Sightseeing in Abu Dhabi

Places to visit in Abu Dhabi

Meaning 'Father of the Gazelle' in Arabic, Abu Dhabi was founded when a young antelope led a wandering tribe to fresh water, on an island with no more than 300 palm ('barasti') huts, a few coral buildings and the Ruler's fort. This simple island settlement has since been transformed into the modern, cosmopolitan city of Abu Dhabi and the high-rise capital of the United Arab Emirates.

A tour of the UAE capital usually takes in everything from the evolving skyline to sandy shores and iconic buildings. Our concierge will be pleased to arrange individual or group tours of Abu Dhabi, which will take you for a stroll along the Corniche, which will give you a glimpse of everyday Abu Dhabi life and the chance to savour some picturesque scenes. Tours also usually include the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, Manarat Al Saadiyat and the Heritage Village.

Manarat Al Saadiyat
Manarat Al Saadiyat literally means ‘the place of enlightenment’. It is a 15,400 sq m (165k sq ft) visitor centre, designed to bring the vision of the island to life through the Saadiyat Story. The exhibition is on permanent display and provides visitors with an interactive narrative on the history and cultural vision behind the island, including the plans for the Zayed National Museum, the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi, the Louvre Abu Dhabi, a performing arts centre and maritime museum which, combined, will make up the world’s largest single concentration of premier cultural institutions.

Visitors will find a rich educational experience for all, especially for families looking for a fun weekend activity. Here everyone will learn more through virtual ‘books’. LCD screens display the pages of electronic books - which use unique technology for the first time in the region - which respond with a gesture recognition sensor system, triggered by simply waving a hand over the image of the book.

The venue is located just five minutes from the hotel by car. Special shuttle transfers can be arranged by our concierge.

For more information and group bookings (please allow 24 hours) email

UAE Pavilion
Moved piece by piece from Shanghai, where it welcomed almost two million visitors to the UAE’s national exhibition during the World Expo 2010, this striking dune-shaped structure (designed by London’s acclaimed Foster + Partners) stands close to Manarat al Saadiyat, adding to the island’s cultural attractions.

A landmark exhibition and events venue, the pavilion is hosting some of the country’s most important cultural functions. A coming together of prominent global collectors, connoisseurs and artists, the pavilion annually hosts the Abu Dhabi Art contemporary art fair.

For further information, please click here.

Capital Gate
Capital Gate, developed by Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Company, has been certified as the ‘World’s Furthest Leaning Man Made Tower’ by the Guinness World Records.

It leans 18 degrees westwards - more than four times that of Pisa’s famous leaning tower. The 160 m (524 ft), 35-storey tower is a postcard image of Abu Dhabi, and makes for a great holiday snap.

Hyatt Capital Gate Abu Dhabi, our sister property and a five-star business hotel, is in this iconic building.

Distance from Park Hyatt Abu Dhabi Hotel and Villas: 25 km (15.5 miles)

For further information, please click here.

Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque
Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is one of the largest mosques in the world, with a capacity for more than 40,000 worshippers. The grand mosque features eighty domes, about one thousand columns, 24-carat gold plated chandeliers and the world’s largest hand-woven carpet. Complimentary one-hour guided tours start at 10:00am, 11:00am and 5:00pm on Saturdays and Thursdays.

Reflective pools surround the mosque, amplifying its beauty. The striking white and gold colours shining in the sun are transformed at night by a unique lighting system, which reflects the phases of the moon.

Visitors’ Tip: Why not finish sightseeing or shopping for the day and take the 5:00pm ‘Sunset Tour’?  Get to the mosque around 4:30pm – a wonderful time to take photos – to wind down and chill out for twenty minutes in the lovely afternoon breeze before the tour.

Opening hours:
Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is open daily to visitors, except on Friday morning, which is for worshippers only. The opening hours are 9:00am to 10:00pm (last entry at 9:30pm) Saturday to Thursday, and 4:30pm to 10:00pm on Fridays. Complimentary one-hour guided tours run (Sunday - Thursday) at 10:00am, 11:00am and 5:00pm.  Friday times are 5:00pm and 7:00pm and on Saturday: 10:00am, 11:00 am, 2:00pm, 5:00pm and 7:00pm.

Distance from Park Hyatt Abu Dhabi Hotel and Villas: 27 km (16.7 miles)

For further information, please click here.

Emirates Heritage Village
This reconstruction of an authentic oasis village reflects traditional aspects of the desert way of life as well as workshops where craftsmen demonstrate traditional skills, such as metalwork and pottery, while women sit weaving and spinning.

Traditional aspects of the desert way of life, including a campfire with coffee pots, a goats’ hair tent, and a falaj irrigation system, are attractively displayed in the open museum.

There are workshops where craftsmen demonstrate traditional skills, such as metal work and pottery, while women sit weaving and spinning. The craftsmen are happy to share their skills, and may occasionally give you the chance to try them out.

The little spice shop is a treat – you can get a range of dried herbs, handmade soap and plenty of chatter.

Opening Times: Saturday to Thursday from 9:00am to 5:00pm, and Friday from 3:30pm to 9:00pm

Distance from Park Hyatt Abu Dhabi Hotel and Villas: 20 km (12.4 miles)

For further information, please call +971 2 681 4455.

Ferrari World Abu Dhabi
It is fast and furious fun for all ages at Ferrari World Abu Dhabi: the world’s first Ferrari theme park and the largest attraction of its kind. The park tells the Ferrari story with passion and excitement through more than twenty exhilarating and educational rides and attractions, interactive shopping and authentic Italian dining experiences.

Beneath its huge, iconic red roof, attractions include: Formula Rossa, the world’s fastest roller coaster, reaching speeds of 240 km (149 miles) per hour; Galleria Ferrari, the world’s largest Ferrari gallery outside Maranello with an interactive display of cars from 1947 through to the present; Speed of Magic, a fantastic 4-D adventure through deep green jungles, icy caves and ravines and to the mouth of a fiery volcano.

Opening Hours: Daily, 11:00am – 8:00pm.

Distance from Park Hyatt Abu Dhabi Hotel and Villas: 25 km (15.5 miles)

For further information, please click here.

Desert Safari
Desert safaris are a very popular activity, which attract both locals and tourists alike. You can choose your means of transport through the desert: either on a camel or (if you are more adventurous) you can opt for dune driving or wadi bashing in Abu Dhabi. Guests will be picked up at the hotel.

Experience the breathtaking dunes of Al Khaznah between the UAE capital and our Oasis City of Al Ain, or explore the desert expanse outside the Liwa oasis in the Western Region. With high dunes and long sand valleys, you'll never get bored of adrenaline fuelled dune bashing.

Most desert safaris include a thrill-a-minute spot of dune bashing, sand skiing, quad biking, a visit to a camel farm, camel riding, and a traditional meal under the stars. Overnight stays let you enjoy smoky sunsets and luminous sunrises.

Our Concierge team will assist with more information and to arrange your excursion.

Abu Dhabi Corniche
The Corniche Road offers an 8 km (4.9 mile) stretch of manicured waterfront that includes fantastic picnic spots, children’s play areas, separate cycle and pedestrian pathways, a wakeboarding park, restaurants and the Corniche Beach.

Located just ten minutes by car from the hotel, the Corniche is a must-see Abu Dhabi attraction.

Corniche Pedal Power
A fun and healthy way to tour the Corniche is to hire a bicycle.  FunRideSports hires out a selection of cycles, from mountain bikes to city bikes, which can fit two or three passengers on the back, and even specially designed bikes for ladies wearing abayas.  FunRideSports has four rental stations along the Corniche boardwalk, with its main station outside The Hiltonia Beach Club.

Hire starts at AED 30 (US $8) per hour for adults and AED 20 (US $5) for children.  Voucher booklets for twelve hours of cycling are also available for AED 250 (US $68).

For more information or to book in advance call +971 2 445 5838 or email

Yas Waterworld
For a full day experience, this futuristic Yas Island water park spans an area of around fifteen football pitches; with 43 rides, slides and attractions, five of which are one-of-a-kind.

Yas Waterworld visitors will be able to try the world’s first - and largest, at 238 m (780 ft) long - hydro-magnetic powered, six-person tornado waterslide. For adrenaline seekers there are 3 m high (9.8 ft) waves on Bubble’s Barrel, which has the world’s largest surfable sheet wave for flowboards and bodyboards. The Bandit Bomber, a 550 m (1,804 ft) coaster, is the first with on-board water and laser effects. Riders can shoot jets of water at targets, drop water bombs and trigger special effects, while people below can spray them with water as they pass.

Sitting atop Jebel Dana, the towering core of the park’s altitude-defying summit and measuring 8 m (26.2 ft) in diameter, the park’s gigantic pearl is Yas Island’s newest landmark. The park draws on Abu Dhabi’s heritage and has ‘The Lost Pearl’ as its theme. Visitors follow the story of a young Emirati girl on a quest to find a legendary pearl as they make their way around the attractions, which include a souk and pearl-diving exhibits.

Opening hours:
Daily from 10:00am until 6:00pm (winter months) and from 10:00am until 8:00pm (summer months)

Location: Yas Island

Distance from Park Hyatt Abu Dhabi Hotel and Villas: 20 km (12.4 miles)

For further information, please click here.

Big Bus Tour
Famous for its traditional open-top double decker red buses, the Big Bus Company has carefully designed a tour which takes visitors to all major Abu Dhabi landmarks. Personal commentary comes in eight languages and tickets are valid for 24 hours, and can be purchased in the hotel or the Big Bus sales desk at Marina Mall. The closest Big Bus stop is at Manarat Al Saadiyat, located just five minutes from the hotel.

A fun and informative way to take in all Abu Dhabi's major landmarks

The world-renowned hop-on, hop-off sightseeing tour offers a choice of eight digitally recorded languages: Arabic, English, German, French, Spanish, Italian, Russian and Mandarin and provides a fascinating insight into Abu Dhabi's history and culture.

Tickets are valid for 24 hours and give access to all of the Big Bus Tour routes, enabling guests to hop on and hop off at their leisure. The ticket also includes free entrance to the Sky Tower at Marina Mall. Tickets are available from individual hotels or the Big Bus sales desk at Marina Mall and can also be bought online.

For further information, please call 800 BIG BUS (800 244 287) or click here.

Al Ain Oasis
In the heart of Al Ain near Al Ain National Museum, this impressive oasis is filled with palm plantations, many of which are still working farms. The cool, shady walkways transport you from the heat and noise of the city to a tranquil haven; all you'll hear is birdsong and the rustle of the palm fronds.

Employing a 3,000-year-old falaj irrigation system, Al Ain Oasis features a series of mesmerising water channels that give life to the palm plantations in this inner-city paradise. Spread over 1,200 hectares (nearly 3,000 acres) and containing more than 147,000 date palms of up to one hundred different varieties, choose one of eight separate entrances to explore how countless generations have tapped into underground wells to keep the beautiful city green. Entry is free.

Distance from Park Hyatt Abu Dhabi Hotel and Villas: 111.8 km

For further information, please call +971 3 712 8429 or click here.

Abu Dhabi Falcon Hospital
Abu Dhabi Falcon Hospital is the world’s largest and most advanced falcon hospital. Its highlight is a falcon display museum, as well as a facility with free-flying falcons.

Guided tours of this award-winning specialist hospital are available. You can visit the luxurious wards where the birds are kept, explore the museum - which gives an insight into the noble desert sport of falconry - or try your hand at the pursuit in the  lush gardens.

Tour Timings: Sunday to Thursday, 10:00am and 2:00pm (except weekends and public holidays).

Location: near Abu Dhabi International Airport

Distance from Park Hyatt Abu Dhabi Hotel and Villas: 40 km (24.8 miles)

For further information, please call +971 2 575 5155 or click here.

Al Ain Zoo
This 900-hectare park near the base of Jebel Hafeet is where visitors can see a large animal collection in enclosures that closely resemble their natural habitats. There are plenty of green public spaces for picnics and also playgrounds, a cafeteria and a train tour of the wildlife area.

The Al Ain Zoo is home to over four thousand animals, with at least 30% of its 180 species considered endangered.  Conservation efforts have been strengthened by partnerships with San Diego Zoo, the Fairchild Tropical Botanical Garden in Miami and the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums.

Giraffe feeding, camel riding and ‘Elezba’ petting zoo are the latest interactive activities. Visitors can enjoy feeding the giraffes treats such as carrots or lettuce five times daily in a special area.  Designed in the style of a local farm, the ‘Elezba’ petting zoo lets families feed and play with sheep, goats, camels, llamas, chicken and ducks, enjoy camel riding or picnic in a designated area.

The general opening hours for the zoo are from 9:00am to 8:00pm, however during the hot summer months (June - September), the facility operates from 4:00pm until 10:00 pm.

For further information, click here.

Emirates Park Zoo
With over 1700 animals - including a majestic pair of white tigers, a 31-year-old 300 kg-plus Siberian bear, lions, cheetahs and dozens of zebras housed in the zoo’s ‘Predators’ and ‘Wild Animals’ enclosures - the Emirates Park Zoo in Al Bahia, a north-east suburb of the UAE capital, features a park-wide ‘misting system’ which keeps animals and patrons cool in the summer months.

Entrance to the park is AED 25 (US $6.81) for adults and AED 10 (US $2.72) for kids under six years old. Kids under two years old enter free.

Opening hours:
Sunday - Wednesday: 9am to 8pm
Thursday - Saturday: 9am to 9pm
Located in Al Bahia, north-east of Abu Dhabi city.

Distance from Park Hyatt Abu Dhabi Hotel and Villas: 35 km (21.7 miles)

For further information, call +971 2 5633100 click here.

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PO Box 52007, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates,

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