Abu Dhabi Port of Call
Abu Dhabi © Mathias Apitz
Abu Dhabi has been called the richest city in the world, and the sleek skyline beckons cruise ships like a siren. While not as popular with tourists as nearby Dubai, its slower pace and more conservative approach provides an authentic glimpse into Arab culture. Visits to landmarks like the enormous Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque and the Cultural Foundation can augment this experience, and complement a holiday spent lying on the beautiful white sand beaches.
Cruises to Abu Dhabi usually dock at Mina Zayed port, which lacks a dedicated cruise terminal, but is near to the city, and amenities like restaurants, shops and currency exchanges.
Abu Dhabi is designed for cars, and most visitors find it easiest to utilise the city's fleet of white and gold metered taxis which are both plentiful and reasonably priced. There is a limited bus service which is undergoing expansion, however it runs from Mina Zayed port to downtown Abu Dhabi. Walking is not an efficient way to see the city due to its spread-out design.
Abu Dhabi has a number of impressive architectural sights, including the Sheikh Zayed Mosque, and the spectacular Corniche waterfront. While there aren't as many cultural or historical sites, you can see what Bedouin life was like in the heritage Village living museum, or relax in Khalifa Park, a beautiful green space with an aquarium, museum, train, playground, and more. Abu Dhabi also has beautiful white sand beaches that offer their own attractions in sunbathing and watersports.
Al Mina - Iranian cuisine and seafood in a casual harbourfront setting
BiCE - trendy Italian food with good views of the Gulf
Anand Vegetarian Restaurant - North Indian restaurant with a designated family section
Abu Dhabi is one of the most expensive cities in the world, so you'll find no end of luxury goods for sale. Low import duties and no sales tax means there are bargains to be found in the city's gleaming shopping malls, bustling souks, and independent shops. The three-storey Abu Dhabi Mall near the port has over two hundred stores, and there are 17 more malls if you can't find what you're after there. Popular souvenirs include perfume, spices, leather goods, and gold jewellery.
Go camel trekking in the desert
Get a birds-eye view of the city with a helicopter tour
Visit the garden Oasis of Al Ain
Become our United Arab Emirates Travel Expert
We are looking for contributors for our United Arab Emirates travel guide. If you are a local, a regular traveller to United Arab Emirates or a travel professional with time to contribute and answer occasional forum questions, please contact us.