10 Fun Things To Do In Abu Dhabi

If you’re wondering what to do in Abu Dhabi, and you think it’s mainly about the shopping, think again. There are lots of slightly more quirky things to do here too. So if you want to sidestep the obvious, we’ve put together a list of 10 fun things to do while you’re enjoying your stay in Abu Dhabi.

1) Take a 4x4 tour

Standing in the heart of Abu Dhabi with its gravity-defying buildings and steel and glass, it’s easy to forget you’re in the middle of a desert. So take a 4x4 tour to get out there and experience the vast emptiness that’s all around you. Many tours visit Al Ain, the ‘Garden City’ which stands as a green oasis in the desert.

2) See a magic carpet

The chances are you’ll visit Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque while you’re here, as it’s one of Abu Dhabi’s most famous buildings. So make your way to the main prayer hall, where you’ll see the world’s largest hand-made carpet. It took 2 years to weave, and covers an incredible 5,700 square metres (18,701 feet).

3) Get wet with the jet set

Venture out near the airport to Yas Island, the place where Abu Dhabi comes out to play. Yas Waterworld claims to be the world’s biggest water park, and it certainly feels like it. From slides to wave machines, from rafts to waterfalls, there’s a huge variety of ways to have fun and get wet.

4) Drive yourself crazy

While you’re on Yas Island, make sure to visit Ferrari World. The whole place is dedicated to everything Ferrari and Formula 1. Take a ride on Formula Rossa, the world’s fastest roller coaster. You’ll go so fast you’ll get to experience what G-force feels like!

5) Cycle the Formula 1 track

Yes, you read that right. Yas Island is home to Abu Dhabi’s Formula 1 racetrack, and it’s free to visitors every Tuesday. You can walk the track or hire bikes to cycle round if you’d rather pick up a bit of speed.

6) Go shopping

Okay, it had to feature at some point. If you’re looking for top-end fashion shopping, the Avenue at Etihad Towers is well worth a visit. Abu Dhabi Mall and Marina Mall also have a huge selection of stores, ranging from designer brand names to supermarkets. Yas Mall, the ultimate shopping destination, is located at the centre of Yas Island.

7) Prop up a building

Forget the Leaning Tower of Pisa. The Capital Gate building seems to defy gravity, leaning an incredible 18 degrees from the horizontal. Once you’ve got your breath back, it’s time for one of those ‘look at me holding up the building’ photos.

8) Swing your clubs

Saadiyat Island is shaping up to be an important centre for the arts, with both the Louvre and Guggenheim Museums opening here soon. But in the meantime, why not demonstrate your artistry on the golf course? The Saadiyat Beach Golf Club is the region’s first beachfront course.

9) Go kayaking

The Eastern Mangroves are a haven for wildlife, and you can get amongst it all by taking a kayaking tour. Your guide will point out the unique wildlife and vegetation as you paddle. Don’t forget to take sunscreen, and it’s a good idea to bring some water too.

10) See the Souk

Abu Dhabi’s Souk is a modern take on a traditional shopping market. Designed by Foster + Partners, the architects who designed London’s Gherkin, it looks like it’s an authentic Arabian market, but there’s plenty of modern day convenience and opulence for you to enjoy too.