From soaking up its cultural heritage to fun entertainment and world-class shopping, Abu Dhabi is blessed with bountiful things to do. Whether visiting for business or pleasure, with family or friends, our itinerary points you in the direction of the Emirati city’s best places to visit. Here’s how to get the most out of 24 hours in Abu Dhabi.
Kick-start your 24 hours in Abu Dhabi with an unforgettable visit to the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque. Its dazzling acres of white marble, shimmering minarets and intricate décor will take your breath away. Mosque tours start at 9am, and it’s worthwhile spending a few hours in awe of its architectural and cultural splendour.
Afterwards, head to The Galleria mall on Al Maryah Island to indulge in some prestige retail therapy. This alluring retail destination, topped with a dazzling glass roof, is Abu Dhabi’s premier place to shop luxury lifestyle brands. Here, you can saunter through The Galleria’s stylish boulevards and call in at Gucci, Miu Miu, Tom Ford and Tiffany & Co. among others.
When hunger strikes, The Galleria has some excellent international restaurants such as the Latin American-inspired Coya or La Petite Maison, which serves all the flavours of the French Riviera. Alternatively, for lunch with a view, head 74 floors up in the air to Observation Deck at 300 at Jumeirah at Etihad Towers. Aside from eye-popping city panoramas, you can savour healthy salads, neatly crimped sandwiches and fine, globally sourced teas.
Once you’ve suitably refueled, it’s time to let off some steam at Yas Island. An entire island dedicated to the pursuit of pleasure, Yas is home to a pulse-quickening array of parks and rides. Petrol heads should check out Ferrari World, with the world’s fastest rollercoaster, driving simulators and go-kart tracks. Families will love Warner Bros. World’simmersive mayhem, starring favourites like DC Super Heroes, The Flintstones and Looney Tunes. For aquatic adventures, Yas Waterworld makes a giant splash. Slip-slide your way down daredevil water rides like Jebel Drop or enjoy a genteel float along Al Raha River.
After working up an appetite at Yas Island, retire to the sublime surroundings of Tori No Su for dinner. This award-winning Japanese restaurant is all about dainty servings of exquisitely sliced sushi and beautiful meats charred to perfection on the Teppanyaki grill. Grab yourself a comfortable booth and unwind in the elegant surrounds as you relish lobster rolls, salmon nigiri and grilled Wagyu sirloin.
Once the sun sets, Abu Dhabi is illuminated with thousands of twinkling lights. Reflected on the waterfront, its night skyline is even prettier. Soak up the city’s bewitching after-dark sights by taking a night-time cruise on a traditional dhow boat. Departing from Yas Marina, Captain Tony’s Moonlight Dhow Cruise gently sails along Al Raha Beach, enjoying views of the myriad illuminations along Yas Island’s coastline. The cruises run until 11pm and are an enchanting way to round up your 24 hours in Abu Dhabi.
Discover Jumeirah at Etihad Towers in Abu Dhabi.