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29 Jul 2009“Lived in Abu Dhabi for over 10 years and enjoys showing visitors around.”
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
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.
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.
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.