September 7, 2020

City Guide: Exciting Experiences Possible Only in Abu Dhabi

The capital of the United Arab Emirates, Abu Dhabi, is vibrant and modernistic. It brims with exciting activities that cater to a wide range of interests for people from different walks of life. Because of its global cultural presence and heritage appeal, the city has become one of the top destinations in the world. It may be a bit more conservative emirate, but it definitely is at par with Dubai in terms of being a fun desert playground. Abu Dhabi’s attractions are diverse and far-reaching with theme parks and historic landmarks, traditional heritage experiences, nature activities, and animal encounters brimming in all corners.

However, one of the best things about coming to Abu Dhabi is getting to experience activities that are only possible in the city! Yes, this Middle Eastern city has something that other countries in the world don’t have.

Check out this list so when you visit Abu Dhabi, you’ll know what you shouldn’t miss!

Experiences possible only in Abu Dhabi

1. See the world’s largest truck

An image of a Mercedes S Class in front of a building in Abu Dhabi

Now, we all know how rich the sheikhs of the United Arab Emirates are. They are especially known for their luxurious collections of cars. Take, for example, His Highness Sheikh Hamad Bin Hamdan Al Nayhan who is also known as ‘The Rainbow Sheikh’ whose collection of cars can be seen in the Emirates National Auto Museum. This is a no-ordinary collection as it’s composed of 200 cars including a Mercedes S Class and the world’s largest truck. Don’t think that the museum is only for car enthusiasts because everyone will certainly enjoy it, even young children. It also features military tanks, rare vehicles, and a great mix of classic cars. You can see here international cars like the iconic New York yellow cabs.

2. Experience the dizzying fastest rollercoaster in the world

Abu Dhabi: the rails of a rollercoaster

Yep, you read that right! If you have a knack for riding rollercoasters, then, you should try the Formula Rossa whose top speed is 240 km/hr or 149 mi/hr. Being the world’s fastest of its kind, it is designed to imitate the experience of Formula One drivers. You’ll definitely hear the deafening screams of the other riders and find yourself in one of the most exciting experiences in the world. This ride invites you to go faster than a race car.

3. Get behind the wheel of a Formula One car

Abu Dhabi: a photo of a moving race car

If you’ve always wondered how it feels to be a Formula One driver, then this is the ultimate experience for that. Head to the Yas Marina Circuit and get behind the wheel of one of the world’s fastest cars. Test out the famous race track while in official racing overalls. Not only that, but you’ll also have exclusive access to the drivers’ backstage areas for an immersive glimpse into Formula One drivers’ lives. So, what are you going to drive? Well, your options include the Aston Martin GT4 and the Ferrari 458 GT.

This experience is not just about manoeuvring the automobile. There’ll also be instructors who’ll offer you feedback to help you improve your technique. And with onboard cameras, you’ll get to see your drifts and turns in a souvenir video that you can take home!

4. Go back to the 1970s UAE

Abu Dhabi: The entrance gate to the Heritage Village

Abu Dhabi just didn’t become what it is today without going through years of metamorphosis. See that by visiting the Heritage Village to see life in the emirate before the discovery of oil. Enjoy the backdrop of an oasis that is surrounded by palm trees and tents and watch campfires with local coffee, as well as artisans presenting traditional crafts like pottery. You can also wander through the souks and purchase clothes, jewellery, soaps, and spices. As this is a reconstruction of the old life of the Bedouins, you can also see Bedouin women offering henna tattoos.

This experience truly reflects the growth of the country within just the last 50 years.

5. Explore one of the most interesting archaeological locations in the UAE

Abu Dhabi: the peak of Jebel Hafeet at daytime

Make sure to visit Jebel Hafeet, the highest peak in Abu Dhabi and a UNESCO World Heritage Site that offers one of the country’s most fascinating historical exhibits. You’ll be fascinated to find more than 500 tombs that have been excavated, offering exciting clues into the life of its inhabitants between 3200 and 2700 BC. See pearls, skeletons, ceramic objects, and bronze works as the remnants of past civilizations.

To go up Jebel Hafeet, enjoy a scenic drive that features stunning landscape views and parking bays where you can stop to take pictures. Not only that, but you can also feel refreshed and cool down at any of the pools, Jacuzzis, and hot springs along the way. And if you are hungry, a café and the Mercure Grand Hotel at the peak serve meals you can enjoy.

6. See one of the deadliest birds of prey

Abu Dhabi: falcon is perched high up on a building

You might have noticed that the falcons are an endeared creature in the United Arab Emirates. Yes, it is indeed the focal point of the country’s emblem because of its fundamental role in Emirati history. The Abu Dhabi Falcon Hospital, which is the world’s first institution that caters to the welfare and care of the falcons, offers the Falcon World Tour. This tour aims to increase education and awareness about falcons, highlighting the bird’s role throughout history including aiding Bedouin hunters in the past. There is also a museum that shows the art of falconry and the tools used for it. And yes, you can watch falcons fly freely and have a unique photo op with a falcon on your arm.

Abu Dhabi indeed is a fascinating and modern city. When you’re here, don’t limit yourself to just these experiences. Make sure to visit its many offerings and make your vacation here a complete and memorable one.

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