Abu Dhabi, the capital of the UAE, is a fascinating mix of culture, history and nature. From sand dunes and skyscrapers to stunning beaches, you’ll find plenty to explore in this thriving city.
The city’s heritage village offers a glimpse into pre-oil life in the UAE. This reconstructed village includes a fort, souq and mosque.
Culture and Heritage
The UAE is a nation of diverse culture and history. Its leadership has embraced modernity while maintaining its traditional values, transforming the country into a rich and vibrant economy.
Abu Dhabi is a city with an abundance of culture and heritage sites. It is home to many landmarks that portray the historical value of the emirate and its people, including the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, which is a must-visit for its impressive architecture.
The Emirate’s heritage includes historic monuments, oases and ancient buildings. The Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT) oversees these heritage sites to ensure they remain open and accessible for residents as well as visitors.
Whether you’re looking to pick up some local souvenirs or shop for a few items from abroad, there are plenty of options in the UAE. From traditional souks to sprawling malls, there’s a place for every type of shopper in Abu Dhabi.
The Capital Mall is one of the most popular shopping malls in Abu Dhabi. It offers a range of top-quality international brands and lifestyle amenities, including a food court and a kids’ play area.
This spacious mall has more than 200 stores, including renowned names like Charlotte Herrera, Zara, Anne Klein and Weekend Max Mara. It also has a cinema, Fun City and a fun zone for kids.
A huge mall on Al Maryah Island, this mall is spread over two buildings and is a great place for families. It houses many luxury stores and a cinema along with 100 restaurants and upbeat entertainment.
Whether you’re looking for a relaxed, laid-back power soft sand near the city, a family-friendly getaway on an island, or a luxury break on a private island with swings that soar over the sea, Abu Dhabi has something to suit all beach lovers. Many of the world-class hotels boast their own pristine beachfront facilities, but the UAE capital’s public beaches are gorgeous too!
Al Bateen Beach: This Blue Flag beach off Al Khaleej Al Arabi Street has calm, shallow aquamarine waters perfect for swimming and fishing. There’s a good selection of beachfront picnic spots and kids play areas, as well as an on-duty lifeguard.
Corniche Beach: This main promenade that runs between the city center and the Arabian Gulf Sea has been a popular spot for people watching, cycling, and enjoying a view of the city’s skyline. Thronging with families during the weekends, this iconic beach is an easy place to get a feel for local life.
Whether you’re looking to sample local flavours or tuck into international cuisine, Abu Dhabi has some amazing eateries for every taste. With Michelin-starred restaurants, casual eateries and buzzy venues offering multiple cuisines, you’re sure to find something to suit your tastes.
Sleek Japanese concept Otoro has opened its first UAE location in Al Qana district and is making waves with its ‘less is more’ approach to refined dining. Premium ingredients such as wagyu beef from Kagoshima and otoro tuna from Tokyo take centre stage on the menu.
Bringing an alternative twist to steakhouses in the capital, Butcher and Still at Four Seasons Al Maryah Island is a must-visit for its 1920s prohibition-era Chicago speakeasy vibes. Guests love the small touches such as bullet casings embedded into the bathroom stalls and meat cleavers included in the cutlery.