My Top 5: Abu Dhabi & Dubai

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Travelling to the United Arab Emirates for me is a bittersweet experience. While I absolutely enjoy my time there, I can’t help but think about my own corrupt oil rich country. For the sake of this post, I’ll make do without the gloom and doom and get started with my five most enjoyable moments and attractions in the UAE.

In no particular order, here they are:

Yas Waterworld, Abu Dhabi

yas water world
Yas Waterworld is a waterpark located on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi. The park is home to 45 rides, slides and attractions, across 15 hectares. It features four levels of adventure from which guests can choose. This includes the heart-stopping 20-metre free-fall of the Liwa Loop (which I will never try again!)

Basically, you are locked into a transparent capsule with a voice that counts down from 3 to 1. Despite this countdown of death, you’ll still be caught unaware when the floor ‘suddenly’ gives way beneath you, leaving you to plunge down and around a giant loop that’s almost perpendicular to the ground. It’s all over in seconds, but your heart will be racing long afterwards and if you’re crazy enough, you’ll be going back to join the queue for a second go!

Abu Dhabi Desert Safari

Abu Dhabi
The desert safari experience features an evening (or morning) of dune bashing, belly dancing, sand boarding, shisha smoking, dates munching, camel sighting (and riding) adventures that are sure to thrill. Like the Liwa Loop, this would be a one-time experience for me. I had several heart-in-mouth moments during the dune bashing which was all good fun and the belly dancing was nice to watch.

Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, Abu Dhabi

grand mosque abu dhabiThe Sheikh Zayed grand mosque is the largest mosque in the United Arab Emirates and one of the highlights of a visit to Abu Dhabi. The details in this grand mosque, both inside and out are remarkable. I was glad to have visited. As expected, all guests are required to dress appropriately to gain access. The mosque provides Abayas for free in case you are not well covered up.

Al Forsan International Sport Resort

My first ever karting experience was at the Al Forsan sport resort. The sport resort features a 1.2 km kart circuit around the Abu Dhabi International Shooting Club. Here, you find yourself competing with other ‘drivers’ to top the table. I came last in my group decided that it was best not to compete but simply enjoy the pleasures of the 15-minute ride. No shame here!

Dubai Museum

I spent the bulk of my time in Abu Dhabi, which reflects on this list. However, I had the chance to visit a few places in Dubai, including the Dubai Mall and the top of the Burj Khalifa building (which was a little underwhelming). Anyway, this museum was a pleasant surprise. I love museums and this one didn’t disappoint.

So, that’s it – My Top 5 UAE experience. Have you ever been to Abu Dhabi or Dubai? Which city do you prefer? And what’s your #Top5?

11 Comments

  1. Hello. Your pictures are really beautiful and it looks like you had a filled trip. I’m visiting Abu Dhabi soon and I’m excited about it. If you share the prices of various activities, that would help me with trip planning. Thank you

    • Hi Shimmer, thanks and I hope you have a wonderful time in AD! Unfortunately, I don’t really remember the prices of these activities.. This trip was taken in the days when I was travelling without a pen!

  2. Yes I have an Abu Dhabi full day tour booked for Thursday. We would be picked up from the hotel here in Dubai about 9am for the drive to Abu Dhabi. The mosque you mentioned in your blog is on the itinerary as well as other landmarks. We should be back about 8pm.

    If I do publish my travel diary I would let you know.

  3. I enjoyed reading your top 5. I am currently in Dubai with my family on vacation and have been keeping a daily travel diary of the trip which I might publish. I have been procrastinating for long about starting a travel blog.

    • Hi Ron! I love keeping travel diaries too – that’s the idea of this blog’s name. Hopefully, you get around to starting your travel blog soon. Would love to read about what’s it like travelling with family. Would you be visiting Abu Dhabi as well? I hope you all have a great holiday in the UAE.

  4. The Yas Water world was open to female only when we went, as it was a Monday i think. So pained. But being to the Wild Wadi Water Park in Dubai, which was pretty good. The Mosque is so stunning and the Desert Safari, yes! So I haven’t done too bad I guess. Shared a recap and photos on the blog early this year. Might check out the museum if I go back!

    http://www.KacheeTee.com

    • Looks like you had everything covered! I actually like that Yas WW has a ladies only day but I can see how that would be a problem when you’re travelling with a partner. Wild Wadi is about the same, maybe even better, so I don’t think you missed anything πŸ™‚

  5. The Sheikh Zayed grand mosque is one place I definitely want to visit. The pictures I’ve seen of it are amazing.

  6. The architecture at Sheikh Zayed Mosque looks so amazing. It’s definitely a place I want to visit. I’ve visited Dubai and done the desert safari. For some reason we were screaming with laughter (and maybe a little fear) through the whole thing πŸ˜„. And wow, I like water parks and thrill rides but that 20 m drop sounds a little too thrilling haha. I quite like what I’ve seen of the UAE in general, so I’m looking forward to a trip to Abu Dhabi in the near future. It was smart of you to combine both trips!

    • Oh, it was truly amazing. I was so impressed. For the safari, mine was more fear than laughter. I was glad when it was over.
      Hope you get to revisit again and make it to Abu Dhabi this time. It’s about 40 minutes from Dubai and combining the trip would make a lot of sense.

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