Located in the calm waters of the Arabian Gulf, Abu Dhabi features breath-taking landscapes, including islands, sea, desert, mangroves, fossil dunes, oases and wadis (valleys), as well as a rich history and UNESCO World Heritage sites.
The emirate also hosts global sports and entertainment events, and is home to a variety of theme parks and attractions.
Just seven minutes from downtown Abu Dhabi and 20 minutes from Abu Dhabi International Airport, Saadiyat Island offers world-class museums, as well as beaches, hotels and a golf course.
The natural 27 sq km island has been transformed into a leisure, residential, business and cultural hub. Currently home to the awe-inspiring Louvre Abu Dhabi museum, the island will offer the world's biggest single concentration of premier cultural assets when construction on the Zayed National Museum and Guggenheim Abu Dhabi is complete.
Saadiyat also boasts two white-sand beaches (which protect critically endangered Hawksbill turtles), Saadiyat Beach Golf Club, and a collection of luxury beachfront hotels.
Yas Island is Abu Dhabi's entertainment hub, packing 360˚ of fun onto one island. The family-friendly destination is just a 30-minute drive from the city and a 15-minute drive from Abu Dhabi International Airport. Yas Island is home to an F1™ race track, several theme parks, a championship links golf course, a white sand beach, several hotels, and a mega mall.
Just a 90-minute drive from Abu Dhabi, Al Ain is the capital's garden city, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site that is surrounded by lush and ancient oases. Al Ain is home to historical forts, archaeological parks that house ancient artefacts, old-world palaces, charming camel markets, an equestrian, shooting and golf club, and vibrant souks (markets) selling authentic Emirati crafts, spices, carpets and perfumes.
Sir Bani Yas Island is a family-friendly luxury island destination that's home to stunning wildlife, a range of family-friendly adventure activities, five-star boutique hotels, luxury villas, stables and historical sites. Sir Bani Yas is one of eight islands making up the desert islands of Al Dhafra.
More than half the island is made up of the Arabian Wildlife Park, one of the region’s largest wildlife reserves home to more than 17,000 free-roaming animals, including Arabian oryx, gazelles, giraffes, hyenas and cheetahs. Guests can enjoy 4x4 nature and wildlife safaris in customised vehicles accompanied by expert guides, with the island’s state-of-the-art stables offering a variety of equestrian activities.
The Jebel Hafit Desert Park occupies a nine-kilometre stretch at the base of the craggy Jebel Hafit mountain, Abu Dhabi's largest peak. Situated in the foothills are more than 500 ancient tombs, known as the Jebel Hafit Tombs.
These 5,000-year-old structures demonstrate the presence of Bronze Age civilisations in the UAE, with excavations by Danish archaeologists in 1959 finding evidence of ceramic vessels and copper artefacts. This indicated the importance of maritime trade across the Arabian Gulf even then.
Visitors can also explore the family-friendly park’s majestic natural surroundings on a mountain bike, horse or camel and discover fascinating archaeological and historical remains.
In 2011, UNESCO recognised the Jebel Hafit Desert Park area as being a vital component of the World Heritage Site of Al Ain, the UAE’s first World Heritage Site.
Established by the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, Al Wathba Wetland Reserve is the first area in Abu Dhabi designated for protection by law. Once a coastal salt flat (sabkha), it has now flourished into natural and man-made lakes that enable many of Abu Dhabi's species to thrive.
In 2018, the reserve was placed on the IUCN Green List of Protected and Conserved Areas, making it the first site in the region to receive this recognition.
The reserve is known for its large population of Greater Flamingos - home to an average number of 4,000 flamingos during autumn and spring. It also hosts more than 250 species of birds, 37 plant species and a wide range of aquatic life.
The Al Wathba Wetland Reserve features two self-guided walking trails (1.5 kilometres or 3 kilometres) for visitors to explore and a bird-watching hide to observe the flamingos.