50 reasons why Abu Dhabi is the best city in the world

Where else but Abu Dhabi can you see flamingos, ride the world's fastest rollercoaster, visit UNESCO world heritage sites and kayak through a national park in a single day?

50 reasons why Abu Dhabi is the best city in the world

It’s hard to deny that Abu Dhabi has a whole load going in its favour. And before you accuse of blind bias, let’s ask a quick question: where else can you ride the world’s fastest rollercoaster, go on an African-style safari, and escape to a luxury island resort all without leaving the emirate?

There’s so many brilliant things to do here, and there’s never an excuse to complain about being bored.

In fact the only tricky bit is fitting in all the amazing things to do. After all, everyone knows weekends fill up quickly, and unfortunately we’re yet to convince our bosses that having an extra day off every week is the way to go.

So to help you make the most of living in (or visiting) the capital of the UAE, here are the best 50 things to do in Abu Dhabi right now.

1. Escape from it all at Al Ain Oasis

This calming area of greenery is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that houses up to 100 different species of vegetation. Wandering through the shaded pathways and 147,000 date palms really is wonderful and the educational Eco-Centre explains exactly how this delicate ecosystem is maintained.
Free. Open daily 8am-5pm. Al Mutawaa, Al Ain (02 599 5438).

2. Tackle the inflatable obstacle course at A’l Bahar
The huge area of A’l Bahar boasts fairground rides, food trucks and also an inflatable water park. AquaFun is a bouncy obstacle course that’s both totally hilarious, but also quite challenging. It you can complete it without falling off we applaud you, although we’re not sure that’s really possible.
Dhs100 (admission for one hour). AquaFun open daily 9am-6.30pm (closed during summer). Abu Dhabi Corniche.

3. Do some people-watching at Al Bateen

This is one of the most happening areas in the city. Head to tashas for breakfast, The Coffee Club for a quality caffeine-based drink or Switch to indulge in a camel burger. It’s always busy and the atmosphere is buzzing and very family friendly. With views over the boats and Etihad Towers, it’s a thoroughly picturesque place to chill out.
Various locations. Al Bateen Marina, Al Bateen.

4. Eat the freshest fish imaginable at Al Mina Fish Market
You can enjoy a memorable lunch or dinner for as little as Dhs20 at Al Mina Fish Market. Buy your seafood from the men in blue, take it to the men in red to be gutted and filleted and hand it over to the cooks, who will rub in spices and roast it over a charcoal grill. Then sit on a lobster pot and tuck into some of the best fish you’ve ever tasted.
Prices vary. Open daily 7am-10pm. Mina Fish Market, Al Meena (02 670 3888).

5. Go for a spin at Al Wathba Cycle Track
Next to the camel-racing track (which is an amazing place in itself) and with views of sand dunes for as far as the eye can see, this is definitely not your average cycling track. Here you can tackle anything from a leisurely eight kilometres to a calf-aching 30-kilometre loop. But with such a stunning backdrop, you won’t have time to think about how tired you are.
Free. Open daily 24 hours. Al Wathba Cycle Track, E22 Abu Dhabi-Al Ain Road, sportinabudhabi.ae.

6. Spot flamingos at Al Wathba Wetland Reserve
In a city surrounded by dry desert, it can be easy to forget that exotic wildlife actually lives here too. A visit to Al Wathba Wetland Reserve will take you on a pleasant three-kilometre hike through pretty wetlands, where the big attraction is the flamboyance of bright pink flamingos. Between autumn and spring as many as 4,000 of these amazing creatures congregate in this area.
Free. Open Thu & Sat 8am-4pm. Al Wathba Wetland Reserve (03 763 9688).

7. Chill out on the rooftop at ANNEX

The Abu Dhabi EDITION has already established itself as one of the coolest hotels in the capital, and this is partly down to its incredible three-tier bar called ANNEX. While the bottom two floors host big parties and top DJs, the rooftop terrace hold fire pits, comfy sofas, and a well-stocked bars serving excellent mixed drinks (we can highly recommend the coffee-based ones in particular). The views over Al Bateen Marina are really something else, as you take in outline of Etihad Towers and gaze over the moored boats below, you’ll really feel like you’ve made it in life.
Tue-Wed; Fri-Sat 6pm-midnight. The Abu Dhabi EDITION, Al Bateen (04 304 70002).

8. Feast on blue burgers at Back Yard Bistro
This casual bar has a food menu that is just as fun and creative as the junkyard-style interior. The bright-blue beef sliders are one of the stand-out dishes, but there’s other yummy bar bites such as loaded potato skins, nachos and chicken wings. The burgers are so huge you might have to resort to using a knife and fork, and just to make things even better, there’s a daily happy hour (or afternoon), running from noon to midnight. That’s if you have enough room after tackling one of those enormous patties.
Open daily noon-3am (02 508 2400).

9. Grab a sundowner at Buddha-Bar Beach

With cool DJs, pretty mixed drinks and elegant hostesses, Buddha-Bar Beach has an amazing, spacious outdoor area that leads right onto the white sands of Saadiyat Beach. The only difficult bit is choosing whether you want to collapse into one of the squishy bean bags on the beach, or relax on one of the white sofas on the wooden decking. Either way you’ll be in a prime location for watching the sun vanish over the clear waters of the Gulf.
Open Sat-Wed 5pm-1am; Thu-Fri 5pm-2am. The St. Regis Saadiyat Island Resort, Abu Dhabi (02 498 8888).

10. Experience mind-blowing avocado fritas at Burro Blanco

Low-key Mexican eatery Burro Blanco, tucked away in Al Khalidiya, serves up a starter that quite frankly deserves to be recognised far and wide. The avocado fritas are made from fresh, soft avocado encased in a fluffy batter, deep fried and served with a creamy chipotle dip. It’s absolutely delightful and well worth the visit alone.
Dhs23. Sat-Wed 11am-10pm, Thu 11am-midnight, Fri 4pm-midnight. First Zayed Road, next to ADNOC station, Al Khalidiya (02 309 3911).

11. Work your brain cells in the Challenge Chambers
This Al Wahda Mall venue offers games that are just the right mix of tension and excitement, because sometimes it’s fun to push yourself to the limit isn’t it? You’ll need to be on the ball, so make sure you have a good sleep the night before. You and your friends have less than an hour to overcome a series of challenges and puzzles before you become trapped in your room forever (well, not literally but you do lose the game, which is almost as bad).
From Dhs75. Open Sun-Wed 10am-10pm; Thu-Sat 10am-midnight. Al Wahda Mall New Extension, Hazza Bin Zayed Street, Al Wahda (02 445 2522).

12. Catch free screenings at Cinema Space
Bored of flashy Hollywood blockbusters? Well you’ll adore Cinema Space. The place is a dream for all film buffs, with free screenings of restored classics and arty cinematic masterpieces on every week. It won’t cost you a thing either (if you don’t count the obligatory snacks), as all the showings are free to enter.
Free. Manarat Al Saadiyat, Saadiyat Island, www.cinemaspace-abudhabi.splashthat.com.

13. Take to the water at the Eastern Mangroves
Abu Dhabi’s Mangrove National Park takes up about 43 square miles of the city’s landscape. You can explore this area of outstanding beauty by kayak, paddleboard or boat (you can hire equipment from several different operators), and refuel afterwards at one of the many cafés on the Eastern Mangroves Promenade.
Eastern Mangroves Promenade, Salam Street (02 406 1462).

14. Feel like a prince or princess at Emirates Palace

Think you’ve experienced the highest possible level of luxury? Well think again. You clearly haven’t been to Emirates Palace yet, and this stunning hotel is on a whole new level of opulence. From the excessively gold interior, to the amazing grounds (covering 100 hectares), to the iconic structure (including 114 huge domes), you have to at least go and have a wander around. You can even get a cappuccino that’s covered with real 24-carat gold flakes. How fancy is that?
Open daily. West Corniche (02 690 7999).

15. Feed the animals at Emirates Park Zoo & Resort
You can feed a whole range of animals at this awesome zoo, but the most daring experience is the crocodile feeding. Each weekend, you can get up close and personal with the crocs and even feed them their dinner. Don’t worry, though, as you’ll be in an elevated enclosed private area to make sure you’re 100 percent safe. It’s an incredible chance to marvel at the beauty of these enigmatic creatures and if you’re brave enough, you can even hold a baby croc yourself.
Dhs75. Fri-Sat 5pm-8pm. Emirates Park Zoo and Resort, 12th Street (02 501 0000).

16. Work out in record time at F45 Training
Based in the complex of Zayed Sports City, F45 lets you fit your workout into just 45 minutes. The sessions change every day, with some focusing on strength, some on cardio, and some which include a mix of both. The Friday ‘Hollywood’ sessions even features a live DJ set from Abu Dhabi-based DJ Cliff Townley, providing the perfect soundtrack to an intense workout.
Various times. Zayed Sports City (056 332 3113).

17. Hold a falcon at the Falcon Hospital
Abu Dhabi is home to the world’s largest falcon hospital and tours of the institution are held twice a day. You’ll get to learn about the history of the hospital, visit some of the treatment rooms and watch simple procedures take place. But the best bit is probably getting to hold one of the falcons and get a picture with it.
Tours are held daily at 10am and 2pm. Dhs170 (adults), Dhs60 (children). Sweihan Road, Al Shamkha, www.falconhospital.com (02 575 5155).

18. Ride the world’s fastest rollercoaster at Ferrari World Abu Dhabi
Love rollercoasters? Well then you have to check out Ferrari World Abu Dhabi. Formula Rossa is the fastest rollercoaster on the planet, and the adrenaline-pumping attraction reaches dizzying heights of 52 metres and incredible speeds of 240km per hour. But there are also lots of gentler experiences to be had, with rides for young children, a soft-play area and a junior race school experience all found in this huge indoor theme park. You don’t have to be fanatical about cars to have a great day here.
Dhs295 (single day ticket). Open daily 10am-8pm. Yas Island (600 511 115).

19. Mingle at Filini Garden

Overlooking Yas Links, visiting this classy restaurant offers far more than just the opportunity to critique the nearby golfers. The garden-like setting is put together brilliantly, with plenty of opportunities for photos by the trailing vines and cute vintage bicycles. The Italian dishes are beautifully presented and sophisticated, while the ladies’ night on a Monday offers free-flowing sparkling grape for less than Dhs60 and 50 percent off food. Music is provided by a saxophonist or from funky DJs and it’s always packed out with a stylish and fun-loving crowd. You should definitely join them.
Ladies’ night: Dhs55 (free-flowing sparkling). Mon 7.30pm-1am. Open Sat-Wed 5pm-1am, Thu 5pm-3am, Fri noon-3am. Radisson Blu Hotel, Abu Dhabi, Yas Island (02 656 2000).

20. Get a sweat on at Hudayriat Island
The newcomer on Abu Dhabi’s beach scene has been open since 2018. Hudayriat Island spans a massive 3,000 acres, and the 600 metre-long beach is the perfect place for a weekend chill out. But there’s plenty for fitness fanatics, too. You can explore the island by taking on the 5km and 10km running and cycling tracks, and rent bikes for Dhs50 an hour. The jet ski slipways also make it a top spot for the capital’s thrill-seekers (there are plenty of you out there but if eating is more your thing, check out the food trucks.
Free. Open daily 8am-7pm. Hudayriat Island.

21. Indulge at La Cava’s grape and cheese night
There’s something about the ritual of grape and cheese that just sends everyone into a frenzy of excitement, and the grape and cheese night at La Cava has become a much-loved tradition here in the capital. Featuring more than 15 different types of grape (including red, white, pink and sparkling), the deal is available every evening. It also gives you access to the incredible selection of cheeses, and whether you like your fromages a bit blue and smelly, mild and creamy, smoked or super sharp, you’ll find it all amongst this decadent spread at this cracking venue on Al Maryah Island.
Dhs150. Daily 7pm-9pm & 9pm-11pm. Rosewood Abu Dhabi, Al Maryah Island (02 813 5550).

22. Celebrate civilisation at Louvre Abu Dhabi
The Louvre art gallery definitely has the wow factor. The beautiful building is amazing in itself, and it houses artefacts and pieces of art from all over the world sitting together side by side. You’ll find everything from Egyptian relics to paintings by Andy Warhol. Recently named as one of the Seven Urban Wonders of the World by Hilton Hotels and Resorts, you don’t have to be a trendy hipster to appreciate these magnificent works of art.
O Dhs60 (adult) Dhs30 (ages 13-22). Open Sat-Wed 10am-8pm, Thu-Fri 10am-10pm. Saadiyat Cultural District, Saadiyat Island (600 565 566).

23. Party with urban stars at MAD on Yas Island

As the UAE’s biggest nightclub, Akon, Iggy Azalea and Tinie Tempah are just a few of the huge names who have entertained the revellers at MAD over the years. If you’re feeling flashy, you can go all out and hire a table up near the DJ booth, or it’s just as fun to join the throngs on the floor around the huge bar. Be prepared for lots of dry ice, live dancers and a very late night.
Open Thu-Fri 11pm-3.30am. Yas Island (055 834 6262).

24. Brunch at Mr Miyagi’s
If you’re looking for a bar that’s guaranteed to be lively, then your first port of call should be Mr Miyagi’s. With raucous karaoke and colourful buckets of mixed drinks, the capital has gone crazy for this Asian-themed venue. The brunch is also one big party, with numerous courses of sushi, spring rolls, dim sum, katsu curry and more.
Dhs190 (soft drinks), Dhs290 (house beverages). Thu 7.30pm-11pm; Fri 3pm-6.30pm, 7.30pm-11pm. Yas Marina, Yas Island (050 797 0742).

25. Step back in time at Qasr Al Hosn
Qasr Al Hosn is the oldest building in the city and the recently re-opened fort houses an exhibition that lets visitors explore the lives of the past rulers of Abu Dhabi and the people who lived in the palace. You can also view great works of art in the The Cultural Foundation and discover more about traditional crafts in the House of Artisans.
Dhs30. Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum Street, www.alhosn.ae.

26. Take a tour of presidential palace Qasr Al Watan
We’ve all driven past those incredibly grand gates and wondered what it would be like to take a glimpse inside Abu Dhabi’s Presidential Palace. Well Qasr Al Watan (Palace of the Nation) has just opened to the public, and now you can take tours around this incredible building. It contains a huge library, various exhibitions and an enormous chandelier made from 350,000 crystals.
Dhs60 (adults), Dhs30 (children). Daily 10am-8pm. Qasr Al Watan, Al Ras Al Akhdar, www.qasralwatan.ae.

27. Feel on top of the world at Ray’s Bar

If you have visitors in town, or just fancy a flashy night out and a nice reminder of why you’re so very lucky to live in the capital, an evening at Ray’s Bar is just what you need. Located on level 62 (yes, it’s ridiculously high) of Jumeirah at Etihad Towers, this bar treats its patrons to some of the best views in the city. The mixed drinks aren’t the cheapest, but there’s a decent ladies’ night on a Thursday and a gent’s night offer on Saturdays.
Free entry, drink prices vary. Open daily 5pm-2am. Jumeirah Etihad Towers, West Corniche (02 811 5666).

28. Go dolphin watching at Saadiyat Public Beach
Saadiyat Island has postcard-perfect bright blue waters and white sands, and if you’re lucky you might even spot a pod of dolphins while you’re relaxing on a towel. There’s a small fee for entering the beach, and this is to help preserve this stunning area of natural beauty. The Beach Café offers food and beverages and they’ll even deliver your refreshments straight to your lounge chair, meaning you don’t have to move at all.
Open daily 8am-sunset. Dhs25 per adult and Dhs15 per child aged six-12. Kids under five go free. Sun lounger and an umbrella: Dhs50 (weekdays), Dhs75 (weekends and public holidays). Saadiyat Island.

29. Dive into the Arabian Gulf with Serdal Pearl Diving

Fancy getting adventurous? Well on the Serdal Pearl Diving Exhibition you can plunge headfirst into the waters of the Arabian Gulf – and maybe even find your fortune while you’re down there. The six-hour trip sees guests board a traditional Emirati dhow from Yas Marina and sail toward a diving site one nautical mile away. While on board, you’ll listen to folkloric pearl diving stories and join the hosts in singing along to age-old Emirati songs. You’ll then be taught traditional pearling and diving methods to harvest real oyster shells from pearl beds in the depths of the Arabian Gulf. This is a cultural experience not to be missed.
Dhs500 (adults), Dhs250 (kids under 12), free (kids under eight). Wed-Fri, 8am-1.30pm. Yas Marina, Yas Island (054 445 5515).

30. Relax with a cup of karak at Shay Madhboot

Karak is just one of those things that you have to try while you’re here. We can also guarantee that once you do, you’ll be totally hooked. Sweet, creamy and beautifully spiced, karak makes every other cup of tea you’ve ever had seem totally rubbish in comparison. We’re afraid it’s time to say bye to those blended bags that you used to think were the greatest. Shay Madhboot serves an exceptional cup of chai, and savouring a steaming mug of it while chatting with your fellow karak lovers is a blissful way of spending an afternoon without having to push the boat out.
From Dhs5. Open Sun-Thu 7am-10pm, Fri-Sat 8am-10pm. Dihan Street, Muroor (02 621 7323).

31. Go on safari at Sir Bani Yas Island
This island safari park is so super cool. Home to a whole host of free-roaming wildlife like cheetahs, giraffes and oryx, you can get there by taking a boat or a 50-minute seaplane ride from Yas Island. You can explore this incredible place by taking a wildlife drive through the park, going on a nature walk or on a horse ride. There are also three Anantara hotels on the island if you want to turn your visit into more than a day trip.
Prices vary. Sir Bani Yas Island, off coast of Ruwais (02 801 5266).

32. Get your culture fix at The Arts Center at NYU Abu Dhabi
We’re all jealous of those lucky people who get to go to university at NYU Abu Dhabi, but at least we get to enjoy the fantastic facilities at The Art Center. Offering film screenings, dance performances, poetry readings and musical recitals, there’s always so much to see and experience.
Prices vary. NYUAD Campus, Saadiyat Island (02 628 6868).

33. Take in the Abu Dhabi skyline at The Corniche
This eight-kilometre stretch of beach has free public areas, parks, playgrounds and loads of cool cafés and food trucks. Walking, jogging or cycling along the waterfront also lets you take in some of the most iconic buildings in the capital such as Emirates Palace and The St. Regis Abu Dhabi. You’ll also be able to get some amazing pics of the white sands and blue waters. You can hire a bike for a whole day for Dhs20 from bikeshare service Cyacle, and afterwards you can recover with a snooze on the public beach (which is free to enter).
From Dhs20 (bike hire for 24 hours). The Corniche, www.bikeshare.ae (800 292 253).

34. Go on an adventure in The Empty Quarter

Every Abu Dhabi resident should take a trip into the Empty Quarter at least once, if only for to get some incredible pictures of the huge sand dunes. The amazing landscape looks like a film set, and indeed scenes from Star Wars: The Force Awakens were shot here. Head out on a desert safari to try dune bashing, camel riding and experience a traditional Bedouin barbecue dinner.
Tours are provided by various companies, including Desert Rose Tourism (050 177 7458).

35. Get educated at The Heritage Village
This quaint recreation of a traditional Emirati village lets you watch demonstrations of traditional crafts like metal work, pottery, weaving and glassblowing. The nearby beach offers pretty views of the city’s skyline, and there’s also a replica fort, souk and mosque, plus a couple of goats and a camel for the animal lovers among you.
Free. Sat-Thu 9am-4pm; Fri 3.30pm-9pm. Near Marina Mall, Abu Dhabi Corniche Breakwater (02 681 4455).

36. Chuckle until your sides hurt at The Laughter Factory
These monthly gigs are always a barrel of laughs, and Jason Manford, Lee Mack and Jack Whitehall are just some of the huge names who have appeared on the comedy tour over the years. Taking place at the Park Rotana, it’s the perfect excuse to gather your friends and forget about your worries for a night. Grab a seat early, just make sure you’re not right down the front or the joke could well be on you.
Dhs140 (early bird), Dhs160 (general). Park Rotana Abu Dhabi, Khalifa Park area, www.800tickets.com

37. Marvel at the beauty of The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque

This is one of the world’s largest mosques and arguably Abu Dhabi’s most iconic attraction. Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is so stunning it will take your breath away, and it can hold up to 40,000 worshippers at one time. To experience it properly you can join one of the free tours which take place several times a day and are run by local guides with a wealth of knowledge and friendly demeanour.
Free. Open Sat-Thu 9am-10pm; Fri 4.30pm-10pm. Sheikh Rashid Bin Saeed Street (02 419 1919).

38. Dine on a helipad at The St. Regis Abu Dhabi
Glamorous, flashy and extravagant are all words you might use to describe the capital of the UAE. But few things are more ‘Abu Dhabi’ then dining on a helipad. The Helipad Sunset Suppers at The St. Regis Abu Dhabi let you dine 255 metres up in the air, and there’s even a saxophonist up there to entertain you as you take in the amazing views of the city.
Monthly. The St. Regis Abu Dhabi, Nation Towers, West Corniche (02 694 4553).

39. Work off those brunches at TrainYAS at Yas Marina Circuit
You can run, walk or cycle your way around Yas Marina Circuit for free every Sunday and Tuesday evening, while Wednesday night hosts a special ladies-only session. There are 400 bikes available to rent for free and regular water stations along the track. With pumping music and friendly vibes, it’s a super fun way of getting in your weekly cardio and experiencing this awesome race track, which hosts the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix every November.
Free. Sun, Tue & Wed 6pm-10pm. Yas Marina Circuit, Yas Island, www.yasmarinacircuit.com (02 659 9800).

40. Take a walk in Umm Al Emarat Park
As one of the largest and oldest parks in the city, this green space is home to an animal barn, amphitheatre, botanical garden, children’s garden and many other wonderful features. Take a picnic, go for a jog or just enjoy meandering awhile as you enjoy the beautiful scenery.
Dhs5. Open daily 8am-midnight. Umm Al Emarat Park, 15th Street, Mushrif Area (02 666 9559).

41. Country rock night at Viewz
Always wanted to ride a mechanical bull? Of course you have. Well, not everything has to be so cutting edge, trendy and grown-up in the capital, sometimes you just want to let your hair down and have a laugh. When it comes to that, Viewz offers some of the silliest nights out around. The regular Country Rock Nights are a brilliant excuse to let off some steam. There’s live music drinks, drinks deals and of course, a mechanical bull (named Bully) to try and tame on the first Thursday of every month.
Open noon-4am. Level 17, Cristal Hotel, Zayed the First Street, Madinat Zayed (02 652 0000).

42. Go white water rafting at Wadi Adventure

If you’re into water sports, you’ll be in your element at Wadi Adventure. This adventurous waterpark really does have it all. You can navigate your way through the world’s longest man-made white water rafting, and even have a go at surfing and wakeboarding. Or, if you prefer being up in the air for your adrenaline-fuelled activities, you can have a go on the aerial obstacle. This includes a two-storey airpark, zip line, climbing wall and giant swing.
Dhs65 (adult entry). Open daily 11am-7pm. Al Ain (03 781 8422).

43. Get creative at Warehouse 421
Ultra-cool creative hub Warehouse 421 was built by renovating two former industrial warehouses in the Mina Zayed area of Abu Dhabi. Since opening in November 2015, it has hosted numerous exhibitions and showcased the work of so many talented local and regional artists and designers. There’s also a calender of special events such as talks, workshops, film screenings and performances.
Prices vary. Open Tue-Sun 10am-8pm. Mina Zayed (02 676 8803).

44. Team up with Batman at Warner Bros. World Abu Dhabi
This theme park is 1.53million square feet of sheer pleasure, with 29 rides set in six distinct zones. Some of the highlights include getting to chomp down on a Bronto burger in Fred Flintstone’s favourite diner, and exploring Gotham City with Batman in the Knight Flight ride.
Dhs295 (general admission). Open daily 10am-8pm. Yas Island (600 511 115).

45. Party at a music festival at Yas Beach
Designed to be a “beach playground”, a visit to Yas Beach is always lots of fun. British band Bastille recently played here as part of the Club Social, but the shoreline here also hosts Caribbean festivals and beach parties. When the music isn’t playing you can enjoy 400 metres of golden sands, a huge pool and a wide selection of dining options including freshly made pizzas and authentic Arabic food. Or, if you want to stay active and compete against your crew (or beat them into submission), there are two volleyball courts available as well.
Open daily 10am-7pm. Dhs50 per adult and Dhs25 per child aged six-12 from Sun-Thu, Dhs100 per adult and Dhs50 per child from Fri-Sat. Yas Island (056 242 0435).

46. Go shopping at Yas Mall
With every type of shop you could wish for, plus an extensive selection of dining outlets, Yas Mall has to be the best of all the brilliant shopping destinations in Abu Dhabi. The glass ceilings and light and airy feel means that it doesn’t even seem like you’re inside most of the time. Make sure you grab some lovely sushi from the recently opened Japanese restaurant Katsuya by Stark, or check out the food truck-style dining at Urban retrEAT. If you’re some kind of shopping geek, you might even marvel at the perfectly-styled interior of department store Tryano. But be warned, you can easily lose a whole day to browsing and eating, here.
Open daily Sat-Wed 10am-11pm; Thu-Fri 10am-midnight. Yas Island (02 414 6401).

47. Watch a film under the stars at Yas Movies in the Park
We’re so lucky to live in a place that treats us to year-round sunshine, and one of the best ways of making the most of our blissful lifestyle is by experiencing the sheer joy of watching a film outdoors. But Yas Movies in the Park not only offers free screenings of family-friendly films and huge Hollywood classics. There are also loads of food trucks to browse, a fun festival vibe and some of the movies even come with live singing and dancing performers. It appears at du Arena periodically throughout the year so check out the website for the latest.
Free. du Arena, Yas Island www.yasmovies.ae. 

48. Surf at Yas Waterworld
Yas Waterworld boasts more than 40 slides, rides and attractions. A day here will have you sliding through a giant snake, plunging from the top of a mountain and screaming yourself hoarse on the Bandit Bomber rollercoaster. You can recover afterwards on one of the poolside sun loungers, and even have a go at surfing on the world’s largest sheet wave. The only question you’ll have to ask is how much fun can you handle in one day?
From Dhs250. Open daily 10am-6pm. Yas Island (02 414 2000).

49. Get a photo on the swings at Zaya Nurai
We’d actually make the trip to this island resort just to get a pic of us posing on the swings out in the blue water (only there for Instagrammers, of course), but it’s also an amazing day out in general. The island resort is home to the very cool Smokin’ Pineapple bar, and although there’s a minimum spend of Dhs440 per person, once you’ve had one of the superb pizzas (baked in a very funky pineapple-shaped oven) and a few drinks, you’ll reach the target quite easily. Plus, in order to get to live like kings and queens for the day, we think it’s more than worth it.
Dhs440 (minimum spend). Smokin’ Pineapple open daily 10am-10pm. Zaya Nurai Island (02 506 6274).

50. Experience dining perfection at Zuma

Ask any Abu Dhabi resident for a restaurant recommendation and there’s a very high chance that Zuma will be the first name they say. It would almost be nice if someone came up with a more controversial answer at some point wouldn’t it? But there’s no escaping the fact this high-class Japanese restaurant does everything brilliantly. From the beautifully-crafted dishes, to the intimate and friendly atmosphere, we always love dining here.
Just make sure you book a table; there’s never a quiet night at Zuma. The brunch is also on another level of amazing.
Open Sun-Sat noon-3.30pm, Sat-Wed 7pm-midnight, Thu-Fri 7pm-1am. The Galleria, Al Maryah Island (02 401 5900).

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