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Top 10 Things To Do In Abu Dhabi

Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque Abu Dhabi

1.  Visit the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque Built in 2007 under the vision and design of HH the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the first president of the UAE, who passed away in 2004 (and who is also buried there). Unlike other mosques in the region, it is open daily to visitors, except on Friday morning which is for worshippers only. This architectural work of art is one of the world’s largest mosques, with a capacity for an astonishing 41,000 worshippers. It features 82 domes and 1,000 columns and the main prayer hall is dominated by one of the world’s largest chandeliers – ten metres in diameter, 15 metres in height and weighing 12 tonnes. Complimentary one hour guided tours run Sunday-Thursday at 10am, 11am and 4.30pm/5pm. Friday times are 5pm and 7.30pm/8pm and Saturday 10am, 11am, 2pm, 4.30pm/5pm and 7.30pm/8pm. www.szgmc.ae

2.  Discover Abu Dhabi Do you hold some burning questions about Arab and Emirati culture before the discovery of oil? Drop by the Abu Dhabi Heritage Village, a reconstruction of a traditional oasis village provides an interesting glimpse into the emirate’s past. There are also workshops where craftsmen demonstrate traditional skills, and their Emirati staff are happy to answer any questions you may have. Saturday-Thursday, 9am-5pm, Fridays, 3.30pm-9pm. 
 
Abu Dhabi Golf course
 
3.  Get Golfing With beautiful weather and stunning courses, Abu Dhabi is a centre of golf in the region. Drop by Saadiyat Beach Golf Club toplay a few rounds while gazing out over the Arabian Gulf water. Rates for 18 holes start at Dhs650. Saadiyat Beach Golf Club (02 557 8000).
 

4.  Stroll along the Corniche With beautiful sandy beaches stretching out about 6.4km from one end to the other you can either take a stroll, go for a swim, or if you’re feeling up to it hire a bike and enjoy Abu Dhabi’s famous views of the ocean and mangrove forests in the distance.

5.  Dinner on a dhow The Dhow is a traditional vessel which was used by islanders on the waters of the Gulf. You can float along the Cornish and feast on delectable local seafood, and take in the local, laid back culture. Net Group, info@nettoursauh.com, www.netgroupauh.com (02 679 4656) 

6.  Ride on a camel No trip to Arabia is complete without a camel ride through Abu Dhabi’s red sand dunes. With a multitude of companies to choose from, experience the desert’s strange beauty, and get in touch with your inner Bedouin. For stunning views, contact Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort, who can actually arrange a bona fide camel trek for guests. Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort by Anantara (02 886 2088).

7.  Get in the water - Why not take advantage of the beautiful weather and jump in a kayak to hit the water for just Dhs40 for half an hour at the Al Raha Beach Hotel. For speed freaks, why not hop on a jet ski. Hire one for a three hour session, which is just enough time to complete a circuit of the entire island. In the distance you might even catch a glimpse of the flamingos which live in the to the Eastern mangroves area. Dhs55, Al Raha (02 508 0555). Jet skis from Hilton Abu Dhabi (02 681 1900).

8.  Visit Yas Marina Experience the Yas Marina Circuit louder, faster and in person: if you are a motorsport fan, booking a track experience is a unique opportunity. Yas Racing offers a variety of options, to suit all tastes.  A series of track day packages are available, including ‘Driver Experiences’, ‘Passenger Experiences’, ‘Private Driving Tuition’ programmes and ‘Racing License Courses’. For more info, visit www.yasmarinacircuit.ae

Abu Dhabi dessert safari

 
9.  Go on a desert safari To really get to grips with the ancient culture of Arabia’s desert people, the Bedouin, there’s nothing so rewarding as a desert safari. There is something for everyone, ranging from the more thrilling dune bashing, sand boarding and watching falconry demonstrations to kicking back with an Arabic coffee and enjoying local music and dance. Abu Dhabi Desert Safari, www.abudhabidesertsafari.net (055 484 2001).
 

10.  Freefalling without having to make the jump Abu Dhabi Country Club’s Spacewalk facility to experience the sensation of floating through the air, without the having to actually jump out of an aeroplane. Introduction course including instruction and a two-minute flight Dhs180. Frequent flyer, family and party packages available. Spacewalk Indoor Skydiving, Abu Dhabi Country Club, Al Sada Street (02 657 7777).

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