Since its opening in 2007, Sheikh Zayed Mosque, which is dedicated to the memory of the UAE’s founding father, has become the pride of Abu Dhabi. This majestic structure is one of the biggest mosques in the world, featuring 82 marble domes, more than 1,000 pillars, Swarovski-crystal-studded chandeliers, and the world's largest hand-woven carpet.
Take a cultural plunge and head to Heritage Village, which replicates the way of life of the Bedouin, the original settlers of the UAE. A 14-minute drive from Heritage Village will take you to Qasr Al Hosn, the oldest building in the capital and former home of the ruling Al Nahyan family.
You don’t have to check in to check out Emirates Palace, a splendid, gated hotel complex of staggering opulence, including a vending machine that dispatches gold coins.
If you want to get your adrenaline pumping, head for Yas Island, where you can ride the world’s fastest roller coaster at Ferrari World. Another theme park popular with families is Yas Waterworld, which offers a variety of thrilling rides for a truly active day out. Nearby is the Yas Marina Circuit, which springs into action each November during the Formula 1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. If you want to burn some rubber outside the F1 season, the circuit offers visitors both driving and passenger experiences.
Adventure seekers must not miss a visit to Liwa Oasis when they travel to Abu Dhabi. It’s a tranquil sea of sand ideal for a guided desert safari. If you’d like to travel a little further afield, and explore the country in more detail, head to Al Ain. Known as the Garden City, its history stretches back over 4,000 years, and is one of the most beautiful locations in the UAE.