5-Day Abu Dhabi Itinerary: Outdoor Adventure & Culinary Delights for Couples

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

5 days

Qasr Al Sarab in Liwa, Al Dhafra
Sheikh Zayed Mosque
Camel mother walking with her baby in the desert
A luxury hotel in Saadiyat island
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.

5-Day Itinerary

Day 1

Exploring the Grandeur of Abu Dhabi

Morning

Start your day with a visit to the stunning Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, one of the world's largest mosques. Take a guided tour to appreciate its magnificent architecture and learn about its history.

Lunch

Enjoy a traditional Emirati lunch in a local restaurant. Try dishes like Harees, Majboos, and Luqaimat for a taste of the local cuisine.

Afternoon

Spend the afternoon exploring the Louvre Abu Dhabi, a world-class museum that houses a diverse collection of art and artifacts from around the world.

Dinner

Have dinner at a restaurant offering international cuisine with a view of the city's skyline.

Evening

End your day with a romantic stroll along the Corniche, a waterfront promenade offering stunning views of the Arabian Gulf.

Morning

Begin your day with a visit to the Emirates Palace, a luxurious hotel that is a testament to Arabian culture.

Lunch

Have lunch at a restaurant offering a variety of seafood dishes, a staple in Emirati cuisine.

Afternoon

Spend your afternoon at the Qasr Al Hosn, the oldest stone building in the city, and learn about the city's history and culture.

Dinner

Enjoy a dinner under the stars in a desert safari camp, complete with traditional music and dance performances.

Evening

Experience the thrill of dune bashing, a popular desert activity, before heading back to your hotel.

Morning

Start your day with a visit to the Etihad Towers Observation Deck for panoramic views of the city.

Lunch

Have lunch at a restaurant serving Middle Eastern cuisine.

Afternoon

Spend your afternoon at the Yas Island, home to the Ferrari World, Yas Waterworld, and Yas Mall.

Dinner

Dine at a restaurant offering a fusion of Western and Middle Eastern cuisines.

Evening

End your day with a visit to the Yas Marina Circuit, a premier racing venue, for a thrilling car racing experience.

Morning

Begin your day with a visit to the Saadiyat Island, known for its pristine beaches and clear waters.

Lunch

Enjoy a beachside lunch at a restaurant offering a variety of international cuisines.

Afternoon

Spend your afternoon exploring the Manarat Al Saadiyat, a cultural center showcasing local and international art.

Dinner

Have dinner at a restaurant offering a variety of grilled dishes, a staple in Emirati cuisine.

Evening

End your day with a leisurely stroll along the Saadiyat Beach, known for its stunning sunset views.

Morning

Start your day with a visit to the Al Ain Oasis, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, known for its traditional irrigation system.

Lunch

Have lunch at a restaurant serving traditional Emirati cuisine.

Afternoon

Spend your afternoon exploring the Al Jahili Fort, one of the UAE's most historic buildings.

Dinner

Enjoy a farewell dinner at a restaurant offering a variety of international cuisines.

Evening

End your trip with a visit to the Al Ain Night Market, a popular spot for shopping and food.

Attractions in Itinerary (14)

Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque

1
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.

Attractions
Landmarks
Religious Sites
Louvre Abu Dhabi

2
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.

Attractions
Museums
Architecture
Emirates Palace

3
Emirates Palace

A luxury five star hotel in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Operated by Mandarin Oriental, it is located on 1.3 km of private beach. 85 hectares of lawns and gardens surround the hotel, as well 114 domes that are 80 meters high.

Attractions
Architecture
Hotels
Qasr Al Hosn

4
Qasr Al Hosn

The oldest stone building in the city of Abu Dhabi, formerly home to the ruling Al Nahyan family. The palace contains a museum that traces the history and culture of Abu Dhabi, with a particular focus on the lifestyle of the ruling family.

Attractions
Monuments
Cultural Experiences
Etihad Towers Observation Deck

5
Etihad Towers Observation Deck

A high-rise observation deck offering panoramic views of the city.

Attractions
Landmarks
Architecture
Yas Island

6
Yas Island

A man-made island known for its Formula 1 circuit, water park, and shopping. It also offers beautiful beaches and luxury hotels.

Attractions
Entertainment
Beaches
Sports
Ferrari World

7
Ferrari World

A Ferrari-branded theme park offering thrilling rides, attractions, and entertainment.

Attractions
Entertainment
Tours
Yas Waterworld

8
Yas Waterworld

A fun-filled water park with a variety of slides and attractions.

Attractions
Entertainment
Tours
Yas Marina Circuit

9
Yas Marina Circuit

The venue for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. The circuit was designed by Hermann Tilke, and is situated on Yas Island, about 30 minutes from the capital of the UAE, Abu Dhabi.

Attractions
Sports
Saadiyat Island

10
Saadiyat Island

An island that is home to cultural institutions like the Louvre Abu Dhabi, beautiful beaches, and luxury resorts.

Attractions
Beaches
Cultural Experiences
Manarat Al Saadiyat

11
Manarat Al Saadiyat

A cultural center dedicated to art and creativity with exhibitions, workshops, and performances.

Attractions
Museums
Cultural Experiences
Al Ain Oasis

12
Al Ain Oasis

A UNESCO World Heritage site, Al Ain Oasis has been a major settlement for millennia and is home to over 147,000 date palms of up to 100 different varieties.

Attractions
Gardens
Cultural Experiences
Al Jahili Fort

13
Al Jahili Fort

A historic fort that offers a glimpse into the region's past.

Attractions
Monuments
Cultural Experiences
Al Ain Night Market

14
Al Ain Night Market

A bustling night market offering a variety of goods and local cuisine.

Shopping
Food and Drink
Cultural Experiences

Local Food and Drinks (11)

Harees

Harees

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.

Majboos

Majboos

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.

Shawarma

Shawarma

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.

Luqaimat

Luqaimat

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

Kabsa

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.

Falafel

Falafel

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.

Balaleet

Balaleet

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.

Gahwa

Gahwa

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

Mon

New Year's Day

April 10

Wed

Eid al-Fitr

April 11

Thu

Eid al-Fitr Holiday

April 12

Fri

Eid al-Fitr Holiday

June 16

Sun

Arafat (Hajj) Day

June 17

Mon

Eid al-Adha (Feast of Sacrifice)

June 17

Mon

Eid al-Adha Holiday

June 18

Tue

Eid al-Adha Holiday

July 8

Mon

Al-Hijra (Islamic New Year)

September 16

Mon

Mouloud

December 2

Mon

National Day

December 3

Tue

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

1

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

2

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

3

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.

4

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

5

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

6

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

7

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).

8

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

9

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

10

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

11

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

12

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

13

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

14

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

15

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.

16

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

17

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

18

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

19

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

20

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

Pronunciation

When to use it

Hello

مرحبا

Marhaba

Greeting someone

Goodbye

وداعا

Wadaeaan

Leaving someone

Please

من فضلك

Min fadlak

Asking for something

Thank you

شكرا

Shukran

Showing gratitude

Yes

نعم

Naam

Agreeing with someone

No

لا

La

Disagreeing with someone

Excuse me

عفوا

Afuwan

Getting someone's attention

I'm sorry

أنا آسف

Ana asef

Apologizing

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

Water

ماء

Maa

Asking for water

Help

مساعدة

Musaeadah

In case of emergency

Taxi

تاكسي

Taksi

Looking for transportation

Hotel

فندق

Fanduq

Looking for accommodation

Airport

مطار

Matar

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

  • Long-sleeved shirts

  • Long skirts or pants

  • Underwear

  • Socks

  • Sleepwear

  • Swimwear

  • Sunglasses

  • Hat for sun protection

  • Comfortable walking shoes

  • Sandals

  • Scarf or shawl for visiting religious sites

  • Toiletries

  • Toothbrush and toothpaste

  • Shampoo and conditioner

  • Body wash or soap

  • Deodorant

  • Razor and shaving cream

  • Sunscreen

  • Lip balm with SPF

  • Makeup and makeup remover

  • Hairbrush or comb

  • Personal hygiene items

  • Prescription medications

  • First aid kit

  • Travel documents and essentials

  • Passport

  • Visa if required

  • Driver's license

  • Health insurance card

  • Travel insurance documents

  • Hotel and car rental reservations

  • Emergency contacts and addresses

  • Local currency

  • Credit and debit cards

  • Electronics and gadgets

  • Smartphone

  • Charger for smartphone

  • International plug adapter

  • Laptop and charger

  • Camera and charger

  • Headphones

  • Portable power bank

  • Miscellaneous items

  • Travel pillow and blanket

  • Earplugs and eye mask

  • Snacks

  • Water bottle

  • Books or e-books

  • Travel guide and map

  • Notebook and pen

  • Reusable shopping bag

  • Laundry bag

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

January

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.

February

29° / 15°

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

March

34° / 18°

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

April

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.

May

42° / 25°

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

June

45° / 28°

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

July

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.

August

48° / 30°

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

September

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.

October

39° / 24°

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

November

34° / 20°

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

December

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?

1 of 10

Places near by Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

Dubai

Dubai

Known for luxury shopping, ultramodern architecture and a lively nightlife scene.

1.5h
150 km / 93.2 mi
How to get there
Al Ain

Al Ain

A city in the Eastern Region of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, on the United Arab Emirates' border with Oman.

2h
160 km / 99.4 mi
How to get there
Sharjah

Sharjah

The third largest city in the United Arab Emirates, known for its Arabic history, culture and heritage.

2h
165 km / 102.5 mi
How to get there
Ras Al Khaimah

Ras Al Khaimah

Known for its Arabian Gulf beaches. In the city, the National Museum of Ras Al Khaimah occupies a centuries-old fort.

3h
250 km / 155.3 mi
How to get there
Fujairah

Fujairah

Known for its beaches and the Hajar Mountains, which run through much of the emirate.

3.5h
280 km / 174.0 mi
How to get there
Muscat

Muscat

The capital of Oman, known for its dazzling souks and superb seafood, but its terrain brings the biggest thrills.

3h
500 km / 310.7 mi
How to get there
Doha

Doha

The capital of Qatar. It's known for its futuristic skyscrapers and other ultramodern architecture inspired by ancient Islamic design.

3.5h
670 km / 416.3 mi
How to get there
Manama

Manama

The capital of Bahrain, a small Arab monarchy in the Persian Gulf.

3h
500 km / 310.7 mi
How to get there

Other Destinations in United Arab Emirates