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Abu Dhabi: What to do for Families and Couples

by Travelbag on 02 January 2019, 11:01AM

Sheikh Zayed Mosque

Abu Dhabi is famous for its luxury hotels, huge shopping malls and VIP lifestyle. But, when you pull back the curtain, you’ll discover there’s more to this glittering city than meets the eye. Behind all the glitz and glamour, Abu Dhabi is a place of cultural landmarks, romantic beaches and unexpected activities. Whether you’re travelling as a family or a couple, the UAE’s capital has so much to offer – you just have to know where to look. Find out everything you need to know, as we lift the lid on the best things to do in Abu Dhabi.


Things to do for families in Abu Dhabi

Visit Warner Bros. World™ Abu Dhabi

There are a hundred and one reasons why Abu Dhabi is great for families. One major attraction is Yas Island – a whole isle dedicated to entertainment and high-speed adventures. In particular, kids will love the recently-opened Warner Bros. World™ Abu Dhabi, where they can discover six immersive lands. Keep your eyes peeled for heroes and villains in Gotham City, see dinosaurs and cavemen in Bedrock, and meet all your favourite characters in Cartoon Junction. It’s a brilliant day out for the whole family, where you can whizz on 29 state-of-the-art rides, play interactive games, and be wowed by live shows.


Splash about at Yas Waterwold

For a more laidback day out, check out Yas Waterwold on – you guessed it – Yas Island. This place is a splash-tastic option for all ages, with a wide range of rides and pools. You can float along the relaxing Al Raha River and take little ones to paddle in Marah Fortress. Or, take things up a gear on white-knuckle slides like Liwa Loop and Jebel Drop.

Abu Dhabi waterpark

Whizz through Ferrari World

Yas Island is also home to Ferrari World, which is just as fast and furious as it sounds. Great for teenagers, this adrenaline-pumping theme park has high-tech simulators and record-breaking rides. If you’ve ever wanted to zoom to 150 miles per hour in just 4.9 seconds, this is the theme park for you – even if you’re not travelling with children.


Explore – it’s easy

When you’re planning a family holiday, Abu Dhabi may not immediately spring to mind – but it should. The seven-hour hour flight might seem a little daunting but, once you arrive, everything is so easy for families. For starters, the four-hour time difference means that jet lag is minimal, making it easy to stick to the kids’ bedtime routines. English is widely spoken and taxis are very reasonable, so getting around is a cinch. To top it off, there are activity clubs and crèches in all the major malls and hotels, where your children can play, make friends and run wild. Everything you could possibly need has been thought of and arranged, to make your family getaway to Abu Dhabi simple and stress-free.

Family beach sunset


Things to do for couples in Abu Dhabi

Visit Sheikh Zayed Mosque

Abu Dhabi’s theme parks aren’t just for families – but, if you’re planning a romantic break, rollercoasters may not quite be what you have in mind. Luckily, this city has plenty of other attractions. For culture-lovers, Sheikh Zayed Mosque is a must-see. Voted third on TripAdvisor’s list of the 'World’s Most Popular Landmarks' in 2018, this bright white mosque beat the likes of Machu Picchu and the Taj Mahal. When you see it, you’ll understand why. This jaw-dropping building boasts 82 domes, 24 carat-gold gilded chandeliers and over 1,000 columns. More than 40,000 worshippers can fit inside comfortably, but you don’t need to be a Muslim to enter – Sheikh Zayed Mosque is open to everyone and free to visit. There are complimentary guided tours too.

Abu Dhabi Sheikh Zayed Mosque

Hit the beach

Of course, no tropical trip would be complete without some beach time. Abu Dhabi’s sandy stretches are the perfect place to curl up with a book or go for a swim. There are lots of water sports on offer too – you can get involved with windsurfing, kayaking and jet-skiing. It might surprise you to know that Abu Dhabi also has some great sites for snorkelling and diving, with ship wrecks and coral reefs scattered throughout its bath-warm waters. You can dive any time of year in Abu Dhabi, and expect to see barracuda, stingrays and more.


Explore the desert

For something a little more up-tempo, head into the desert on a 4x4 safari. You can ride a camel, and go sand-boarding down some of the world’s biggest dunes. Or try desert cycling, which involves pedalling across the sands on specially-designed ‘fat bikes’ with five-inch-wide tyres. To have the full desert experience, you could even stay overnight in a traditional Bedouin camp. What better way to round off your holiday in Abu Dhabi, than to enjoy a delicious dinner by a campfire and sleep under the stars?

desert safari

Start planning your adventure with our best Abu Dhabi deals.

Need more inspiration? Take a look at the best architecture in the Middle East or read about the top 10 luxury experiences in Abu Dhabi.

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