The United Arab Emirates (UAE) consists of 7 emirates. Almost all tourists spend their holidays in the Emirate of Dubai. Some of these holiday guests make day trips to other emirates or neighbouring countries such as Oman. Trips to the emirate Abu Dhabi are very popular. Also here the capital is called like the emirate (Abu Dhabi). The city is also the capital of the country United Arab Emirates, even though Dubai is increasingly the most important metropolis in the UAE.
You can of course make a day trip from Dubai to Abu Dhabi alone by bus or rental car. Many tourists also take part in organized day trips by car or bus to Abu Dhabi. The main focus of this article are such day trips.
Skyline of Abu Dhabi
What is there to see in Abu Dhabi?
Abu Dhabi is the largest emirate of the UAE, the city of Abu Dhabi has almost as many sights as Dubai. It is also a modern city with many tall houses, shopping centers, theme parks and so on. In Abu Dhabi City there are also many banks; administrative buildings and the like.
In any case, one should visit the largest and most famous mosque of the country in Abu Dhabi. The Sheikh Zayid Mosque is one of the most famous and impressive buildings on the Arabian Peninsula. You can also enter the mosque as a tourist if you are suitably dressed (arms, legs, shoulders covered etc.). Women can also visit the mosque.
The grandiose architecture, the largest chandeliers in the world and the mosaics in the Islamic building are well known. It is one of the top 10 mosques in the world, with 40,000 people sitting in the huge mosque. It is, like almost everything in Abu Dhabi, a new construction, the Sheikh Zayid Mosque was opened in 2007.
A further highlight in Abu Dhabi is the Corniche (for example the promenade or the street) in the centre of Abu Dhabi. Here is one of the most famous beaches of the UAE and a many kilometers long footpath and cycle path along the beach. From many places of the Corniche, one has a wonderful view to the skyscrapers of the city Abu Dhabi.
One should also visit the Heritige Village during a day trip to Abu Dhabi. It is a kind of museum and replica of a settlement from the time before the oil boom in the region. It is interesting to see how poor and difficult the life of the Bedouins was 50 years ago. The large complex Heritige Village Abu Dhabi costs no entrance fee
Of course, the skyline and the many new skyscrapers of Abu Dhabi City are also interesting. You should also visit one of the shopping malls. Some tours also visit for example the date market, the Yas Marina (Formula 1 track) or the port of Abu Dhabi.
Which tour to book from Dubai to Abu Dhabi?
Of course, there are several providers. Such day tours usually cost about 60 Euro per person. You will be picked up at the hotel in Dubai in the morning and brought back there after about 8 or 9 hours. Especially good are day trips to Abu Dhabi in small groups of up to 20 people
From our point of view a very good tour from Dubai to Abu Dhabi can be booked on the website Getyourguide. This day trip is also available with a English speaking guide, the maximum number of participants is 15 persons. The tour has the best ratings on the Internet: More info and booking
When booking, please remember that mosques and other things in Abu Dhabi are closed on Friday and Saturday. If possible, choose a different day of the week. Also, when visiting the mosque in Abu Dhabi, you should follow the dress code. You must have long trousers and cover your arms and shoulders, i.e. take a sweater or similar with you even on warm days.
Tour without pick up in Dubai (you come yourself to Abu Dhabi)
There are similar tours, as described above, also from Abu Dhabi, i.e. without arrival and pick-up at the hotel in Dubai. A good tour of this kind (duration 4 hours) is also available: More info and booking
Other day tours
1. Tour to Dubai from Abu Dhabi (the other way round, whole day): More info and booking
2. Speedboat tour Abu Dhabi (speedboat, 1 hour): More info and booking
3. Mosque Tour from Dubai to Sheikh Zayid Mosque in Abu Dhabi only (4 hours): More info and booking
4. Yas Island: Guided modern Formula 1 circuit (2 hours): More info and booking
More great sights in Dubai
Also for other attractions and tours in Dubai you should buy tickets in advance on the Internet. It is difficult to find the right agency on the spot, often there are long queues or the tours are sold out.
1. Water Park Wild Wadi: Directly in Dubai, not far from the best hotel in the world, the Burj al Arab. One of the best water parks in the world. There are far more than swimming pools and slides, a total of more than 30 major attractions such as rides. You have to see the Waterpark Wild Wadi! >>> More info and booking
2. Aquaventure Waterpark: Not far from Wild Wadi Waterpark on the gigantic artificial island of Palm. One of the largest water parks in the world. Many rides, other attractions, gigantic slides, beach and animals like sharks. The Aquaventure Water Park is a must to visit when travelling to Dubai. >>> More info and booking
3. City tour Dubai: From our point of view the best city tour in Dubai. With hotel pick-up, all important sights of Dubai. Daily mornings and afternoons. >>> More info and booking
4. Boat tour Dubai: A great boat tour with sights of Dubai like Palm Jumeirah, Hotel Burj Al Arab and Marina Dubai. >>> More info and booking