Abu Dhabi, The Underrated Sister to Dubai
Currency: United Arab Emirates dirham (AED) or (Dhs)
Language: Arabic, English
Tax Refund: Tourists and visitors can claim refund on VAT paid on purchases they made during their stay in the UAE. They can then receive their refund at the departure port. This is valid with a min spend of 250 AED.
Dubai to Abu Dhabi
There’s a bus every twenty minutes from 6am to 11pm, from the Al Ghubaiba Bus Station in Dubai that takes you to Abu Dhabi. The buses are great, complete with air-conditioning and the cost from Dubai to Abu Dhabi is a mere 25 Dhs.
Taxi meanwhile cost a flat rate of Dhs 75 and take around 40 minutes. This is also the main way of getting around. Car Rental is another good choice with affordable petrol prices.
Corniche & Corniche Beach
Right in the heart of the city, the corniche is 8 km long, and includes children’s play areas, separate cycle and pedestrian pathways, restaurants, cafés and the Corniche Beach. It is a very nice place for a walk. There are more than 1,100 free parking spaces with a five minute walk of the beach. For those who are interested you can go for a swim or a tan too.
Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque
Definitely the most famous attraction in Abu Dhabi, this is in fact the must see when in town. The Mosque is super pretty and glamorous with plenty of photo taking opportunity. Go during sunset timings for an even spectacular view of the Mosque. The mosque is open every day from 9am to 10pm, with reduced hours on Fri. It is free to enter. You can also take part in a daily walk in tour with no reservations required in either Arabic or English. Parking are available here. Across from Sheikh Zayed Mosque is Wahat al Karama Park – head here for a fabulous view of the mosque. Do remember to dress properly.
UAE Presidential Palace
Located to the west of the city is the presidential palace. It is a very popular place to visit and experience the glamour of it. The Qasr Al Watan Wing of the Presidential Palace and the surrounding gardens are open to the public. This is also the working office for the UAE government. It is open daily from 10am to 8pm. Tickets cost 60 Dhs for adults and 30 Dhs for children.
The most famous hotel and palace in Abu Dhabi. It is very nice to come here and take a walk even if you are not staying here. Check out its stunning Arabian interior. If you like, you can go for a special Palace 24 karat gold Cappuccino as well at Le Café.
Abu Dhabi Mall
One of the largest mall in town with more than 200 shops. There are also a tons of shopping and dining options. It is open from 10am to 8pm daily with extended timings on certain days and for the supermarkets.
Al Fanar Restaurant & Cafe
Located in Yas Mall
Popular chain restaurant serving up good Emirati food, it is available in both Abu Dhabi and Dubai. They serve up a variety of local food and sweets. Perfect for an introduction to local food. You can find meals from breakfast to dinner. Open from 9am to 9pm daily.