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All the amazing things to do in Abu Dhabi and beyond

a collage of the Ultimate list of things to do in Abu Dhabi featuring local Emiratis with camels, a lady free falling zero gravity at Clymb Abu Dhabi, a race track with cars at Yas Marina Circuit, Big bus parked with tourist and underwater fun at

Now there’s no excuse for staying home with our curated list of things to do in Abu Dhabi

The capital and emirate is amazing and of course there are so many things to do in Abu Dhabi, whatever the weather.

There’s so much to do from the best beaches in Abu Dhabi, fabulous pool days in Abu Dhabi, so many restaurants, family and entertainment to arts and culture, walks, indoor things to do in Abu Dhabi, things to do for kids and so much more.

But fear not, let us here at Yalla do all the work for you with our amazing things to do in Abu Dhabi and beyond listicle.

Here goes!

 

Shop till you drop

 


Abu Dhabi has no end of shopportunity for those loving a bit a retail therapy. And we think a great place to start is one mall which is at the very heart of the community, Abu Dhabi Mall. The bustling mall is brilliant for fashionistas, those looking to fill up on good food, sports and fitness by way of Fitness First, workshops and things to do for kids, catch a movie, and so much more.  See you there!

For more information, visit Abu Dhabi Mall

 

Take in the sea breeze

 

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The weather’s hotting up, but you can still head to the beautiful Abu Dhabi Corniche very early morning or after the sun sets to enjoy the beauty of it spanning almost 8km along the Abu Dhabi shoreline. Every day the pavement comes alive with walkers, joggers and cyclists from the port of Abu Dhabi right up to West Corniche where standing tall are a plethora of luxury hotels. Kissing the pristine waters of the Indian Ocean, the Corniche has become one of the best activities to visit for tourists and residents alike.

 

 Island fun

 

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Looking for free fun in Abu Dhabi? Head to Al Hudayriat Island! This stunning spot, accessible by a cool bridge from the main island, offers a public beach with loungers and parasols. Adventure seekers can enjoy tennis, football, basketball, padel courts, a 400m track, 5km and 10km cycling tracks, a skate park, BMX park, high ropes park, and an OCR park. Perfect for nature lovers and thrill-seekers alike!

For more information, visit hudayriyatisland.ae

 

Explore a natural wonder

 

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Be at one with nature at Jubail Mangrove Park, the first self-contained educational, nature and leisure destination of its kind in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. Here, you can visit and explore a haven for avian and marine species native to Abu Dhabi. But foremost, this is a mangrove sanctuary which also includes a meandering boardwalk which will take you through the mangroves and allows you to discover Abu Dhabi in its essence.

For more information visit Jubail Mangrove Park

 

Even more mangroves

 

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You can’t miss out on the biodiversity hotspot that includes mangrove forests, salt marshes, mudflats and algal communities, and more. While a stroll in this Mangrove National Park provides breath-taking sights, there are also plenty of activities for the entire family from stand-up paddleboarding and kayaking to hopping on a private boat tour.

For more information, visit Environment Abu Dhabi

 

Observe local nature

 

The UAE’s work towards the preservation of wetlands has long enabled the breeding and reintroduction of certain endangered species. Gather the family to take in sights of the majestic greater flamingo, now flourishing in Al Wathba Wetland Reserve, while the Arabian oryx, once extinct in the wild, has been successfully reintroduced in the Um Al Zumoul Protected Area!

For more information, Environment Abu Dhabi

 

Dive right in

 

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It might be getting hotter, but keeping you cool is the amazing Seaworld located on the entertainment hotspot, Yas Island, the first marine life theme park in Abu Dhabi and beyond. Get ready for more than 100,000 animals and 75 interactive experience and rides and learn all about the One Ocean that connects us all. Brace yourself for the exhilarating ‘Manta’ roller coaster or come face to face with magnificent marine animals and create timeless memories! There is something for all the family!

For more information visit SeaWorld Abu Dhabi

Under the sea

 

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Keeping with the underwater theme, the National Aquarium Abu Dhabi in Al Qana has lots to do and see for those interested in marine life. An underwater adventure like no other awaits with animal adventures and learning about how the centre is preserving the UAE wildlife. Not only that, you’ll get to meet two of the Aquarium’s newest additions, two African Manatees which are causing a massive stir.

For more information, visit The National Aquarium

 

You can come too

 

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Going to the zoo, zoo, zoo and you can come too… and as luck has it, we have two wonderful zoos in the emirate, Al Ain Zoo and Emirates Park Zoo & Resort, with the latter, as the name suggest, even having a hotel so you can make a few days of it. Both zoos are a hive of activity with educational happenings for the little ones, restaurants and more.

For more information, visit Emirates Park Zoo and Resort and Al Ain Zoo

 

A captivating experience 

 

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Discover the wonder of Abu Dhabi’s Fossil Dunes, a must-see attraction offering a captivating experience at no cost. Located around 70km south of the city, these mesmerising natural formations along Al Ain Truck Road are a testament to nature’s artistry.
Composed of sand deposits sculpted by wind and permeated with calcium carbonate, the dunes evolve daily, creating a stunning array of abstract shapes. While access via 4WD is recommended, visitors are reminded to respect the site’s rules, refraining from climbing on the dunes and leaving the area undisturbed. Guided paths offer a journey through these captivating fossils.

 

Nature’s embrace 

 

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Escape into the desert’s allure in Al Ain, offering not only scenic vistas but also close  to  the buzz of the city . The expansive Al Ain Oasis, sprawling over a million square metres, lies just a 90-minute drive from Abu Dhabi’s city centre, ensuring easy access without border crossings or passport hassles. Free entry invites visitors to indulge in nature’s embrace, making it a top choice for those seeking a serene retreat in Abu Dhabi.

 

Al Ain Museum

 

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Head to Al Ain to discover the captivating history of the United Arab Emirates’ ruling family at Al Ain Palace Museum. Originally the residence of the Ruling Family, this architectural gem was meticulously restored in 2001, offering a glimpse into the Emirati way of life from the 20th century. Wander through the palace to explore the private and political life of Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the country’s Founding Father. Don’t miss the intricately curated exhibits, including artefacts gifted by the local community and a fascinating display of the Al Nahyan family tree. Immerse yourself in Bedouin tradition at the modern tent, reminiscent of the one used by Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan for receiving guests, and marvel at the Land Rover in the courtyard, echoing his desert travels.

For more information, visit Al Ain Palace Museum

 

Go on adventure

 

Staying in Al Ain, how about some whitewater rafting on the rapids with instructor tuition so you have the best and safest time. There’s also kayaking, surfing, swimming and so much more. Not to mention a wave pool, pedal boats and Oasis Island where you can fuel up on snacks and bites, and more.

For more information, visit Al Ain Adventure

 

Hop onboard!

 

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Whether you’re a resident or tourist, there’s always something new to discover in Abu Dhabi. And one of the best ways to discover the, we think, is by hopping aboard the Big Bus Tour. Travel by private air-conditioned vehicle and marvel at highlights including the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, Corniche, and Heritage Village. Plus, select your departure time and add stops such as Yas Island for a tour that’s fully customised to your needs and interests.

For further information, visit Big Bus Tours

 

Jump in the car

 

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There’s so much to see in Abu Dhabi and beyond too. Jumping in the car on an exciting roadtrip is probably one of the best ways to explore. From awe-inspiring views and natural gems to pulse-pounding activities and escaping the pressures of city life, the UAE has a road trip to suit your road galivanting needs. So, leave the comforts of home and the stresses of work behind, and jump in the car as Team Yalla shows you the ultimate guide to the UAE’s best road trips.

 

Beach life

 

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At the time of writing, it is still May and the perfect weather for heading to many of the glorious beaches in Abu Dhabi. And even when the weather heats up, there are many of us who still enjoy the miles of goldens sands and the clear blue waters. Whether it’s a public beach, many of which are free, or private ones, the capital has too many to choose from, so go take a dip.

 

Take a dip

 

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Love swimming? Then you may wish to dive in at many of Abu Dhabi’s pools where a plethora of pool day passes and offers await. Most, if not all, the pools are located in many of the city’s luxury hotels and resorts, with many of the passes offering hot deals with most of the cost being redeemable on food and beverage. It’s the perfect family day out.

 

Life in the fast lane

 

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Whether you want to jog a lap, cycle, or take a leisurely walk with friends at sunset, Yas Marina Circuit has you covered. Located on Yas Island, the circuit welcomes individuals of all fitness levels to come and raise their heart rates in their unique setting. In partnership with Abu Dhabi Cycling Club, complimentary bikes are available in various adults and kids sizes at the venue.

For more information, visit Yas Marina Circuit 

 

White knuckle thrills

 

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Love speed? Then gear up for the ride of your life only here at Ferrari World Abu Dhabi. Home to the world’s fastest rollercoaster, the highest loop ride, the tallest space-frame structure ever built on the planet and over 40 record-breaking attractions, this is the ultimate destination for non-stop, hyper-adrenaline, heart-racing fun!

For more information, visit Ferrari World Abu Dhabi

 

Guaranteed giggles

 

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This fab entertainment hub comes highly recommended from our Managing Editor Derek Issacs, who confesses, aged 59, that he has been no less than five times and loves it. We are, of course, talking about the incredible Warner Bros. World™ Abu Dhabi. Tucked away indoors, this mega 1.65 million square foot park is brilliant for the entire family what ever the age. There are no less than 29 fun-tastic rides , fab interactive activities, shopportunities and restaurants galore, you’re promised one of the best day’s out in the capital.

For more information, visit Warner Bros. World Abu Dhabi

 

Tee off

 

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Abu Dhabi boasts an array of exceptional golf courses nestled amid the desert landscape and breathtaking coastlines, promising a diverse range of experiences for enthusiasts. From championship-ready parklands to seaside links, from tranquil urban courses to the challenge of the emirate’s longest hole, Abu Dhabi offers it all.

For more information, visit Abu Dhabi golf courses

 

Make a splash

 

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Why not dive into the fun at Yas Waterworld Abu Dhabi which is a modern waterpark with a true Emirati heart. It brings you wave after wave of experiences with over 40 rides, slides and attractions, where every memory counts. The park features high-speed tube rides through total darkness, water coasters, and near-vertical free falls. And don’t forget the regular Ladies’  Nights

For more information, visit Yas Waterworld

 

Reach the top

 

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Staying on Yas Island, then you must visit CLYMB, which is said to be the world’s biggest Indoor skydiving experience. And those superlatives just keep on rolling as CLYMB is also host to the region’s tallest Indoor climbing wall. So you’ll be gearing up to new heights in every sense. Not only that, at the time of writing there was a ‘buy four tickets and pay only for three’ offer! And there is a regular Ladies Night and Junior Flying Club too.

For more information, visit Clymb Abu Dhabi

 

Bird’s eye views

 


What better way to spend an evening then by visiting the Observation Deck at 300, which is located on the 74th floor of Conrad Abu Dhabi Etihad Towers. It provides the perfect vantage point to take in the immaculate views of the city and beyond.

For further information, visit Hilton

 

Take in a show

 

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Yas Island is the jewel in the crown of Abu Dhabi tourism and one of the major attractions there is the amazing Etihad Arena, who play host of a litany of top international acts throughout the year. The venue comes alive around the F1 weekend in November having already welcomed iconic performers such as Beyonce, Rihanna, Eminem, Tiesto and Sting in recent years.

To check out there up and coming performances, visit Etihad Arena

Savour this

 

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There’s no show without Punch, or in this case, brunch. A staple of the capital, there are so many fabulous brunches to choose from whatever the budget, cuisine and venue. From family brunches to evening brunches, the UAE capital has it all and more to ensure your weekend starts and ends on a high (and delicious!) note.

 

Eat out

 

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A foodies’ haven, Abu Dhabi has the best array of restaurants offering a myriad of cuisines ness that can rival anywhere in the world. From back street holes-in-the-wall, beach side eateries to luxury restaurants found in the capital’s luxury hotels and restaurants, there’s bound to be something for all tastes, so get exploring.

For the ultimate restaurant guide, visit Yalla Abu Dhabi

Head to the sands

 

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One of the most valued experiences you can enjoy is a trip to the desert which will take you on a traditional journey aimed to arouse your curiosity in local heritage and culture. Desert Safari Tours in Abu Dhabi and surrounding areas are suitable for everyone and the campsite, made as per Bedouin-theme, has an array of activities arranged for guests to enjoy and relish every moment of this excursion. The tour usually includes Dune Bashing, Camel ride, ATV Bike ride, Camping, Live Shows and performances.

 

Immerse yourself in culture and heritage

 

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Thinking about art and culture, a trip to the UAE capital is never complete without taking in the immense grandeur of Sheik Zayed Grand Mosque. The magnificent engineering design of the iconic building reflects the aesthetic beauty of Islamic architecture in Abu Dhabi and its deep-rooted values and spiritual philosophy, as a source of noble humanitarian morals that call for dialogue, truth and tolerance.

For more information, visit Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque

 

Share the nation’s journey

 


Qasr Al Watan is more than a palace; it is a unique testament to the spirit of the United Arab Emirates’ people and its leaders. The Palace invites the world to share their culture, knowledge and inspiring journey. The palace showcases the rich history and culture of the UAE and has stunning architecture and gardens. It’s the perfect place to take a trip down memory lane and immerse yourself in local heritage and tradition.

For further information visit Qasr Al Watan

 

Share the faith


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An interfaith compound hosting three cubic structures each as diverse as aesthetically aligned is perhaps one of the more interesting spots at the Saadiyat Cultural District. A display of solidarity in a multicultural community, there is the Imam Al Tayeb Mosque, St Francis Church, and Moses ben Maimon Synagogue on the grounds. Additionally, there is also a cultural centre where one can explore different faiths in-depth and engage in meaningful dialogue with others.

For more information, visit Abrahamic Family House

 

Support the arts

 

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A stalwart of the capital’s cultural scene, The Arts Center at NYU Abu Dhabi provides a beacon of inspiration where performance, education and community come together to enrich the cultural life of both the campus and the city. Its range of public programmes animates and enriches the cultural life of both Abu Dhabi and the university, presenting distinguished professional artists from around the world alongside student, faculty and community productions.

For more information, visit NYU Abu Dhabi Arts Center

 

Be in Louvre

 

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There’s always something for the arts’ lovers in Abu Dhabi with world class museums and galleries. And toping that list must be Louvre Abu Dhabi where regular exhibitions, permanent exhibitions, things to do for kids, fun activities like kayaking around the Louvre, as well top-notch restaurants await.

 

Discover local culture

 

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This is one space that aspires to and delivers on the promise of catering to all. Manarat Al Saadiyat has fast become a cultural hub for the emirate that hosts a wide range of exhibitions and events throughout the year. From art exhibitions to film screenings and even live music events, there is no dearth of interesting activities that are equal parts fun and intellectually enriching.

For more information, visit Manarat Al Saadiyat

 

Follow Yalla – Abu Dhabi Life for all the things to do across the capital and beyond

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