Abu Dhabi is one of the most populated cities in the UAE. This city is steeped in rich history and cultural heritage, and hence, it has many different attractions and places to visit. In case you are planning on visiting this fantastic city, ensure that you make it a point to visit these fantastic local attractions.
Sheik Zayed Grand Mosque
This is a mosque that was started by, and built in the memory of late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan al-Nahyan. It is the largest mosque in the UAE and has thousands of worshippers every day. The size of the mosque is mind-boggling, open to people of all religions, making it one of the most spectacular sites to visit. It has a vast library within, which has a vast variety of books in a range of languages, for people to explore, so don’t miss out on this gem when you visit. There are lots of day tours available
Abu Dhabi Falcon Hospital
While there are many destinations that one speaks about, not many mention that there is a Falcon Hospital, where one can visit these magnificent birds. Falconry has been a national pastime and heritage. These beautiful birds have been used for thousands of years to hunt and scavenge by the Bedouins. There is the right Abu Dhabi tour available for interested visitors and the most exciting moment for bird lovers will be when they have a falcon sit on their arm. This moment will be forever etched in your mind.
This spell-bounding, almost fairy-tale like sprawling structure is a resort. You need not be a guest at the resort to experience the luxuries. Non-guests are welcome and can walk the grounds, eat at one of the many restaurants at the resort or indulge in a traditional Hammam, which is a traditional Turkish bath. It is an experience you won’t forget.
Jebel Hafeet & the Al Camin Camel Souk
Jebel Hafeet is one of the tallest mountains in the UAE. It is recognized as a national park and has rich historical significance. There have been archeological discoveries with as many as 500 Hafeet period tombs which were discovered at the foothills, along with Bronze Age artifacts. The Jebel Mountain Road is known for the cycling competition, Jebal Hafeet Mercure Challenge, where many international cyclists come to compete, as the roads are perfect for training.
In case you finish early and have extra time to spare, do not miss the traditional camel souk, Al Camin; where they have continued the age-old custom of camel trading. Dress conservatively when visiting the souk, to respect the local traditions. It is a male dominated area and extremely conservative. It’s a 20-mile drive from the Jebel Hafeet, located close to the Oman border.
Kayaking Tours of the Mangrove
If you are looking to do something different, you can go to the outskirts of the city for one of the most amazing kayaking tours. This is an exceptionally peaceful time that you will spend kayaking with an experienced team, paddling through the lagoons in tradition wooden boats.
Abu Dhabi Heritage Village
This is a great place to visit to get a good insight into the lives of people, and how they used to be back in the day before the discovery of oil. It has all the aspects of life during the old times, including the tradition palm leave huts to craftwork to goat souks. No visit will be complete, without visiting this location during your Abu Dhabi city tour.
This is also known as the White Fort and is part of the Cultural Foundation. It was constructed near the only water source, a freshwater well and acted as the watchtower. Later, it was built into a fort for the ruling family and the Sheik in 1793. There is also a Qasr Al-Hosr Festival, held within the fort for 11 days, between the end of February and beginning of March. This festival showcases the rich cultural heritage of the UAE and the fort is open to the public, even in the restricted areas for the days of the festival.
These are some of the must-visit attractions that should be part of your itinerary when you are holidaying in the modern and heritage-rich emirate of Abu Dhabi.