Abu Dhabi holidays from
Abu Dhabi Holidays
A one-of-a-kind treasure
Futuristic thrill rides abound
Discover a city where glitzy skyscrapers sprout from the ground and hawksbill sea turtles nest on protected fine-sand beaches. Where Formula 1 drivers race around a grand prix circuit and kayaks float among mangroves. Where the dramatic desert seems as boundless as the azure sea, and where, if you seek out the right spot, the night sky will open above you to reveal more stars than you ever thought possible.
Abu Dhabi is in many ways still a city in a state of ‘becoming’ – always striving to be more while keeping a firm grasp on its Bedouin traditions. Come for the extensive hours of sunshine and world-class facilities but stay for the rich Emirati culture seeped into every lush oasis wandered, mud brick fort explored, and cup of Karak chai savoured. Roam sense-awakening souks and ride over undulating sand dunes or jump into thrills at a theme park or grand prix circuit. Abu Dhabi will never just be one thing, so your holiday there doesn’t have to be either. See it for yourself – book your flights to Abu Dhabi now.
Carefully selected Abu Dhabi hotels
Best hotels in Abu Dhabi for all types of traveller
We have a great selection of quality hotels in Abu Dhabi to recommend. The grandeur of Emirates Palace Mandarin Oriental, with its palatial facade featuring 114 glass-tiled domes, makes it one of the most iconic buildings in the city. Also architecturally impressive is St Regis Abu Dhabi housed within the Nation Towers. Fairmont Bab Al Bahr, a modern hotel located near Abu Dhabi International Airport, boasts vistas of shimmering waters and the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque. Meanwhile, ultra-all-inclusive resort Rixos Premium Saadiyat Island stands out with unique facilities such as Abu Dhabi’s only spa snow room. Anantara Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort is located away from the metropolis, swapping sea views for panoramas of the dramatic desert.
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Abu Dhabi holiday FAQs
Make the most of your Abu Dhabi holiday
Abu Dhabi holidays are about much more than the sun and Formula 1 (although both are big attractions). Split your time between verdant oases and desert dunes. Dig your feet into powdery sand on an exquisite beach and stuff your bag with the likes of black lemons and sticky dates at a souk. Admire Arabian artistry and compare the hypermodern towers of today with 250-year-old forts. Then, when you’re after an adrenaline-fuelled thrill, pop to Yas Island for theme parks galore.
What are the best things to do in Abu Dhabi?
- There’s more to Abu Dhabi than motorsports, yes, but they’re still a pretty big deal. Yas Marina Circuit is lapped by the world’s best Formula 1 drivers every year and the extravaganza, set to the tune of sparkling pyrotechnics and humming engines, always guarantees a raucous crowd. When visiting the circuit outside of championships you can try putting the pedal to the metal or ride passenger-side as a professional takes the wheel. Not quite got the need for speed? You can also walk, cycle and jog around the track.
- Seek out thrills at one of the city’s theme parks. Snap on a pair of goggles and brave the fastest rollercoaster in the world at Ferrari World. Board the Batmobile, get whimsical on a carousel of cartoons and join the Justice League in 5D at Warner Bros World. The adrenaline doesn’t stop there. You can also soar through high-speed waterslides and splash around in the mammoth pools at Yas Waterworld.
- A round of golf is always on the cards in Abu Dhabi. Tee off at Yas Links, boasting an 18-hole championship course, and spend time between swings admiring the Arabian Gulf backed by a city skyline. At Saadiyat Beach Golf Club you might just spot a dolphin cheering you on as you aim for a hole-in-one. For a truly unique experience, challenge yourself at Al Ghazal Golf Club where manicured greens are swapped for smooth sand.
- Visit the Empty Quarter, where towering sand dunes create their own city of splendour. With no skyscrapers in sight, you’ll be surrounded by amber and apricot sands stretching into the horizon under a humungous sun. The sweeping, uninterrupted sand mass – the biggest of its kind – remains largely unexplored. Discover the art of dune bashing, surf on a sand board and stay until after sunset to experience the splendour of a night sky speckled with seemingly innumerous stars.
- Right next to vast desert sands you’ll find lush oases to amble around. The most expansive is Al Ain oasis where, thanks to the 147,000 date palm trees, you’ll never be far from a spot of shade. Wander along brick paths and through grass tall enough to tickle your elbows as the sunlight is scattered by a canopy of palm leaves above.
- The city has no shortage of pristine beaches and promenades. Saunter over elevated boardwalks built to protect hundreds of hawksbill turtles at Saadiyat Beach and step onto a sunlounge-laden stretch of sand almost as white as snow. Revel in sun, sand, sea, and city skylines at the Corniche. Head to Mirfa Beach, which tends to elude the crowds, and feel like you’ve discovered a hidden gem.
- Learn more about Abu Dhabi through its architecture. Take in the majesty of Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, resplendent with crystal chandeliers, hand-carved columns and marble domes. Admire more artistry at presidential palace Qasr Al Watan. Then, for a striking visual reminder of how much Abu Dhabi has grown, stare up at the sleek skyscrapers from the city’s old watchtower at Qasr Al-Hosn fort.
Where are the best places to stay in and around Abu Dhabi?
Yas Island is all about living life in the fast lane. Whether you’re buckling up in the car of your dreams on Yas Marina Circuit, facing G-forces on the fastest ride in existence at Ferrari World or balancing a kayak among the mangroves on the island’s edge, prepare for fun. When you want to slow things down you can saunter over to Yas Beach, the yacht-filled marina or Yas Mall.
The Corniche covers five miles of waterfront on Abu Dhabi’s main island, with sweeping views of the Gulf on one side and pretty parks on the other. Pass dancing fountains and downtown dining spots on your promenade. Lounge on Corniche Beach and take a dip in the warm sea as a high-tech city skyline looks on. Nearby, Marina Mall calls for some retail therapy.
Saadiyat Island, or ‘Island of Happiness’, is quickly becoming a cultural hub thanks to its growing number of galleries. Louvre Abu Dhabi houses a myriad of masterpieces and the building itself is a work of art with its intricate dome. Once you’ve drunk in the cultural scene consider the island’s stunning array of beaches. Spy turtles on Saadiyat Beach or set down your towel between the green shrubs dotted around Kai Beach.
Liwa Oasis, once home to the Bani Yas tribe, sits at the northern edge of the enigmatic Empty Quarter. Swap the cityscape for mountainous sand dunes and flourishing date palms. Explore Arabian history as you walk through century-old forts. Stand in the shadow of the mighty Tel Moreeb, translated to ‘Scary Mountain’, and stare at dunes containing sand that has been there since before the last ice age. Stay here for a sense of serenity and a sky made for stargazing.
Which holiday type in Abu Dhabi is right for me?
Most 5 star hotels in Abu Dhabi boast their own private beach, spa and sweeping views of the Gulf. Only one sits on top of an F1 circuit. W Abu Dhabi – Yas Island is a city icon thanks to its whale-shaped canopy shimmering with LED lights over the Yas Marina Circuit. A stay here ensures you’re at the centre of the action on Yas Island. For a completely different five-star experience, seek serenity at St Regis Saadiyat Island. The resort radiates relaxed luxury with its pristine beach and five swimming pools. Also ideal for blissful beach days and boasting five stars is The Ritz-Carlton Abu Dhabi Grand Canal, where Venetian architecture meets Arabian hospitality. For a deliciously exclusive experience, head up to The Ritz-Carlton Club on the hotel’s private floor.
All-inclusive holidays to Abu Dhabi promise ultimate relaxation. Rixos Premium Saadiyat Island, the only ultra-all-inclusive resort in the UAE capital, takes inspiration from Ottoman palaces with its mosaic feature walls and jewel tones. Make the most of the five restaurants, six bars and a spa snow room for a stay that will leave you feeling rejuvenated.
Wanting luxury for a little less? Cheap hotels in Abu Dhabi still pull out all the stops. Le Meridien Abu Dhabi and Sheraton Abu Dhabi Hotel and Resort both have private beaches, spas and spacious pools. Both Abu Dhabi hotels also offer an all-inclusive add-on to make your stay as convenient as possible.