Abu Dhabi

Multicultural Abu Dhabi

The sleek and shiny capital of the UAE. And, as you’d expect, it has awe inspiring architecture aplenty and quite a few grand projects of its own. Peel back the surface, however, and you’ll find a more traditional city just a stone’s throw from the glitz, which is laid-back and distinctly Arabian.

View Abu Dhabi reviews

Shopping

The UAE is well known for its vast, modern shopping malls, but keen shoppers should step out of these air-conditioned environs to hunt down the best bargains. Carpets, gold jewellery and intricate metalwork and woodwork make fabulous souvenirs of your Abu Dhabi stay. The easiest starting point is Souk Al Zaafarana (Hamdan Bin Mohammed Street), crammed full of shops selling everything from traditional Emirati garments to incense and spice. To shop with the locals, head to the port area (Mina Zayed), where you'll find the fish souk, and fruit and vegetable souk. The carpet souk (Mina Road) is a good place to browse the different styles of Central Asian carpets.

Food & Drink

Abu Dhabi touts its international flavours with pride. From burgers and pizza to French haute cuisine, foodies will find whatever they fancy here. Many of the top tables in town are found within the city's hotels such as hot sushi spot Tori No Su (Jumeirah at Etihad Towers Hotel) and the Emirates Palace Hotel's gourmet Chinese restaurant Hakkasan (West Corniche Road). The best bar options are run by the hotels as well. Try the laid-back glamour of the St Regis' Turquoiz Beach Bar (Saadiyat Island) for sandy ambience with your cocktail. Down-to-earth prices and delicious Arabic feasts can be had at Lebanese Mill (Electra Street) which has great mixed grills.

Events

Abu Dhabi Festival
March
The UAE's biggest and boldest classical arts festival brings together performers from across the world for a month-long series of theatre, dance, music and exhibitions.

Abu Dhabi Film Festival
October-November
This 10-day programme of cinematic offerings sees Hollywood stars rub shoulders with local actors. As well as film screenings (with feature-length and short films competing for awards), a schedule of workshop sessions runs concurrently.

Formula One Abu Dhabi Grand Prix
November
Now an established part of the Formula One race circuit, the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix roars into town for three days in November. As well as the on-track action, a series of concerts provides evening entertainment.

Abu Dhabi Art Fair
November
The city's top art event brings together exhibitions from leading art galleries and a series of art workshops.

Al Ain Aerobatic Show
November-December
This long-running event is part of the UAE's National Day celebrations. As well as the headlining aerial displays, there are plenty of family-friendly activities and entertainment on the ground.

Hotels

Abu Dhabi has played second fiddle for long enough, and the second largest city of the UAE is stepping out of the shade cast by Dubai. Abu Dhabi City and Yas Island have the most hotels. The landmark Jumeirah at Etihad Towers Hotel (Corniche Road) presides over the waterfront featuring sleek rooms packed with minimalist style. Nearly just as grand is Yas Viceroy Abu Dhabi Hotel (Yas Island) with its futuristic architectural design. Yas Island is also a good place to hunt for mid-range options. Park Inn by Radisson Abu Dhabi Yas Island (Yas Plaza) is one of the best deals in town with spacious, light-filled rooms infused with colourful accents.

Essentials

  • Language

    Arabic, English

  • Currency

    UAE Dirham

  • Time zone

    GMT +4 hours

  • Flight time

    7 hours 25

  • Holiday type

    Beach, City break, Winter sun

Weather

  • 22/09/2014 -

    Sunny skies

    41C max 30C min
  • 23/09/2014 -

    Sunny skies

    41C max 30C min
  • 24/09/2014 -

    Sunny skies

    40C max 28C min
  • 25/09/2014 -

    Sunny skies

    40C max 29C min
  • 26/09/2014 -

    Sunny skies

    40C max 31C min
  • 27/09/2014 -

    Sunny skies

    40C max 32C min
  • 28/09/2014 -

    Sunny skies

    40C max 31C min
  • Jan
    24°C max 13°C min
  • Feb
    26°C max 15°C min
  • Mar
    26°C max 17°C min
  • Apr
    33°C max 20°C min
  • May
    39°C max 24°C min
  • Jun
    39°C max 26°C min
  • Jul
    29°C max 29°C min
  • Aug
    42°C max 29°C min
  • Sep
    40°C max 26°C min
  • Oct
    36°C max 22°C min
  • Nov
    31°C max 19°C min
  • Dec
    27°C max 15°C min