Abu Dhabi Itinerary with 5 Incredible Must-See Attractions You Should Visit

Planning out your Abu Dhabi Itinerary? Don’t overlook these top attractions. You’ll want to include each of these incredible must-see places in Abu Dhabi when you visit. They are among the best Abu Dhabi attractions for tourists.

If you get to these 5 attractions, then you will know you’ll have seen the most important highlights of Abu Dhabi. Keep reading to find out what they are.

abu dhabi itinerary

CONTENTS – In this article, you will learn about some excellent thing to see when you visit Abu Dhabi, including:

Where is Abu Dhabi?

abu dhabi map
Source: Google Maps

Abu Dhabi is the capital of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), located on an island in the Persian Gulf.

It’s connected to the mainland Emirate of Abu Dhabi by four bridges. Both are off the central west coast in the far west and southwest region of the UAE. You might recognize the five iconic towers of the Etihad Towers in the skyline.

Considered part of the middle east, Abu Dhabi is bordered by Iran to the north and across the Persian Gulf. Saudi Arabia is to the south and west, and Oman is to the southeast of Abu Dhabi. It’s about 87 miles (140 km) from Dubai.

The city of Abu Dhabi is the second-busiest city in the UAE. It is often overlooked in favor of its showier, busier big sister, Dubai. That’s easy to understand. In Dubai, you’ll find iconic attractions like the Burj Khalifa, Dubai Mall, Dubai Aquarium, and the famous Palm Jumeirah.

But Abu Dhabi is worth your time. 

Here’s why.

What to Expect in Abu Dhabi

In recent years, a growing number of tourists visiting Abu Dhabi appreciate its wonders. 

To give you a taste of what to expect when you visit Abu Dhabi, you’ll find:

  • Spectacular modern towers
  • Extra large and fun shopping malls
  • Numerous amusement park opportunities
  • Tranquility of the mangroves and Abu Dhabi Corniche beach
  • A vibrant city center with beautiful buildings
  • Beachfront resorts
  • Shimmering skyscrapers

Abu Dhabi offers so many exceptional things for visitors to experience. Yet, five Abu Dhabi visitor attractions stand out from the rest. 

Keep reading to find out what they are, below. 

Must See Attractions in Abu Dhabi

You won’t want to miss these 5 top attractions when you’re planning your Abu Dhabi itinerary.

1. Sheikh Zayed Mosque

sheikh zayed mosque abu dhabi

When it comes to Abu Dhabi’s spectacular architecture, the Sheikh Zayed Mosque is the best destination to see it.

Sheikh Zeyad mosque’s innovative architecture blends marble, gold, and gemstone components together for an incredible display of luxury! Plus, it’s the largest mosque in the country. 

This masterpiece also features the largest carpet on the planet. Not only is it a gorgeous work of art, but it’s over 60,000 ft² (5,630 m²).

These things combined make the spectacular Sheikh Zayed Mosque a must-see Abu Dhabi attraction.

In case you haven’t visited a mosque before, don’t worry. The staff at the Zeyad mosque are extremely pleasant. They’ll assist you with any question you have. 

You can take a tour of the mosque in several languages, which will guide you through the entire mosque. That way, you’ll become familiar with a bit about Islam during your visit, as well.

Be aware that the mosque is a spiritual place with firm laws. Therefore, you will have to adhere to a moderate dress code. If you’re not appropriately dressed, the Sheikh Zayed grand mosque offers a cost-free dress for you to use during your visit. 

The entrance fee for Sheikh Zeyad mosque is FREE. So, this is a great way to enhance your Abu Dhabi itinerary without any extra cost.

2. Desert Safari Abu Dhabi

desert safari abu dhabi

Going on a desert trip through the sand dunes is surely a dream for many, especially when you’re touring Abu Dhabi.

Similar to Dubai, you can experience this adventure in Abu Dhabi at different times of day. You can select a morning safari, or an evening or overnight experience.

The morning and evening safaris are most famous, and Abu Dhabi is the perfect place to take a guided tour of the desert.

The morning safari is generally scheduled either when the first sunshine hits the sand or later, around 9:00 am. Even though the early morning experience is unquestionably worth the cost, you’ll find excitement in all of the tours. Like the rush of dune bashing. 

On the other hand, an evening safari is the best choice to feature the genuine feel of the desert environment.

In addition to all the thrilling day experiences, you can:

  • Enjoy a spectacular sunset
  • Capture some terrific photographs
  • Revel in dinner under the shimmering night of the Empty Quarter Desert

To get the best deal, check out this Abu Dhabi desert safari tour operator.  

3. Louvre Abu Dhabi

louvre abu dhabi

You don’t want to overlook the cultural masterpiece of Louvre Abu Dhabi when you plan your itinerary. Presenting itself as an art and humanitarian museum, the building itself is an art piece itself, encompassed by the sea. 

Louvre Abu Dhabi art galleries host both ancient and present day art. It is currently the largest art museum in the Middle East. Galleries are organized by themes and date. Plus, you’ll find art from around the world represented in the Abu Dhabi Louvre museum.

In fact, the museum is referred to as following the original Louvre in Paris. This is based on an agreement between the governments of Abu Dhabi and France. What’s more, it also features non-permanent expositions from the original Louvre Paris as well. 

If you’re an art or history enthusiast, don’t miss the starry collection of over 600 masterpieces at the museum. 

While you’re there, add the Art Lounge at Louvre Abu Dhabi to your Abu Dhabi itinerary! This roof-top lounge bar is the best place to witness an epic nightfall. You can enjoy a Tapas-style menu of small bites. You’ll even find delicious gluten-free options here.

4. Emirates Palace, Abu Dhabi

emirites palace abu dhabi

Currently managed by the Kempinski Group of Hotels, Emirates Palace, Abu Dhabi opened to the public in 2005. It is a royal setting which provides as many as 394 rooms and suites. 

Emirates Palace extends over a thousand hectares. It proudly features:

  • Two state-of-the-art, environment controlled swimming pools
  • Premier spas
  • Subway parking
  • A marina
  • A two-helicopter helipad

Late afternoon tea is no less than tradition at Emirates Palace. Famous superstars, diplomats, and crucial persons of the UAE frequent its luxury and fame. So, you might even enjoy a celebrity sighting when you visit!

The emirates palace hotel interiors feature spectacular architecture, arabic furnishings, and marble floors. It’s a worthy symbol of Abu Dhabi. 

Perfectly located in the heart of Abu Dhabi, the Emirates Palace is convenient to a few of the major Abu Dhabi tourist attractions and important business centers. Those who stay at the ‘Emirates Palace’ call it an experience of a lifetime. 

There is absolutely no fee for visiting Emirates Palace unless you plan to stay overnight. 

5. Ferrari World, Abu Dhabi

ferrari abu dhabi
ferrari red coupe

Those who love theme parks wouldn’t leave Abu Dhabi without having to visit Ferrari World Abu Dhabi. You’ll find it in the middle of Yas Island.

Although Yas Island is filled with a variety of action-packed fun-based activities, Ferrari world is definitely the high point. In addition, on Yas Island you’ll find:

  • Yas Marina Circuit
  • Yas Waterworld
  • Yas Mall, the largest mall in Abu Dhabi

The indoor theme park of Ferrari World showcases the most remarkable Ferrari car models. It offers a combination of attractions to suit every age group. In fact, it has long been awarded the “Middle East’s Leading Tourist Attraction”, and the “Middle East’s Leading Theme Park” at the World Travel Awards

From zero-gravity roller coasters to F1 racing models, you’ll discover a range of rides and attractions pushing the boundaries of fun. Choose from a wide selection of Ferrari-themed rides intended to ‘wow’ guests with speed! 

When visiting Ferarri World, don’t miss the world’s fastest roller coaster. It travels at the speed of 250 km/h in a mind-boggling 4.9 seconds! 

If you love these kinds of experiences and have the extra time in your Abu Dhabi itinerary, you may also want to follow up with a visit to Warner Bros World Abu Dhabi.

Final Thoughts on Your Abu Dhabi Itinerary

When you’re planning your Abu Dhabi itinerary, it’s easy to over schedule your time in the capital city.

But, the best way is to focus on these top attractions. Then they will be the highlight of your trip, and you can fill in other activities to make a full day itinerary.

If you’re uncertain whether to visit Abu Dhabi or Dubai, consider this Dubai itinerary. Ideally, you can see the main attractions of both by making Dubai your next stop.

Another great day trip from Abu Dhabi is Saadiyat island, a natural island with spectacular views where you can book a luxurious hotel.

Whether you focus on the major attractions, cultural attractions, or the marina mall, you’re in the right place for having so much fun in Abu Dhabi.


Photo credits: Photos courtesy of Canva Pro, with the exception of Louvre Abu Dhabi – Sean Wang; Camels – Emily Liang; Feature photo – Nick Fewings; (Unsplash)

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