By now, most of us may have a good sense of what the United Arab Emirates is all about: over-the-top architecture, modern technology, historic mosques, jaw-dropping skylines, and endless shopping. These features are especially recognizable in the capital city of Abu Dhabi.
However, Abu Dhabi is also home to many unexpected attractions, encompassing modernity and nature. Indeed, sky is the limit in Abu Dhabi group tours.
Abu Dhabi Highlights and Features
1. Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque
Built in 1996 by Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the father of the United Arab Emirates, this Grand Mosque perfectly signifies the intersection of modernity and tradition. This structure cost $545 million to build and can hold up to 40,000 worshippers, making it one of the largest mosques in the world. But what is even more impressive is what is inside the actual prayer hall: the world’s largest carpet, which weighs 35 tons and covers 60,000 square feet. Other than the carpet, the prayer room also holds giant chandeliers covered in Swarovski crystals.
2. Al Wathba Fossil Dune Formations
This is perhaps one of the little-known Abu Dhabi travel destinations, located in the outskirts of the city. But with the sun shining from the distance, this attraction feels like straight out of a Star Wars film. Of course, the main features are the sand formations that took years to naturally form. These dunes look like fragile museum pieces, each one unique from the rest. It is an ideal spot for your Abu Dhabi photography adventure. Early mornings are perfect for picnics and the evenings for camping.
3. Mangrove National Park
Abu Dhabi is more than just ultramodern architecture. It also prides itself in their eco-centric attractions. Perhaps the most notable is the Mangrove National Park. This paradise is home to over 60 bird species, hundreds of plant types, and picturesque waterways and spans more than seven square miles. The mangroves themselves are a must-see, with their long root systems “snorkeling” above the saltwater surface for air. Visitors can rent a kayak to explore the mangrove forest up close.
4. Yas Mall
Abu Dhabi does not go easy on their malls. These spaces are no longer just a simple place to shop. Instead, they are significant social and cultural hubs where locals and tourists alike congregate. Of the city’s many malls, the biggest and probably the most popular is Yas Mall. It really is more than just a mall, covering 2.5 million square feet and holds more than 370 stores, 68 restaurants, and other attractions such as an impressive movie theater, art installations, and performance spaces. It offers all sorts of activities for guests of all ages, too. Even if you are not here to shop, come for the architecture. It hardly looks like a mall outside and feels more like a grand hotel with its long reflecting pool, immaculate landscaping, and spectacular entrance.
It is difficult to imagine what is impossible in this city. But one thing is for sure—Abu Dhabi group tours always go all out.