UAE capital and surrounds

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This once-modest island is now a modern city

The name Abu Dhabi means 'Land of the Gazelle' in Arabic. The story goes that the emirate was founded when a young antelope led a wandering tribe to fresh water on an island with no more than 300 Barasti (palm frond) huts, a few coral buildings and the Ruler's fort. That modest island settlement has since been transformed into the modern, cosmopolitan, high-rise capital of the United Arab Emirates. The gorgeous archipelago offers a mix of ancient history, rich culture and heritage, stunning nature, beautiful beaches, high-end luxury, surprising wildlife, family-friendly adventure, world-class shopping, renowned golf courses and a welcoming atmosphere.

A masterpiece in marble and mosaic

Cultural majesty

To learn more about Abu Dhabi’s traditions and religion, a visit to Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is a must. This architectural marvel can house up to 55,000 worshippers and visitors every day and welcomes people of all beliefs.

Enjoy a stroll by the sea

Wraparound views

Abu Dhabi Corniche boasts an impressive eight kilometres of manicured waterfront that includes children’s play areas, separate cycle and pedestrian pathways, cafés and restaurants. Its Corniche Beach is a pristine lifeguarded beach park perfect for families.

Cool off in the Arabian gulf

Watersports for all ages

While in the emirate, don’t forget to take a dip in the Arabian Gulf's beautiful turquoise water. Abu Dhabi is actually an archipelago made up of over 200 islands, so there are endless watersports activities for you, your family and friends to enjoy.

An island dedicated to fun

360˚ Entertainment

For epic adventures ideal for the family, head to Yas Island. Enjoy a luxe stay at W Abu Dhabi, ride the world's fastest roller-coaster at Ferrari World Abu Dhabi, take a swing at Yas Links Abu Dhabi, and soak up the sun at Yas Beach.

Shopping is always a good idea

Plush malls to picturesque markets

Shopping is something of a national pastime here, probably because there are so many fabulous malls and souks (markets) around town. Discover chic stores in ultra-modern malls housing the latest brands, or visit characterful souks where you can buy traditional perfumes, handicrafts, spices and carpets.

Delve into tradition

Authentic arts and crafts

Catch a cab to the Heritage Village on Abu Dhabi's Corniche Breakwater and immerse yourself in age-old desert tradition. Watch craftsmen and women producing beautiful pottery, weaving and metalwork, and pick up a few gifts for family and friends back home.

Take a swing

Competition-worthy golf courses

A diversity of experiences characterise Abu Dhabi’s great golf offerings, whether it’s championship-ready parkland, ocean or links facilities, a gentle urban-centre course, the sheer uniqueness of a world-class ‘sand’ course, or a country course in Abu Dhabi’s garden city of Al Ain.

Capital Sights

See what the city has to offer
See what the city has to offer
Inspiration

Insider tips on exploring Abu Dhabi