Discover the city’s newest attractions. Plus, essential info for having a happy holiday
In town for a long weekend, or holidaying with the family for the first time, check out our selection of new attractions to tick off your list…
THE FOUNDER’S MEMORIAL
Embark on a fascinating journey of discovery into the life and legacy of the UAE’s founding father, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, at this permanent memorial designed by Ralph Helmick. Be mesmerised by The Constellation, a dynamic three-dimensional portrait of Sheikh Zayed, which can be seen from various vantage points within the thoughtfully designed space. Multi-media experiences and complimentary guided tours give visitors unique insight into Sheikh Zayed’s legacy and values. A public plaza, known as the Sanctuary Garden, along with the Heritage Garden, celebrate his love for the natural world with landscaping featuring plants and shrubs indigenous to the UAE and the Arabian Peninsula.
WARNER BROS. WORLD ABU DHABI
World firsts are second nature for the UAE and the capital’s newest entertainment destination is home to the only US$1 billion Warner Bros. branded indoor theme park on the planet. The 1.65 million square foot park boasts six immersive lands including DC’s Metropolis and Gotham City, as well as Cartoon Junction, Bedrock, Dynamite Gulch and Warner Bros. Plaza. Fun comes in the form of a 29-strong roster of state-of-the-art rides, plus interactive family-friendly attractions and unique live entertainment populated by fan-favourite characters such as Scooby-Doo, Wonder Woman, Bugs Bunny, Harley Quinn, Tom and Jerry, Superman and The Flintstones. Fuel up with a Bedrock Bronto Burger or treat yourself to some Penelope Pitstop Cotton Candy, and then join in the fun.
The city’s newest beachfront community, A’l Bahar is situated along the famous corniche. A grand total of 48 entertainment and retail outlets, plus occasional pop-ups, make up the 80,000-square-metre experience. Visitors can also get active with basketball and beach volleyball courts, football pitches, the inflatable AquaFun waterpark and a Venice Beach-style outdoor gym.
Top tips to ensure your trip to Abu Dhabi goes smoothly…
Located 30km east of the city, Abu Dhabi International Airport serves over 120 destinations and is home to national carrier Etihad Airways. The airport currently has three passenger terminals with its under-development Midfield Terminal scheduled to open in 2019 as part of a major expansion programme that will boost capacity to 30 million passengers per year. To book a flight or hotel, call dnata Travel on +971 4 316 6666 or visit dnatatravel.com.
Taxi: Freely available across the city, hail an official silver taxi on the street or book via the TransAD hotline – 600 535353. Ladies have exclusive access to a fleet of women-only pink taxis. Local app-based car service Careem is another option.
Bus: A modern fleet of air-conditioned public buses covers the city virtually around the clock. If you’re planning to use buses as a primary mode of transport, the Hafilat Smart Card is available from numerous accredited sales points.
Car hire: All the major brands are present and booking desks are located at the airport, in the city’s malls and at hotels. Don’t forget to bring your valid international driving licence.
Ferry: You can hop on a Department of Transport operated ferry to Delma Island, one of the oldest known permanent settlements in the UAE, from Port Mugharaq on the mainland (dot.abudhabi.ae). Plus, fun daily boating experiences are offered by Arabian Adventures, so you can gain a unique perspective of landmarks, such as Al Maqtaa Bridge, from the water (arabian-adventures.com).
Weekends in Abu Dhabi are Friday and Saturday. Show respect for the local (Islamic) culture by dressing modestly and covering up shoulders, décolletage and legs (to the knee) when in public spaces and save the swimwear for the beach or pool. Feel free to fall in love with the city, but do avoid public displays of affection – it’s simply not the done thing.
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