12 Things to do in Abu Dhabi: 5-Day Itinerary

Al Jahili Fort in Al Ain near Abu Dhabi in UAE
Al Jahili Fort in Al Ain near Abu Dhabi in UAE

Located in the southeastern corner of the Arabian Peninsula, Abu Dhabi is the capital of the United Arab Emirates and one of the wealthiest cities in the world.

The city is home to more than two million people from all over the globe, making it a truly cosmopolitan destination.

There is no doubt. Abu Dhabi is an amazing travel destination.

This coastal city in the United Arab Emirates has the best experience for everyone, from towering skyscrapers and luxurious hotels to pristine beaches and vibrant nightlife.

Let’s not waste time and get straight to the “12 Best Things to do in Abu Dhabi.” We will also share a quick overview of planning a 5-day itinerary in Abu Dhabi.

Make sure to check this Dubai 2-day itinerary

12 Things to do in Abu Dhabi

Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque

The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is one of the largest mosques in the world, located in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. It was built between 1996 and 2007.

Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi, things to do in 5 days

The mosque is large enough to accommodate more than 40,000 worshippers. It is named after Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the founder and first president of the UAE.

The mosque has 82 domes, over a thousand columns, 24-carat gold gilded chandeliers, and the world’s largest hand-woven carpet. 

The grand white marble mosque is an iconic symbol of Abu Dhabi. Visitors from all over the world come to experience its beauty and grandeur.

The mosque is open to the public daily and offers free tours. Visitors are required to dress modestly, and women must cover their heads. 

The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is a place of worship, and visitors are expected to behave respectfully at all times.

Louvre Abu Dhabi

Louvre Abu Dhabi is a stunning work of architecture and an iconic symbol of the city of Abu Dhabi. The museum showcases modern and contemporary art from around the world, making it a must-visit for any art lover.

Louvre in Abu Dhabi, sunset view.

Even if you’re not particularly interested in art, the building is worth visiting for its incredible design.

When you first enter the museum, you’re greeted by a vast atrium with a huge skylight overhead. From there, you can explore the different galleries, which are spread out over three floors.

The top floor is home to the permanent collection, which features works by some of the world’s most famous artists, including Pablo Picasso and Vincent van Gogh.

The middle floor is dedicated to temporary exhibitions, while the bottom floor houses a café, a gift shop, and an auditorium.

Whether you’re an art lover or not, Louvre Abu Dhabi is worth a visit. It’s one of the most impressive buildings in the city, and it offers a fascinating look at both modern and contemporary art.

Al Ain Palace Museum

Al Ain Palace Museum is a must-visit tourist destination in Abu Dhabi. The museum offers a fascinating insight into the history and culture of the United Arab Emirates.

Al Ain Palace Museum in Abu Dhabi, UAE

It is located in the city’s heart, making it easily accessible for visitors.

The museum houses a collection of artifacts dating back to the UAE’s early days. The collection includes items such as coins, pottery, and jewelry. It also has a section dedicated to traditional Emirati music and dance.

No wonder it is a great place to learn about the history and culture of the United Arab Emirates. 

The museum offers a variety of interactive exhibits that make learning fun and easy. You can also take photos and souvenirs.

Yas Island

Yas Island is an island located in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. It is 26 square kilometers and is home to many hotels, restaurants, theme parks, and other attractions. 

Yas Island, white ride in an Adventure park, Abu Dhabi guide

Yas Island is a popular tourist destination for UAE residents and international travelers.

Some of the most popular attractions on Yas Island include Ferrari World Abu Dhabi, Yas Water World, Warner Bros. World Abu Dhabi, and Yas Marina Circuit.

  • Ferrari World Abu Dhabi is the world’s largest indoor theme park and home to the world’s fastest roller coaster.
  • Yas Water World is a waterpark with over 40 slides and attractions.
  • Warner Bros. World Abu Dhabi is a theme park with rides and attractions based on Warner Bros. characters and properties such as Batman, Superman, and The Flintstones.
  • Yas Marina Circuit is a Formula One race track that hosts the annual Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

In addition to its many attractions, Yas Island is also home to several hotels, including the 5-star Park Hyatt Abu Dhabi Hotel and Villas, the 4-star Yas Viceroy Abu Dhabi Hotel, and the 3-star Centro Yas Island.

There is no wonder to know why people love this place.

Downtown Abu Dhabi

Downtown Abu Dhabi is the central business district of the city of Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. It is the headquarters for many of the city’s largest businesses and organizations.

Abu Dhabi skyscrapers skyline UAE

It is also home to many of the city’s tourist attractions, including the towering Sky Tower, the opulent Emirates Palace hotel, and the beautiful Corniche Promenade.

The nightlife in this place is amazing. From chic rooftop bars and swanky nightclubs to lively sports bars and traditional Arabic shisha cafes, there is sure to be a venue to suit your taste.

For those looking to rub shoulders with the rich and famous, there are plenty of luxurious bars and clubs to choose from. The chic rooftop bar at the Emirates Palace hotel is a popular spot for A-listers, while the VIP room at Cirque le Soir is one of the most exclusive nightclubs in town.

Undoubtedly, It is one of the best things to do in Abu Dhabi, especially for people who want to enjoy the night vibrant of the city.

Marina Mall

Abu Dhabi is home to many excellent malls, but Marina Mall is one of the best. Marina Mall is also conveniently located near many of Abu Dhabi’s top attractions, making it the perfect place to stop by during your visit to the city.

Marina Mall in UAE, huge shopping center
Source: Wikipedia

The Abu Dhabi Corniche is just a short walk away, and you can also easily reach the Sheikh Zayed Mosque and Emirates Palace Hotel by taking the free shuttle bus that runs between the mall and these attractions.

Marina Mall is home to over 400 stores and over 50 restaurants and cafes. 

The mall also has an amusement park, cinema complex, and aquarium. You will not get bored during your visit.

Desert Safari in Abu Dhabi

If you want to experience the true beauty of the Arabian Desert, a desert safari is a must-do activity. And there’s no better place to do it than in Abu Dhabi, where you can find some of the best desert safari tours in the region.

Car in a desert safari, things to do in Abu Dhabi

A typical desert safari tour will take you on an exciting 4×4 ride through the dunes, followed by a traditional Arabic BBQ dinner and entertainment under the stars. You might even get to try your hand at sandboarding or camel riding.

The cost of a desert safari tour in Abu Dhabi varies depending on the operator and the inclusions, but you can expect to pay around AED 250-300 per person.

The best time to go on a desert safari is in the cooler months, from October to April, when temperatures are more bearable.

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Emirates Park Zoo

The Emirates Park Zoo is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Abu Dhabi city. The zoo is home to various animals, including lions, tigers, giraffes, elephants, and more.

Kids and giraffes in Emirates Park Zoo, Abu Dhabi
Source: Wikipedia

Visitors to the zoo can also enjoy multiple shows and exhibits, making it an excellent place for families and children.

The cost of admission to the Emirates Park Zoo is AED 80 for adults and AED 40 for children. The zoo is open from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, with the last entry at 4:30 pm.

The best time to visit the zoo is during the cooler months of October through March. During these months, the weather is not as hot, and the animals are more active.

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Arabian Wildlife Park

This park is located on the city’s outskirts and is a great place to see some of the most beautiful animals in the world. The park offers various habitats for its animals, including a desert area, an ocean area, and a forest area.

There are also various animals here, including lions, tigers, giraffes, and rhinos. The park also has a wide variety of birds, reptiles, and amphibians.

If you are looking for a great place to see some fantastic wildlife, then the Arabian Wildlife Park is worth a visit.

The cost of entry into the Arabian Wildlife Park is 200 AED for adults and 100 AED for children. The park is open from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, and it is recommended that you arrive early to avoid the heat of the day.

Qasr Al Hosn

Qasr Al Hosn is one of the most iconic and significant buildings in Abu Dhabi. Located in the city’s heart, this imposing fort has witnessed the history and development of Abu Dhabi over the past 200 years.

Qasr Al Hosn in UAE

Today, Qasr Al Hosn is home to the National Museum of Abu Dhabi, which tells the story of the Emirates and its people.

Visitors can learn about the traditional way of life in Abu Dhabi and the country’s modern development. The museum is also home to some temporary exhibitions showcasing different aspects of Emirati culture and heritage.

Qasr Al Hosn is open to the public from Saturday to Thursday. Admission is free for all visitors.

Al Jahili Fort

The Al Jahili Fort was built in the late 19th century by Sheikh Dhiyab bin Isa Al Nahyan. The fort was designed to defend Abu Dhabi from invaders and has been used for this purpose on several occasions.

Al Jahili Fort in Al Ain near Abu Dhabi in UAE
Source: Wikipedia

Today, It is a major tourist attraction in Abu Dhabi. The fort is open to the public and offers guided tours. Visitors can learn about the fort’s history and see its defensive features.

The fort also has a museum that houses a collection of artifacts from the UAE’s past.

Heritage Village

Heritage Village is a living museum in Abu Dhabi City that showcases the traditional lifestyle of the Emirati people. It is located on the Corniche, near the breakwater.

Heritage Village in Abu Dhabi, 5-day itinerary
Source: Abu-Dhabi.de

The village has several restored buildings, which include a mosque, a palm frond hut, a barasti (a traditional Emirati house made from palm fronds), a souq, and a date palm farm.

There are also exhibits of traditional crafts such as pottery, weaving, and metalwork.

Visitors can watch artisans working on these crafts and demonstrations of traditional activities such as falconry and henna painting. The Heritage Village is open daily from 9 am to 5 pm, with a small admission fee.

Planning a 5-Day Itinerary in Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi is a renowned tourist destination for its luxury hotels, world-class shopping, and stunning architecture.

Planning your trip before starting your journey can save a lot of time and bucks, and this section will help you plan your five-day Itinerary in Abu Dhabi.

Day 1: Arrival & Check-in

As soon as you land at Abu Dhabi International Airport, make your way to the baggage claim area and collect your luggage. From there, you can either take a taxi or rent a car to your hotel. Check-in and relax for the rest of the day.

Multiple international budget airlines offer quick and cheap travel options.

Also, do not forget to experience the vibrant nightlife in Downtown Abu Dhabi.

Day 2: Touring the City

Start your day with a delicious breakfast at your hotel, and then head out to explore the city. Visit attractions such as the Sheikh Zayed Mosque, Emirates Palace Hotel, and Yas Island. 

Enjoy a traditional Abu Dhabi meal in the evening and watch a folkloric dance performance.

Day 3: Desert Safari

After breakfast, gear up for an exciting desert safari! You’ll be picked up from your hotel in a 4×4 vehicle and taken into the heart of the desert.

Enjoy activities such as dune bashing, sandboarding, and camel riding. Make sure to watch the sunset before heading back to your hotel. Multiple tour operators offer desert safari packages.

Day 4: Abu Dhabi Formula 1 Grand Prix

If you’re visiting Abu Dhabi in November, don’t miss the Formula 1 Grand Prix! Watch the race at the Yas Marina Circuit, and enjoy the festivities throughout the weekend.

Day 5: Departure

It’s time to say goodbye to Abu Dhabi. We understand that five days might not be enough to explore the best city in the Middle East, but sure enough for a beautiful experience.

Just look out your room window, smile, and say bye to Abu Dhabi. Check out from your hotel and get to the airport for your flight home.

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