When you relocate to the UAE, it is important to know what there is to do out there. If you’re thinking about moving to Abu Dhabi, the capital of the UAE, then you’re in luck. Whether you’re looking for adrenaline pumping and heart-stopping thrills, or you prefer a true cultural experience, there’s plenty to do in this desert city.
We’ve picked our top 5 things to do in Abu Dhabi, tying in the culture and heritage of the UAE, as well as featuring a part of their record-breaking obsession, with their skyline of modern towers and shopping mega centres.
Visiting the Grand Mosque
The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque almost needs no introduction for those who know anything about Abu Dhabi. As the largest mosque in the UAE, it’s the key place of worship in the country, making it extremely busy during Friday prayers and Eid. Its construction was designed to ‘unite the world’ drawing artisans and materials from around the world including India, Italy, Germany, Pakistan, China, UK, New Zealand and many more.
When you visit the mosque it is important to dress respectfully. Abayas are usually worn by women and kanduras are worn by men visiting this place of worship. Tourists do not tend to wear these, and instead women must simply cover their arms to their wrists and legs to the ankles. It is also important for women to cover their hair. Abayas are however, on hand if you are stopped by the many guards patrolling for respectful clothing and behaviour.
Male tourists must wear pants and a shirt that covers their shoulders, preferably a long sleeve shirt. A visit here is a truly special and spiritual experience. The Grand Mosque is home to the world’s largest carpet, which weighs 35 tonnes and took approximately two years to complete, and was made by around 1300 carpet knotters. The beautiful white building is awe-inspiring and you will be completely hypnotised by its architecture no matter how many times you visit.
Dune Bashing on a Desert Safari
The desert safari is one of the most adrenaline-fuelling experiences you can take part in when you relocate to Abu Dhabi, and is a popular activity for people living or visiting the area. Jump into a 4x4 or dune buggy and your driver will take you speeding over and around the sand dunes in the middle of the desert, making sure aggression and speed are the main priority. Hold on tight and enjoy the experience as you whizz around the desert. Quite simply, one trip won’t be enough.
After the ride, you’ll be taken to an area where you can enjoy a traditional belly dance show and tuck into a barbecue in the desert. Deep in the northern edge of the Rub’ al Khali, also known as the Liwa Desert, is where the dune bashing folk love to play and it is easily one of the best spots to enjoy. Most experiences will also include a camel ride, henna painting, sandboarding and shisha, depending on which provider you booked through. Attracting locals and tourists alike, it’s easy to see why this is a part of our top 5 things to do.
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Run or Cycle around the Yas Marina Circuit
The Yas Marina Circuit is home to F1 in Abu Dhabi, and you can experience it your own way without having to watch the cars go round. You can run, walk or cycle your way around Yas Marina Circuit, and experience the 5.5km loop like never before. If that isn’t quite for you, or if you want to experience a little bit more of the action, the Yas KartZone is another heart-pumping way to practice the circuit. With various driving experiences on top of this, there’s so many ways you can navigate the twenty-one twisting corners. Move over Lewis Hamilton, we’re coming through!
Ride the World’s Fastest Rollercoaster
As we mentioned earlier, the UAE seems determined to break as many world records as possible. With the tallest building in the world and the highest fountains in the world, it only seems fitting that Abu Dhabi is home to the world’s fastest rollercoaster, located at the aptly named Ferrari World. If you think you’ve felt fast at your local theme park, we can guarantee that you haven’t felt anything yet; if you’re a thrill-seeker, then Formula Rossa is definitely the ride for you. Strap yourself into the cockpit of the F1 modelled coaster and ride at 240 km/hr, launching 52 metres into the sky. You will fly through chicanes, twists and turns, all inspired by some of the most famous race tracks in the world, while your adrenaline levels go through the roof, giving you a thrill you’ve never felt before.
Discover Lost Pearls at Yas Waterworld
Yas Waterworld is a water park centring on a pearl diving village and the legend of the lost pearl. The park offers an array of things to do for the whole family, including the chance to splash around with the popular characters Dana, Hamlool, Slither and Bubbles the Dolphin. With more than 40 rides, slides and attractions, as well as a unique interactive experience that will lead the whole family on a treasure hunt to find the lost pearl, there’s a huge amount of ways to pass the time here. Whether you’re looking for a bit of fun or just a break from the desert heat after relocating to Abu Dhabi, Yas Waterworld offers a fun relief from the scorching heat all year round.