If you are visiting the UAE as a tourist, you are more than likely planning to spend most if not all your time in Dubai. However, you should know that the UAE has so much to offer beyond Dubai, which — don’t get me wrong — is amazing on its own. Here are a few reasons why I think every visitor to Dubai should try spending at least one day in Abu Dhabi. You can also follow me on Instagram (@gmr83) for more.
- Sheikh Zayed Mosque: Words and pictures do not do this place justice. The mosque is the largest in the country and can accommodate over 40,000 worshipers. Its design is inspired by the Badshahi Mosque in Lahore, Pakistan and the Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca, Morocco.
- The mangroves and islands: Abu Dhabi is known for its mangroves, which are unique marine ecosystems covering thousands of hectares along the UAE coastline. As for islands – while Dubai is known for the massive Palm Jumeirah, Abu Dhabi has several islands like Sir Bani Yas Island – home to a safari with 10,000 free roaming wild animals; Saddiyat Island with hotels, beach clubs and golf courses galore; Al Maryah Island, home to The Galleria luxury mall and Sowwah Square; and Delma Island with its history and heritage. Convinced yet?!
- Masdar City: Touted as the ‘world’s greenest city’, Masdar City is powered by solar panels and offers electric driverless cars for visitor transportation.
- The Guggenheim and the Louvre: Nope, I am not talking about New York or Paris! Abu Dhabi will soon be home to the largest Guggenheim in the world, right next to the Louvre Abu Dhabi. Both places are bound to turn the city into a regional and international art hub.
- Ferrari World: An amusement park located on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi. It is the first and only Ferrari-branded theme park and has the record for the largest space frame structure ever built. Formula Rossa, the world’s fastest roller coaster, is also located here.