The capital city of the United Arab Emirates, Abu Dhabi is a bustling metropolis that has something to offer for everyone. The city is home to a number of popular attractions, including the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, the Corniche Promenade, the National Museum of Abu Dhabi, and Ferrari World. With so many things to see and do in this city, you’ll be sure to have an unforgettable time in Abu Dhabi. In this post, we list down the best Instagrammable spots in Abu Dhabi. If you’re planning to visit Dubai, you can happily sneak in a few days to your itinerary as well.
So let’s start with the prerequisites for your travel to Abu Dhabi and share some of the best Instagrammable spots in Abu Dhabi.
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- How to get to Abu Dhabi?
- What are the Covid19 travel requirements for Abu Dhabi?
- Do you need a visa for Abu Dhabi?
- How to apply for a tourist visa for Abu Dhabi from India?
- Getting Around in Abu Dhabi
- Best Instagrammable Spots & Places to Visit in Abu Dhabi
- Hotels with Best Instagrammable Spots in Abu Dhabi
- Final Verdict
How to get to Abu Dhabi?
There are direct flights from every major Indian and European city to Abu Dhabi. Major airlines like Etihad Airways, Lufthansa, Indigo Airlines, Air India, KLM, etc have direct flights to Abu Dhabi.
What are the Covid19 travel requirements for Abu Dhabi?
If you are fully vaccinated then you do not need to quarantine. However, there are some mandatory requirements. If you are travelling from a country that is on the Green List then the following rules apply:
Pre Departure Travel Requirements for Abu Dhabi
- Negative RTPCR test done a maximum of 48 hours before departure to Abu Dhabi.
- Register your travel details and upload your vaccination certificate on this website, to receive approval to travel to Abu Dhabi, atleast 48 hours before your departure. You will receive a confirmation of the same sent to your email.
- Download and install the AlHosn app on your mobile for Android or iOS. You will receive the details on how to log on to this app when you get your RTPCR test done at Abu Dhabi airport post-arrival.
- If you are flying from a country that is not on the Green List (India is not on the Green List as of 06-Feb-2022) then you will need to get a negative rapid PCR done at the departure airport, a maximum of six hours before departure.
Post Arrival Travel Requirements for Abu Dhabi
- Post arrival at Abu Dhabi airport, you will need to undergo a PCR test. This test is free of charge. The result is sent to your registered mobile number within 90 minutes of the test. Make sure that you have a sim card that is working in Abu Dhabi (it should be able to receive SMS atleast).
- Ask for how to register yourself in the AlHosn app at the testing facility. Please note, this app is useful when you want to visit public places in Abu Dhabi. This app has the details of your vaccination certificate and PCR results.
- You can leave the airport for your hotel after the test is done, you do not need to wait for the results at the airport.
- If you are travelling from a Green List country then you will need to undergo a PCR test on Day 6 in Abu Dhabi (Day 1 is the day you arrive in Abu Dhabi).
- If you are travelling from a country that is not on the Green list then you will need to undergo a PCR test on Day 4 and Day 8 if you want to continue to stay in Abu Dhabi.
If you are flying with Etihad then check this link for their travel requirements for each destination.
Do you need a visa for Abu Dhabi?
Indian citizens require a visa to travel to Abu Dhabi. Visa on arrival is available for the citizens of the countries listed here. Citizens of GCC countries do not require a visa to travel to Abu Dhabi.
How to apply for a tourist visa for Abu Dhabi from India?
The easiest way to apply for a tourist/transit visa for Abu Dhabi from India is by using the services provided by Etihad Airways. You do not need to fly with Etihad Airways to use this service. You need to fly in and out of Abu Dhabi airport if you opt for a transit visa. You can apply for different visa types here.
There are certain hotels and resorts that can apply for a visa on your behalf. Do check with the hotel if they provide this service.
Getting Around in Abu Dhabi
Getting around in Abu Dhabi is fairly easy with so many options to choose from. You can rent a car and drive around or use the public transportation system. If you want to rent a car in Abu Dhabi then make sure that you have an International Driving Permit (IDP) along with your Indian drivers’ license. You cannot drive in Abu Dhabi if you do not have an IDP.
You can also use the metered taxi service but you will have to pay the fare in cash. The easier option is to either book an Uber or Careem. The fare rates of Careem are cheaper compared to Uber.
There is also “Visit Abu Dhabi” Shuttle Bus service which is free if you book admission tickets for any of the attractions. You will receive an email with a QR code.
Careem Bike is also quite a popular mode for nearby places. You can book one via the APP.
Best Instagrammable Spots & Places to Visit in Abu Dhabi
Now that your transportation is sorted, here’s a list of the best instagrammable spots and places to visit in Abu Dhabi. There are numerous places in Abu Dhabi like mosques, beaches, museums, etc,. You are free to pick and choose the places based on your liking and the duration of your time in Abu Dhabi.
Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque
This is probably among the best of the Instagrammable spots in Abu Dhabi. You can reach Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque easily by taxi. There is a huge car park in case you are planning to drive to the Mosque.
You can pre-book your visit to Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque here so that you don’t have to queue up for tickets when you get to the mosque. Please do note that there are dedicated places to take photos. Also, you need to follow the guidelines regarding the attire as recommended by the mosque. Here are a few pictures from the Mosque.
Entry Ticket : Free (Reserve a free ticket here)
Dress Code : As this is a religious place of worship, there exists a dress code. For women, they need to wear a head covering and top with full sleeves and full lenght trousers. Skirts and shorts are not allowed. Men are not allowed to wear shorts. You can find more details here.
Wahat Al Karama
Wahat Al Karama is a memorial dedicated to the Emirati martyrs who have sacrificed their lives in the service of their nation since 1971. There is no entry fee and is located very close to Sheikh Zayad Grand Mosque. You can walk from the mosque to Wahat Al Karama, just follow the path from exit gate 6 of the mosque. Once you cross the foot over the bridge, you will be able to see Wahat Al Karama.
This is one of the best Instagrammable spots in Abu Dhabi.
Timings: 09:00 AM to 10:45 PM
Tickets: Entry is free
Best time to visit: Try going there just before sunset.
Desert Safari at Al Khatim Desert
You can add a half-day Desert Safari to your itinerary. It is quite an experience in itself. The highlight of the tour is dune bashing. If you have never experienced dune bashing then we will highly recommend this tour to you. The half-day Desert Safari includes pickup and drop from your hotel.
📍You can wear the Traditional Attire and take pictures
📍Photo with Falcon
📍Belly Dance Show
You can reach out to @emiratestours to plan one. They have skilled drivers who are well trained and safety is given the utmost importance. You can also book the tour on their website.
Qasr Al Hosn
Qasr Al Hosn, the oldest stone building in Abu Dhabi has been a witness to its history and its growth. It was once the seat of power for the government of the UAE. Today it serves as a reminder of the humble beginnings of this megacity. It was also within these walls of Qasr Al Hosn that a meeting took place to negotiate the formation of the United Arab Emirates. When you visit Qasr Al Hosn, do not forget to check out the watchtower, it happens to be the first permanent structure in Abu Dhabi.
While at Qasr Al Hosn do not forget to visit the House of Artisans located next door. This houses the work the traditional art and craft by the local artists. The entry ticket is included in the price for the ticket for Qasr Al Hosn.
Booking Link: Qasr Al Hosn
Entry Ticket: 30 AED / 600 INR / 7 Euros
Dress Code: As this is not a religious place, you do not have to cover your head etc.
It is a permanent national tribute to celebrate the life, legacy, and values of Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nayan, the founder of the United Arab Emirates. The memorial is spread across 3.3 hectares and the centerpiece is the Constellation; a three-dimensional portrait of Sheikh Zayed consisting of 1,327 geometric shapes suspended from 1,110 cables. During the nighttime, the geometric shapes in the Constellation shine like stars.
Check out the pictures below for day and night time pictures of the three-dimensional portrait.
Note: Try visiting during sunset or post-sunset when the constellation installed shines.
Soul Beach Saadiyat Island
This is a paid beach, located in Saadiyat island, and you have to pay 50 AED on weekdays and 75 AED on weekends and on public holidays. The ticket includes sun loungers and umbrella. The ticket is valid for the entire day. There are changing rooms and bathrooms. There are numerous eateries and cafes near the beach. You can also order your food by scanning the QR code that is on the table beside your sun lounger.
Don’t forget to pack your bikinis 👙 , kimonos, maxi dresses 😊 and beach towels while packing.
Opening Time: 06:00 AM to 07:00 PM
Entry Ticket: 50 AED weekdays / 75 AED weekends.
Ticket includes access to sun loungers and beach umbrellas.
Louvre Abu Dhabi – the largest art museum in the Arabian peninsula @louvreabudhabi. The museum consists of 12 galleries with over 600 masterpieces.
The building, designed by the French architect Jean Nouvel, draws on traditional Arab patterns, lighting, and forms but uses 21st-century technologies and materials.
Here are some useful information about this impressive art museum:
⏰ Opening times: 10.00-18.30 (Tue-Sun) & Closed on Monday
💰 Entrance fee: 63 AED/adult, you can book tickets here.
✔️ Travel tip: Special events and workshop are organized regularly – see Louvre Abu Dhabi calendar.
Jubail Mangrove Park
One of the popular attractions in the city, Jubail Mangrove Park, an ecological park, is a perfect place to escape the hustle of the city. It is located between Saadiyat Island and Yas Island in Abu Dhabi. The best time to visit the park is during high tide.
There are pathways to explore the park. There are three pathways to walk, the longest covers a distance of 2 km and the shortest is 1 km. Kayaking tours are also quite popular. A two-hour kayak tour would cost roughly AED 160. Do make sure to pack an additional set of dresses if you are planning to go for a Kayaking tour. You can also plan to stay at Anantara Eastern Mangroves Hotel and enjoy the sprawling views of Mangroves from the comfort of your room.
Opening Times: 07:00 AM to 09:00 PM
Entry Ticket : 15 AED/person, 10 AED for children under 18 and free for children under 7.
Food is not allowed in the park.
You cannot smoke in the park.
Pets are not allowed.
Free parking is available on the site.
Liwa Oasis and Desert
Located on the northern edge of Rub’al Khali desert, Liwa Oasis is the birthplace of the ruling families of Abu Dhabi and Dubai. The region is famous for date farming. One of the largest sand dunes, Moreeb dune (300 meters high) is located near the Liwa Oasis in the Rub’al Khali desert, also known as the empty quarters.
Qasr Al Watan
Qaṣr Al-Waṭan (lit. ’Palace of the Nation’) is the presidential palace of the United Arab Emirates, located in Abu Dhabi. We would highly recommend visiting this palace. It is among one of the most beautiful palaces around the world. The palace was opened to the public in 2019. It serves as the offices of the President, Vice President of the UAE, and the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi. The Palace is also used to host foreign dignitaries and meetings.
Opening Time : 11 AM
The opening and closing time changes during different months. Check here for the current opening and closing times.
Ticket Price: 60 AED /person
Dress Code: As this is an official building, you need to dress respectfully with shoulders covered and over knee shorts.
Al Wathba Salt Lake
The pictures from these salt lakes are a rage on Instagram. Al Wathba Salt Lake is located on the way to Al Ain from Abu Dhabi. These salt lakes are man-made and located close to the Fossil dunes in Al Wathaba.
Hotels with Best Instagrammable Spots in Abu Dhabi
Abu Dhabi has a range of hotels from budget to ultra-luxurious ones. We would highly recommend choosing a hotel based on your itinerary so that you don’t have to spend a lot commuting from one place to another.
If you are planning to stay close to Sheikh Zayed Mosque, then Ritz Carlton Abu Dhabi would be a good pick for a luxurious stay. At Ritz Carlton, the rooms have a view of the Grand Mosque. Here is the link to the hotel.
Another beautiful property is located close to the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque. You can visit the Souk from the hotel in an Abra – a traditional Arabic boat. The hotel also hosts a traditional Arabic sunset experience by the beach. This hotel is one of the best Instagrammable spots in Abu Dhabi.
This is an exclusive island resort with beach villas and water villas. Check out more about the resort here.
If you don’t mind splurging then this is the hotel for you. Among one of the most expensive properties in Abu Dhabi, this hotel exudes opulence and grandeur. Even if you do not stay in this hotel, you can visit the property for a sundowner. Check out the hotel details here.
Jebel Hafit Desert Park
If you are looking for something unique then do check out this bubble hotel located in the midst of the desert. Located at the base of Jabel Hafit mountain in Al Ain province, this is a Unesco World Heritage site.
In conclusion, Abu Dhabi is an amazing destination for adventure seekers and those looking for a relaxing getaway. It’s one of the most developed countries in the Middle East with a booming economy and diverse culture. It’s definitely a place worth visiting.
We hope that this post helps you with finding the best Instagrammable spots in Abu Dhabi.
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