Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates is home to the world’s fastest roller coaster, the magnificent Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, and many other things on a grand scale. These places attract tourists in hordes. However, if you’re looking to explore Abu Dhabi off-the-beaten-track, you’ll have to visit the places less frequented by tourists. It’s the hidden gems of Abu Dhabi that let you experience the city’s uniqueness and tell you what sets it apart from the others.
Here is the list of lesser known places of Abu Dhabi that you must visit:
- Louvre Abu Dhabi
Located in the Saadiyat Island Cultural District, the Louvre Abu Dhabi is an iconic landmark. It’s spread across 24,000 square meters approximately which makes it the Arabian Peninsula’s largest art museum. The museum is designed to resemble a floating dome and the web patterned dome allows sunlight to filter through. It appears as if sun rays are passing through the leaves of date palm trees. This architectural wonder conceptualized by Jean Nouvel sure leaves a lasting impression on you.
- Heritage Village
The Heritage Village is the ideal destination for a family outing. The traditional Arabian desert way of life comes alive here as you travel back in time to a world of an old souk, a camp from the days when Abu Dhabi was yet to see modern life and a mosque. This laid-back place is a traditional village with an oasis where you can shop for souvenirs and watch artisans create amazing pottery or you can watch them blowing glass- a truly fascinating sight.
- The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque
The Shiekh Zayed Grand Mosque is the UAE’s largest mosque and an important place of worship. It’s visited by more than 41,000 people during Eid. The Grand Mosque was built from 1996 to 2007 and it measures around 290 by 420 m being spread across 12 hectares. The Grand Mosque was voted the second favorite landmark of the world by Trip Advisor twice on the trot. The design of the Mosque has been inspired by the Abu al-Abbas al-Mursi Mosque in Egypt and particularly, the Badshahi Mosque in Lahore, Pakistan.
This unique sports destination is home to the tallest indoor climbing wall in the world- the Summyt. There are five climbing walls meant for visitors of all ages and abilities. Enjoy the unbridled thrill as you go soaring in the biggest indoor skydiving flight chamber the world has on offer. If it’s an adrenaline rush you’re keen for, head straight to CLYMB. 32 feet wide, this adventure spot offering the thrill of free falls is loved by all adventure lovers including pro skydivers.
- Wadi Adventure
The Wadi Adventure land of wonders is a 90-minute drive away from Abu Dhabi city. Located on the foothills of the magnificent Jebel Hafit mountain, Al Ain, this action-packed sports park is a fun-filled destination. The Wadi Adventure entrance is home to 1,100 meter artificially made whitewater channels, the world’s longest. Splash around in crystal clear water as you go wakeboarding, kneeboarding, or water skiing. There’s also the exciting option of passing over the park on a zipline.
- Desert Safari
The Empty Quarter, the largest uninterrupted sand mass in the world welcomes you with an out-of-the-world experience. Things start with the adrenaline-pumping dune bashing up and down the slopes of the dunes. Follow that up with quad biking or sandboarding if you’re looking for a heavy dose of adventure sport. For a more relaxing experience, watch the sunset on the horizon while relaxing at an enchanting traditional Bedouin desert camp.
- The Al Ain Zoo
You must visit the Al Ain Zoo. Spread across a vast area, the zoo is home to as many as 4,000 animals. You’ll have an exciting time here feeding penguins and watching a funny parrot show. You can also take a walk inside the Lemur exhibit or ride on a horse or a camel. Drop by the Sheikh Zayed Desert Learning Centre to know more about the efforts that UAE has been making to preserve our environment. Don’t forget the birds-of-prey show while you are here.
- The Jubail Mangrove Park
This is the first self-contained avian, marine, and Mangrove Park which is the perfect place to visit for nature lovers and those looking to spend a few leisurely hours. This is the place where you teach your kids about biodiversity and how important it is to preserve mangrove habitats. Making your way through the long boardwalk, you take in the beauty of flamingos, herons, colorful fish, foxes, bright birds, and more.
Our compilation of 8 lesser-known places to visit in Abu Dhabi makes your visit to the city a unique one. You can brag about having seen places not all visitors to the city make it a point to drop by at. It’s a blend of Arabian culture, some adventure-filled activities, and some exotic destinations that we have lined up for you. We hope you enjoy your holidays in the lovely city of Abu Dhabi. Goodbye!