If you’re visiting Abu Dhabi for the Formula 1 this week then you may be wondering what to do with your time here. It’s a great city with plenty to see and do, and we’ve listed 10 things you should definitely make time to enjoy.
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1. F1 Fanzone
If you’re coming for the Grand Prix then it’s safe to assume you like Formula 1. The F1 Fanzone has been set up on the Corniche beach West Plaza and is packed full of F1-related activities and attractions. You will find simulators and G-force testers, and there’s even an F1 car waiting for you to change its wheels like it were a real pit-stop. If you’re not going to watch the Grand Prix live, then you watch it here on the huge screen.
Location Abu Dhabi Corniche When November 17 to November 27 Timings 5pm to 11pm Saturday to Wednesday; 4pm to 12am Thursday and Friday Entry Free Website F1 Fanzone
2. Shaikh Zayed Grand Mosque
You can’t come to Abu Dhabi without visiting its main tourist attraction. Shaikh Zayed Grand Mosque was built over 10 years ago and is the largest mosque in the UAE. There are a total of 82 domes, with the largest central dome standing 85 metres high and 32 metres wide. The minarets stand over 100 metres tall. Visiting men should avoid wearing vests and shorts, and visiting women are asked to collect a free abaya before entry.
Timings 9am to 10pm Saturday to Thursday; 4.30pm to 10pm Fridays – show respect at prayer times Entry Free Website Shaikh Zayed Mosque
3. Ferrari World
If you’re a Ferrari fan, of even if you’re not, then a day-out at Ferrari World will help keep you in the automotive mood. Ride the Formula Rossa roller-coaster or the Flying Aces – breaking world records for speed and height – or punch in some laps at the karting academy. Children can enjoy a driving experience of their own with the Junior GT… there really is no end to what’s in store.
Timings 11am to 8pm daily Entry Purchase tickets online: Adult tickets start at Dh275, Children tickets start at Dh230 (Add Dh10 if buying tickets on site) Phone +971 2 496 8000 Website Ferrari World
4. Yas Waterworld
For us UAE residents, November is a cool time of year, and most of us will be wrapped-up in wooly jumpers and thermal socks. If you’re visiting from Europe, though, then it may be feel like summer. So with that in mind, how about a day cooling off at one of the UAE’s best waterparks? Enjoy a thrilling mix of rides and slides, with options suitable for adults and children alike.
Timings 10am to 6pm daily Entry Tickets for those over 1.1 metres start at Dh240, and those under 1.1 metres start at Dh195 for the entire day (Some Grand Prix ticket packages give free access) Phone +971 2 414 2000 Website Yas Waterworld
5. Manarat Al Saadiyat
Be careful that you don’t overdose on F1 cars and petrol-related activities. You may find it worth your while to balance the octane with some culture. Pay a visit to Manarat Al Saadiyat on Saadiyat Island. There you learn more about the history of the UAE and take in some of the finest artwork available in the nation’s capital.
Timings 10am to 8pm daily Entry Free Website Manarat Al Saadiyat
6. Heritage Village
Ever wondered what Abu Dhabi was like before the discovery of oil? Once you’ve worked your way through the glass jungle of the city and emerge on the Corniche seafront, head towards the giant flag mast on Marina Island. There you will find the Heritage Village, a throwback from yesteryear selling authentic Arabic trinkets and treats.
Timings Open all day Entry Free Website Heritage Village
7. Al Forsan International Sports Resort
If you fancy doing some sort of sporting activity but can’t decide what, then head over to Al Forsan International Sports Resort. There you can walk around the resort and take your pick. There’s a 1,200 metre kart circuit, a shooting range, paintball, a special wakeboarding lake, tennis courts and so much more. We advise that you call ahead to check availability just in case.
Timings Different activities open and close at different times Entry Free to enter the resort, but activity costs vary Phone +971 2 556 8555 Website Al Forsan
8. Mushrif Central Park
How about taking some time out and enjoying a leisurely walk around Abu Dhabi’s newest park? Take a relaxing walk around the grounds while admiring the city skyline from afar. There are activities for children to ensure boredom is kept at bay, and you can just lay there on the grass catching some Vitamin D.
Timings 8am to 10pm daily Entry Dh5 (children younger than 3 go free) Website Mushrif Central Park
9. Yas Beach
There are many beaches around Abu Dhabi’s coastline, and they each have their own charm. However Yas Beach offers something different. You can either laze around on the sand or rent a shaded cabana for the day, which comes with waiter service and complimentary water. There is a licensed restaurant and bar as well as a DJ playing chill-out tunes while you sunbathe, swim, or play volleyball.
Timings All day Entry Weekdays Dh50, weekends Dh100; cabanas are Dh300 Age note Groups of under-21s not permitted unsupervised Website Yas Beach
10. Abra ride to Souq Qaryat Al Beri
Abu Dhabi is surrounded by a fascinating mangrove field, and to see it you need to head to the Eastern Mangroves promenade. From there you can hire boats privately or, as we suggest, you take an Abra ride to Souq Qaryat Al Beri via Shaikh Zayed Grand Mosque. The Souq is full of traditional Arabic goods as well as some of Abu Dhabi’s best bars and restaurants, including: The Meat Co, Pearls and Caviar, Left Bank, Noodle House and many more. The boat rides run to schedule and take about 30 minutes.
Timings Every 2 hours between 3pm and 9pm Cost Dh50 one way; Dh80 return Phone 02 656 1013 Website Abra Ride