30 wonders you can experience in Abu Dhabi, at your own pace

The Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi’s (DCT Abu Dhabi) latest campaign ‘Experience Abu Dhabi: Find Your Pace‘ is all about showing visitors the many varied treasures of this deeply diverse and enthralling land.

It’s an emirate that is more than the sum of its parts, an adventure beyond the futuristic skyline, world class theme parks, desert island beaches, thriving cuisine scene, profound cultural credentials, relaxing hotels and spas, deserts, forests and unique wildlife. It’s the year-round sunshine, warm Emirati hospitality, huge international sporting events, A-list music concerts and festivals, the storied past and exciting future.

So whatever you’re looking for, from the extreme to the serene, you can find your pace in Abu Dhabi.

Events

It’s already been a huge year for Abu Dhabi events with another successful sold-out UFC Showdown under its belt, Club Social, Disney on Ice and the inaugural NBA Arabia clash all taking place in just the past few weeks. But the next six months are shaping up to be an even wilder ride. We’ve got Post Malone, John Legend, Wireless Music Festival, Amplified music festival, Andrea Boccelli, The Lion King stage show, Sting; Kendrick Lamar, Swedish House Mafia, Dave and Def Leppard; Black Pink, a WBA Championship fight, the actual F1, Mubadala Tennis World Championships; Mother of the Nation Festival, Zayed Heritage Festival, ComicCon; and comedy acts such as Jimmy Carr, and Kevin Bridges. And then there are the ‘to be confirmed’ currently unknown events still to be added to the calendar.

Culture

It doesn’t take much digging to uncover Abu Dhabi’s cultural core. The emirate is a fascinating treasure cache of forts, museums, monuments, heritage sites, archaeological excavations, galleries, religious centres, craft communes, sculptures, art installations and cultural districts.

You can meander around the timeless collections of objets d’art in Louvre Abu Dhabi — this masterpiece of a museum in its own right is celebrating its fifth anniversary this year with special exhibitions and performances. More aesthetic-appreciating opportunities are available at Manarat al Saadiyat, Warehouse421 and the Etihad Modern Art Gallery. If it’s a dive into the heart of heritage that interests you most, there’s plenty to uncover at Qasr Al Hosn, the emirate’s oldest standing building; Qasr Al Watan — the Presidential Palace of the Nation offers exhibits with insights into the UAE’s past; the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is one of the world’s largest mosques, with space for 40,000 worshipers, there are 82 white marble domes — one of which features beautiful gold leaf calligraphy of Quranic text on the interior, the mosque also houses the world’s largest hand-woven carpet.

And coming soon to a shoreline near you, the full wonder of Saadiyat’s Cultural District, which will be bolstered by the Natural History Museum Abu Dhabi, Guggenheim Abu Dhabi, Zayed National Museum, and the immersive art of teamLab Phenomena Abu Dhabi.

Adventure

There’s a world of untouched wilderness, abundant wildlife and BIG country to explore in the emirate of Abu Dhabi. And you don’t need a machete, safari truck or a snazzy bandana (although do please always wear a snazzy bandana) to experience it.

You can kayak through the fascinating turquoise expanse of Jubail Mangrove Park and come face to face with the exotic animal inhabitants, that call the park home. You can blaze your own trail through Liwa and the cinematic empty quarter, with six cross-country driving routes mapped across meandering terrain, compiled by the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT). There’s the safari outings of Sir Bani Yas Island and mountain escapades available at UNESCO World Heritage Site, Jebel Hafit — here you can gaze into glassy skies, trek, camp, ride and even visit the neolithic archeological sites.

Entertainment

And what about all those famous Yas Theme Parks? The miles of mall space? Virtual Reality experiences? Esports arenas? Waterparks? Golf courses? Or the record breaking, gravity defying climbing and indoor skydiving attractions at CLYMB?

Suddenly 365 days begins to feel like an insufficient window to do all the things we want to do in Abu Dhabi this year. So we better get started. Start planning your trip now at: visitabudhabi.ae

Images: Provided

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