Abu Dhabi
Looking for ideas on how to cover

Abu Dhabi in one day?

This post is definite to give you some inspiration.

Abu Dhabi may not be the first choice for many when it comes to a holiday in the UAE. Given the massive popularity of Dubai, most people come to Abu Dhabi as part of their Dubai vacation. But, Abu Dhabi is equally striking and more interestingly, the country’s capital as well as the largest city. Unsurprisingly, it easily goes toe-to-toe with any of the world’s top destinations, in terms of its stunning architecture, high-end infrastructure, and a vast line-up of extraordinary leisure attractions. Add to this the awe-inspiring Arabian charm and heritage which gives it a distinctive appeal.

Whether you’re here to experience the Emirati culture, traditions, or top-notch recreational facilities, the city has it all. But, if you’re able to spend only one day in Abu Dhabi, you can still make the most of this limited-time by crafting an immaculate travel program. So just read on; this article contains some great tips and travel information too.

Best Time to Visit Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi has plenty of indoor and outdoor attractions which make it a year-round holiday spot. So pre-plan your Abu Dhabi or UAE trip accordingly. If lots of action with pleasant weather is what you’re looking for, it’s great to visit here during winter months from November to March. But know that this is also the region’s peak season. Although it would be extremely hot with the temperature soaring up to 55 degree Celsius, a summer trip to Abu Dhabi is still enjoyable and is most ideal for those who are on a tight budget, as you’ll be able to save on almost everything from accommodation and airline tickets to visa services.

How to Get to Abu Dhabi?

Abu Dhabi International Airport is the country’s second-largest airport with three terminals. Besides Etihad Airways (the national carrier of the UAE), it caters to over 30 prominent airlines and offers services to over 100 destinations in 50 plus countries.

Many renowned cruise liners have added Abu Dhabi in their Arabian Gulf travel program, courtesy to Zayed Port (Mina Zayed), the city’s expansive and permanent cruise terminal. Apart from these, you can also drive into the city from other emirates in the UAE, such as Dubai, Sharjah, Fujairah, and Ras Al Khaimah.

As mentioned earlier, most people travel to Abu Dhabi on their visit to Dubai, which is just 140 kilometers away.  With regular, well-maintained buses, cabs, etc, it won’t take more than two hours’ drive in order to reach Abu Dhabi from Dubai.

Things to Do in Abu Dhabi in One Day

Everyone has their own preferences when traveling to Abu Dhabi. For some, a trip to the capital city is all about exploring its architectural delights and cultural landmarks. Some come here to explore its many pristine beaches and exotic islands which are known for its ultimate leisure and entertainment options. There is also a category of people who pick Abu Dhabi for its untouched desert landscape and mangrove forests. No matter what your likings are, one thing is sure that Abu Dhabi has something for everyone. So here we’ve created a list of top things to do in Abu Dhabi which you can include in your desired

Abu Dhabi one day itinerary.

1. Visit the Sheikh Zayed Mosque

sheikh zayed grand mosque

This mammoth, the all-white mosque is so mesmeric and tranquil that it tops any to-do list in Abu Dhabi. With an overall capacity to accommodate up to 40,000 worshippers, it’s also known as Grand Mosque and is named to honor the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan al Nahyan. Standing as an epitome of the modern Islamic architecture, it’s especially striking for its lavishly opulent architectural elements, representing a mix of Fatimid, Ottoman and Mameluke features. That’s not all; it has to its credit the world’s largest carpet (hand-knotted by over 1000 Iranian craftsmen) as well as the biggest of its kind chandelier enhanced with 24-Karat gold and Swarovski crystals.

Opening hours:

  • Saturday to Thursday: 09:00 hrs to 22:00 hrs
  • Friday: 16:30 hrs to 22:00 hrs

2. Soak up the charming Arabian culture and heritage

Recommended places to visit: Heritage Village, Qasr Al Hosn, & Abu Dhabi Falcon Hospital

heritage village abu dhabi

Abu Dhabi is definite to entice an art and culture enthusiast with its many attractions such as Heritage Village which is modeled after an authentic Bedouin settlement. It lets you glance into the region’s lifestyle before the discovery of oil. Another traditional landmark is Qasr Al Hosn – the Old Fort. Now if you wish to explore the region’s culture and heritage with an interesting twist, don’t miss out to visit the Abu Dhabi Falcon Hospital. It’s probably the first of its kind facility, exclusively designed to treat and care falcons – the UAE’s national bird.

Opening hours

  • Heritage Village: 09:00 hrs to 16:00 hrs on a daily basis
  • Qasr Al Hosn: 09:00 hrs to 19:00 hrs (Saturday to Thursday) & 12:00 hrs to 22:00 hrs (Friday)
  • Abu Dhabi Falcon Hospital: 08:00 hrs to 15:00 hrs

3. Hit Yas Island

Recommended places to visit: Ferrari World Abu Dhabi, Yas Waterworld, Warner Bros. Abu Dhabi & Yas Marina Circuit

ferrari world theme park abu dhabi

This is an absolute destination for families and thrill-seekers alike. You’ll find here the world’s first Ferrari branded theme park. True to its name and theme, it will blow you away with its Ferrari inspired rides and attractions ideal for all ages and abilities, mainly the swiftest of its kind Formula Rossa, Flying Aces, Scuderia Challenge, Fiorano GT Track, Junior GT, and Turbo Track.

Right adjacent to Ferrari World is Warner Bros where you can bring all your favorite superheroes and cartoon characters to life, thanks to its close to 30 rides scattered over sections such as Metropolis, Warner Bros. Plaza, Bedrock, Cartoon Junction, Dynamite Gulch, and Gotham City.

For aficionados of speeds and thrill, a trip to Yas Island is not complete without a trip to Yas Marina Circuit which is also the venue of the prestigious Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Moreover, you don’t have to go far if you’re a water park lover, thanks to Yas Waterworld that is developed around the theme of the Legend of the Lost Pearl and built as an honor to the region’s age-old pearl diving heritage.

Opening Hours

  • Ferrari World Abu Dhabi: 10:00 hrs to 22:00 hrs (Monday to Wednesday) & 11:00 hrs to 20:00 hrs (Thursday to Sunday)
  • Yas Waterworld: 10:00 hrs to 18:00 hrs (Sunday to Thursday) & 10:00 to 19:00 hrs (Friday and Saturday)
  • Warner Bros Abu Dhabi: 10:00 hrs to 20:00 hrs (Saturday to Thursday) & 10:00 hrs to 21:00 hrs (Friday)
  • Yas Marina Circuit: 9:00 hrs to 18:00 hrs


Read More



4. Dedicate some time to discover Louvre Abu Dhabi Museum:

louvre abu dhabi museum

Located on Saadiyat Island, Louvre Abu Dhabi is not just one of Abu Dhabi’s latest attractions, but also the region’s biggest art gallery. Spread over an area of about 8000 square meters, it displays modern, iconic and timeless artworks from all over the world. Yes, come here prepared to marvel at the masterpieces by such brilliant artists as Leonardo da Vinci, Van Gogh, Monet, Cézanne and Renoir. But it’s beyond its art displays; its sprawling, white structure together with its massive dome (which creates a rain of light inspired by traditional design) is sure to take your breath away.

Book Louvre Abu Dhabi tickets online! Use coupon code to get a discount!


Read More



5. Go on a mangrove kayaking cruise

If you wish to soak up the region’s pristine nature and wildlife with an adrenaline-fueled adventure, be sure to add this experience on your Abu Dhabi one day tour. You can sign up for this activity through Rayna Tours which organizes for you everything from roundtrip hotel transfers to kayaking tours across the breathtaking mangrove forests which occupies over 150 square kilometers of the country’s coastline.

6. Browse the ancient markets:

You’ll find massive shopping malls all over in Abu Dhabi. But, if you’re in search of some real local treasures, just head over to the city’s traditional markets or souks. Visit Abu Dhabi Carpet Souk to find one of the greatest collections of colorful carpets, elegant prayer mats, and stunning mats and cushions, among others. One of the best souks for souvenir shopping is Al Zafarana Souk which lets you shop traditional Emirati stuff, spices, henna, and clothing at bargain prices. Furthermore, you shouldn’t miss the capital city’s biggest gold souk, Madinat Zayed.

7. Visit Observation Deck at 300:

This observation deck is within the Jumeirah at Etihad Towers hotel. Placed on its 74th floor, it allows you to take in the marvelous city skyline views from one of the Abu Dhabi’s highest vantage points.

8. Dine on the go:

Be it authentic Arabic, classic French, flavorsome Asian or tasty Italian or English cuisines, the capital city is a real foodies’ haven that offers everything that your taste buds crave for. You can walk into the expansive food courts within the region’s massive shopping malls or choose to dine within a celebrity dining establishment. It’s also absolutely worth to try its many scrumptious street food delicacies including Shawarma, Kebabs, and Manakeesh.

Tips for First Time Visitors

  • Pre-plan your one-day Abu Dhabi trip. The most recommended option is to book a half-day or full-day Abu Dhabi city tour.
  • You can also consider our value-packed combo tours offering Abu Dhabi City Tour with admission tickets to the region’s top landmarks such as Ferrari World, Warner Bros Abu Dhabi, Louvre Abu Dhabi Museum, etc.
  • If you’re looking to explore Abu Dhabi on your own, the most convenient way is to opt for a rental car. You can further use well-maintained, air-conditioned public buses to get around in the city.
  • As with Dubai or any other emirates in the UAE, make sure that you abide by local customs and laws while in Abu Dhabi.
  • Avoid PDA and don’t smoke and drink (alcohol consumption) in public. All these actions may land you in jail, along with hefty fine.


So are you ready to explore Abu Dhabi? Use this extensive guide to plan and maximize your one day in the capital city with your most favorite Abu Dhabi attractions and experiences.

Rezmin is passionate about traveling and curating content about history, traditions and other intriguing aspects that make a place attractive. In her spare time, she enjoys reading fictional books sprinkled with inspiration, humor and enthusiasm.

  • 10 thoughts on “What to Do in Abu Dhabi in One Day? – Perfect Itinerary for First Visitors
    1. Avatar for Rezmin

      Hi. I don’t want to do everything you mentioned in the blog, but I am interested in Ferrari World. How much maximum time can I spend there?

      • Avatar for Rezmin

        Ferrari World opens at 10:00 am and you can spend up to 6 hours easily. You can also pair the trip with Yas Waterworld and continue the fun.

    2. Avatar for Rezmin

      I read your section on Observation Deck at 300 and wondered how much time to allot for this activity? Is the place really crowded?

    3. Avatar for Rezmin

      Hi. Thanks for this blog. I made a similar itinerary using the info you stated in the blog and I had the best time in Abu Dhabi.

    4. Avatar for Rezmin

      Hey. I enjoyed reading your blog and it is quite insightful but I must say, I would have a hard time leaving Yas Island. So many things to see and do.

      • Avatar for Rezmin

        True. Yas Island has many amazing attractions. You can plan a whole day or weekend just visiting the attractions on the island.

    5. Avatar for Rezmin

      Hi Rezmin, I really loved the blog and found it helpful. I would love to add a visit to the Corniche. Would it be possible in a day?

      • Avatar for Rezmin

        You can add some time to see the Corniche, and make a nice customised itinerary for yourself. Corniche during the sunset is beautiful. Trying going then.

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Contact Us