See All

Culture lovers will be in their element in Abu Dhabi with this three-day itinerary that soaks up the heritage, art and culture of the UAE capital. 

Start at Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, one of the world’s largest mosques. Next, discover Wahat Al Karama, a permanent tribute to the UAE's brave soldiers and other Emiratis recognised as martyrs in the country. The final stop of day one is Heritage Village, a family-friendly spot in which to experience traditional aspects of the desert way of life. 

Start day two at Al Ain Oasis, with its still-operational traditional falaj (ancient irrigation system) and meandering pathways shaded beneath 147,000 date palms and other fruit trees. Al Jahili Fort, built in the 1890s, is next. Qasr Al Muwaiji is the final feature of the day, with this historic fort playing a major role in the history of the UAE for over a century. 

On day three, explore picturesque Qasr Al Hosn, which stands as a narrator of Abu Dhabi’s history. Manarat Al Saadiyat is the second feature of day three, encouraging visitors to channel creativity. End your tour at Louvre Abu Dhabi, the first universal museum in the Arab World.

Highlights

3 Days

Bus, Car

50 KMs

Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque

Highlights

3 Days

Bus, Car

50 KMs

Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque

What to expect

Day 1 highlights

Total Distance

28 KMs

Number of stops

3

Transport

Bus, Car, walk

Duration

6 Hrs

Start your tour at the majestic Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque before heading to the touching Wahat Al Karama tribute and, finally, the family-friendly Heritage Village.

Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque

Stop 1

Recommended Time: 2 hours

When you enter Abu Dhabi's Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, you will understand why it is such a special place. Here, people from all walks of life come together to take in the architecture's beauty and gain a deeper understanding of religion and culture in the United Arab Emirates. The mosque is one of the world's largest and was the vision of Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan - the Founding Father of the UAE. He envisaged the creation of a welcoming and cultural haven that inspires people from all backgrounds.

Even the construction was a cultural collaboration. The grand structure was designed and built by skilled teams from all over the world, including 1,300 Iranian artisans who hand-knotted the main prayer hall's carpet - the world's largest.

On your journey through the marbled halls, you'll see one-of-a-kind treasures, including gold-plated Swarovski chandeliers, the courtyard's vast marble mosaic artwork and reflective pools that mirror some of the many amethyst-and-jasper-embedded columns. When you're outside, look up to see the mosque's four stunning minarets that proudly stand at 106 metres.

Read More

Stop 2

Recommended Time: 5 minutes

Spanning 46,000 square metres and located directly opposite Abu Dhabi's world-famous Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, Wahat Al Karama is a timeless tribute that honours the Emirati martyrs who sacrificed their lives in service of their country. Wahat Al Karama is home to a permanent memorial commemorating the United Arab Emirates' heroes, including soldiers, police, diplomats and civilians, since 1971.

Operating hours

Visitor center: 9:00 AM to 7:00 PM
Tours booking: 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM
Memorial plaza area: 24 hours

Read More

Stop 3

Recommended Time: 2 hours

Meet Abu Dhabi’s Heritage Village, a family-friendly spot to experience the traditional way of life in the desert. The village is an immersive time capsule, with an old-world souk (market), mosque and camp modelled on life in pre-modern UAE.

Located on the Marina Mall Island close to the city centre, the traditional oasis village offers a glimpse at Abu Dhabi’s past. Here you can shop, discover artefacts and watch artisans make pottery, blow glass and weave fabric on a loom.

The village is also home to the Emirates Heritage Club, which hosts workshops for traditional crafts. You can watch craftsmen demonstrate traditional skills such as metalwork, pottery, weaving and spinning yarn. They may even let you try your hand at their trade too.

Don’t forget to check out the village’s little spice shop, which offers a range of dried herbs, handmade soaps and plenty of souvenirs to take home to family and friends.

Read More
Stop 1

Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque

Recommended Time: 2 hours

When you enter Abu Dhabi's Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, you will understand why it is such a special place. Here, people from all walks of life come together to take in the architecture's beauty and gain a deeper understanding of religion and culture in the United Arab Emirates. The mosque is one of the world's largest and was the vision of Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan - the Founding Father of the UAE. He envisaged the creation of a welcoming and cultural haven that inspires people from all backgrounds.

Even the construction was a cultural collaboration. The grand structure was designed and built by skilled teams from all over the world, including 1,300 Iranian artisans who hand-knotted the main prayer hall's carpet - the world's largest.

On your journey through the marbled halls, you'll see one-of-a-kind treasures, including gold-plated Swarovski chandeliers, the courtyard's vast marble mosaic artwork and reflective pools that mirror some of the many amethyst-and-jasper-embedded columns. When you're outside, look up to see the mosque's four stunning minarets that proudly stand at 106 metres.

Read More
What to expect

Day 2 highlights

Total Distance

6 KMs

Number of stops

3

Transport

Car

Duration

8 Hrs

Immerse yourself in history at the lush 4,000-year-old Al Ain Oasis before exploring the picturesque and historic Al Jahili Fort and Qasr Al Muwaiji fort, both of which offer great photo opportunities.

Al Ain Oasis

Stop 1

Recommended Time: 3 hours

Take a walk through the shaded pathways and reconnect with nature in the lush greenery of Al Ain Oasis - a peaceful retreat spread across 1,200 hectares in the ‘Green City’ of Al Ain.

Located just a 90-minute drive from the capital city of Abu Dhabi, it is easy to forget that you are in a desert. This magnificent oasis is a dreamy sight for sore eyes and one of the most beautiful oases Abu Dhabi has. Here you can enjoy a bit of respite from city life and appreciate 147,000 date palm trees, over 100 different varieties of vegetation and relics of the past, like the ancient irrigation system known as falaj. The falaj is an essential piece of the region’s heritage and one of the many reasons why Al Ain is a UNESCO Cultural Site.

Al Ain Oasis is free to enter, and there are many ways to explore and learn about this natural marvel!

Read More

Stop 2

Recommended Time: 2 hours

Since opening its gates in 2008, Al Jahili Fort – set about an hour and a half away from Abu Dhabi in the lush garden city of Al Ain – has been a focal point of activities associated with the philosophy, culture and heritage of Abu Dhabi. Al Jahili is one of the largest forts in the UAE, built in the 1890s on the orders of Sheikh Zayed bin Khalifa Al Nahyan, also known as Zayed the First, as the home to members of the ruling Al Nahyan family.

Built of sun-dried mud brick, early restoration work was done on the fort in 1985, followed by a major rehabilitation project by the Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi between 2007 and 2008. Surrounded by a lush park, the enchanting fort has received the prestigious Terra Award for Internal Design and Layout in 2016.

Transformed into a cultural centre and tourist attraction, it now houses a temporary exhibition gallery as well as a permanent exhibition devoted to Sir Wilfred Thesiger. He was an intrepid explorer, travel writer and photographer who, with his Emirati and Omani companions, crossed the world's largest sand mass, the Empty Quarter (Rub' al Khali), twice in the 1940s.

Nearby must-visit attractions include the historical Jahili Mosque, built around the same time as the fort.



Read More

Stop 3

Recommended Time: 2 hours

There is an old saying that 'walls have ears'. Imagine what stories the walls of Qasr Al Muwaiji would tell, if they could, from more than 100 years ago. Add this historical stop to your itinerary for a deeper insight into the UAE's intriguing past. Situated in Al Ain, a lush garden city just an hour and a half away from Abu Dhabi, you will be amazed as you enter this simple yet striking structure at how the country has evolved from its humble beginnings.

Read More
Stop 1

Al Ain Oasis

Recommended Time: 3 hours

Take a walk through the shaded pathways and reconnect with nature in the lush greenery of Al Ain Oasis - a peaceful retreat spread across 1,200 hectares in the ‘Green City’ of Al Ain.

Located just a 90-minute drive from the capital city of Abu Dhabi, it is easy to forget that you are in a desert. This magnificent oasis is a dreamy sight for sore eyes and one of the most beautiful oases Abu Dhabi has. Here you can enjoy a bit of respite from city life and appreciate 147,000 date palm trees, over 100 different varieties of vegetation and relics of the past, like the ancient irrigation system known as falaj. The falaj is an essential piece of the region’s heritage and one of the many reasons why Al Ain is a UNESCO Cultural Site.

Al Ain Oasis is free to enter, and there are many ways to explore and learn about this natural marvel!

Read More
What to expect

Day 3 highlights

Total Distance

14 KMs

Number of stops

3

Transport

Bus, Car

Duration

8 Hrs

Explore the picturesque and historic Qasr Al Hosn structure, then immerse yourself in arts and culture at Manarat Al Saadiyat, before viewing priceless pieces at the breathtaking Louvre Abu Dhabi.

Qasr Al Hosn

Stop 1

Recommended Time: 1 hour

In a city like Abu Dhabi, where things are constantly evolving, there are some parts where time almost stands still. Qasr Al Hosn is one of them. The city's oldest standing structure is a commanding figure surrounded by Abu Dhabi's glittering skyline, which, when you see it in person, is a beautiful juxtaposition of the past and present.

Qasr Al Hosn in Abu Dhabi was built in the 1790s and was once home to the ruling family. The building also housed the National Consultative Council, founded by the late Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, Founder of the UAE. Transformed into a museum in 2018 after a decade's worth of intensive conservation and very delicate restorative work, walking into the Al Hosn fort is like stepping into a time capsule.

On entering, the first iconic buildings that you will see are the Inner Fort, constructed in 1795, and the Outer Palace, built between 1939-45. Slowly, look up and lay your eyes on the original watchtower. When Abu Dhabi was a small fishing village, Qasr Al Hosn overlooked the coastal trade routes and protected the growing community on the island. Walking through every area of Qasr Al Hosn is a delightful experience that makes you want to linger longer. You can easily while away a few hours soaking up the fascinating history of the UAE capital or looking at artefacts and archival materials from 6,000 years ago. And as for children, exploring the nooks and crannies of this ancient structure is sure to give them a sense of adventure and excellent material for storytime!

Today, the Al Hosn palace has become the nation's living memorial of a time long gone and a visual reflection of Abu Dhabi's history.

Read More

Stop 2

Recommended Time: 2 hours

Saadiyat Island’s art, cultural activity and community events centre, Manarat Al Saadiyat brings Saadiyat's vision to life, encouraging visitors to come together and share, experiment, create their own art, discover exhibitions, exchange ideas, enjoy sumptuous food, or listen to talks. 

Meaning 'a place of enlightenment' in Arabic, Manarat Al Saadiyat is home to the annual Abu Dhabi Art fair, as well as an outdoor events terrace, café and brasserie, three galleries for temporary exhibits, a photography studio, an art studio, 250-seat auditorium and gift shop.

Read More

Stop 3

Recommended Time: 3 hours

Step inside the iconic Louvre Abu Dhabi, the first universal museum in the Arab World, translating and fostering the spirit of openness between cultures. As one of the premier cultural institutions in the heart of the Saadiyat Cultural District on Saadiyat Island, this art lovers’ dream displays works of historical, cultural and sociological significance from ancient times to the contemporary era.

From the moment this iconic museum opened its doors in Abu Dhabi, the Abu Dhabi art scene elevated to a global scale, implanting a strong sense of pride in locals and residents alike.

Read More
Stop 1

Qasr Al Hosn

Recommended Time: 1 hour

In a city like Abu Dhabi, where things are constantly evolving, there are some parts where time almost stands still. Qasr Al Hosn is one of them. The city's oldest standing structure is a commanding figure surrounded by Abu Dhabi's glittering skyline, which, when you see it in person, is a beautiful juxtaposition of the past and present.

Qasr Al Hosn in Abu Dhabi was built in the 1790s and was once home to the ruling family. The building also housed the National Consultative Council, founded by the late Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, Founder of the UAE. Transformed into a museum in 2018 after a decade's worth of intensive conservation and very delicate restorative work, walking into the Al Hosn fort is like stepping into a time capsule.

On entering, the first iconic buildings that you will see are the Inner Fort, constructed in 1795, and the Outer Palace, built between 1939-45. Slowly, look up and lay your eyes on the original watchtower. When Abu Dhabi was a small fishing village, Qasr Al Hosn overlooked the coastal trade routes and protected the growing community on the island. Walking through every area of Qasr Al Hosn is a delightful experience that makes you want to linger longer. You can easily while away a few hours soaking up the fascinating history of the UAE capital or looking at artefacts and archival materials from 6,000 years ago. And as for children, exploring the nooks and crannies of this ancient structure is sure to give them a sense of adventure and excellent material for storytime!

Today, the Al Hosn palace has become the nation's living memorial of a time long gone and a visual reflection of Abu Dhabi's history.

Read More