Photo courtesy of Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority
Umm al-Emarat Park
As a visitor in Abu Dhabi, you often ask yourself: “But where are the Emiratis?” Many of the attractions in the city were designed specifically for tourists, and you may not get a sense of how the typical Emirati family spends their leisure time. Open until midnight daily, Umm al-Emarat Park is a wonderful place to seek out such interaction with the locals. An oasis in the heart of Abu Dhabi, Umm al-Emarat offers visitors a botanic garden, a small zoo, and an amphitheater that hosts films and performances from all over the world. Be sure to enter the Shade House, an open-air structure that houses warm-climate plants and trees and employs louvered mechanical shades to regulate the sunlight, providing a cool space with no artificial air-conditioning.