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Updated by Joanna James on Sep 22, 2021
Headline for Top Things to Do in Abu Dhabi - Must-experience Tourist Activities in Abu Dhabi
Joanna James Joanna James
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Top Things to Do in Abu Dhabi - Must-experience Tourist Activities in Abu Dhabi

As one of the Middle East's most dynamic holiday hotspots, Abu Dhabi offers travellers a host of engaging and memorable tourist experiences. Here are some of the top things to do during a getaway to this desert hub.


Discover Qasr Al Hosn Fort

No trip to Abu Dhabi would be complete without a tour of the iconic Qasr Al Hosn Fortress. Dating back to the 18th century, the fort is the oldest structure in all of Abu Dhabi. Beautifully restored and home to countless historical relics and its own museum space, a visit to this venue is likely to bring tourists closer to understanding the origins of this city. The palace compound in the fort was built in the 1940s but is no less spectacular as this former dwelling of the ruler of the city is as resplendent as the fore itself. Don't forget to drop by the nearby House of Artisans to uncover how traditional baskets were made using centuries-old weaving methods.


Explore the Mangrove National Park

Nature lovers based in Abu Dhabi must make it a point to spend a day exploring the Mangrove National Park. As a geographical anomaly in this otherwise arid city, the sprawling nature sanctuary offers travellers the chance to go kayaking around its periphery. Discover the flora and fauna that occupy this leafy portion of Abu Dhabi on an hour's tour (with a tour guide) or sign up to enjoy the "Mangrove walk" hiking trail that extends across 2 kilometres. This free walking tour is accessible via a wooden footbridge and visitors can either walk the 2-kilometre trail or the shorter 1-kilometre path, depending on the time available.


Visit the Louvre

Who says a tour of the Louvre is restricted to those who are holidaying in Paris? Witness the beauty and majesty of the only branch of the iconic French museum outside of its national borders during a trip to Abu Dhabi. Having opened its doors to the public in 2017, the venue is now home to 12 galleries that cover the world's first civilisations, villages, religions, and even modern art pieces. Home to a children's museum, shop, café, and auditorium, the museum often showcases temporary exhibitions in conjunction with its headquarters in France.


Tour the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque

Whether one is based at the Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort by Anantara or any other Abu Dhabi spa resort, a tour of the Sheikh Zayed Mosque is another rite of passage that no tourist can afford to miss. As one of the biggest and most venerated landmarks and religious institutions in the city, the best time to tour this spiritual hub is during the afternoon or evening hours. Visitors must dress modestly and don the abaya and scarf provided at the entrance (in the case of female tourists) and purchases a ticket from the vending machine outside. Don't lose the ticket as one will be required to present it several times during a tour of the mosque.


Spend Time at Yas Island

Often called Abu Dhabi's own Disney World, Yas Island is where one finds the Warner Bros World Abu Dhabi theme park, Yas Waterworld, and Ferrari World. A single day is not enough to engage in all the fun-filled activities available in this leisure enclave; so, set aside at least two days to spend exclusively on Yas Island.