Abu Dhabi is the world-renowned metropolis of the UAE, and there is no end to the wonderful attractions and entertainment options the city has to offer its visitors. Abu Dhabi is home to some of the most important places of history and culture in the Arab world, such as the expansive white marble Sheikh Zayed Mosque, the iconic Louvre Abu Dhabi and the massive Ferrari World amusement park.
Naturally, millions of global visitors fly here annually, primarily via Etihad, the country’s own air carrier based in Abu Dhabi.
While these popular places will definitely be on your to-do list, just like every other tourist visiting the country, why not go out of the box and trade in these places for the less visited and more exciting ones? Abu Dhabi has a bunch of hidden gems protected from the crowd, allowing you to enjoy the city’s pristine landscape and landmark monuments with more privacy.
Here is our list of the top 5 hidden attractions in Abu Dhabi you should not miss on your next trip to the city.
Jubail Mangrove Park
While we generally tend to associate the Emirates with the desert, Abu Dhabi holds 4,000 hectares of mangrove forest area, supporting a thriving ecosystem surrounded by plenty of flora and fauna. The Jubail Mangrove Park is a one-of-a-kind environmental project which is the first self-contained educational, nature and leisure destination in Abu Dhabi.
Both bird watchers and nature lovers are in for a treat here as the protected forest area is home to diverse forms of wildlife, from gazelles to exotic birds, turtles and more. Once you are done sightseeing, head out to open waters and enjoy kayaking in the bright blue waters, surrounded by the lush green forest.
Bounce Abu Dhabi
Bounce Abu Dhabi, the biggest and the best trampoline park in Abu Dhabi, is the perfect centre of recreation for visitors of all ages. Sprawling over 3,000 square metres, with over 100 interconnected trampolines, Bounce Abu Dhabi is perfectly built to accommodate anyone with a flair for sports, from preschoolers to professional athletes.
The park also features a 19-metre trampoline, a freefall experience, two Dodgeball courts and airbags, a 5.5-metre Infinity Wall for aspiring wall runners, and a zip line running across the venue to top it all, equipped with the highest standards of safety measures and trained professionals to assist visitors.
When you and your family have enough excitement for the day, retreat to one of the best Abu Dhabi hotels spread around the city offering the utmost level of luxury and comfort.
Qasr Al Hosn
The modern wealth and prowess of Abu Dhabi do not steal the spotlight from the age-old traditions that are held dearly by the country. The Qasr Al Hosn stands tall and proud, embodying the time-honoured culture of the Emirates.
While visitors generally associate only the Sheikh Zayed Mosque with Emirati culture in Abu Dhabi, the Qasr Al Hosn is more remarkable, as it is the oldest structure in Abu Dhabi, where you can witness a plethora of arts and crafts while marvelling at the wonderful history of the country and the secrets that this museum holds.
If the Qasr Al Hosn was not enough to quench your thirst for the past glories of the country, do not forget to pay a visit to the Heritage Village. As the name rightly suggests, the village is a tiny, quaint oasis that offers a realistic insight into Abu Dhabi’s past, allowing you to experience the traditional way of loving in the desert.
The immersive time capsule model of the village, along with the wide range of shops and workshops, teaches you about weaving, spinning yarn, metalwork, pottery and more. The highly engaging interactive experience makes this place the perfect spot to bring your kids to learn more about the country while being fun and enjoyable at the same time.
Emiratis were not just restricted within desert settlements. The sea was the earliest means of livelihood for residents of Abu Dhabi throughout its rich and colourful history, and you can view the vibrant seafood community of fishermen and vendors at the Mina Market.
The Mina Market is where fishermen display their catch for the day, located right near Abu Dhabi’s main port area, at the Fish Souk at Mina Zayed. You can drop in by the morning, buy fresh fish, take a few characterful photographs and shop for more antiquities such as Arabic-style cushions, mattresses and more.