Abu Dhabi

Major airlines and their partners fly directly into Abu Dhabi International Airport (AUH). Etihad Airways is the national carrier, is based in Abu Dhabi, and flies routes to destinations around the world. Neighboring Dubai airport (DXB) is another port of entry and is also served by major carriers, including its own airline, Emirates—though the drive from DXB to Abu Dhabi is nearly two hours. The newer Al Maktoum International Airport (DWC) in Dubai is 30 minutes closer to Abu Dhabi, but is not yet popular with commercial carriers. If comfort and service are important to you, Etihad, Emirates, and Qatar Airways all recieve some of the highest rankings in the industry. It’s difficult to secure visas to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, so driving across the border to and from KSA is challenging. It is much easier to cross the border with Oman, but check with your car rental agent and insurance carrier to understand any visa requirements ahead of time.

Unless you plan on staying in one neighborhood, like Sir Bani Yas Island or the Corniche, a car is the best way to navigate Abu Dhabi. Parking can get a little difficult, but taxis are reasonably priced. Prices start at AED 3.50 during the day, and a trip from Emirates Palace Hotel to Reem Island or Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque costs about AED 25–30 each way. Trips from the airport to the Corniche in special airport taxis are a bit more expensive, and cost about AED 80–90.