreme modernism – and Arabian Culture , It feels futuristic for sure. I would love to see the Louvre and the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque. My husband will get lost in Ferrari world – since he watches the F1 of Abu Dhabi every year. Your pictures are sensational, nice work.

  • Abu Dhabi sounds and looks incredible! It looks way cooler than Dubai to me! Capital Gate does look a little scary, but I’d still love to see it! I’d also love to visit the wildlife park.

  • Most people relate to Dubai when we talk about the UAE. But there is so much to the UAE beyond Dubai. The seven Emirates that make up the UAE are each great and unique destinations on their own. Abu Dhabi has some great experiences to offer. Grand Sheikh Zayed Mosque is definitely one of the grandest in the world. Ferrari World and the Louvre are other modern attractions that make Abu Dhabi an attractive destination.

  • I did not know about the Capitol Gate Tower — in fact, I’m surprised I’ve never even seen a picture of it before. That’s so cool! I’d love a stroll along the Corniche — what a beautiful promenade. And the Louvre Abu Dhabi? I’d seriously never seen a photo of that either. What a cool-looking building! Love the color and the curves. I wonder if it takes days to see everything inside it just like the Paris Louvre?

  • I am so happy to see this post. I grew up in Abu Dhabi and I always felt it was way more beautiful than Dubai. Sadly it has always been overshadowed. Glad to see that this is slowly changing with these attractions. This post really makes me want to go there again

  • I am a little apprehensive about saying that these attractions in Abu Dhabi put Dubai to shame. I live here and although these places you’ve listed here are really cool and amazing, I still prefer Dubai. Don’t get me wrong, I am also not a city person and there’s just too much concrete here in Dubai vs other emirates. But apart from the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, I still feel there are much better and more exciting places in Dubai comparatively. The Capital Gate has an interesting architecture and the Yas Beach is lovely but then we have so many gorgeous buildings and beaches here in Dubai as well!

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