Explore the UAE
Abu Dhabi is a major city with plenty to keep you busy and preoccupied for weeks. But while you are in the capital city, why not take the time to explore the rest of the UAE?
The United Arab Emirates is made up of a total of seven emirates, and each one has its own charm, personality and popular attractions that are worth a stop with family or friends. Plus, they all have something in common...the UAE's famous year-round sunshine and incredible weather, of course!
You can easily plan a day trip through tour operators or hire your own car and enjoy the scenic drive. Scroll down to check out our list of the best things to do across the UAE, and get ready for an unforgettable addition to your photo albums.
Tip: You can travel freely between all the emirates without restrictions, however, be sure to check the latest regulations around COVID-19.
Just a 60-minute drive away, taking a day trip to Dubai from Abu Dhabi is easy. From skydiving to street-side Karak tea, there's no shortage of things you can enjoy in this vibrant city.
Line up your day with a shopping stint at The Dubai Mall, enjoy lunch at Emirati-inspired Arabian Tea House, enjoy a gravity-defying show at La Perle by Dragone and so much more. Getting here by car or bus is the easiest thing but for popular sightseeing attractions like At The Top Burj Khalifa and Sky View Observatory, make sure to book in advance to avoid disappointment.
Ras Al Khaimah
Nestled within nature is the northernmost emirate, Ras Al Khaimah - a mountainous destination known for its leisure, adventure and cultural activities and only about two and a half hours away from Abu Dhabi. Amongst the hundreds of things to do in UAE, this one will be a definite highlight as you zipline across Jais Flight. It is the world's longest zipline that takes you through ravines and above mountain peaks at a speed of up to 160 kmph!
Or if you prefer something more relaxed, you can just dine at a beautiful desert campsite in the middle of nowhere.
The best part is that you can easily access Ras Al Khaimah from Abu Dhabi by car, taxi and even a direct bus link that departs twice a day, three times a week!
Umm Al Quwain
From outdoor activities to traditional Emirati culture, there are plenty of reasons to visit Umm Al Quwain, even if only for a day. Located around two hours and 15-minutes away from Abu Dhabi, you can soak up the sunshine at any of the more humble beach resorts, go kitesurfing or kayaking, and for curious explorers - visit the Umm Al Quwain Fort and Museum which dates back to 1768.
The best way to get to Umm Al Quwain is by hiring a car or using the bus transportation system to get you there.
Just a short one hour and 45-minute drive away from Abu Dhabi is the bustling city of Sharjah. As the third most populous city in the UAE, this emirate is teeming with things to see, do and eat! From a wide range of museums that showcase UAE's rich heritage to watersports at Khorfakkan and Kalba, there won't be a moment to spare when you're out exploring Sharjah. Decide which way you want to spend the day and make the most of it!
Known for its scenic beauty and simplicity, Ajman is the smallest of the seven emirates, and even then it makes the list of fun things to do in UAE. From mountains to mangroves, experience life at a slower pace here, especially when you need to take a break from the hustle and bustle of your regular routine. Under two hours drive from Abu Dhabi, you could escape to Fairmont Ajman for a relaxing staycation, go hiking or mountain biking at Masfout and truly disconnect.
A picturesque town frequented by travellers, Fujairah is surrounded by the Hajar mountains adding to its retro charm. Two hours and forty minutes away, you should really take your time to visit the age-old forts here which date back to 1830. Otherwise, if you love diving and beaches, the increasingly popular Snoopy Island is just the place. Surrounded by beautiful reefs, you can occasionally spot turtles and small sharks here; a welcome escape from city life!