films inabudhabi

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Calling all film buffs! Abu Dhabi’s stunning diversity of landscapes and dramatic locations continue to inspire Hollywood and Bollywood. 

On day one of the Films #InAbuDhabi tour, take in three sights that Richard Hammond of Top Gear fame enjoyed on his trip to the UAE capital. From the Yadi Yas, a lazy river at Yas Waterworld Abu Dhabi, to the city’s Grand Prix race track, Yas Marina Circuit, to the rolling dunes of the Empty Quarter desert. Bollywood films Bang Bang! and Baby also filmed in the desert, with Star Wars: The Force Awakens shooting in the dunes too.

On day two, explore the Empty Quarter desert and Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort by Anantara before heading to the quirky Emirates National Auto Museum, featured on Top Gear

On day three, enjoy a meal at Observation Deck at 300 in Etihad Towers. In an iconic Furious 7 scene, a death-defying leap in a Lykan Hypersport took place between two of the high-rise towers there. Next, head to Abu Dhabi Corniche, featured in the Bollywood blockbuster, Bang Bang!

Finish your tour at the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, an Abu Dhabi landmark and a location featured in the Bollywood film Baby.

Highlights

3 Days

Car

382 KMs

Yas Waterworld

Highlights

3 Days

Car

382 KMs

Yas Waterworld

What to expect

Day 1 highlights

Total Distance

214 KMs

Number of stops

3

Transport

Car

Duration

9 Hrs

Head to Yas Waterworld Abu Dhabi, the iconic Yas Marina Circuit, and Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort by Anantara to see locations featured in shows and films like Top Gear, Bang Bang! and Baby, among others.

Yas Waterworld Abu Dhabi

Stop 1

Stop 1

Recommended Time: 3 hours

Yas Waterworld Abu Dhabi is a waterpark with Emirati heritage at its heart. The Lost Pearl is the central theme, following the story of a young Emirati girl on a quest to find a legendary pearl. Sitting atop Jebel Dhana, the park’s towering centrepiece, sits an enormous pearl, bringing The Lost Pearl theme to life visually.

Spanning 15 football pitches, this amazing full-day park experience brings you and your family exhilarating water-based activities across a range of thrill levels. With over 40 rides, slides and attractions – five of which are one-of-a-kind – you’re sure to make lifelong memories here. 

Try the world-first, largest hydromagnetic-powered, 238-metre long, six-person tornado waterslide, Dawwamma, or check out three-metre-high waves on Bubble’s Barrel, which boasts the world’s largest surfable sheet wave for flow boards and bodyboards. The Bandit Bomber, a 550-metre coaster, showcases onboard water and laser effects, with riders shooting jets of water at targets, dropping water bombs and triggering special effects. Passersby below them, meanwhile, can also get in on the action, spraying riders with water as they pass. All that activity should work up an appetite, and you’ll find various restaurants on-site, as well as a souk (market) and pearl-diving exhibits. Entry to the park is AED 250 for adults and AED 230 for children.

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Stop 2

Stop 2

Recommended Time: 3 hours

Launched in 2009 to host the Formula 1™ Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Yas Marina Circuit is still one of the UAE's most epic motorsports, sporting and business venues. Created to elevate Abu Dhabi's status as a world-class sporting destination, this impressive mega-budget circuit draws travellers from around the world.

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Stop 3

Stop 3

Recommended Time: 3 hours

Just 90 minutes from Abu Dhabi, the magnificent Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort by Anantara is set within the famed Liwa Desert and is a luxurious escape steeped in the Empty Quarter's intriguing traditions.

With sweeping desert views, the beautiful rooms, suites and villas feature warm, earthy interiors accented by locally hand-crafted furnishings.

Guests are spoilt with a variety of culinary options. Indulge in the richness of indigenous culture with theme nights featuring local performance artists at Al Waha; tuck into fresh seafood and grilled specialities at the tranquil rooftop restaurant, Suhail; cool down with icy treats at the poolside bar; enjoy an afternoon ritual of authentic Arabian coffee and pastries at Al Liwan; savour a refreshing drink and dine by the pool during the day at Ghadeer or lounge around enjoying shisha and a menu of Mediterranean signature dishes by night.

The Dining by Design feature gives visitors a one-of-a-kind dining experience amidst the golden sand dunes as they are served by private butlers whilst watching a romantic sunset.

There's also a range of excursions that reflect the region's ancient cultural traditions, including early morning desert walks, falconry, camel treks, archery or mountain biking through scenic routes.

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Stop 1

Yas Waterworld Abu Dhabi

Recommended Time: 3 hours

Yas Waterworld Abu Dhabi is a waterpark with Emirati heritage at its heart. The Lost Pearl is the central theme, following the story of a young Emirati girl on a quest to find a legendary pearl. Sitting atop Jebel Dhana, the park’s towering centrepiece, sits an enormous pearl, bringing The Lost Pearl theme to life visually.

Spanning 15 football pitches, this amazing full-day park experience brings you and your family exhilarating water-based activities across a range of thrill levels. With over 40 rides, slides and attractions – five of which are one-of-a-kind – you’re sure to make lifelong memories here. 

Try the world-first, largest hydromagnetic-powered, 238-metre long, six-person tornado waterslide, Dawwamma, or check out three-metre-high waves on Bubble’s Barrel, which boasts the world’s largest surfable sheet wave for flow boards and bodyboards. The Bandit Bomber, a 550-metre coaster, showcases onboard water and laser effects, with riders shooting jets of water at targets, dropping water bombs and triggering special effects. Passersby below them, meanwhile, can also get in on the action, spraying riders with water as they pass. All that activity should work up an appetite, and you’ll find various restaurants on-site, as well as a souk (market) and pearl-diving exhibits. Entry to the park is AED 250 for adults and AED 230 for children.

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Yas Waterworld Abu Dhabi
Yas Waterworld Abu Dhabi
What to expect

Day 2 highlights

Total Distance

147 KMs

Number of stops

3

Transport

Car

Duration

9 Hrs

Start your day at Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort by Anantara and explore the surrounding Empty Quarter desert before heading to the quirky Emirates National Auto Museum, home to vehicles featured on Top Gear.

Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort by Anantara

Stop 1

Stop 1

Recommended Time: 3 hours

Seeing this stunning hotel emerge from the shimmering, flame-coloured dunes of the majestic Empty Quarter is like witnessing an illustration from the fairytale One Thousand and One Nights come to life. Like a mirage that seemingly appears out of nowhere, the luxury Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort by Anantara is a plush oasis just 200km from Abu Dhabi city.

The Empty Quarter, also known as the Rub’ al Khali, is the world’s largest uninterrupted sand mass, and Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort by Anantara reflects the region’s ancient cultural traditions, welcoming adventurers of all ages with warm Arabian hospitality. From families seeking new sights and solo travellers looking for action in a unique, ever-changing landscape, to couples searching for a romantic escape, this luxe resort offers everything you need to create a dream holiday.

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Stop 2

Stop 2

Recommended Time: 3 hours

Describing the world's largest uninterrupted sand mass, explorer Sir Wilfred Thesiger wrote, “It was very still, with the silence which we have driven from our world”. 

Today, the magical Rub’ al Khali (Empty Quarter) offers the same serene silence that it did when Thesiger explored it with his Emirati and Omani companions in the 1940s, its fine golden and red sands shifting with the winds to form dunes hundreds of feet high and visible as far as the eye can see.

Beautiful by day or starry night, this ever-changing expanse of desert boasts one of the world’s most luxurious hotels: the magnificent Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort by Anantara.

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Stop 3

Stop 3

Recommended Time: 2 hours

If you’re looking for a quirky place to take some impressive photographs, head to this gem. A great place to stop on the way to or from Liwa, and some 45 kilometres south of Abu Dhabi city, this ‘pyramid’ houses around 200 cars belonging to His Highness Sheikh Hamad Bin Hamdan Al Nahyan.

You’ll find a vast collection of off-road vehicles and classic American cars, the Sheikh's Mercedes rainbow collection and the world's largest truck. Some of the collection has even been featured on the BBC television programme, Top Gear.

Opening times are 9am to 6pm seven days a week, but are subject to change. Entry costs AED 50 and children under 10 enter for free.

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Stop 1

Qasr al Sarab

Recommended Time: 3 hours

Seeing this stunning hotel emerge from the shimmering, flame-coloured dunes of the majestic Empty Quarter is like witnessing an illustration from the fairytale One Thousand and One Nights come to life. Like a mirage that seemingly appears out of nowhere, the luxury Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort by Anantara is a plush oasis just 200km from Abu Dhabi city.

The Empty Quarter, also known as the Rub’ al Khali, is the world’s largest uninterrupted sand mass, and Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort by Anantara reflects the region’s ancient cultural traditions, welcoming adventurers of all ages with warm Arabian hospitality. From families seeking new sights and solo travellers looking for action in a unique, ever-changing landscape, to couples searching for a romantic escape, this luxe resort offers everything you need to create a dream holiday.

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Qasr al Sarab
Qasr al Sarab
What to expect

Day 3 highlights

Total Distance

19 KMs

Number of stops

3

Transport

Car

Duration

7 Hrs

Enjoy a meal 74 floors up at Observation Deck at 300 at Etihad Towers, with the latter featured in Furious 7. Then soak up breathtaking views along Abu Dhabi Corniche, showcased in Bang Bang!, before exploring the majestic Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, a key location in Baby.

Observation Deck at 300

Stop 1

Stop 1

Recommended Time: 2 hours

Located in Etihad Towers' second tower, on level 74 of Jumeirah at Etihad Towers, Observation Deck at 300 is the highest vantage point in Abu Dhabi. Soak up uninterrupted, birds-eye views 300 metres above the UAE capital and capture impressive photos of the city skyline, Corniche and Arabian Gulf. The café is famous for its afternoon high tea, offering impressive tea blends and freshly ground coffee served with sweet and savoury treats. Be sure to try the exclusive TWG Tea Grand Crus Prestige blends such as Silver Moon Tea, Brothers Club Tea, and White House Tea, or sip on the venue's signature mocktail, the Etihad Sparkler.

Entrance is AED 95, with a credit voucher of AED 55 attached to the entrance fee. This can be redeemed on the day of your visit. The price per person for afternoon high tea is AED 250.

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Stop 2

Stop 2

Recommended Time: 2 hours

Abu Dhabi’s Corniche Road stretches across an impressive eight kilometres of manicured waterfront that includes children’s play areas, separate cycle and pedestrian pathways, cafés and restaurants, and the stunning, lifeguarded Corniche Beach. If you’re looking to soak up Abu Dhabi’s famous year-round sunshine, this immaculate beach is one of the best places to do it.

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Stop 3

Stop 3

Recommended Time: 2 hours

The impressive and inspiring Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is one of the world’s largest mosques and the only one that captures the unique interactions between Islam and other world cultures. Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the Founder of the UAE, had a very specific vision for this mosque: to incorporate architectural styles from different Muslim civilisations and celebrate cultural diversity by creating a haven that is truly welcoming and inspirational in its foundation. The mosque’s architects were British, Italian and Emirati, with design ideas borrowed from parts of Turkey, Morocco, Pakistan and Egypt, among other Islamic countries. The end result is a breathtaking, gleaming architectural marvel.

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Stop 1

Observation Deck at 300

Recommended Time: 2 hours

Located in Etihad Towers' second tower, on level 74 of Jumeirah at Etihad Towers, Observation Deck at 300 is the highest vantage point in Abu Dhabi. Soak up uninterrupted, birds-eye views 300 metres above the UAE capital and capture impressive photos of the city skyline, Corniche and Arabian Gulf. The café is famous for its afternoon high tea, offering impressive tea blends and freshly ground coffee served with sweet and savoury treats. Be sure to try the exclusive TWG Tea Grand Crus Prestige blends such as Silver Moon Tea, Brothers Club Tea, and White House Tea, or sip on the venue's signature mocktail, the Etihad Sparkler.

Entrance is AED 95, with a credit voucher of AED 55 attached to the entrance fee. This can be redeemed on the day of your visit. The price per person for afternoon high tea is AED 250.

Read More
Observation Deck at 300
Observation Deck at 300