10 amazing things to do in Abu Dhabi

The capital is buzzing with exciting activities, luxury brunches, relaxing spas and loads more. Team Ahlan! finds the 10 best places to visit
Thursday , 07 September 2017
10 amazing things to do in Abu Dhabi

1. RACE AT YAS MARINA CIRCUIT
Got the need for speed but don’t fancy taking control of the wheel yourself? Worry not, you can scream your head o and remain buckled up in the passenger seat of some of the most famous rides on the planet – from an Aston Martin GT4 to a Mercedes AMG to the Formula 1 safety car. INFO: Prices depend on the car you choose, Yas Marina Circuit, yasmarinacircuit.com, 02 659 9800 

2. PARTY ON AL MAYA ISLAND
Al Maya is approximately six miles southwest of Abu Dhabi Island and you get there by taking a 10-minute boat trip (the ferry will set you back Dhs100 per person). Al Maya Island & Resort is the perfect getaway destination for residents and tourists in need of an escape from the bustling city and looking to enjoy a unique day trip within the capital. It has a hotel with one-, two- and three-bedroom packages, water sports, a restaurant, gorgeous beaches and an enormous pool. The island is famous for its Maya Fridays parties, which happen every week between 11am and 9pm. They are legendary. INFO: almayauae.com 

3. INDULGE AT ASIA DE CUBA
Since its opening in early 2015, Asia de Cuba hasn’t failed to impress. The setting oozes pure Caribbean with its white beach, cabanas and toe- tapping music. All you need is some top nosh and you could be in Cuba itself. Thankfully, the fusion of Asian and Cuban food does just that. Grab a starter from the ceviche bar, including lovely red snapper, shrimp and salmon, or even pick away at a bowl of crispy calamari. Once that has whetted your appetite, then you have to try the tunapica tartare: diced raw tuna in crispy wonton tacos, with olives, almonds and avocado ceviche. Bliss. INFO: Open daily, 12midday-3pm, 6pm- 12midnight, Nation Riviera Beach Club, The St. Regis Abu Dhabi, 02 699 3333 

4. VISIT EMIRATES PARK ZOO
Launched in 2008 as the first private zoo in the UAE, Emirates Park Zoo is now home to an incredible variety of wildlife and an ever-growing menu of features, attractions and interactive activities. The zoo is proud to be a part of various conservation projects. Its current projects involve helping to protect many species including cheetahs, tigers and other animals needing human care and protection, so get involved. We can confirm the zebras are especially friendly. INFO: Dhs30 per adult, Dhs20 for kids under six, kids under two go free, Sun-Wed 9am-8pm, Thu-Sat 9am- 9pm, Emirates Park Zoo, 12th Street, Al Bahya, Abu Dhabi, 02 501 0000, emiratespark.ae 

5. TAKE A FLIGHT WITH SEAWINGS
Enjoy an aerial view of the capital as you take in its attractions and much more in a seaplane. After a water take-off, your 25-minute trip will let you see a different side of Emirates Palace, Yas Island, Ferrari World and the F1 circuit. INFO: Dhs895 per person, Seawings, seawings.ae 

6. BRUNCH IN THE CLOUDS
The St. Regis Abu Dhabi’s Abu Dhabi Suite, the world’s highest suspended suite, is the venue for the capital’s most exclusive brunch. Taking place once a month, you’ll be even be able to explore the suite’s bedrooms, cinema, spa and two-floor majlis. The suite links the UAE capital’s two Nation Towers on the 48th and 49th floors. The brunch, exclusively for 50 diners on the last Friday of each month, commences in the hotel’s grand reception hall where you’ll be met by one of the hotel’s butlers who will escort you to the Abu Dhabi Suite’s private elevator. INFO: Dhs500++, Dhs750++ bubbly, last Friday of every month, The St. Regis Abu Dhabi, 02 694 4553, restaurants.abudhabi@stregis.com 

7. VISIT THE VENETIAN VILLAGE
Venetian Village is a unique collection of international restaurant brands situated within the Ritz-Carlton Abu Dhabi Grand Canal. Spanning 20,000 square metres, it o ers indoor and outdoor terrace dining at each venue in a relaxed, convivial environment. Feeling peckish? They’ve got Todd English’s Olives, which serves Mediterranean grub; Brasserie Flo, which is a traditional French eatery; Indian hotspot Punjab Grill; Japanese restaurant Inakaya, which serves authentic robatayaki cuisine; and Al Fanar, which is famous for its Emirati cuisine. Then there’s also party hotspot Barfly, where you’ll find an interesting range of fusion dishes to tuck into. INFO: The Ritz-Carlton Abu Dhabi, venetianvillage.ae 

8. RIDE A ROLLER COASTER AT FERRARI WORLD
Ferrari World’s Flying Aces has broken three world records: the world’s tallest non-inverted loop, the world’s steepest, and the world’s fastest inclined cable lift for a steel roller coaster. At 52m, the roller coaster’s loop is equivalent to the height of a 17-storey building. But it gets better: its cable lift climb is inclined at 51 degrees and the coaster reaches 120kph along a track that mimics actual bi-plane movement. We’ve tried it and it terrifying, if you’re into that sort of thing. INFO: ferrariworldabudhabi.com 

9. VISIT ONE OF THE WORLD’S MOST FAMOUS LANDMARKS
With its pristine white domes and stunning architecture, there’s no doubt that Abu Dhabi’s Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is a sight to behold. It’s no wonder our very own mosque has topped a recent list curated by leading travel site TripAdvisor, coming in second in a list of 25 top landmarks. This is the second year in a row the mosque has made the list. Regular guided tours are held, with sta on hand to answer questions and enlighten you on all elements of Islamic culture. Men are asked to dress conservatively (no shorts!) while ladies must also don a headscarf. INFO: Free entry, 9am-1pm Sat-Thu (general tours
take place at 10am and 11am), Sheikh Rashid Bin Saeed Street, 02 419 1919 

10. ENJOY A PAMPERING SESSION AT THE ANANTARA
Depending on the level of detox required, why not choose a spa package that is flexible? Abu Dhabi’s Anantara Spa’s Pick & Mix Special gives guests the chance to choose from a menu of treatments. The 90-minute bespoke session can include any three of the following: full-body exfoliation; back, neck and shoulder massage; foot reflexology; head and scalp massage; mini facial; aromatic milk bath. INFO: 90 minutes, Dhs590, Abu Dhabi, 02 656 1000, abu-dhabi.anantara.com 

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