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Updated by Lavinia Woolf on Apr 24, 2015
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Top things to do for visitors to Abu Dhabi - Top Activities for Visitors Exploring Abu Dhabi

As one of the Middle East's most popular holiday hubs Abu Dhabi offers a range of engaging activities. From desert safaris to catamaran rides the must-try activities in Abu Dhabi are as follows.

1

Go for Gold

Although a visit to the Emirates Palace is a popular excursion on any Abu Dhabi travel itinerary withdrawing gold from the venue's ATMs is a lesser known activity among visitors to the desert capital. Dispensing shinning gold coins instead of bank notes the lavish ATM machine at the Emirates Palace is somewhat of a national icon in its own right. Don't forget to snap a photograph of the withdrawal as one would want a souvenir of this one of a kind transaction.

2

An Evening at the Corniche

Tipped to be one of the most breathtaking areas of the city no visit to Abu Dhabi would be complete without an evening spent at the Corniche. Offering visitors captivating views of the cosmopolitan city and the ocean from a unique vantage point this seaside recreational hub is a favourite stopover for expats as well as locals looking to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Lined with cafes and other recreational facilities the venue also serves as a jogger's and cyclists' paradise.

3

Catamaran Excursions

Often described as one of the nest ways to discover the beauty and opulence of Abu Dhabi in a short period of time a catamaran ride along the city's coastline is another popular activity among seasoned visitors to the desert Mecca. Sailing along the coast of the city with the wind on one's back visitors can marvel at the sky piercing structures that line the shores and the panoramic views available at every turn.

4

Tour the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque

Often regarded as the city's cultural centrepiece a tour of the iconic Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is another must-have experience for visitors vacationing in Abu Dhabi. As a living testament to the artistic and religious identity of the city and its cultural heritage the awe-inspiring structure is a grand landmark that is home to the globe's biggest hand-made carpet, its most expansive dome and a chandelier that defies all ideas of decadence.

5

Desert Safari

A popular excursion among tourists from around the world a desert safari can be described as a veritable rite of passage for first time visitors. Exploring the unique geographical terrains inherent to the Middle East visitors can sign up for a desert safari tour that takes one to the heart of the desert to experience Bedouin culture and traditions while wining and dining in a sandy landscape straight out of the pages of the Arabian Nights. Visitors based in Eastern Mangroves Hotel & Spa by Anantara or any other Abu Dhabi luxury hotel can book a tour of desert through their accommodation provider.

6

Soar among the Clouds

Described by seasoned tourists as one of the most luxurious and memorable ways of exploring the sights and sounds of Abu Dhabi a hot air balloon ride is another engaging activity available to visitors. Taking in panoramic views of the UAE's geographically intriguing terrains visitors can hire a hot air balloon ride for special occasions and group excursions as well. Day break is the best time to enjoy a hot air balloon ride in the city as the weather is ideal during this period of the day.