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Holidays in Awesome Abu Dhabi - What You Need to Know

A feast of fun, luxury, entertainment and blissful relaxation awaits in Abu Dhabi, a sensational Middle Eastern metropolis on the shores of the enchanting Arabian Gulf.

Abu Dhabi

Beautiful mosques, ancient fortresses, pristine beaches, rolling deserts and opulent hotels await in this spellbinding holiday destination – Abu Dhabi truly does offer the world in one place.

You’ll also discover world-class restaurants, up-market shopping malls, award-winning theme parks, vibrant nightlife, and unrivalled hospitality in the capital of the United Arab Emirates.

Whether you’re craving a laid-back time relaxing by the pool or getting out and exploring the city and its surrounding natural attractions, this magnificent destination has it all.

We've decided to turn the spotlight on awe-inspiring Abu Dhabi – a charming archipelago of more than 200 islands – to reveal why it’s the perfect choice for an unforgettable holiday experience, no matter what kind of traveller you are.

What is the weather like in Abu Dhabi and when is the best time to visit?

Abu Dhabi has a subtropical arid climate, with hot summers and mild winters. Year-round sunshine makes a great choice any time of year, but the peak season is from October to April, when temperatures are more pleasant and less stifling, usually in the mid to high 20s.

Abu Dhabi

The mercury can rise into the early 40s in the height of summer, which may be good for lazing by the pool, but it’s not ideal for getting out and about to discover the wonders of Abu Dhabi. Temperatures rarely drop below 20°C in the winter months, with infrequent short-lived downpours of rain and the occasional thunderstorm.

How long is the flight from the UK to Abu Dhabi?

A direct flight from London to Abu Dhabi takes approximately 7 hours and 15 minutes. Abu Dhabi International Airport is the second largest airport in the UAE and offers duty free on both arrivals and departures. It also boasts an innovative Smart Travel System which eases passenger processing and enhances the customer experience.

What language is spoken in Abu Dhabi?

Arabic is the official language in Abu Dhabi and English is commonly used to communicate. Most signs and restaurant menus are also in both Arabic and English. The official currency for Abu Dhabi is the UAE Dirham. The emirate is a melting pot of cultures with more than 200 nationalities living there.

What are the top attractions in Abu Dhabi?

Abu Dhabi really excels when it comes to fabulous things to see and do, from enthralling cultural and historical sights to fun-packed sports, leisure and entertainment attractions – it offers the world in one place with a huge diversity of offering for every traveller.

Abu Dhabi

Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, which boasts the world's biggest chandelier and hand-made carpet, will take your breath away with its wondrous beauty and design.

Qa?r Al Wa?an is the impressive presidential palace of the United Arab Emirates where visitors are invited to 'share our culture, knowledge and inspiring journey'. Attractions in the palace include a huge library, high-end restaurants and a brilliant evening light and sound show.

Saadiyat Island is a 27 square kilometre oasis of world-class leisure attractions, cultural treasures, and residential business. This wonderful natural island is home to the region’s first universal museum, Louvre Abu Dhabi, Manarat Al Saadiyat culture and arts centre, and Saadiyat Beach Golf Club.

Observation Deck at 300 is the highest vantage point in Abu Dhabi offering jaw dropping 360-degree city views and Capital Gate, also known as the Leaning Tower of Abu Dhabi, is a 160-metre towering skyscraper.

The Corniche is a beautiful 8km public waterfront which boasts a superb promenade, delightful fountains, wonderful restaurants, play areas, a golden sandy beach and captivating views of the city skyline.

Abu Dhabi

Sheikh Zayed Bridge is an architectural and engineering marvel which was designed by renowned architect Dame Zaha Hadid. This formidable gateway to the city over the Maqta Channel is truly mesmerising at night when its colorful lighting provides a stunning spectacle.

Other major attractions which are definitely worth a visit include Emirates Heritage Club, Heritage Village, a reconstructed desert oasis town, Al Jahili Fort which dates back to the 1890s and Delma Island which has been inhabited for more than 7,000 years and is home to important historical pearl-diving centres.

What are the main natural wonders in Abu Dhabi?

Abu Dhabi is steeped in natural beauty and no visit would be complete without witnessing the magical Rub’ al Khali (Empty Quarter), the world’s largest sand desert. Enjoy an exciting camel ride or buggy safari on the sands and gaze in awe at the Tel Moreeb, (Terrifying Mountain) dune which is more than 300 metres high.

Abu Dhabi

The Mangrove National Park on the edge of the city is a dream come true for nature lovers and makes up around 75 per cent of the total mangrove forest area in the UAE. It is home to many species of birds, turtles, dolphins and tranquil channels of waters which are perfect for kayaking and boat cruises.

Al Wathba Wetland Reserve is a magnificent haven for pink flamingos and many other species of birds, plants, reptiles and aquatic life, while Hatta is an idyllic location with a glistening blue lake, surrounded by majestic mountain ranges.

Fossil Rock is another captivating natural attraction in the rocky hills and desert sands where you’ll discover fossils dating back more than 80 million years.

The warm and inviting Arabian Gulf waters are ideal for a range of exciting activities including snorkelling beneath the waves to observe spotted eagle rays, stingrays, turtles and moray eels. There are also many fascinating reefs and wrecks to explore.

Abu Dhabi is also blessed with glorious sandy beaches – private and public – which are ideal for soaking up the sun, enjoying lively games or taking to the ocean for some energetic water sports action.

Is there plenty to keep children entertained in Abu Dhabi?

Families will enjoy a bundle of fun in Abu Dhabi, with a host of excellent attractions to make every day a real winner.

Abu Dhabi

Warner Bros. World™ Abu Dhabi on Yas Island is an amazing indoor theme park offering thrills and spills galore. A load of fantastic rides includes The Jetsons Cosmic Orbiter, Batman Knight Flight and the Riddler Revolution.

Ferrari World Abu Dhabi, the world’s first Ferrari-branded theme park, is home to the Formula Rossa, the fastest roller-coaster on the planet, while Yas Waterworld is a real splash hit boasting a freefall waterslide and the Middle East's longest suspended rollercoaster.

You’ll hit the dizzy heights at CLYMB, the world’s tallest indoor skydiving flight chamber featuring exhilarating indoor climbing walls, while Yas Marina Circuit is the place to hit full speed in a Formula YAS 3000, race an Aston Martin GT4 or ride passenger-side in a Chevrolet Drift taxi.

Emirates Park Zoo provides a great day out, with giraffes, leopards, crocodiles, and elephants among the animals you'll encounter, while the Arabian Wildlife Park is a must-visit attraction on Sir Bani Yas Island where more than 17,000 animals roam free.

Many of Abu Dhabi's family-friendly luxury hotels also feature a range of superb amenities including kids’ clubs, mini water parks, playgrounds and special menus for young guests.

Is the transport system good for exploring Abu Dhabi?

There are several ways to get around Abu Dhabi during your holiday, including the public bus service which operates 24/7, with a flat fare of AED 2 within city limits. There’s also the option to hire a car or visit accessible attractions on foot.

Taxis are another great way to travel around. You can flag them down on the road, book one by phone or mobile app or simply step into one outside the city's hotels or shopping malls. There are many different taxi companies, and they are all regulated and booked via TransAD.

Is Abu Dhabi good for shopping?

Abu Dhabi is a shopper’s paradise with plenty of opportunity for some retail therapy during your stay.

Abu Dhabi

Yas Mall, the city’s largest shopping centre, spans 235,000 metres and features a plethora of high-end stores, top-class restaurants and exciting entertainment zones.

The Galleria Al Maryah Island mall near the heart of the city is home to more than 400 stores, 100 food and beverage options and entertainment for all ages.

If you fancy bartering for a bargain you should head for Abu Dhabi’s bustling traditional markets and souks where you’ll discover a huge choice of merchandise including local crafts, clothing, food, souvenirs, jewellery and handmade rugs and carpets.

What is the nightlife like in Abu Dhabi?

This dynamic destination bursts into life after dark with the chance to party in pulsating beachfront lounge bars, nightclubs and live music venues.

You’ll discover American-style sports bars and traditional English-style pubs where you can get in the party spirit, while duets, rock groups and jazz bands provide plenty of live entertainment.

There are several cinemas in Abu Dhabi if you fancy watching a movie and couples can savour romantic beachfront meals, sipping cocktails and watching glorious sunsets.

Many of the city’s luxurious hotels also provide bumper programmes of entertainment, with karaoke nights, discos, live bands and traditional dance acts among the attractions.

What is the traditional food and drink in Abu Dhabi?

Abu Dhabi is home to incredible dining experiences, with everything from world-class gourmet restaurants to authentic Arabian street food.

Abu Dhabi

Cuisines from around the globe are available in the city including Japanese, Italian, Chinese, French, Lebanese, Middle Eastern, Peruvian, British, Ethiopian, American and Mexican.

Traditional Abu Dhabi meals usually consist of a platter featuring meats such as lamb or chicken as separate dishes, accompanied with aromatic rice and seasonal vegetables. Emirati food is often infused with spices and ingredients from throughout Asia and the Middle East. You'll even come across camel meat in some restaurants.

Khuzi, also known as Ghuzi, is the national dish of the United Arab Emirates and consists of whole roasted lamb or mutton, served on top of spicy rice, and garnished with raisins, nuts and vegetables.

Other much-loved dishes in Abu Dhabi include Thereed, a soupy stew made up of chicken, lamb or mutton and vegetables, and Robyan Mashwi which is spiced and grilled jumbo shrimp served with rice or flatbread.

Popular drinks include Laban, a salty, yogurt-based beverage and Jalab, a refreshing fruit syrup drink made from grape molasses, dates and rose water.

Fresh salads and a platter of mezze – a selection of four or five appetiser dishes for sharing – are normally served with dinner. Sweet desserts, such as Baklava, and a traditional Arabic coffee will usually finish off a meal.

The Time is Now to discover the wonders of Abu Dhabi on a fabulous sunshine holiday. Start planning your holiday today at