For the last year, the most travelling we’ve done has been walking from the kitchen to the living room and back again. After months of just viewing travel posts on Instagram, finally there is a glimmer of hope we can start holidaying again as the world slowly begins to reopen. So while the pandemic is by no means over, family vacations are looking more and more likely as things slowly get back to normal.
To fulfil your pent-up wanderlust, we can suggest the perfect destination for your next family vacation: Abu Dhabi. There is something for everyone to enjoy in the UAE’s capital. The best part? Abu Dhabi is just a four-hour plane ride away!
Offering family-friendly, fun, adventurous and luxurious experiences, here are some of the best attractions in Abu Dhabi that will make your first vacation in a very long time absolutely perfect.
- Yas Marina Circuit
No visit to Abu Dhabi is complete without a pitstop at Yas Marina Circuit. Home of the Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, here you can live your dreams of being a professional racer by taking an Aston Martin GT4, Caterham Seven, or even the Formula 3000 car for a spin around the track for unparalleled thrills.
After your experience, you even get to take home a visual reminder of the experience, with the cameras onboard capturing the adrenaline rush of racing around the track. So the kids don’t feel left out, Yas Marina has its own go-kart circuit to test their racing skills, making this an experience for the entire family!
- Sir Bani Yas Island
Bustling with wildlife, adventure, five-star luxury and historical sites, Sir Bani Yas Island is one of eight desert islands in Al Dhafra. The picturesque destination is home to a huge wildlife reserve where you can find giraffes, hyenas, cheetahs, Arabian onyxes and more. The exquisite and diverse wildlife on offer is bound to captivate your children’s love of nature by allowing them to get up close with the amazing animals. There is also an ancient Christian monastery, a fascinating archaeological site that dates back to around 600 AD. Ask your hotel to arrange a guided tour or a wildlife safari for the entire family to discover the captivating landmarks around the island.
- Yas Waterworld Abu Dhabi
Set aside some time for the kids to indulge in one of the best water parks in the UAE. Yas Waterworld Abu Dhabi features an array of adventurous rides, with more than 40 attractions that appeal to thrill-seekers of all ages. The Dawwama waterslide is the world’s largest six-person tornado water coaster, offering the high-intensity experience of dropping from the height of a mountaintop before zooming into a 20-metre-long tunnel. And while you’re enjoying these thrilling rides, your kids can let loose with watercannon fights at Cannon Point.
The theme of the park is based on the story of Dana and her quest for a lost pearl, with all the characters, shops and restaurants in the park based on this local legend.
- Qasr Al Hosn
Qasr Al Hosn is a must-visit for history enthusiasts. The oldest surviving building in Abu Dhabi, the 18th century fort was previously home to the ruling family and the seat of the government. The landmark has now been transformed into a museum to showcase the incredible history of Abu Dhabi and its rich cultural heritage, providing an enriching experience for all visitors. This historical site’s immaculately renovated premises sit next to the Cultural Foundation and House of Artisans, where you can pick up unique souvenirs, or take training courses and educational workshops.
- Warner Bros. World Abu Dhabi
This amazing adventure park brings to life all your favourite characters on a tour through their hometowns! You can walk through Gotham City and have an adventurous rendezvous with Batman or go back to the Stone Age town of Bedrock to visit Fred and Wilma Flintstone. In each location you’ll find different adventurous rides, shops and restaurants dedicated to classic cartoons and superheroes. These include Superman, Tom and Jerry, the Jetsons, Tweety Pie, Scooby-Doo and more! Warner Bros. World Abu Dhabi, one of the world’s largest indoor theme parks, is a wonderful day out for the family.
- Corniche Beach
With stunning and clear turquoise seas, mesmerising palm trees and a variety of watersports on offer, the Corniche Beach is a great place to enjoy a relaxing day with your family. This 8km-long stretch includes separate play areas for children, restaurants, and cafés. The beach has coveted Blue Flag status – an international standard that determines clean and safe bathing water – and is a must-visit for the entire family. While the kids enjoy the play area, you can relax and enjoy the view.
If you can’t wait to hop onto the first flight to Abu Dhabi, you can take a virtual tour of Abu Dhabi’s prime locations on the StayCurious website, created by the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi.