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Things to do in Abu Dhabi

If Abu Dhabi isn't already on your holiday radar, it probably soon will be. It seems the Emirate, one of Condé Nast Traveller's 2012 Destinations to Watch, is undergoing a surge in popularity.

Expedia has reported an increase in hotel, package and attraction sales for the Emirate, reporting that it's now their second-largest market in the Middle East and Indian Ocean region, while Abu Dhabi Airports has released a report highlighting a 10% increase in international visitors since last year. The Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority has also announced that a whopping 2.2 million guests have checked in to Abu Dhabi hotels from January to October this year, no small feat considering Abu Dhabi only started its bid to attract more tourists in 2004, when Sheikh Khalifa took over as President.

Believe it or not, Abu Dhabi is a year-round destination, reaching toasty temperatures of 25°C in the winter months, and boasting enough indoor and water-based attractions to keep everyone cool in the summer. The Emirate pretty much has an attraction to suit every type of tourist:

  • Nature lovers
    Head to the Arabian Wildlife Park, home to over 10,000 cheetahs, hyenas, endangered Arabian oryx, gazelle and more
  • Shopaholics
    Hit the malls. Two of the best include Abu Dhabi Mall with over 200 shops and the Marina Mall, where you'll find an ice rink and a bowling alley
  • Culture vultures
    Visit the impressive Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, one of the largest in the world
  • Explorers
    Drive (or cycle if you're brave) to the top of Jebel Hafeet, Abu Dhabi's highest peak, for amazing views of Al Ain
  • Families
    Spend a day at the Ferrari World Abu Dhabi, the world's largest indoor theme park, or Yas Island waterpark, home to over 40 rides
  • Sun worshippers
    Saadiyat Beach is gorgeous and the perfect spot for a day soaking up the rays

Search for holidays and cruises to Abu Dhabi.

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Tips by

Deal Expert, London
Wednesday, 15 January 2014
See more Tips from
Felicity Pont