|25 April, 2018

8 must-visit places in Abu Dhabi for transit passengers

We give you a complete guide to what you must do on your next layover.

Image used for illustrative purpose. Tourists walk along Abu Dhabi beach.

Image used for illustrative purpose. Tourists walk along Abu Dhabi beach.

REUTERS/Ahmed Jadallah

The UAE Cabinet gave a green light for drafting a general policy to grant entry visas to transit passengers, keen to explore the country's landmarks and tourist attractions.

Passengers across airports in the UAE will be able to obtain entry visas. The new policy aims to enhance transit visa procedures to enable stopover passengers enjoy a day out in the country.

1. Feel the light

One of the must-do things in Abu Dhabi is visiting the majestic Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque. Use your time to visit the largest mosque in the country and learn about Islam.


Spread over 60,570 sq ft., the carpet in the main prayer hall is the world's largest carpet along with seven imported chandeliers.

Time from Airport:20 minutes

2. Get Arty at Louvre

Louvre Abu Dhabi is not just a museum. Soak yourself in the spectacular architecture of the museum and proceed to the gallery space that will take you on a journey back in time. You can't help but marvel at the sheer size and scale of the 'rain of light' dome.

Time from Airport:30 minutes

3. Get your thrill quota

If you are a thrill seeker, head to Ferrari World. The park unveiled its highly-anticipated rollercoaster Turbo Track in 2017. Ferrari World Abu Dhabi is home to Formula Rossa and Flying Aces respectively, the world's fastest and biggest non-inverted loop roller coasters.

Time from Airport: 16 minutes

4. Starry solitude in desert!

When was the last time you spent some quiet time under the stars? A desert safari in Dubai is one of the adventures you can try if you have the evening by your side. You can enjoy some sand dune bashing in the 4X4 vehicles, click pictures with the camels and even camp out in the desert.

Time from Airport:Approximately an hour

5. High-intensity falls

Waterslides, hydromagnetic rollercoasters and freefall drops are what makes Yas Waterworld on our list. If you and your family want to spend the day relaxing in the lazy river without moving around the city, this is the place to be.

Time from Airport:16 minutes

6. Hitting the waves

If you are a beach bum, you might want to spend some time reading a book or sunbathing tuned to the soothing sound of the waves.

Dubai has plenty of beaches, most with free access and a few with a small fee. Tourist-friendly, most of these beaches have a community vibe and numerous options to shop and grab a bite. Choose from our list - Saadiyat Public Beach, The Corniche beach, Al Bateen Beach. If you a swimsuit handy, go ahead and take a dip. But don't forget to follow the local rules.

Time from Airport: Approximately 20-30 minutes

7. Island hopping

If you want to experience the luxury in Abu Dhabi, splurge on a staycation at the resorts on the exotic islands of Abu Dhabi. You could also engage in water sports, adventures on these islands. You can opt for any from the list depending on time in hand - Happiness Island, Zaya Nurai Island, Sir Bani Yas Island, Dolphin Island, Lulu Island and Al Maya Island.

Time from Airport: Approximately an hour

8. Tour the city

If you do manage to reach Abu Dhabi in time for a city tour, hop on and explore. Starting with Emirates Palace, Heritage Village, Saadiyat Island, Ferrari Theme Park, Yas Island - you would have seen enough places to tick your bucket list.

Time from Airport: Half a day tour

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