Abu Dhabi With Kids

Families visiting this coastal city will find outdoor adventure at beaches, waterparks, and islands. Above it all, a thrilling Ferris wheel with air-conditioned seats (really!) beckons view seekers. Back on land, kids may encounter camels and wild animals, and learn about desert culture. Yes, the younger set can easily have fun in this largest emirate.

The new Yas Waterworld park is perfect for a family outing. Whether you’re splashing around with little kids or seeking an adult adrenaline rush, their wide array of themed rides and activities will entertain everyone while keeping you cool. Adventurous kids can embark on an interactive treasure hunt throughout the park and become Pearl Masters, while you try surfing the sheet wave or fly down a roller coaster. Rates are start around $50.
Abu Dhabi Theatre Rd, Corniche - Near Marina Mall - Breakwater Rd - Al Marina - Abu Dhabi - United Arab Emirates
This reconstructed village is a glimpse into old oasis living. Heritage Village is a great place to see how the Emerati lived before skyscrapers. Scenes depict desert life in great detail and highlight their historic, nomadic lifestyle. Make sure you catch a performances that shows how different work was completed generations past. The Village is centrally located near Marina Mall in Abu Dhabi City.
Parking Lot, Al Marina, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
A hub of new development, Marina Island (bridged to Abu Dhabi Island) draws people in to the Marina Mall, fishing, local restaurants, and Marina Eye—a ferris wheel that opened in time for the winter holidays in 2015. Right across the street from Marina Mall, shoppers can enjoy a ride overlooking the city lights at night before popping back indoors for dinner and a movie. Seating up to eight people, the cabins on the wheel are all air conditioned which is an important element of design during the summer in the UAE.
Unnamed Road
I’ve heard there is a nice shawarma stand at the top of Jebel Hafeet to go along with the view, but on my trip up the mountain, it was so busy with Eid celebrations, that I had to drive straight down again without finding any parking! On the United Arab Emirates border with Oman, just outside the city of Al Ain in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, are a series of jagged rocky hills. One such outcropping is Jebel Hafeet - the highest point in the UAE. The 1,249-meter mountain is a popular place to visit, barbecue, or just enjoy the scenery. A nicely paved road to the top is quite fun to negotiate by car. The mountain road is also a challenge for bicyclists who can climb the curves, switchbacks, and steep incline. Hikers, too, can find a route or two up the mountain. For those wanting to spend the night, the Mercure Grand Jebel Hafeet Al Ain Hotel provides a comfortable four-star environment where you can be close to the stars at night and the sunrise at dawn.
Corniche Street - Al Khalidiya - Abu Dhabi - United Arab Emirates
If sun and salt water tickle your senses, then a trip to the Corniche will be on your agenda in Abu Dhabi. There is nothing quite like taking a dip in the warm waters of the Arabian Gulf or sinking your feet in the silky sand beneath a lounge chair or cabana. Beaches on the Corniche are organized into different zones and managed by different organizations, from hotels to beach management companies like Bake. Since beaches have different requirements for entry, it’s worth taking a look at visitabudhabi.ae or Bake’s website to figure out which area will suit you best. Gate 3 on the Corniche leads to a family beach area where you can relax and build sandcastles with your kids. It also has a play area for the little ones just outside the beach entrance. Al Sahil Beach, on the other hand, is designed for singles, groups, and bachelors.
With a mission to protect animals belonging to the Arabian Peninsula, Emirates Park Zoo also cares for many animals from around the world. Kids and adults will be enamoured with elephants if they are part of the Elephant Encounter. Or perhaps you will find yourself giggling with giraffes as they tug food from your hand. The Zoo values and respects all living things—from visitors to caretakers to the animals. You can hardly leave without an enormous crocodile smile.
Anantara Hotel - Abu Dhabi - United Arab Emirates
One of the things I treasure in the city is a calm morning when I can hear the birds chirp and the water roll into the sand in Abu Dhabi. One great way to dive into nature in Abu Dhabi just requires a short trip over to Mangrove National Park. A handful of tour operators provide kayaks, canoes, and other water sport activities to take in the Mangrove forest and enjoy a day on the water—right off Abu Dhabi Island. Known for its abundance of wildlife, including herons, flamingos, and crabs, it’s a popular place to explore with kids, too. The park is a protected space, so visit the Abu Dhabi Environmental Agency’s website to make sure you’re booking with an approved outfitter.
Abu Dhabi - United Arab Emirates
The design of Ferrari World corresponds with my inclination that architecture should be inspirational from all angles. From the air, the structure is distinctly Ferrari red and undeniably represents the sleek brand. From the ground, its curves invite guests to enjoy the entertainment within. In a country where high end fast automobiles are prized, it’s fitting that Abu Dhabi has a luxury sports car theme park with the world’s fastest roller coaster, a tour of Italy, and kids zone all packed under the red roof.
Near the Abu Dhabi International Airport, Sweihan Road, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
A visit to the Abu Dhabi Falcon Hospital is worth every minute of the drive out of Dubai (about 45 minutes). This facility, the only one in the world, is devoted to the preservation and health of these amazing birds which play a central role in the history of the Emirates. On a visit to this facility, you’ll be able to hold a falcon on your wrist, learn about the different types of falcons, watch the staff perform some “maintenance” on a bird (typically talon and beak trimming), and even see a feeding. You’ll learn how falcons came to this region (they are not indigenous) and how they travel (with their own passports!). You need to book your tour in advance and while you’re there, you might take a brief side trip to see the beautiful Salukis, hunting dogs that are house in a nearby facility. http://www.falconhospital.com/ Visits are easily booked through the website, the staff are warm, and they do a thorough job accommodating all visitors. Just a short drive outside of Abu Dhabi, it’s well worth the trip.
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AFAR Journeys
Journeys: Africa + Middle East
Journeys: Africa + Middle East
Journeys: Africa + Middle East
Journeys: Africa + Middle East
National Parks