My Favorite 10 Things to do Abu Dhabi

Written and Published September 14, 2016


My Favorite 10 Things to do Abu DhabiThings to do Abu Dhabi - Understand


Abu Dhabi shares many similarities with Dubai, but it is less crowded, less frantic and has more of a 'small town' feel to it. This is changing rapidly though and the city keeps adding attraction after attraction that draw similar crowds as Dubai.

As with Dubai, more 'development' is driven by quick expansion and you need to look extra-hard to find homegrown excellence in food and atmosphere.

Things to do Abu Dhabi - Get Around


Uber and Careem both used to operate in the city until recently, but their futures seem in jeopardy now. Taxis are very cheap though and in many instances parking is either free or available for a small fee. Renting a car is not a bad option and the AC gets you out of the intense summer heat.

The speed limit is vigorously enforced in Abu Dhabi and there are thousands of speed cameras to prove it (and I assume they actually work). There are no road tolls here, unlike in Dubai.

Things to do Abu Dhabi - Sights


Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque

This mosque, completed in 2007, is just stunning. The blue water pools, the blue skies and the shining white marble all make for fantastic pictures. The interior can't match the grand exterior, though.

My Favorite 10 Things to do Abu Dhabi

My Favorite 10 Things to do Abu Dhabi

There is no entry fee and, most of the time, the crowds dissipate nicely at the mosque. The Sheik Zayed Mosque is open until late - I liked my recent visit at night even more.

Try to takeappropriate attire, although if you haven't, there is a rental option at the south entrance.

The Corniche

The Corniche at sunset time is where the city comes to life. It's a beautiful spot and gets crowded.

My Favorite 10 Things to do Abu Dhabi My Favorite 10 Things to do Abu Dhabi My Favorite 10 Things to do Abu Dhabi

Emirates Palace Hotel


The Emirates Palace is an over-the-top luxury hotel that features a striking exterior and lobby. While touristy, the gold bar ATMhere is a fun idea.
My Favorite 10 Things to do Abu Dhabi




In Abu Dhabi and Dubai you'll always have an excuse to hit the mall. It's just too hot outside and this mall has a pretty location encircled by water.







Yas Island

This island is home to a huge IKEA, Ferrari World, Yas Waterworld and a Formula 1 race track.The best place to see the stunning race track and the marina is the Viceroy Hotel.

My Favorite 10 Things to do Abu Dhabi

Things to do Abu Dhabi - Eat & Drink


Ceruttiil Café

The bar for quality espresso isn't set high in Abu Dhabi, so Cerutti isn't so bad. The atmosphere is somewhat weird and there's lots of smoking indoors, but the coffee is decent, the staff are friendly and there's plenty of parking available outside near the Corniche.

My Favorite 10 Things to do Abu Dhabi

Trader Vic's

I know, I know, it's a chain, but a small one and it is originally from San Francisco. This Abu Dhabi outlet of the Polynesian themed restaurantat the BeachRotana Hotel attracts a good crowd and the cocktails are delicious - aren't they?

My Favorite 10 Things to do Abu Dhabi

Bait El Khetyar Cafeteria

This Lebanese eatery near the Holiday Inn Abu Dhabi downtownlikely has some of the best inexpensive food in town. It's not easy to spot, but it's worth going there if you are hungry.

My Favorite 10 Things to do Abu Dhabi


Circle Cafe

Circle Cafe is one of those places thatisjust perfect for a lazy brunch. Fantastic interior design and good food and coffee make this place a winner. It's hidden inside a small mall in a rather residential neighborhood.

My Favorite 10 Things to do Abu Dhabi

Asia de Cuba

Asia de Cuba is part of the St Regis Hotel and has gorgeous views over the water. Once the Abu Dhabi heat dissipates, this is a great place for a drink or Cuban snack.

My Favorite 10 Things to do Abu Dhabi