Authentic Emirati Experiences in Abu Dhabi
Citizens of the UAE are known as 'Emiratis' and their heritage and traditions go back centuries, back to when the Bedouins roamed the vast deserts and open waters that make up Abu Dhabi. Crafts, recipes and traditions have been passed down from generation to generation and are a significant part of daily life in the emirate to this day.
Experiencing and learning about Emirati culture is a highlight of any traveller's trip to Abu Dhabi. No matter how you want to get an authentic Emirati experience, you'll find something perfect for you. You can experience everything from enjoying an Emirati meal prepared lovingly by Emiratis themselves or visit a local Emirati ranch in the desert. Your trusted Emirati tour guides will accompany you every step of the way and true to Emirati hospitality, everyone is welcome, even if you're flying solo or bringing along the whole family.
Explore seven amazing experiences below that will elevate your trip to Abu Dhabi and bring you closer to the people of the UAE.
Emirati Homemade Breakfast Experience
Make your morning quintessentially Emirati and taste a traditional Emirati breakfast inside Abdulrahman AlZaabi's traditional Emirati household. This intimate experience is your opportunity to try Emirati food and interact with Emiratis on a more personal level. Enjoy three courses of delicious staples from an Emirati breakfast menu including chebab (fluffy pancakes), crunchy ragag bread and a sweet serving of karak tea. Abdulrahman will also teach you about Emirati customs, clothing and perfumery.
Urban Treasures Tour
Across Abu Dhabi, there are recognised Urban Treasures that have contributed to the city's culture and economy for decades. On this specially designed tour, Abdulrahman AlZaabi will take you on an exploration of these notable locations where you can admire breathtaking architecture and refuel at quaint restaurants and souqs.
Sit back as Abdulrahman drives you from point to point through Abu Dhabi's vibrant neighbourhoods and bustling markets including Madinat Zayed, Al Maryah Island and the iconic Qasr Al Hosn.
Abu Dhabi Night Tour
On this exclusive night tour you'll witness a whole new perspective of Abu Dhabi. The tour begins at Corniche Beach at the most beautiful time of day, sunset. You'll be guided by Emirati, Abdulrahman AlZaabi, and stroll past domed palaces which glow during the peaceful golden hour. Don't forget to look up, you'll see sprawling towers glistening amongst the city lights. These stunning views are complemented with teachings of the city's skyline and rich history, delivered by Abdulrahman himself.
The tour also takes a stop at the Founders Memorial, a place to learn about the founder of the United Arab Emirates, Sheikh Zayed. Then, your tour will end with a spectacular light show at Qasr Al Watan, the presidential palace.
Have a traditional meal with an Emirati
Emirati food is infused with spices and ingredients from throughout Asia and the Middle East, a reflection of the UAE’s trading heritage. Join Naser Sabaan at his residence to sit, eat and learn more about the everyday life of Emiratis.
With this experience you can go on a culinary journey and try a variety of traditional meals. Whilst your food is prepared you can learn from Naser about how Emirati food is made and the etiquette of an Emirati majlis. This is also a unique opportunity to feed your curiosity and ask any questions surrounding life for citizens in the UAE. Be sure to complete your experience with indulgent Emirati sweets that are a staple in every Emirati home.
Visit a local ranch with an Emirati
On a traditional Emirati ranch you'll find camels, horses, sheep, falcons and so much more. Join Naser Sabaan on this unique ranch experience to get closer to the animals and learn how an Emirati farm operates.
As well as experiencing all things farming, you can watch performances of traditional Emirati songs and dances and try on traditional Emirati dress which will result in truly memorable photos.
Discover a local date and fish market with an Emirati
Dates are not only a popular snack in Emirati culture, but they are also significant to the Islamic faith. Take a tour to a date market with your guide, Ebrahim AlHarbi, to witness the hustle and bustle of market life and learn about the variety of dates. And that's just the start.
Join Ebrahim as he takes you to a local fish market, Abu Dhabi Fish market to be exact - one of the largest on the UAE. This buzzing market is a hive of activity with shoppers searching for the perfect catch. Ebrahim will tell you all about the UAE and Abu Dhabi's connection with the ocean which runs deep in the its heritage. Of course, no trip to the fish market would be complete without tasting for yourself.
Unwind in traditional play at Studio Clay
Bring out your inner artist and immerse yourself in a tradition that dates back thousands of years with clay art workshops at Studio Clay. Learn how this form of art was once an integral part of the day to day life of Emiratis. From creating functional objects like pottery and jars to storage containers and cups, clay work helped foster the nomadic lifestyle of the Bedouins.
Choose from a range of classes and workshops, and experience culture first hand in a unique form.
Experience Abu Dhabi like a local
Use the guide for more details on these authentic Emirati experiences