Alongside the city’s soaring skyscrapers, you’ll find astonishing natural and cultural wonders to explore, from islands teeming with wildlife, to the ancient treasures of the desert
On the map
Located in the southeast of the Arabian Peninsula, bordering the Arabian Gulf, Abu Dhabi is the capital of the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Thanks to its position at the nexus of three continents, Abu Dhabi benefits from unrivalled global connectivity – with 80 per cent of the world’s population reachable within an eight-hour flight.
City of islands
Once a humble pearl-diving settlement, modern Abu Dhabi offers a unique proposition: it’s a futuristic city of gleaming towers, overlooking a natural landscape of islands, coastline and waterways. Hop between its different centres to wildlife reserves, dance parties, historic sites and luxury hotels. Here, there’s an island for everyone.
The soul of Abu Dhabi lies in its rich heritage and customs. Emirati people are renowned for their hospitality and welcoming attitude to visitors, and for a culture that straddles old and new, combining camel racing with Formula 1, soaring contemporary architecture with centuries-old forts and traditional dress with high fashion.
Abu Dhabi takes great pride in its inclusive, multicultural society, where people of all nationalities and creeds happily coexist. The majestic Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is a monument to this goal. Welcoming visitors from all over the world, it is a labour of devotion that includes 82 domes, kilometres of inlaid marble and pools that reflect its hundreds of pristine white arches.
The Founder’s Memorial is an emblem of how the city mixes modern dynamism with a deep cultural sensibility. Here, it pays homage to the UAE's beloved late leader and founder, Sheikh Zayed, with a three-dimensional portrait that is both a technical and aesthetic wonder.
The Louvre Abu Dhabi lies at the epicentre of the city’s burgeoning arts, culture and design scene. The Jean Nouvel-designed museum houses 12 linked galleries and stunning outdoor spaces partly submerged in the sea, beneath a spectacular perforated dome that allows a “rain of light” to penetrate during the day. Inside, interlocking galleries trace the history of humanity’s artistic achievements from the Neolithic period to the current day.
Did you know?
Abu Dhabi’s population is made up of more than 200 nationalities
A desert turned green
Abu Dhabi is making concerted efforts to sustain the abundant flora and fauna that flourishes in its mountains, deserts, wadis (ravines) and sabkhas (salt flats). Among them are the Environment Agency’s efforts to reintroduce the Arabian and Scimitar-horned Oryx – and its preservation work with several species of falcon.
City in the sun
Year-round sunshine makes Abu Dhabi the perfect home for lovers of the great outdoors. Whether it’s white-sand beaches and thrilling waterparks, or cycling tracks and palm-fringed promenades, the city is brimming with opportunities to make the most of the great weather.
On the stage
Enjoy the city’s busy calendar of live shows, from big-name stadium acts and headlining comedians at Yas Island’s large-scale entertainment venues, to more intimate spoken-word poetry recitals at NYU Abu Dhabi’s Rooftop Rhythm nights.