Abu Dhabi is Dubai’s slightly more shy but oh-so-glamourous little sister. If you’re not into the hustle and bustle of a high-rise metropolis but still love glitz, glamour, luxury hotels and plenty to see and do, all within a seven-hour flight from the UK, then Abu Dhabi is your answer!
If you’re a beach lover, Abu Dhabi, unlike Dubai, has natural beaches that are reminiscent of the Indian Ocean: Saadiyat Island enjoys a breathtaking 5.5-miles of powdery-white sand and a dazzling view of turquoise sea; dolphins and sea turtles can be spotted here – so if it’s paradise close to home you’re after, look to Saadiyat Island.
Opened in 2017, the Louvre Abu Dhabi is the largest Louvre museum outside of Paris. From the Old Masters’ famous works that we all know and love to the modern Japanese ‘Manga Room’, there is so much here to see and learn about. Palaeolithic hunting tools, fine Chinese Pottery and modern sculptures also await. The museum structure itself is a considered work of art, and the cage-like roofs cast scattered sunlight over the outside terraces.
For culture vultures, paying a visit to the stunning Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque means you can immerse yourself into the spiritual culture of the Middle East, while soaking up an environment that just oozes opulence. Sheikh Zayed had a vision to create a lavish new ‘Wonder of the World’ for his people but create a destination to share with people all over the world. It really is a sight to behold! The call to prayer is done live over a speaker and reverberates all over the city.
For a dose of pop culture, Warner Bros. World opened in 2018. Even in the heat of the Arabian summer, this huge, wondrous indoor theme park is cool and dust-free. Enjoy virtual reality experiences, roller coasters, kids’ attractions, shops and dining spots, so there’s fun for big kids as well as little ones! Warner Bros. World makes an excellent escape from the heat or to just do a big treat for a day out while on holiday. It’s even open in the evening, so you can still have your day in the sun and then an evening of fun!
For thrill seekers and car fanatics, the unique Ferrari World and the world’s fastest rollercoaster, Formula Rossa, is just screaming out for a visit. If you’re a petrol-head, why stop there? Stay in the iconic Yas Hotel Abu Dhabi on Yas Island for its spectacular location right in the middle of the Abu Dhabi Formula One race track! Have a go in a supercar or simply book a slot to go for a jog around the track. It’s a must-do while you’re in Abu Dhabi!
If you need to cool down after all that high-octane excitement, Yas Waterworld is the world’s second largest waterpark, after Wild Wadi Waterpark in Dubai. It houses countless flumes, pools, a roller coaster and a lazy river that are all just waiting for you to dive right in. With plenty of shady spots and sun loungers, there’s plenty for sun-worshippers and shade-bathers.