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Abu Dhabi is the capital of the United Arab Emirates. It’s also the largest Emirate and comes with a limitless list of things to do, see and experience. So, whatever type of holiday you have planned, there’s plenty here to keep you busy.
Of all the things to do in Abu Dhabi, the coast plays a big part. Unwind on sun-soaked beaches, snorkel in the sea, and try your hand at watersports. For something a little different, why not go kayaking through dense mangroves? Or take it easy on the shore, as you ride on Ferris wheels, or relax in the waterfront restaurants dotted along the Arabian Gulf.
Shopping is a big thing in Abu Dhabi. You’ll find shops on the beachfront at Al Bahar and heritage spice markets by the sea. But if you want to browse in comfort, Abu Dhabi’s enormous malls – like Marina Mall and Yas Mall – are the most glamorous place to shop – and the air-conditioning is a welcome break from the desert heat.
Adrenaline junkies will love Abu Dhabi’s theme parks and record-breaking rollercoasters, while culture enthusiasts can stroll around museums, visit grand mosques and learn the history of pearl fishing. To explore beyond the city, head for the Hajar Mountains and step back in time at Al Ain. Abu Dhabi’s second city, this place is the oldest, continuously inhabited settlement on the planet, and the UAE’s only World Heritage Site. You’ll discover colourful souks, camel markets and – surprisingly – white-water rafting.
Even the desert is entertaining. Dune-bashing is one of the top things to do in Abu Dhabi, but you can also try sand surfing or skiing on these mountainous dunes. Take a guided desert tour, see falconry displays or watch the sunrise over the aptly-named Empty Quarter. For a cultural experience, visit the Arabian Nights Village or spend an evening under the stars at an authentic Bedouin camp.
With the help of our experts, you can find the perfect resort for you
Selected September 2021 travel | Save up to £1,150 per couple | Includes 5 nights full board and direct return flights
The ancient underwater city of Atlantis might be a fable, but Atlantis, The Palm in Dubai is a dream come true. Catch a glimpse of fascinating marine life from its large underwater restaurant, Ossiano. You’ll be treated to a close encounter with the 65,000 animals that call the resort’s thriving aquarium home.
Selected October 2021 travel | Save up to £990 per couple | Includes 5 nights half board and direct return flights
A cherished landmark of New Dubai, One&Only Royal Mirage is a sanctuary made up of three hotels – The Palace, Arabian Court, and Residence & Spa. Oozing traditional splendour, The Palace at One&Only Royal Mirage is enveloped by a kilometre-long private beach and 65 acres of lush gardens.
Selected September 2021 travel | Save up to £650 per couple | Includes 5 nights half board and direct return flights
Jumeirah Beach Hotel is one of the original hotels in Dubai, the iconic wave-shaped hotel is as fun as it looks. This instantly recognisable hotel has an abundance of facilities to make it one of the best family hotels in Dubai.
Selected September 2021 travel | Save up to £500 per couple | Includes 5 nights half board and direct return flights
Whether you’re visiting Jumeirah Zabeel Saray for a romantic break, a getaway with friends or a family holiday, you’ll find plenty of things to keep you occupied. If you’re feeling adventurous, visit the on-site watersports centre and try out water-skiing and paddle-boarding.
Selected September 2021 travel | Includes 5 nights half board and direct return flights | Save up to £400 per couple
Le Royal Méridien sits among some of Dubai’s most exclusive properties, boutiques and restaurants close to the Marina in Jumeirah Beach Residence. This resort is set across 19 acres of carefully landscaped gardens, so you’ll never be far away from an area of lush greenery.
Selected September 2021 travel | Save up to £900 per couple | Includes 5 nights half board and direct return flights
Located on the north-east side of Palm Jumeirah’s crescent, Sofitel Dubai The Palm offers views of both the Arabian Gulf and the unique Palm Island. During its short history, Sofitel Dubai The Palm has won awards for the quality of its spa, restaurants and facilities.
Selected September 2021 travel | Save up to £250 per couple | Includes 5 nights half board and direct return flights
You'll be spoiled for choice at this impressive resort in Dubai. Take your pick from 13 bars and restaurants, and try out water-skiing and windsurfing at the hotel's very own watersports centre. Plus, you can go for a dip in five gorgeous pools, including a lagoon-style number with swim-up bar and even a lazy river.