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Step back into time and visit the Al Wathba Fossil Dunes, a must-see for any Abu Dhabi trip. The area is protected and home to 1,700 fossil dunes that are over four million years old. With well lit paths and perfect skies for stargazing, this tour is especially unique during the night.



Highlights

6 hours

Walking

Car

Highlights

6 hours

Walking

Car

Day 1 highlights

Begin your journey through the 3-kilometre-long Al Wathba Fossil Dune trails that meander through natural marvels. Along the trail you'll be able to take in music and light shows in the amphitheatre, stop for a beverage at the food trucks and soak in art in the gallery.

From here, head to Al Sadeem Observatory because there is no better place to stargaze than the desert. Be sure to take in the beautiful skies and learn from the experts about the night sky.

To round off your evening, take a short journey to Al Wathba Luxury Collection Resort for dinner. Choose from a wide range of cuisines with many offering panoramic views of the dunes.


Al Wathba Fossil Dunes

Stop 1

Located 45 kilometres to the east of Abu Dhabi, Al Wathba Fossil Dunes Protected Area comprises of more than 1,700 fossil dunes, spread over 7 square kilometres, making it one of the largest numbers of fossil dunes concentrated in one location in the emirate.

Geologists estimate the age of fossil formations within the protected location at over four million years. At the reserve you can enjoy the natural marvels of the area, by walking the well-lit trails, which extend to 3 kilometres both ways and are surrounded by benches and shades for relaxing.

You can also enjoy music and light shows which will take place throughout opening hours and can be viewed from the amphitheatre, which holds up to 200 visitors. The site will also feature various food and beverage trucks in dedicated areas. To enrich your experience, you can enjoy the facilities at the visitor centre, including the viewing area and the gallery corner, as well as benches and several areas to soak in the beauty of the wonderful site.

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Stop 2

Since its official opening in July 2016, Abu Dhabi’s space observatory, Al Sadeem Observatory, located in the middle of the desert in Al Wathba South, has delighted avid astronomy enthusiasts and stargazers.

The two founders, Thabet Al Qaissieh and Alejandro ‘Andy’ Palado, believe that it is a great way to get the community engaged in astronomy and hope that the observatory will become a place for all space enthusiasts in Abu Dhabi to go to learn about our incredible universe.

At Al Sadeem Observatory, you’re able to attend interesting lectures on space and astronomy that follow the STEM program, and indulge in planetary and deep sky observations. As part of its mission to help in nurturing space research in the country, Al Sadeem Observatory has been collaborating on researches with educational institutions and professional astronomers here and around the globe. The two-storey observatory consists of a 5,5 metre, 360-degree rotational dome made entirely of fibreglass, with a Meade LX850, 16-inch telescope mounted in the centre. You’ll find several highly-advanced telescopes inside that provide brilliant opportunities for stargazing and viewings of space.

 

*Closed on Sundays and open from 6:00 PM onwards

*The observatory is closed for visits during the summer from June to September
*Open for two weeks monthly, when the moon is bright

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Stop 3

Deep within the desert landscape of Al Wathba, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Abu Dhabi is an intimate retreat suffused with natural beauty and serene tranquility. With the distinct Talise Spa as the hallmark of the hotel experience, guests can rebalance and embark on an individual wellness journey. Inspired by classical dwellings, the boutique resort's 103 guest rooms and villas feature timeless local details, traditional artwork, and Arabesque accessories, alongside a range of dining destinations showcasing the dunes to panoramic perfection. Step away from it all into an exclusive natural environment, with the space to reconnect and the freedom to lose yourself.

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Stop 1

Located 45 kilometres to the east of Abu Dhabi, Al Wathba Fossil Dunes Protected Area comprises of more than 1,700 fossil dunes, spread over 7 square kilometres, making it one of the largest numbers of fossil dunes concentrated in one location in the emirate.

Geologists estimate the age of fossil formations within the protected location at over four million years. At the reserve you can enjoy the natural marvels of the area, by walking the well-lit trails, which extend to 3 kilometres both ways and are surrounded by benches and shades for relaxing.

You can also enjoy music and light shows which will take place throughout opening hours and can be viewed from the amphitheatre, which holds up to 200 visitors. The site will also feature various food and beverage trucks in dedicated areas. To enrich your experience, you can enjoy the facilities at the visitor centre, including the viewing area and the gallery corner, as well as benches and several areas to soak in the beauty of the wonderful site.

Read More