Things to do in Abu Dhabi

From desert dunes to opulent mosques and deluxe urban scenery, this city offers up delightful Arabian treats.

Our most recommended things to do in Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi: Desert Safari with BBQ, Camel Ride & Sandboarding

1. Abu Dhabi: Desert Safari with BBQ, Camel Ride & Sandboarding

Join a small-group or private guided day trip from Abu Dhabi to the desert with hotel transfers included. Enjoy a dune bashing experience, watch the sunset from a Bedouin camp, take part in cultural activities, watch traditional performances, and savor a BBQ buffet dinner while watching the stars. After pickup in an air-conditioned 4WD vehicle, enjoy a comfortable ride to the desert. Once there, visit a camel farm to get up close to these animals who are well-adjusted to desert life. Next, take part in an exhilarating dune bashing experience. Feel your stomach jump as the vehicle heads up and down the steep sand dunes. Then, try your hand at sandboarding by sliding down the dunes on a board. Arrive at the Bedouin desert camp to enjoy a warm welcome of traditional Arabic coffee and dates. Then, walk up a dune to take pictures as the desert changes color as the sun sets on the horizon. At the camp, dive into the local customs and culture of the Arabian peninsula. Enjoy cultural activities such as henna painting, shisha smoking, and camel rides. Then, try on traditional Arabian costumes and take pictures with a falcon. Watch captivating performances of Tanoura dancing and belly dancing, before tucking into a barbecue dinner. Finally, the lights of the camp will be switched off. Sit back and admire the star-lit sky for a peaceful moment of contemplation before returning to the bright city lights of Abu Dhabi.

Louvre Abu Dhabi: Entry Tickets

2. Louvre Abu Dhabi: Entry Tickets

Experience a major collection of master artworks from around the world. Explore significant classic and modern works which bridge the gap between Western and Eastern art. Set foot in one of the largest museums in the Gulf Region. Take in its landmark architecture and iconic dome. Marvel at its design which is built to resemble palm leaves as you walk through the sun-filled promenades. Browse the museum's immense collection. See a wide array of works from all over the world, and discover the connections between East and West. Enjoy access to the permanent collection and special exhibitions as well as the children's museum. Encounter ancient artifacts or classical works by artists like Manet. After browsing the galleries, pause to reflect in one of the museum's public spaces.

From Dubai: Abu Dhabi Premium Full-Day Sightseeing Tour

3. From Dubai: Abu Dhabi Premium Full-Day Sightseeing Tour

Explore the rich past, vibrant present, and thrilling future of Abu Dhabi on a tour of the largest emirate in the UAE. See key sights like the Corniche and Marina Mall, as well as the Grand Mosque and Al Watan Palace. After pickup from your hotel in Dubai, travel along the Persian Gulf coast to Abu Dhabi while listening to stories about one of the world’s richest cities. Visit the majestic Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, one of the most popular landmarks of Abu Dhabi. Admire the mosque’s white marble structure that consists of 82 domes, chandeliers, and flower-patterned designs. Next, take a drive along the Abu Dhabi Corniche to experience scenic views of the Persian Gulf. Admire the harbor's clean water as you continue to the opulent Emirates Palace, the official hotel of Abu Dhabi’s ruling government. Then, enjoy a visit to another of Abu Dhabi's landmarks, the Etihad Towers. Those who have seen the ‘Furious 7’ movie will remember the imposing tower. The next stop will be at the Marina Mall, where you can take a lunch break (at your own expense) and dine at the mall's restaurants or enjoy the food court options. Afterward, visit the beautiful Qasr Al Watan palace housed in the presidential palace compound of the UAE. Notice the architectural features, artifacts, and other historical treasures of the palace. Then enjoy the drive back to Dubai, where you will be dropped off.

From Dubai: Abu Dhabi Sheikh Zayed Mosque Guided Tour

4. From Dubai: Abu Dhabi Sheikh Zayed Mosque Guided Tour

Depart Dubai and journey to the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi by modern air-conditioned vehicle. Relax in comfort on the 90-minute drive with your professional guide. On arrival, marvel at the 8th largest mosque in the world. Spread over 30 acres, the magnificent structure took more than a decade to build and now stands as a showcase for the United Arab Emirate’s Islamic cultural heritage. Roam around the site that can accommodate up to 40,000 worshippers at any one time. Marvel at priceless features, such as the huge Swarovski crystal chandeliers, floral mosaics, and artifacts of gold, silver, and marble. Be amazed by the gigantic carpet in the main prayer hall. Measuring 60,570 square feet and weighing 35 tons, the carpet was made in Iran and is the result of the toil of thousands of carpet weavers over 2 years. Take stunning memorable photos of the complex and its awe-inspiring architecture, and get a better appreciation of the vision of Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the late president of the UAE and the mastermind behind the mosque. Depart Abu Dhabi and journey back to Dubai for a drop-off at your hotel or designated location.

Mangrove National Park: Self-Drive Speedboat Tour

5. Mangrove National Park: Self-Drive Speedboat Tour

Meet your friendly guide at Anantara Eastern Mangroves, who will show you how to operate your own Rhino Rider speedboat. After a quick safety and operational briefing, hop onto your boat and slowly cruise through the marina towards the exit to the lagoon. Test the maximum speed of your Rhino Rider as you zoom through the lagoon passing the royal palace. Encounter flamingos on your way and observe them from a distance. Continue into the mangrove forest where you will maneuver through the canals. See fish, herons, crabs, or sometimes even dolphins along the way. Take a brief stop at an uninhabited island for a quick swim or to do some exploring. At the end of the tour, return to the departure point at Anantara Eastern Mangroves.

Abu Dhabi: Morning Desert Safari with Camel Ride

6. Abu Dhabi: Morning Desert Safari with Camel Ride

Embark on an exciting morning desert safariin the desert surrounding Abu Dhabi. Ride over the vast dunes in a 4x4 Land Cruiser, glide down the dunes on a sandboard, and enjoy a relaxing camel ride with scenic views. Get ready for a desert safari starting with an early morning pickup at your hotel. A 45-minute drive takes you to the heart of the desert outside Abu Dhabi. Explore the desert in a 4x4 Land Cruiser, bashing the huge dunes. The fun continues with a chance to try out sandboarding. Follow the instructions and glide over the dunes effortlessly. During the safari, there will be plenty of opportunities to pose for some photos in the desert. This special morning safari concludes with a short camel ride before the transfer back to the pick-up point.

From Abu Dhabi: Dune Bashing Desert Safari

7. From Abu Dhabi: Dune Bashing Desert Safari

Take part in a desert adventure and embark on a dune bashing safari by 4WD. Visit a camel farm, see a traditional camp, and enjoy some famous Arabic hospitality. Depart from Abu Dhabi and journey to the desert on the outskirts of the city for an arrival at a desert camp in Al Khathim in around 45 to 60 minutes. Take an exciting drive across the sand dunes by 4WD Toyota Land Cruiser with a multilingual driver, and stop at a camel farm to catch your breath. Continue to the camp to take advantage of a host of thrilling activities, including the chance to cross the desert sands by Quad Bike (own expense), glide down the dunes on a sand board, or put on some traditional Arabic costume for a photo shoot. Try riding a camel and experience the desert's original mode of transportation. See an original Arabic camp, and enjoy some famous Arab hospitality. Choose the evening desert safari option to watch a magnificent sunset from the desert and sample Arabic sweets and Bedouin coffee. A BBQ dinner and live entertainment are included with the evening tour, and you can even have your picture taken with a falcon. Whichever option you choose, benefit from a package specially timed for guests arriving on one of the following cruise ships: • AIDAstella • Azamara Journey • Celebrity Constellation • Costa Fortuna • Costa neoRiviera • Crystal Esprit • NCL Norwegian Star • Oceana Nautica • Royal Caribbean Vision of the Seas • Seabourn Encore • Silversea Silver Cloud • Mein Schiff 3 TUI Cruises

From Dubai: Abu Dhabi Full-Day Trip with Louvre & Mosque

8. From Dubai: Abu Dhabi Full-Day Trip with Louvre & Mosque

Enjoy a two-in-one day trip to two UAE essentials. Marvel at architectural and artistic wonders new and old on this inclusive excursion from Dubai. After pickup, sit back and enjoy the journey to the Mosque. On arrival, admire its shining exterior surface of white Greek and Macedonian tiles. Step inside and see the world’s largest hand-woven carpet, large crystal chandeliers, and glass panels studded with thousands of Swarovski crystals on a guided tour. Next, visit the Louvre Museum on Saadiyat Island. Take a self-guided or audio-guided tour of the largest museum in the Gulf region, which displays both classic and modern works of cultural and sociological significance from all over the world. Admire pieces from French museums such as the Louvre, Pompidou Center, and Musee d’Orsay. Linger at the Children’s Museum, relax for a bite to eat in the cafe, or browse in the boutique. After the tour, enjoy the drive back to your hotel in Dubai.

Abu Dhabi: Formula Yas 3000 Driving Experience

9. Abu Dhabi: Formula Yas 3000 Driving Experience

Before getting into the driver’s seat you’ll be suited up in full race gear and helmet, and receive a technical briefing from your racing coach. Next, you’ll take familiarization laps around the circuit in a Renault vehicle. During these slow laps, your coach will explain the racing line and how to approach each corner. At this point in your activity you should be ready for the real action. You’ll head back to the pits, where you’ll be further briefed on your car before being tightly strapped in. Prepare to feel every bump, ripple and sensation of the drive. You can be sure that you've never been this connected to a driving machine! Get a grasp of the inner workings of this racing car and experience truly sensational performance first-hand. For 20 minutes For 20 minutes, you’ll be in charge of the paddle shifters, which help shift the gearbox up and down. Two on-board video cameras will capture your drive and allow you to re-live the action later on.

Abu Dhabi: Yas Marina Circuit Venue Tour

10. Abu Dhabi: Yas Marina Circuit Venue Tour

Go behind the scenes of the glamorous Formula 1 motor racing world on a guided tour (90 - 120 minute duration) of the state-of-the-art Yas Marina Circuit on Yas Island Abu Dhabi. Now open to the general public for escorted track tours, the Yas Marina Circuit tour is a must for all visitors to Abu Dhabi along with all motorsports fans. Travel to key points by air-conditioned bus. Start at Yas Central where the racing activities of the Yas Racing School are showcased. Learn about the different race cars of Yas Marina Circuit, including the latest F1 model. Next, go to the North Grandstand to see what the spectators see from the Du Arena View. If there are no events happening, you will continue through the race track by bus, passing areas like the Drag Strip, Kartzone, Shams Tower and Yas Marina View. See the F1 team pits and garages for a closer understanding of what is required to host a successful F1 race. Then, have your photo taken on the podium holding a race trophy!

Frequently asked questions about Abu Dhabi

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What are the best day trips and excursions from Abu Dhabi?

The best day trips and excursions from Abu Dhabi are:

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What are the best inexpensive tours in Abu Dhabi?

Other Sightseeing Options in Abu Dhabi

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What people are saying about Abu Dhabi

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 26,948 reviews

We had the best experience in this trip . Have seen the most amazing building all time called the presidential palace . This u cant miss when u travel in dubai or abu dhabi . Our guide Hassan was very nice and we managed to learn a lot from him in this short time .

The tour was amazing and I learnt a lot. Haseeb was my guide and he was happy to answer any questions we had in the group as well as being an amazing photographer. Will definitely do this tour when I travel to Dubai again. Thank you

Fantastic trip. Really enjoyed the dune bashing and camels. Anish our tour guide was brilliant! He was a great photographer too!!

It’s given us a insite to how much the world has evolved before most nations were born or traveled this world.

Driver Azeez was helpfull and very experienced. Organization was on a high level.