On the Persian Gulf island, Abu Dhabi is a collage of spectacular architecture, spectacular beaches, standard and cultural monuments, adventure-sport destinations, and a premium ultramodern shopping center. This city, the best mix of traditional values and contemporary culture, is a travellers' paradise.
A piece of knock-knock guidance to all the tourists who want to experience the best of the Middle East-- do not return until you have explored all of the below-mentioned locations to go to in Abu Dhabi, the prized jewel of the United Arab Emirates.
1. Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque
Outfitted in Macedonian marble, the enormous and beautiful Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi's landmark building and by far the most popular sightseeing destination in the city. The mosque merges Mameluke, Ottoman, and Fatimid design elements to produce a unified and completely modern mosque that commemorates Islamic architecture. Artisans utilized glasswork, mosaic tiling, and elaborate carvings to influence both the exterior and interior.
Built between 1996 and 2007 at the request of Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the creator and really the first president of the United Arab Emirates, Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is certainly the most popular of Abu Dhabi's sights, and it's easy to see why. Among the world's largest mosques, this sanctuary functions 82 domes, more than 1,000 columns, and a gold and white exterior. What's more, this is one of only 2 mosques in the UAE available to non-Muslim tourists. That recommends that visitors from all around the world can stroll throughout the world's greatest hand-woven carpet, gaze up at one of the world's biggest chandeliers, and appreciate Fatimid's combination Mamluk and Ottoman architectural styles, representing 3 different Islamic dynasties.
Non-Muslims are enabled into all mosque areas (consisting of the huge library), and assisted tours are offered. The Abu Dhabi Early Morning Trip is an excellent way to get familiarized with the city. This 4-hour trip goes to the Sheikh Zayed Mosque, the busy markets and fishing harbour of Al Mina, and the regional guide's heritage village. Transport and hotel pickup and drop-off are included.
Address: Al Khaleej al Arabi Street, Abu Dhabi
2. Abu Dhabi Desert Safari
Surrounding the Liwa Sanctuary in the emirate's western part is the Al Gharbia region, house to the Rub Al Khali (Empty Quarter). As the most significant undisturbed sand mass worldwide, the Empty Quarter offers the very best background for a series of desert adventures. Whether you'd choose a more traditional camel trek or a wild dune buggy flight (typically described as "dune-bashing"), a safari-style jeep flight, or a birds-eye balloon tour, you'll find a lot of methods to check out the Arabian desert.
Many companies use arranged journeys of the Empty Quarter; a few of the more trustworthy options are Arabian Experiences, Emirates Tours, Abu Dhabi Experience Tours, and Abu Dhabi Desert Safari. Tours can be scheduled through the business' sites, and the earlier you attempt to make reservations, the most likely it is that there will be a schedule.
Many recent Abu Dhabi visitors state that their desert trip was one of the highlights of their journey. According to one TripAdvisor user (who booked through Abu Dhabi Desert Safari)," [The] Dune-bashing part was the most amazing thing I have actually ever done on vacation. Just do not take in several hours prior to. It's severe." Trip rates will rely on business and the kind of journey you pick. For additional information and concepts on planning your desert adventure, go to the Abu Dhabi tourism board website.
Another method to experience the desert would be to stay at Qasr Al Sarab or the Arabian Nights Town. Both of these resorts sit surrounded by the Empty Quarter dunes, and both use a variety of desert experience options for visitors.
3. Jebel Hafeet & The Al Ain Camel Souk
Increasing more than 4,000 feet out of the desert and straddling the UAE-Oman border about 15 miles south of Al Ain, Jebel Hafeet stands as the highest mountain in the emirate second-tallest mountain in the country. This mountain has played a considerable function in Emirati history: Not only have several notable fossil discoveries been made here, but however archaeologists have also revealed more than 500 ancient burial sites in the Jebel Hafeet foothills.
Yet most tourists do not prepare a trip to this mountain due to the truth that they have an interest in history; rather, Jebel Hafeet uses what various journey lovers (consisting of Edmunds.com and The Weather Condition Channel) have actually deemed one of the best driving roads worldwide. The street weaves its technique through the mountain's limestone as much as the top, where you'll find the Mercure Grand Jebel Hafeet hotel, along with beautiful views of Al Ain and neighbouring Oman. Numerous recent travellers advise making the drive late in the afternoon to take pleasure in the sunset from the mountaintop.
If you have some additional time after your drive, think about making a stop at the Al Ain Camel Souk, situated southeast of Jebel Hafeet (less than a 20-mile drive from the top) near the Oman border in Meyzad. The last traditional camel market in the UAE, this vibrant market will allow you to get up personal and close with the renowned "ships of the desert" and experience the camel trade as it has operated for centuries.
Those who have actually checked out say that they enjoyed their check out, though a number of travelers keep in mind that the residents have actually been known to request cash in return for images of the camels. Likewise, be mindful of how you dress for your see. "The camel souq is an all-male and rather conservative location. Modest clothing for both men and women is a must," one TripAdvisor user encouraged, consisting of "I would also suggest easy-to-clean shoes."
You will require a car to get to both Jebel Hafeet and the Camel Souk, which can be found south of Al Ain on the emirate's eastern edge. Indications will direct you to the mountain roadway, which you'll reach if you follow 122nd Street. You can drive to the Jebel Hafeet top at any time of day or night, free of charge. You also won't have to pay to explore the souk; hours of operation vary depending upon the day, and the season; however, your best option for a hectic atmosphere is to go to in the early morning. The Abu Dhabi tourism bureau provides more information on both Jebel Hafeet and the Camel Souk.
4. Sir Bani Yas Island
Among the best time-outs from Abu Dhabi city is to the wildlife reserve of Sir Bani Yas Island, first developed by Sheikh Zayed. Native Arabian wildlife such as gazelles and the endangered Arabian Oryx plus presented animals, consisting of leopards and giraffes, completely free roam within the huge reserve, which covers the interior of Sir Bani Yas Island.
Visitors can schedule 4x4 safaris, walking safaris, and horse-riding tours to see wildlife within the reserve, in addition to other activities including hiking, mountain biking, and kayaking. The island is accessed by boat from Jebel Dhanna, 260 kilometres west of the city.
5. Sheikh Zayed Palace Museum
Resting on the western edge of the Al Ain Sanctuary, the Sheikh Zayed Palace Museum (likewise called the Al Ain Palace Museum) uses visitors a look of what life looked like for the UAE's creator and first president. Built-in 1910, this enormous complex housed Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan and his family while he was in power. Visitors to the museum can discover more about the "Daddy of the Country" as they roam through the palace's yards, gardens, and sleeping quarters. You'll also have to possibility to peek into the conference room where Sheikh Zayed met with going to dignitaries and other guests.
Expect you make it to Al Ain, those who have checked out the Sheikh Zayed Palace Museum state that a self-guided trip takes approximately an hour which it's worth seeing. Travellers explain the palace as stunning, however one TripAdvisor user felt that the museum was lacking when it concerned details: "There is a map, but no pamphlets for foreign visitors, which I think would be of advantage."
The Sheikh Zayed Palace Museum lies in Al Ain on the emirate's eastern border, about 100 miles east of Abu Dhabi city. The X90 bus links Abu Dhabi city and Al Ain, while all Al Ain routes stop within the museum's strolling range. You can go to the palace between 8:30 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. Saturday through Thursday and from 3 to 7:30 p.m. on Fridays; admission is complimentary. For additional information, take a look at the Abu Dhabi tourist board.