Abu Dhabi is a land of enchantment. The name alone conjures up images of fancy resorts, stunning desert landscapes, and mythical stories. The capital and second most populous city of the United Arab Emirates, Abu Dhabi sits along the coast of UAE, with several of its islands jutting out into the Persian Gulf.
With a population of over 1.5 million people, and a cultural center that’s teeming with activities and attractions, Abu Dhabi is a growing and expanding metropolis. It is a popular tourist destination as well, with upwards of 3.5 million tourists visiting its shores each year. People who come to visit Abu Dhabi come for the glamour, the culture, and the scenery of the city.
But travel to Abu Dhabi need not be restricted to the high end variety. There are plenty of things to do in the city that doesn’t require a lot of money. In the leaf titled, “Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque,” LeafCanoer, nitabulati, shared one of their favorite places to visit in Abu Dhabi. In addition to the mosque, there are dozens of other affordable attractions for travelers to see as well.
Whether you are a budget traveler or a luxury traveler, here are five beautiful reasons to visit Abu Dhabi.
The desert sun burns hot during the day. But as evening falls, the night time coolness brings a welcome respite to the desert heat. Since the city of Abu Dhabi faces west into the Persian Gulf, sunsets in the city are a spectacular sight. There are several companies that offer sunset cruises, but if you are not interested in spending money, you can simply walk along the Corniche, a long coastal road in Abu Dhabi, to observe the beautiful sunsets.
A perk of Abu Dhabi being a coastal town is its close proximity to water and beaches. Some of the best beaches in Abu Dhabi include Yas Beach, the beach at the Ritz-Carlton, and Saadiyat Public Beach. In terms of water sports, travelers to Abu Dhabi can enjoy jet-skiing, kayaking, fishing, kite surfing, and paddle boarding, and essentially every kind of water sport imaginable.
Abu Dhabi’s splendid architecture ranges from traditionally inspired designs to more modern and avant-garde concepts. Traditional architecture in Abu Dhabi was heavily influenced by the tribal groups that originally inhabited the land. These structures were simple in design and material, but were greatly suited for the hot and arid climate. As the country experienced a boom in its economy due to oil, traditional architecture soon was replaced by sleek sky scrapers and buildings with more modern designs. These days, some of the most popular buildings to admire are the Sun and Sky Towers on Reem Island and the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority Building.
Another example of Abu Dhabi’s more modern architecture are the Etihad Towers. Consisting of five uniquely designed buildings of varying heights, the Etihad Towers are a collection of office spaces, apartments, and a hotel. One of the buildings, Tower 2, is the second tallest building in Abu Dhabi, and features an observation deck that lets visitors see stunning views of the city and water.
Sheik Zayed Grand Mosque
The Sheik Zayed Grand Mosque is a popular place to visit among travelers, and is also a great example of Abu Dhabi’s beautiful architecture. Completed in 2007, the mosque is the largest in Abu Dhabi and features more than 1,000 columns, 82 domes, and chandeliers gilded with 24 karat gold. With its grand architectural design, it is a place that is both spiritual and opulent. Yet, thousands of worshipers come to the mosque every day, and the mosque is a space of spiritual importance to the people of Abu Dhabi.
There are a number of reasons to visit Abu Dhabi. The above listed are just a few. For more information on Abu Dhabi, or to get inspiration for other places to travel, download the LeafCanoe app.