Abu Dhabi, Etihad Headquarters, Seen from Emirates Palace

Abu Dhabi – the Invigorating Oasis

Capital of the United Arab Emirates, Abu Dhabi is a refreshing oasis in the Arabian Desert. Proud owner of multitudes of parks scattered around the city, it is much greener than the touristy Dubai. Covering more than 80% of the total territory of the UAE, Abu Dhabi is the largest of the seven emirates. The Islamic country owes its outstripping growth to the abundant oil and gas reserves that are pumped in the vicinity of the city.

Abu Dhabi, Aldar's Disc Building
Aldar´s disc – the tallest circular building the world.

But the capital of the Emirates is much more than oil and sand. In fact, should you desire a break from Dubai’s craze, Abu Dhabi is an amazing location to chill out and visit some remarkable sights only found there.

The Grand Mosque of Abu Dhabi – Middle East Resplendence

The lavish Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, named after the late President of the Emirates, would be the first one. It is the principal mosque in the United Arab Emirates and its beauty, splendour, and grandeur require a new article.

Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Zayed Mosque, seen from Outside, UAE
Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque on a sunny, cloudless day.

Emirates Palace – Jumping Beyond Luxury

Another must-visit place should you find yourself trotting in Abu Dhabi, is Emirates Palace, a hotel of exquisite design and eye-watering opulence. Its website humbly describes it as “going beyond 5-star luxury”. You can read more here. 🙂

Abu Dhabi, Emirates Palace,Gorgeous Fountains, UAE
Stiliyan and Svet in front of the Palace.

Heritage Village – Meet the Roots of the U.A.E.

The Heritage Village of Abu Dhabi provides an interesting foretaste of UAE’s past by walking around a traditional oasis village. Nothing too impressive there with the exception of a small museum showcasing the history of Dubai, Abu Dhabi and the other five emirates.

Abu Dhabi, Heritage Village, Near the Entrance, UAE
Approaching Heritage Village
Abu Dhabi, Heritage Village, Picturesque Fountain
A picturesque fountain in the heart of the village
Abu Dhabi, Heritage Village, Glimpse into UAE's Past
In such tents lived the people in the past.
Abu Dhabi, Heritage Village, Campfire, Old Tents, UAE
In areas like these, they used to make campfires so that it is protected from the wind which can be quite fierce at night in the desert.

Ferrari World – a Nerve-racking Rollercoaster Park

If you are voraciously seeking adrenaline and you would like to quench that specific thirst of yours, Ferrari World is the place to do that. The largest in-door theme park prides itself with the fastest rollercoaster in the world – Formula Rossa.

Abu Dhabi, Ferrari World, Formula Rossa, Ready to be Torpedoed, UAE
Formula Rossa – ready to be torpedoed with around 150 mph.

It reaches a whopping 240 km/h (150mp/h) in less than 5 seconds and at its acceleration of gravity goes up to a mind-boggling 4,8 G. Formula Rossa took the position of Kingda Ka as the world’s quickest rollercoaster in November 2010. Safety goggles are provided to those who are audacious enough to ride it. The speed is so powerful you find it difficult even to scream.

Next to Formula Rossa, there are other coasters most of which are much less intensive. In addition, a small army of Ferraris is on display there.

Abu Dhabi, Ferrari World, Formula Rossa Ride, UAE
At the entrance/exit of Formula Rossa (The Red Formula)
Abu Dhabi, Ferrari World, Formula One Ferrari Race Car, UAE
An F1 Ferrari bolide (race car)
Abu Dhabi, Ferrari World, F1 Lego Car, UAE, Bolide
F1 bolide made from Lego
Abu Dhabi, Ferrari World, Ferrari 512 TR, Need for Speed, UAE
Ferrari 512 TR. Was that in the first “Need for Speed” video game? Anyone?
Abu Dhabi, Ferrari World, Ferrari F12 Berlinetta, Need for Speed, UAE
Ferrari F12 Berlinetta.
Abu Dhabi, Ferrari World, Modern Ferrari Car, Need for Speed, UAE
Anybody knows this model?
Abu Dhabi, Ferrari World, Small Ferrari for Sale, 25 000 AED, UAE
This small car can be purchased for 25,000 AED – 6800 USD.
Abu Dhabi, Ferrari World, Steering Wheel of F1 Race Car, Need for Speed, UAE
Steering wheel of a F1 Ferrari race car.

I found the gift shop, which offered souvenirs ranging from perfumes through mugs and clothes to keyrings, way too overpriced.

Abu Dhabi, Ferrari World, Souvenir Shop, Need for Speed, UAE
The gift shop. The items sold there were overpriced, in my opinion.


Helpful tips for the park:

A great way to save a substantial amount of money is to purchase an Entertainer (50 AED) from the Géant supermarket or Hallmark shop both found in Yas Mall which is adjacent to Ferrari World. The Entertainer can be used to cut the ticket price in half.

If you feel like this article is helpful, you can download a GPS version of it, which will guide you around the Arab capital.

United Arab Emirates – where the highways are generously lit and every plant is irrigated. An absolute heaven for architects, urban planners, and civil engineers.

Have you been there? What was your impression?


8 comments on “Abu Dhabi – the Invigorating Oasis

  1. Hung Thai [Up Up and a Bear]

    Incredibly opulent indeed. I’ve heard so many stories from my friends who have been there AND who have flown on Emirates. It’s such a rich country – I just wonder why they don’t help out the neighboring countries to establish a more peaceful region.

    • Svet

      Hung, you posed a great question and I hope there will be somebody from the emirs that is going to answer it. Stay tuned for the even more opulent photos of the Palace and the Mosque!

  2. Kaylene Chadwell

    I’d love to get to Abu Dhabi! It is much more appealing to me than the touristy Dubai. Ferrari World looks like a lot of fun! I’d definitely have to check that out whenever I get there!

    • Svet

      Yes, go there, Kaylene, you won’t regret it. I loved Ferrari World and I regret I did not have time to ride the other roller-coasters. Adjacent to it, there is also a nice aqua park. Stay tuned for two more articles about the Mosque and Emirates Palace 🙂

  3. thegofever

    J’ai beaucoup aimé Abu Dhabi!! Such a special place. I really need to sort through the gazillion photos I took at Sheikh Zayed mosque!

  4. Crizzy Kiss (@CrizzyKiss)

    I only had layovers in Abu Dhabi. Would love to explore the city some day. How far is the city from the airport?

    • Svet

      Sorry for replying so late, Criz, but it seems your comment was marked as spam…
      Abu Dhabi is really great to explore and one day would be quite enough for that. It takes around 45 minutes to get to the city centre (depending on traffic) and the cost is 4 AED (around 1 EUR).

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