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Abu Dhabi

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One Day in Abu Dhabi

29 Jul 2009  Lived in Abu Dhabi for over 10 years and enjoys showing visitors around.
4.0 of 5 bubbles based on 3 votes

What to do if you only have one day in Abu Dhabi.
Perhaps you are thinking of doing a day trip from another emirate or a long wait between flights.
Suitable for all first-time visitors no matter what their budget.

  • Explore locations featured in this Trip List: Abu Dhabi
  • Category: Best of
  • Traveler type: Culture, Shopping, Never been before
  • Appeals to: Budget travellers , Tourists
  • Seasons: Winter, Spring, Fall
  • 1. Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque

    The Grand Mosque is a magnificent white structure with minarets and tiling that you would expect in the Middle East. It contains the largest carpet in the world and has some huge chandeliers.
    You can take a free guided tour or go around on your own (avoid prayer times). Opening times vary so check before you go.

  • 2. Breakwater and Corniche

    Take a walk or hire a cycle along the city's seafront.

  • 3. Marina Mall Tower
    Marina Mall, Abu Dhabi, Emirate of Abu Dhabi

    On a clear day you can see most of the island of Abu Dhabi city. This tower is located high above Marina Mall. A glass-fronted panoramic lift rises above the mall's tent-like roof to the revolving restaurant Tiara. In an hour you will have 360 degree views of the city. Have a delicious three-course meal here (no license to serve alcohol). Or have a break at the coffee-shop on the section immediately below for similar views.

  • 4. Abu Dhabi Heritage Village

    Recreated traditional village with crafts and farm at the breakwater in Abu Dhabi.

  • 5. Gold shops at Madinat Zayed Shopping Centre

    Gold, gold and more gold.
    Gold is popular with UAE nationals and expatriates alike.
    Look or buy!

  • 6. Emirates Palace Hotel
    Emirates Palace, Abu Dhabi, Emirate of Abu Dhabi

    Gardens, fountains and gold.
    Also worth a stop for a bite to eat: take afternoon tea (pre-booking required) or have a snack in the lobby cafe or one of the hotel's many restaurants.
    There is also a guided tour available (go to reception on arrival).

  • 7. Fish market and fishing dhows

    The wooden fishing dhows of the Abu Dhabi fleet sell their catch at the fish market on the dockside.

  • 8. Iranian souq

    These large dhows hardly look seaworthy, but come across the Arabian Gulf from Iran. Currently (2012) the souq is limited in size so maybe not worth a special effort unless you are already in that part of the city.
    Goods are sold directly on the dockside. Terracotta, kitchen equipment, plastics and more besides. Traditional and kitsch.