6 Unforgettable Family Experiences in Abu Dhabi

6 Unforgettable Family Experiences in Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi is a vibrant city with a rich cultural heritage and modern attractions, offering plenty of stay-and-play activities for families. There are many things to do, places to explore and experiences to try. Here are some of the things that await your family when you visit Abu Dhabi.

Ferrari World Abu Dhabi

Enjoy thrilling roller coaster rides and other exhilarating but family-friendly attractions at Ferrari World Abu Dhabi in Yas Island Abu Dhabi. Formula Rossa is the theme park’s signature ride and the one Abu Dhabi visitors must not miss. It is the world’s fastest roller coaster, going from zero to 240 kph in under five seconds.

Ferrari World Abu Dhabi also offers a unique Ferrari Driving Experience that’ll let you drive a Ferrari around Yas Island. If you’re more comfortable riding than driving, get the Passenger Experience instead.

Proceed to the Driving Experience counter at the park to book your Ferrari drive. You can also book online; just make sure your Ferrari Driving Experience and theme park admission tickets are for the same date.

Yas Waterworld Abu Dhabi

Yas Waterworld is a mega water park sprawling over 149,734 square metres northwest of Ferrari World Abu Dhabi in Yas Island. The theme park has more than 40 slides, rides and attractions, but if you only have a limited amount of time to spend in the park, you should definitely try the following:

  • Bubbles Barrel

Bubbles Barrel is for you if you love surfing. This flowboarding attraction has 1,200-horsepower pumps to propel 7,000 litres of water per second and produce barrel waves, the largest sheet wave in the world.

  • Dawwama

Dawwama is the largest six-person tornado water coaster ride in the world. You and up to five others will sit facing each other on a round raft and speed down the height of a mountain on the world’s longest six-person water slide before being hurtled into a 20-metre-high tornado funnel.

  • Liwa Loop

The Liwa Loop is a freefall body-speed slide. Experience the full force of gravity pulling you straight down a closed tube and into the waiting pool below. This invigorating slide is not for the faint-hearted.

If you don’t have the luxury of time or want to try everything in Yas Waterworld, get the Quick Pass. It’ll get you to the front of the line at all Yas Waterworld attractions.

CLYMB Abu Dhabi

No Abu Dhabi adventure is complete without a visit to CLYMB Abu Dhabi.

This one-of-a-kind adventure hub has the world’s largest indoor skydiving chamber. If you’re a fan of indoor skydiving, this is a must-visit; even if you have yet to try this activity, why not get your first indoor skydiving experience in the world’s biggest indoor flight chamber? That’s a first-time experience for the books.

After your indoor skydiving adventure, try indoor wall climbing. CLYMB has five walls. Novice climbers can test their mettle on the 3-metre The Boulder. Budding and intermediate climbers can go up the 5.5-metre The Beginner or the 10-metre The Intermediate wall. Meanwhile, advanced and professional wall climbers can scale the 22-metre The Advanced or the 42-metre The SUMMYT.

CLYMB is an excellent destination for families. Children as young as three can skydive, while children as young as four can climb.

Yas Marina Circuit

The Yas Marina Circuit is a racetrack, home to the last leg of the Formula 1 races, the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. If you love motor racing, you must make your way to Yas Marina Circuit in Yas Island for the Formula 1 race weekend in November.

Book your tickets early. Hotels in Abu Dhabi fill up quickly for the Formula 1 races, especially the likes of W Hotel Abu Dhabi, whose enviable location gives it spectacular views of the marina and the racetrack.

Qasr Al Watan

Embark on a captivating journey by exploring the magnificent Qasr Al Watan or the Palace of the Nation. It is a working presidential palace and a celebration of Emirati heritage, architectural grandeur and contribution to human knowledge.

It’s a trip you and your family will not soon forget. Imagine wandering through opulent halls with intricate geographical patterns, book-matched pristine marble walls and floors, gilded domes, and calligraphy sculptures. The exterior is as grand as the interior, with its stunning white facade adorned with gold accents.

Don’t go home until after you’ve seen the Palace in Motion light and sound show. It’s a must-see production at Qasr Al Watan.

Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque

Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is an architectural marvel and a true Abu Dhabi landmark. Situated right at the entrance to Abu Dhabi City Island, Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is visible from all three bridges connecting the mainland to the island: the Musaffah Bridge, Al Maqta Bridge, and the Sheikh Zayed Bridge.

Travel to Abu Dhabi City Island in the daytime and gaze at the pristine white walls of the sprawling mosque. An evening approach should be no less impressive, with the mosque’s lighting system reflecting the moon’s phases and strategically casting light and shadows on the mosque’s white marble facade.

There are so many things to see at the mosque, including:

  • Pure white and multi-coloured marble
  • Bottom-crowned Islamic columns
  • Intricate mosaic patterns on carved and sand-blasted glass
  • Minarets that combine different Islamic styles (Mamluk, Ottoman and Fatimid)
  • 82 marble-clad domes
  • Seven crystal chandeliers, including the 12-tonne chandelier at the main prayer hall
  • The world’s largest hand-knotted carpet with an intricate medallion design
  • Rectangular reflection pools with tiles in different shades of blue
  • The Sahan (i.e. courtyard) composed of the finest marble pieces assembled to create magnificent designs

The mosque has cultural tours scheduled at one-hour intervals (although there are no tours during Friday afternoons). These tours are free of charge, so make sure to join one to learn as much as you can about this magnificent piece of architecture that extensively showcases Islamic artistry and culture.

Abu Dhabi Memorable Experiences

Abu Dhabi is a rich treasure trove of culture and adventure. Yas Waterworld, Ferrari World Abu Dhabi, CLYMB Abu Dhabi, Yas Marina Circuit, Qasr Al Watan, and Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque are but six of the fascinating destinations in Abu Dhabi. There’s so much more. That said, these six make a great starter list of Abu Dhabi’s memorable experiences for families.