If Abu Dhabi is on your itinerary for a short stop-over to or from Europe or is your final destination for a getaway, make note of these Abu Dhabi attractions to consider during your stay.
Abu Dhabi offers an extensive range of experiences that cater for various age groups that are certain to captivate, excite and rejuvenate guests. Whether you’re in search of amusement and exhilaration; relaxation and tranquillity; or adventure and exploration, Abu Dhabi has it all.
With a staggering selection of 34 leisure parks brimming with thrilling attractions, over 347 hotels dedicated to providing a serene getaway, and around 25 adventure hubs awaiting your discovery, there are so many attractions that a single summer simply won’t suffice.
Located on Yas Island, just 30 minutes from the city centre, Warner Bros. World Abu Dhabi is packed with exhilarating rides and iconic characters from the magical world of film and animation. Visitors can find five themed worlds within the park: Bedrock, Dynamite Gulch, Cartoon Junction, Gotham City and Metropolis. Here they can hop on 29 thrilling rides, meet icons like Bugs Bunny and Scooby-Doo, or come face-to-face with superheroes like Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman.
If thrills are the game, Ferrari World Abu Dhabi is the name. Located on Yas Island, just 30 minutes from the city, and open 365 days a year, the world’s first Ferrari-branded theme park is ideal for all fans of the Prancing Horse and those with a need for speed. The park is home to the Formula Rossa, the world’s fastest roller-coaster, which takes thrill-seekers from 0 to 240km/h in 4.9 seconds, while soaring to heights of 52 metres. The theme park features more than 20 other exhilarating and educational rides and attractions. Visitors can join a 60-minute Roof Walk Experience to explore the iconic Ferrari World Abu Dhabi red roof and get up close to the largest Ferrari logo in the world.
Visitors can immerse themselves in the ultimate fun at Yas Waterworld. Thrill seekers can experience the rush of flying down water slides and soaking up the rays, leaving them with that happy, sun-kissed glow. Located on Yas Island, just 20 minutes from the city, this Emirates-themed waterpark covers an area equivalent to 15 football pitches.
SeaWorld Abu Dhabi recently opened its doors to the public on May 23, 2023. The next-generation marine life theme park tells a captivating ‘One Ocean’ story that uncovers the interconnectivity between life on Earth and our oceans. SeaWorld Abu Dhabi delivers engaging and immersive family-friendly experiences through eight themed realms, featuring up-close animal encounters, exciting rides, inspiring entertainment, and unmatched dining and shopping experiences.
Abu Dhabi’s largest indoor adventure park has opened to the public on April 21, 2023, offering fun and excitement for all ages. The family adventure space features a rope course, multiplex go-karting, and a ‘Through the Roof’ thrill ride that takes participants up to a high platform and then drops them down to the ground at high speeds. The new indoor adventure park attraction is in Al Qana Walk, near Al Qana Marina where families can head after for mouth-watering seafood restaurants and cafés against the backdrop of Al Qana’s charming waterfront.
Another new family-fun attraction has opened in Al Qana in Abu Dhabi: Pixoul Gaming. Immerse yourself in a new gaming dimension at this brand-new attraction that offers world-class esports and virtual reality games in one single gaming complex. Visitors will have the chance to dive deep into online gaming through the latest technology and a variety of virtual reality simulators.
Peacefully overlooking the beautiful mangroves, the unique Anantara Spa at Eastern Mangroves Hotel is a tranquil retreat on the outskirts of Abu Dhabi. The 10 distinct treatment rooms are dedicated to a slate of Eastern healing treatments that are coupled with Arabic influences. A traditional Turkish hammam, three deluxe double suites, and two private VIP hammam scrub rooms come with Vichy shower rooms and an LPG room for that brand’s patented lipo-massage and endermologie technologies. Ideal for guests looking to unwind during a weekend getaway, the award-winning spa also features one-of-a-kind treatments, such as the Neom De-stress Candle Massage and Vichy Desert Sand Body Scrub, using top beauty products to enhance traditional rituals.
The spa treatments at this luxurious 1,500-square-metre wellness haven will make visitors feel like royalty. Home to the most extravagant spa menu in town, Emirates Palace Spa is a purely indulgent experience that ignites a sense of balance and serenity. The two traditional Moroccan hammam rooms are fitted with Jacuzzis, steam rooms and a kaleidoscopic heated marble-and-ice cave. Here travellers can experience the famous black olive scrub and rose shea butter massage. They can also enjoy the award-winning experience that begins in the heated marble-and-ice cave and includes a full-body massage, a 24-carat-gold facial, and a Bastien Gonzalez pedicure. The magnificent Hideaway is also home to revolutionary wellness services of Body Composition Analysis and VibroGym.
Nestled away on the shores of Saadiyat Island lies this Turkish-inspired spa, which is a sanctuary for wellness enthusiasts from far and wide. With Ottoman architecture covering a total area of 2,060 square metres, the spa at Rixos Saadiyat Island invites guests into ultimate escapism and tranquillity, led by expert therapists dedicated to restoring balance to clients’ mind, body and spirit. Specialising in the traditional hammam treatment, the luxury spa allows its guests to feel the harmony of inner connection and a sense of well-being.
Travellers can explore the historic Qasr Al Hosn fort, the nation’s living memorial and witness of Abu Dhabi’s history. Located in the heart of the city, the building incorporates the oldest structure on Abu Dhabi Island, a coral and sea-stone watchtower built in the late 18th century. It is also home to the House of Artisans, which celebrates Emirati heritage and the UAE’s enduring tradition of craftsmanship.
One of Abu Dhabi’s most iconic landmarks, the Louvre Abu Dhabi is the region’s first universal museum, exploring the links between global civilisations through time and revealing stories of cultural connections. Its galleries feature works of global historical and cultural significance spanning human history, and there’s also a dedicated Children’s Museum. The building is a work of art in itself – the soaring dome roof was inspired by traditional thatched palm leaves and is constructed from 7,850 individual stars repeated at different sizes and angles, forming a “rain of light” effect when the sun shines through. The Louvre Abu Dhabi also offers visitors the opportunity to reconnect with themselves and find peace through the healing powers of nature and art, by offering yoga sessions under the famous dome this summer.
Just over an hour’s drive from the heart of Abu Dhabi, this region is home to some of the world’s oldest villages and has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Visitors can stroll along the shaded pathways of Al Ain Oasis, home to more than 147,000 date palms and fruit trees covering 1,200 hectares and fed by a 3,000-year-old irrigation system. Or visit Qaryat al Torath Heritage Village, featuring 32 souk (market) stalls offering a variety of traditional Emirati handicrafts and foods. Visitors can watch Bedouin women create beautiful craft pieces, while also exploring traditional clothing, spices, perfumes, date palm products and accessories. Those looking for some outdoor adventure should head to Jebel Hafit Desert Park, where hiking, biking, and desert glamping are on offer.
A haven for native flora and fauna, the serene Jubail Mangrove Park is just 30 minutes away from the city. Protected by the Environment Agency Abu Dhabi (EAD), this stunning park makes up almost 75 per cent of the total mangrove forest area in the UAE. Here, travellers can spot turtles, herons and gazelles. Visitors can explore the important ecological landscape on extensive boardwalks. Another popular option is to kayak. Gently row through the water and trees, from dusk to dawn – or even go on a special night glow tour.
Visitors can find the Arabian Wildlife Park, one of the region’s largest wildlife reserves, on Sir Bani Yas Island. The park is home to more than 17,000 free-roaming animals, including giraffes, hyenas, cheetahs, and the Arabian oryx. Guests can explore the park on 4×4 safaris with expert guides.
To find out more about summer in Abu Dhabi, visit: One Summer Isn’t Enough | Experience Abu Dhabi