Abu Dhabi Travel Guide
Abu Dhabi, the capital of the UAE, is a traditional and prime location of excellence. Unlike its sister emirate, Dubai, that hosts several skyscrapers, ultra-modern architecture, and glamorous communities, Abu Dhabi preserves its culture while progressing into a modern-day sustainable city. Although this emirate is popularly known as a cultural and historical destination, there are a lot of mind-blowing experiences you do not want to miss during your visit to Abu Dhabi. The advancement in its innovation and technology scheme has made the city to be ranked high amongst the most developed cities in the middle east. If you are coming to Abu Dhabi for the first time, the Abu Dhabi travel guide we have prepared is for you
To know what it's like Abu Dhabi Travel, here's some information to guide you.
Abu Dhabi Travel Guide For Beginners
How To Get Abu Dhabi?
There is an airport in Abu Dhabi called the Abu Dhabi International Airport that connects to many parts of the world. It is one of the UAE's busiest airports and as such, getting into Abu Dhabi isn't daunting. According to research, as of 2019, it was the top-ranked airport in the Middle East. The leading airline is Etihad, an airline with high standards. Additionally, arriving in Abu Dhabi from other emirates is by road.
As one of the most visited emirates, Abu Dhabi is home to a wide range of luxurious hotels which includes Emirates Palace Hotel Abu Dhabi, Four Seasons Hotel Abu Dhabi, The St. Regis Abu Dhabi and so much more. However, if you can't keep up with the budget of an expensive hotel, you can lodge in one of the comfortable and affordable hotels. Avail yourself an opportunity to enjoy one of these luxurious hotels at an affordable price, and it's advisable to book ahead of time via booking site.
According to residents in this region, life is greener in this emirate. However, getting accustomed to life in the Middle East wholly depends on your personality. Abu Dhabi is rich in diversity with a mixture of various nationalities, languages, and cultures, which makes it enthralling for first-time travellers. Hence, tourists and residents can eat a variety of meals, and learn about other cultures, most especially the UAE culture.
The cost of living in this part of the UAE is relatively fair compared with Dubai. Furthermore, the city is home to several international students who seek to pursue higher education in one of its universities. Due to its peaceful nature, Abu Dhabi is a perfect location for a family vacation with a matchless mixture of entertainment and comfort.
The communities in Abu Dhabi are suitable for families, singles, and working professionals. Majority of the buildings are Arabian-themed, but the newer buildings have more modern architectural designs. Families in most communities adapt to the lifestyle of the city by living near facilities that suit their needs rather than places of attraction. These include optimal medical care, outstanding schools like GEMS Winchester Abu Dhabi, Cranleigh Abu Dhabi, British international school, GEMS World Academy Abu Dhabi, The Pearl Academy, Al Yasmina Abu Dhabi, etc. Other facilities are play areas for kids, malls, grocery stores and other facilities. Islands like Reem, Saadiyat and Yas Island are popularly known as the most prestigious islands with luxurious surroundings and amenities for people who live there. The city has three municipalities-
Abu Dhabi City Municipality (Abu Dhabi Municipality), Al Ain City Municipality, and Western Region Municipality (Al Gharbia) (West Region Municipality).
• Abu Dhabi City Municipality (ADM)
Adu Dhabi Municipality is the capital Province, where most activities happen. It is also a location for the highly paid ex-pats and is the most visited municipality in Abu Dhabi. The area consists of Abu Dhabi city, the island, and the mainland. Visitors usually gain access to this part of the emirate via the Dubai border. The lifestyle of residents is a combination of liberal and conservative with facilities such as beaches, attractions, fascinating architecture, and world-class hospitals & schools. Communities in this municipality include Al Wathba, Al Zaafran, Abu Dhabi Gate City, Mussafah, and Al Shahama.
• Al Ain City Municipality
This family-oriented community is equipped with all its residents to need to live comfortably and peacefully. Most of the apartments or villas are Arabian styled. Some places of interest are the malls that have many attractions for both tourists and residents. Another area of interest to most tourists is the Al Ain Wildlife Park & Resort that has a variety of species of animals. Communities in this municipality include Al Saniya, Al Maqam, Al Foah, Al Niyadat, Al Surooj, Al, Muwaiji, and so on.
• Western Region Municipality
Similar to Al Ain in building structure, lifestyle, and amenities, this municipality is also more of a family-friendly community. Some areas in the region include Al Marfa, Al Sila, Dalma, Ghayathi, Liwa, and so on.
The islands in the heart of the city include:
• Al Reem Island
• Al Samiliyyah Island
• Balrmad Island
• Saadiyat Island
• Yas Island
Abu Dhabi isn't just a holiday destination. Following the rapid development of the educational sector in the emirate, Abu Dhabi has become host to several international and local universities in which students from various countries learn. Examples of the universities include Abu Dhabi University, Zayed University, New York University, Sorbonne University, Abu Dhabi Men's College, Emirates College of Technology, Khalifa University of Science and Technology, The London Institute of Banking and Finance, etc. These universities offer bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees. Are you thinking of working and schooling in Abu Dhabi? You can do so at your convenience.
From the most exclusive private beaches with luxurious facilities to regular public beaches, Abu Dhabi has a variety of beaches. Are you considering basking in the ambience of the fine weather of the city and mingle with other ex-pats and locals? Then these beaches will do. Most of the beaches, though family-friendly, are also suitable for singles to hang out. One of the prestigious beaches is Yas beach on Yas Island, where the F1 race track is. One major event that causes adults to visit this beach on Fridays is the pool party for adults. Other beaches include- The Nation Riviera Beach Club, Saadiyat Beach Club, etc. with sections for families, ladies, and kids. The beaches offer their visitors access to kites, water skiing, kayaking, scuba diving, watersports, a wildlife park, etc. On a side note, it's advisable to exercise caution on apparel when dressing to the beach, especially if you won't be swimming or taking part in any of the watersports. Most of the private beaches have an entry fee. Additionally, those who aren't lodging in one of the prestigious hotels with beaches can gain membership to the beach at cost. One fun fact is that you may see dolphins in the gulf waters in some of the beaches.
Night Clubs and Bars
Just like its sister city, Dubai, Abu Dhabi has some of the best bars and clubs in the UAE. Some of these bars and clubs designed according to western culture and the Arabian culture. From entertainment to food, the clubs make sure the party never gets boring. The consumption of alcohol is under specific UAE laws. One major event ladies look forward to is the ladies' night where they can order what they want on the house, how interesting is that! Residents can attest to some things they do apart from general partying in the club, for instance, they go for business meetings, meet a date, go for reviews, organize a birthday or bridal party, and so on.
If you think the summer is hot in your country, experience what the summer really can be in Abu Dhabi! Although everywhere uses the air conditioning system, without it, you feel the temperature which sometimes gets up to 500C. Hence, most tourists prefer to visit the country during the colder period, which is from October to May. The winter in the city is usually from 120C to about 280C. Residents plan more during the winter to have staycations, beach time, and picnics due to the pleasant weather.
Currently, Abu Dhabi hosts over 120 embassies and representations of other countries in the central city. Therefore, tourists and residents may have other reasons to visit the city asides for leisure and work.
Being an authentic city that promotes tourism, there are quite many tourist attractions in the city. These include:
- The Grand Mosque
Known for its magnificent design, the famous Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is the third-largest mosque in the world and the largest in the UAE. The style of this phenomenal place of wonder can accommodate approximately 40,000 worshippers. The interiors marvel the thousands of visitors it receives monthly. It is free for Muslims and non-Muslims to visit this mosque although you must to dress modestly to enter. The workers in the mosque will give you an Abaya just before you go in if you not covered up appropriately.
-Louvre Abu Dhabi
Considered as one of the modern urban wonders of the world built to a global standard is the iconic Louvre Abu Dhabi. This Museum symbolizes a mighty achievement in the UAE. Louvre Abu Dhabi is modelled after the Parisian Museum and appreciated by art-lovers and creatives. The interiors are not only a wonder to its visitors but a mode of education about the different cultures and civilizations. There is a fee to enter.
Other places of interest include the Ferrari World, Qasr Al Hosn, Warner Bros World, Yas Waterworld, Desert Safari, and so on.
In a diverse city like Abu Dhabi, you will likely hear languages that differ from the major languages spoken – Arabic and English. Most of its residents are Indians, and there are several languages just in India. The benefit of this is residents who are willing to learn a new language can do so.
Transportation in Abu Dhabi
Unlike the most progressive emirate in the UAE, Dubai, the primary means of transportation within this city is a taxi. Buses are also available to commute within and out of the town. Here is some information about them
Taxis: the meter starts counting at 5 Dirhams, and the minimum charge for a trip is 12 Dirhams. The colour of the Abu Dhabi taxi is sand colour and a different roof colour depending on the taxi company. It isn't unlikely especially for tourists to leave an item behind. In case this happens, you can contact 600535353 as taxis in Abu Dhabi have installed cameras.
Buses: For easy access within the city, residents, and tourists with the Hafilat card commute with the public buses. Recently, buses started accepting the NOL card as a means of payment if you are going to Dubai from any municipality in Abu Dhabi. The card helps the resident go out without necessarily having cash as long as they have topped up their cards. Another means of transportation if the resident doesn't have a personal car is a taxi.
The currency in this region of the world is the dirham pronounced as 'deer-ham'. Visitors coming into the country have access to bureaus de change in the airport and various parts of the city. Their currency includes 0.25 Fils, 0.50 Fils, 1 dirham which are coins and 5 dirhams, 10 dirhams, 20 dirhams, 50 dirhams, 100 dirhams, 200 dirhams, 500 dirhams, and 1000 dirhams which come in notes. It is advisable to note the difference in the coins and notes so as not to get them mixed up or pay an excess when in fact you shouldn't. For instance, the 0.25 fils and 1-dirham coin are slightly alike, but the latter is more significant, 5 & 50 Dirhams note is a little bit similar in colour as well as 10 and 20 dirhams note.
Other things to note:
- The telephone code in the UAE IS +971, and the landline code is 02.
- As it is a conservative city, it's best to dress modestly, especially to places you haven't visited, to avoid being sent back.
- The city is slightly hotter than its neighbouring emirates.
- The time zone is GMT +4.