Stretching for miles along the shore of the Arabian Gulf, the Corniche helps define Abu Dhabi both geographically and as a holiday destination. We love this beachfront boulevard, lined with parks, luxury hotels, entertainment venues and upmarket dining. The views from Breakwater Point are spectacular, outlining Abu Dhabi with the glittering skyline on one side and the shimmering Gulf on the other.
As we have come to expect from the UAE, the shopping in Abu Dhabi is excellent. For an authentically Arabian experience, wander through Souk Al Zafarana or Al Ain Souk and haggle for spices, perfumes, handicrafts, Persian rugs and even gold. Spend the rest of your day in the stark contrast of the sparkling designer malls. Try Abu Dhabi Mall, Marina Mall, Al Wahda Mall and Yas Mall.
The brilliantly named pastime of dune bashing is a must-do on Abu Dhabi holidays. Leave the city for the surrounding desert, take a seat in a 4x4 Jeep and experience a thrilling ride up and over the sand dunes. The world's tallest dune, Tel Moreeb, is over 300 metres high. For a more old-fashioned way to explore the desert, ride a camel. Or just relax and enjoy some stargazing at an evening desert barbecue.
It’s easy to see why Yas Island is fast becoming a destination in its own right – it really does offer something for everyone. Attractions include Yas Marina Circuit, which hosts the Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix; Ferrari World Abu Dhabi, the planet’s largest indoor theme park and home of the world’s fastest rollercoaster, Formula Rossa; Yas Waterworld, one of Arabia’s best water parks; Yas Mall, the emirate’s largest shopping mall; the 5-star Yas Viceroy, the only hotel in the world to straddle an F1 racetrack; and Yas Links, the only true links golf course in Arabia.
Built by the UAE's late ruler, Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, this beautiful white marble mosque is one of the largest built in modern times. Completed in 2007, it has room for an incredible 41,000 people and features 82 domes, over 1,000 columns and, in the main prayer hall, a 12-ton, 15-metre-high chandelier
The future looks bright for Abu Dhabi. Exciting new developments include the Sheikh Zayed National Museum, and UAE outposts of the Louvre and Guggenheim, all scheduled to open in the next few years.
The Corniche Road spreads across an impressive eight kilometres of manicured waterfront that includes children’s play areas, separate cycle and pedestrian pathways, cafes and restaurants, and the Corniche Beach - a life guarded beach park.
The ‘Oasis City’ of Al Ain is full of cultural experiences and is just a 90 minute drive from Abu Dhabi. Attractions include the historic Al Jahili Fort; the 3,000-year-old Al Ain Oasis; the Al Ain Camel Market, one of the last of its kind in existence; Wadi Adventure, the region’s only man-made white-water rafting, kayaking and surf facility; and Jebel Hafeet, the emirate’s highest peak.
Discover the beauty of the desert with a trip to Al Gharbia. Explore the undulating dunes and join a camel train, or for the more adventurous why not go off-road and experience the thrill of dune bashing.
There are a number of carriers offering flights to Abu Dhabi from the UK.
Direct Carriers: Etihad and British Airways offer direct services to Abu Dhabi from the UK.
Indirect Carriers: Qatar Airways and Emirates all offer services via another airport in the Middle East.
Departure Taxes: There are no relevant departure taxes in Abu Dhabi.
None for British citizens
January, June, July, August, September, December
No specific vaccinations required
lightweight clothes in natural fabrics like cotton or linen
including modest outfits that cover your shoulders and knees;
An underwater camera for snorkelling.
Layers and cover-ups for over-the-top air conditioning;
Comfortable walking sandals for exploring;
A wide-brimmed hat to keep the sun off your face;
High factor sunscreen;
With its hot, arid landscapes and warm tropical seas, the United Arab Emirates is home to a far more diverse wildlife than you might expect. Lizards, snakes, desert foxes, and sand cats live in its dry deserts; and sea turtles breed on its sandy beaches. From flamingos to vultures, hundreds of bird species can be spotted here, many en route to Europe, Asia and Africa. While the waters off the coast are inhabited by whales, dolphins, sea snakes, and over 500 species of fish including 29 types of shark.
Al Ain Wildlife Park
From African lions and giraffes to chimpanzees and crocodiles, this spacious conservation project in Abu Dhabi is home to 184 species and more than 4,300 animals. As well as the usual wildlife gawping, you can feed the giraffes, watch the birds of prey show and join a night-time safari in summertime.