I couldn’t only write about Dubai, right? Although the latter has the biggest population, Abu Dhabi is the largest of the UAE’s seven member emirates and moreover: its capital. It’s only a 2h drive from Dubai, so definitely worth a day trip or a weekend. Here are my personal top 4 things to do:
“Abu Dhabi is a 2h drive from Dubai, definitely worth a weekend trip”
Sheikh Zayed Mosque
Although quite far away (18km) from the famous Corniche Road (what could be called Abu Dhabi’s beating heart), you absolutely cannot leave Abu Dhabi without having seen this Mosque. So take a taxi – which are generally cheaper than in Dubai – put on a black abaya with hood (loaned for free in the basement) and let this majestic piece of art bowl you over! Read all the info about the Mosque here.
Unlike the other mosques in Abu Dhabi, the Sheikh Zayed Mosque is open daily for public except during prayer times. You can either wait for one of the guided tours to start (45 to 60 min), or just stroll around between the white marble pillars yourself just like I did.
This hotel is what Burj Al Arab means to Dubai: “going beyond 5 star luxury”. Imagine 114 breath-taking 18-meter-high domes, ornated hotel rooms and luxury suites all decorated in gold and marble. Imagine a private beach of 1.3km and your own marina overlooking a private natural bay. Read the article about Emirates Palace here!
Absolute highlight of the park is without any doubt the Formula Rossa. Blast away on the fastest roller coaster on the planet! Feel the acceleration of 240km/h in 4.9 seconds and discover what 4.8Gs really feels like. You’ll launch 52 meters into the sky and experience an adrenaline rush worthy of a Grand Prix (don’t forget to put on your safety goggles!). Read about the thrills of our life here.
Rooftop restaurant/lounge: Stratos
As I couldn’t spend much time in Abu Dhabi, choosing this place for drinks was a last-minute decision and a wild guess… And it was spot on! This grill/lounge (located in Le Royal Meridien Hotel) opened end of 2014 and looks somewhat like a James Bond scene. Don’t be afraid to wear your designer clothes, ‘cause this place is posh! You can find more information here.