recommended Sheikh Zayed Grand MosqueIt's huge! It's white! It's glittering and gold! It's sort of like the Vegas of mosques (check out that chandelier, the largest in the world...), but it also is undeniably beautiful. A huge plus: the ... read moreguides who show you around are real, live Emiratis (who are hard to find and interact with on a typical tourist day), and open to all kinds of questions. Worth going to Abu Dhabi just for this. (Book nerds: there's a very nice little library in one of the minarets.)Zora O'Neill
Saw this was on your list. I definitely recommend!
- Saadiyat Island Cultural District ExhibitionCorniche - West Road, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emiratesrecommended Saadiyat Island Cultural District ExhibitionEven if only half of Saadiyat gets built, it will be a major accomplishment. As it stands now, and as laid out in this exhibition, Saadiyat is essentially a brand-new city from the marshy ground up. ... read moreThe exhibit is all bells and whistles--video interviews with the engineers, models of the fancy new museums, Frank Gehry's disembodied voice describing his vision. Of course you too can buy in to Saadiyat--this place doubles as a real-estate sales center. Fascinating (and, coming from recession America, envy-inducing).Zora O'Neill
More offbeat "entertainment."
- CornicheAl Corniche St, Doha, Qatarrecommended CornicheThe whole Emirates is so car-dependent, it's nice just to see an area where people are out walking! It also gives Abu Dhabi a much-needed feeling of city center--even if it's not quite accurate. As ... read moreyou're strolling along here in the evening, alongside the huge mix of Abu Dhabi residents, you do at least feel like you're in the middle of things. It's a really nice place to let kids run around, and there's a dedicated playground part of the way along. Never mind that, of course, everyone _drives_ to the corniche...so it's kind of traffic mayhem along the road next to you. The water is refreshing and the vibe is friendly.Zora O'Neill
I didn't go out much (er, at all) in Abu Dhabi, so this is the closest I got to typical entertainment: people-watching by the water!
- Centro Yas Island Abu DhabiYas Island, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates - United Arab Emirates
- Tiara RestaurantBurj Al Marina, Marina Mall - Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
- Saudi Cuisine VIPAl Khalidiyah, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
- Abu Dhabi MallSecond Floor, Abu Dhabi Mall, Tourist Club Area - Abu Dhabi - United Arab Emirates
- Mushrif Mall2nd St - Abu Dhabi - United Arab Emirates
- Yas Marina CircuitUnited Arab Emirates
- Marina MallAbu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
- Heritage VillageAbu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
- Ferrari World Abu DhabiUnited Arab Emirates
- Emirates Palace HotelCorniche Road, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emiratesrecommended Emirates Palace HotelAbsurd. Ridiculous. So blingy your eyes will bleed. The scale and shininess of this hotel is about as over-the-top as things get in the Emirates...which is pretty over-the-top. Granted, I didn't stay ... read morethe night here, so I can't comment on all its facilities, but I must say, the people-watching in the lobby was exceptional (the idle rich being...very idle, on big sofas; note the ban on photos of people in traditional Emirati dress). And the pseudo-Emirati restaurant here--one of the few places that serves local food--was interesting and good, assuming you actually order the traditional dishes. In addition to eating and lolling, you can also see various art and artifact exhibits, and a massive exhibit on the expansion of Abu Dhabi--very impressive.Zora O'Neill
Another good spot for people-watching (and more typical entertainment--clubs, bars, restos here). I recommend the corniche afterward, as a kind of "real world" antidote!
- Radisson Blu Hotel, Abu Dhabi Yas IslandGolf Plaza, Yas Island | P.O. Box 93725, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
- Beach RotanaAbu Dhabi - United Arab Emirates