•  Travel Diaries

    The Best Places to Explore In Abu Dhabi

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    Inaugurated in the year 2017, this museum is one of the must-see tourist places in Abu Dhabi. The iconic Louvre Abu Dhabi is the first universal museum in the Arab World that translates the spirit of openness of cultures. It is the only museum in the world to carry the Louvre name besides the original Louvre in Paris. The museum covers nearly 64,000 square metres and contains a universal collection of ancient and contemporary artworks from around the world. The cosmic dome of the museum with its starry latticework is a work of art in itself. The current collection includes works by Pablo Picasso, Jacques-Louis David, Claude Monet, Henri Matisse, and Vincent Van Gogh. This museum is also home to the most expensive painting in the world – Leonardo da Vinci’s masterpiece Salvator Mundi. Making waves internationally, this is a must-visit attraction for all art lovers.

    Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque

    Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is one of the largest and most beautiful mosques in the world and Abu Dhabi’s most visited attraction. Striking in pristine white, it boasts 82 domes, golden colonnades and giant floral marble inlays across the vast courtyard. This architectural masterpiece is home to one of the largest chandeliers in the world. It also boasts the world’s largest hand-woven carpet which was made by over 1,200 specialized workers. The Mosque is open to visitors which gives them the chance to become better acquainted with Islam, as well as taking in this architectural wonder. This is not only a religious site but also serves as an educational and cultural hub, which is why it’s on everyone’s list of the best places to visit in Abu Dhabi city.

    Yas Island

    Yas Island is a 2,500-hectare human-made island in Abu Dhabi and is one of the biggest tourist attractions of the country. This engineering marvel encompasses everything from posh hotels to shopping centres. It is also home to Yas Waterworld, the high-end motorsport venue – Yas Marina Circuit, Yas Mall where tourists can indulge in luxury shopping, Warner Bros. World, Sea World and the sunny and spectacular Yas beach. Other attractions at the island include the Yas Links golf course, du Arena for open-air concerts and du Live! Which hosts the du World Music Festival. The best things to do on this island are Mangrove tour at Yas Beach, Bubble’s Barrel slide and Rush Rider at Waterworld, relaxing at Yas Marina Circuit, and picking up awesome stuff from the Ikea store in Yas Mall.

    Observation Deck at 300

    The Observation Deck at 300 boasts of a seafront location and can be found on the 74th floor of Tower Two of the Jumeirah at the Etihad Towers complex. Observation Deck at 300 is the highest vantage point in Abu Dhabi where visitors can soak in the uninterrupted birds-eye 360-degree perspective of the city’s skyline, the Corniche, and Arabian Gulf. The café known for its afternoon tea offers tea blends or freshly ground coffee along with sweet and savory treats, all the while guests enjoy the panoramic views from Tower 2 at 300 meters above the nation’s capital. Be sure to order the exclusive TWG Tea Grand Crus Prestige blends such as Silver Moon Tea, Brothers Club Tea, and White House Tea or the venue’s signature mocktail, the Etihad Sparkler.

    Heritage Village

    For those looking to better understand Emirati culture and get a glimpse into what life was traditionally like in the UAE in the past, the Heritage Village in Abu Dhabi is the perfect spot. In the pleasantly tranquil Heritage Village, traditional buildings and authentic exhibits speak of a complete different time of the United Arab Emirates. With an open museum which displays anything from a goats’ hair tent to a campfire with pots, visitors can truly immerse themselves in the local culture. There is a small souq where tourists can buy handicrafts, traditional attire, spices and other souvenirs. The Heritage Village even holds workshops with men and women demonstrating skills such as pottery and spinning. When hungry, they can dine at a seaside restaurant while overlooking the stunning skyline and Corniche of Abu Dhabi while sampling delicious Arabic food.

    Souk Central Market

    One of the most important aspects of travelling is taking souvenirs back home for family and friends. The Souk Central Market is one of the best places in town to shop for souvenirs. Built in the same spot as Abu Dhabi’s first souk, a traditional Arabic open-air market, Souk Central Market is a bustling shopping area that hosts shops touting traditional goods like intricate lamps, local spices, and home décor. Although still exuding an authentic atmosphere, features of modernity are evident here among the tapestries and the haggling, such as stained glass windows and unique, dark wood lattice furnishings as well as the indoor setting. Travelers should definitely stop here for some souvenir shopping before returning home.

    Marina Eye

    One of the most eye-catching features on the Corniche Breakwater, the huge Marina Eye ferris wheel dominates the skyline in front of one of the capital’s favourite shopping centres, Marina Mall. There are 42 capsules, as well as a select number of luxurious VIP capsules that take luxury and comfort to the next level in this 196-foot tall rotating wheel. These capsules touch a height of around 60 meters while rotating and visitors can be treated to the most stunning panoramic views of the glittering skyline of Abu Dhabi from its observation wheel high up in the air. Evening rides at the Marine Eye are the best as the entire city comes alive under the bokeh of lights and colours.