Abu Dhabi: An Exquisite 1-Day Journey in the UAE

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

1 days

Camel mother walking with her baby in the desert
Al Jahili Fort in Al Ain
Etihad Towers
Corniche Road

About Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates, is a vibrant city that seamlessly blends traditional Arabic charm with modern cosmopolitan life. It offers a rich cultural experience with its grand mosques, like the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, and traditional markets, or souks. The city is also home to world-class attractions such as the Louvre Abu Dhabi, Ferrari World, and Yas Waterworld. Indulge in luxury shopping at the Marina Mall or enjoy the tranquility of the Corniche, a pristine waterfront. Abu Dhabi's culinary scene is diverse, offering Emirati, Asian, and European cuisines. The city's desert landscapes provide opportunities for thrilling adventures like dune bashing and camel trekking. With its year-round sunshine, Abu Dhabi is a perfect destination for beach lovers and water sports enthusiasts.

1-Day Itinerary

Day 1

Exploring the Grandeur of Abu Dhabi


Start your day with a visit to the magnificent Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, one of the world's largest mosques. This architectural masterpiece is a must-see attraction in Abu Dhabi. Its stunning design features 82 domes, more than 1,000 columns, 24-carat gold gilded chandeliers, and the world's largest hand-knotted carpet.


Enjoy a traditional Emirati lunch in a local restaurant. The cuisine in Abu Dhabi is a reflection of the rich cultural diversity of the UAE, with influences from Asia, the Middle East, and Africa. Try dishes like Harees, Majboos, or Shawarma.


After lunch, head to the Louvre Abu Dhabi, an art and civilization museum. It's an architectural marvel in itself, with a stunning dome structure. The museum houses a diverse collection of artworks, artifacts, and exhibits from around the world.


For dinner, enjoy a meal at a restaurant offering a view of the city's skyline. Abu Dhabi's skyline is a sight to behold, especially at night when the city lights up.


End your day with a relaxing walk along the Corniche, a waterfront promenade stretching over eight kilometers. The Corniche offers spectacular views of the Arabian Gulf and the city's skyline, and is a perfect place to unwind after a day of sightseeing.

Attractions in Itinerary (4)

Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque

Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque

One of the world's largest mosques, with a capacity for an astonishing 41,000 worshippers. It features 82 domes, over a 1,000 columns, 24 carat gold gilded chandeliers and the world's largest hand knotted carpet.

Religious Sites
Louvre Abu Dhabi

Louvre Abu Dhabi

An art and civilization museum, part of a 30-year agreement between the city of Abu Dhabi and France. It is approximately 24,000 square metres in size, with 8,000 square metres of galleries, making it the largest art museum in the Arabian peninsula.



A waterfront area with beautiful beaches, parks, and a pedestrian pathway offering stunning views of the city's skyline.

City Skyline

City Skyline

A panoramic view of Abu Dhabi's modern and impressive buildings and structures


Local Food and Drinks (11)



A traditional Emirati dish, Harees is a porridge-like dish made from wheat and meat, usually chicken or lamb. It is a staple during Ramadan and other festive occasions in Abu Dhabi.



Also known as Makbous, this is a spiced rice dish mixed with meat, typically chicken or lamb, and vegetables. It's a popular dish in Abu Dhabi and across the UAE.



A popular street food in Abu Dhabi, Shawarma is a wrap filled with thinly sliced meat (chicken, beef, or lamb), vegetables, and a variety of sauces.

Al Harees

Al Harees

A sweet version of Harees, Al Harees is a dessert made from ground wheat and sugar. It's a traditional Emirati dessert often served during special occasions.

Stuffed Camel

A dish reserved for special occasions, Stuffed Camel is considered a luxurious and extravagant dish in Abu Dhabi. It consists of a whole camel stuffed with lamb, chicken, fish, and rice.



These are sweet dumplings made from butter, milk, sugar, saffron, and cardamom. They are deep-fried until golden and then drizzled with date syrup. Luqaimat is a popular dessert in Abu Dhabi.



Kabsa is a traditional Middle Eastern dish of spiced rice, usually served with chicken, lamb, or fish. It's a common dish in Abu Dhabi and is known for its rich and aromatic flavors.



A popular street food in Abu Dhabi, Falafel is a deep-fried ball or patty made from ground chickpeas or fava beans. It's often served in a pita or flatbread and topped with salads, pickled vegetables, and hot sauce.

Al Jabab bread

A traditional Emirati bread, Al Jabab is a thin, round bread that is often served with meals or used to make sandwiches in Abu Dhabi.



A traditional Emirati breakfast dish, Balaleet is a sweet and savory dish made from vermicelli noodles cooked with sugar, saffron, cardamom, and rose water, and served with an omelet on top.



Also known as Arabic coffee, Gahwa is a strong, bitter coffee made from lightly roasted coffee beans. It's a popular drink in Abu Dhabi and is often served with dates.

Best time to visit

The best time to visit Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates is between November and April. During these months, the weather is relatively cooler with temperatures ranging from 24°C to 35°C, making it perfect for sightseeing and beach activities. The months from December to March are particularly pleasant and are also the peak tourist season. However, if you want to avoid crowds and enjoy lower hotel rates, the shoulder months of November and April are ideal.

National holidays

Here you can find the national calendar of all public holidays for the year. These dates are subject to change as official changes are announced, so check back regularly for updates.

DateDayHoliday Name

January 1


New Year's Day

April 10


Eid al-Fitr

April 11


Eid al-Fitr Holiday

April 12


Eid al-Fitr Holiday

June 16


Arafat (Hajj) Day

June 17


Eid al-Adha (Feast of Sacrifice)

June 17


Eid al-Adha Holiday

June 18


Eid al-Adha Holiday

July 8


Al-Hijra (Islamic New Year)

September 16



December 2


National Day

December 3


National Day Holiday

Please note that during national and public holidays, opening hours for establishments, museums, etc. may vary. Don't forget to check in advance!

How to get around

Abu Dhabi's Department of Transport operates a comprehensive network of public buses serving the city and its suburbs. Buses are air-conditioned, comfortable, and equipped with Wi-Fi. They run on various routes and timings, making it a convenient option for getting around the city.

Taxis are a common way to get around in Abu Dhabi. They are metered, plentiful, and can be hailed from the street, booked by phone, or picked up from designated taxi ranks at malls, hotels and other public places. They offer a comfortable and convenient way to travel around the city.

Ridesharing services like Uber and Careem operate in Abu Dhabi. These services can be booked through their respective mobile apps. They offer a convenient, reliable, and often cheaper alternative to traditional taxis. You can choose from a range of car types and payment options.

Renting a car is a popular option for getting around Abu Dhabi, especially for those planning to visit the city's outskirts or other Emirates. A variety of car rental companies operate in the city, offering a wide range of vehicles. An international driving license is required.

Abu Dhabi has been increasingly promoting cycling with dedicated cycle paths in certain areas. Bicycles can be rented from various outlets and are a great way to explore the city at a leisurely pace.

Many of Abu Dhabi's attractions are located close to each other, especially on the Corniche, making walking a viable option. However, due to the city's hot climate, this method of transportation is more suitable during the cooler months.

Ferries operate from Abu Dhabi to various islands like Delma Island. The ferry is a convenient and scenic way to travel, offering beautiful views of the city's skyline and the Arabian Gulf.

Abu Dhabi is planning to introduce a metro and tram system in the future. This will provide another convenient and efficient way to travel around the city.

While we strive for accuracy in our "How to get around" section, the information may not always be up-to-date or 100% accurate; we highly recommend cross-checking with local resources before your travel.

Important information

Currencyد.إ AED

Time zoneUTC+4

Driving sideRight

Emergency phone998, 999

Drinking waterYes, but some opt for bottled water

Power sockets

Power socket type G

Voltage230 V

Things to know about Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates as a first time visitor


Abu Dhabi is the capital city of the United Arab Emirates.


The official language is Arabic, but English is widely spoken and understood.


The local currency is the UAE dirham (AED). Credit cards are widely accepted, but it's a good idea to carry some cash for smaller establishments or markets.


Abu Dhabi is a Muslim city, and it's important to respect local customs and dress modestly, particularly in public places and religious sites.


The city is very safe, but it's always wise to take standard precautions with your belongings.


Tipping is not obligatory but is appreciated. A service charge is often added to your bill in restaurants.


The city has a hot desert climate. Summer temperatures (June to September) can reach up to 108°F (42°C), while winter temperatures (December to March) range from 59°F (15°C) to 77°F (25°C).


Alcohol is available in licensed restaurants, bars, clubs, and hotels, but public drunkenness and drinking and driving are strictly prohibited.


Public displays of affection are frowned upon and can even be punishable by law.


The weekend in Abu Dhabi is Friday and Saturday, with Friday being a holy day.


The city is very pedestrian-friendly, with plenty of sidewalks and pedestrian crossings.


Taxis are plentiful and reasonably priced. You can also use ride-hailing apps like Uber and Careem.


Abu Dhabi is one hour ahead of GMT. The UAE does not observe daylight saving time.


The city has a high standard of healthcare. It's recommended to have comprehensive travel insurance that covers healthcare.


Abu Dhabi has strict laws on medicines, including some over-the-counter drugs. Check before you travel if your medication is on the controlled list.


The tap water is safe to drink, but most people prefer to drink bottled water.


The power sockets are type G (British three-pin). The standard voltage is 220 V.


Internet access is widely available, with free Wi-Fi in many hotels, malls, and cafes.


Abu Dhabi is a shopping paradise, with a mix of luxury malls and traditional markets (souks).


The city is known for its food scene, with a wide variety of cuisines available, from traditional Emirati dishes to international fare.

Basic Arabic to know as a first time visitor

English phrase

Native phrase


When to use it




Greeting someone




Leaving someone


من فضلك

Min fadlak

Asking for something

Thank you



Showing gratitude




Agreeing with someone




Disagreeing with someone

Excuse me



Getting someone's attention

I'm sorry

أنا آسف

Ana asef


Do you speak English?

هل تتكلم الإنجليزية؟

Hal tatakallam al'injliziya?

Trying to communicate

I don't understand

أنا لا أفهم

Ana la afham

When you don't understand what was said

Where is the bathroom?

أين الحمام؟

Ayna alhammam?

Looking for the bathroom

How much does this cost?

بكم هذا؟

Bikam hadha?

Asking for the price

I would like to order

أود أن أطلب

Urid an atlub

Ordering food or drink




Asking for water




In case of emergency




Looking for transportation




Looking for accommodation




Traveling to/from the airport

Can you help me?

هل يمكنك مساعدتي؟

Hal yumkinuk musaadati?

Asking for help

Good night

تصبح على خير

Tusbih ala khair

Saying goodbye in the evening

Packing List

  • Clothing

  • Lightweight clothing

  • Comfortable walking shoes

  • Sunglasses

  • Hat or cap

  • Swimwear (if you plan to visit a beach or pool)

  • Scarf or shawl for visiting religious sites

  • Toiletries

  • Travel-size shampoo and conditioner

  • Travel-size body wash

  • Toothbrush and toothpaste

  • Deodorant

  • Sunscreen

  • Hand sanitizer

  • Face masks

  • Travel documents and essentials

  • Passport

  • Visa (if required)

  • Travel insurance documents

  • Hotel booking confirmation

  • Local currency (United Arab Emirates Dirham)

  • Credit and debit cards

  • Emergency contact information

  • Electronics and gadgets

  • Smartphone

  • Charger for your electronics

  • Universal travel adapter

  • Headphones

  • Camera (if you don't use your phone for pictures)

  • Miscellaneous items

  • Snacks for the journey

  • Water bottle

  • Travel guidebook or map

  • Travel pillow for the flight

  • Pen for filling out any necessary forms

Weather Conditions

Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates, is known for its hot desert climate. The city experiences high temperatures, especially during the summer months (June to September), where it can reach up to 108°F (42°C). Therefore, if you're planning to visit during this period, it's essential to stay hydrated and protect yourself from the sun with hats, sunglasses, and sunscreen. The winter months (December to March) are relatively cooler with temperatures ranging from 60°F to 75°F (15°C to 24°C). This is considered the best time to visit Abu Dhabi as the weather is pleasant and suitable for outdoor activities. However, it's still advisable to carry a hat or a parasol as the sun can still be quite strong. The city doesn't receive much rainfall, but when it does, it's usually between November and February. If you're visiting during these months, it might be a good idea to pack a light rain jacket or an umbrella. Regardless of when you visit, it's important to remember that the UAE is a Muslim country and modest clothing is expected. Lightweight, loose-fitting clothing is recommended to stay comfortable in the heat, but remember to respect the local customs and cover your shoulders and knees, especially when visiting religious sites. Lastly, don't forget to check the weather forecast regularly during your stay in Abu Dhabi to plan your activities accordingly and make the most of your visit.

MonthHi / Lo (°C)Weather Overview


28° / 14°

January is a pleasant month to visit Abu Dhabi, with mild temperatures and low humidity. It's perfect for outdoor activities and sightseeing.


29° / 15°

February continues the pleasant weather with slightly warmer temperatures. It's an ideal time for beach activities and desert safaris.


34° / 18°

March marks the beginning of the warm season, but the weather is still comfortable for outdoor activities. The evenings are particularly pleasant.


38° / 21°

April is warm, but not excessively hot. It's a good time to visit if you want to avoid the extreme summer heat.


42° / 25°

May is quite hot, but still bearable. Early morning and late evening outdoor activities are recommended.


45° / 28°

June is the start of the summer season with high temperatures. Indoor activities and water sports are popular during this time.


48° / 30°

July is the hottest month in Abu Dhabi. It's a good time to visit indoor attractions like malls, museums, and indoor theme parks.


48° / 30°

August is equally hot as July. The city's indoor attractions and beautiful beaches are the main attractions.


43° / 28°

September is still quite hot, but the temperature starts to drop slightly. It's a good time to enjoy the city's luxurious resorts and indoor attractions.


39° / 24°

October sees a significant drop in temperature. It's a great time to enjoy outdoor activities and explore the city.


34° / 20°

November offers pleasant weather, making it an ideal time for sightseeing and exploring the city's cultural heritage.


30° / 16°

December is one of the best months to visit Abu Dhabi. The weather is cool and perfect for enjoying all the city has to offer.

Did you know?

Did you know that Abu Dhabi is the capital city of the United Arab Emirates and the largest of the seven emirates that make up the country?

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