What else can you do in Abu Dhabi apart from visiting the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque? There’s so much more to see in this city in the United Arab Emirates (UAE)–from water parks, race car museums, beach and malls. Visit them all at the Yas Island for an entire day or two of fun-filled experience in the Middle East.
First stop is the Yas Waterworld that’s perfect if you got children with you. It’s the first water mega park in UAE that’s worth visiting. Entrance are AED 325 for Silver Adult and AED 275 for Silver Junior. There are 43 attractions you can explore from traditional Emirati pearl diving culture to an Interactive Treasure Hunt game. If you want to explore all the waterpark’s features, have a one whole day alloted for it since it’s quite a big place.
There are multiple slides that are way up in the air and drops down to refreshing pool water. Check out the Dawwama which is a 20 metre high funnel with one raft and can accommodate six people. Also ride the Liwa Loop which is the first looping waterslide in the Middle East.
There’s also the longest suspended roller coaster called the Bandit Bomber that has cool water and laser effects you can use to splash the people walking below. Just be careful not to make anyone mad! After all, it’s a fun place to be for everyone.
Yas Waterworld has baby pools to children’s playground called the Marah Fortress. It fits kids from all ages who definitely won’t get bored. Go for a PearlMasters Treasure Hunt game and search for lost treasures, meet magical creatures, solve puzzles and become a hero for a day.
Since we were a huge group that’s mixed with adults and children, we split our time in Abu Dhabi. We dropped off the kids at Yas Waterworld and explored other destinations in the city. One of the cool tourist spots to visit here is the Ferrari World, especially for adults and car enthusiasts.
It’s connected to one of the malls and it’s beside the popular Ikea furniture store. It’s hard to miss with its bright red facade. You can purchase the tickets at the entrance for AED 275 for adults and AED 230 for kids.
See the collection of gorgeous Ferrari cars as classic and contemporary vehicles are displayed from 1947 models to the most recent release. There’s also a limited edition F355 Serie Fiorano. You can ride a Ferrari for a day at the motion-based simulator where you can become a trainee engineer with a virtual F1™ pro. Feel the thrill of driving fast around the curves of the Fiorano track and zoom past the streets of Maranello.
Of course, after all the fun sightseeing and activities, you’re probably hungry now for authentic Middle Eastern food. There are plenty of restaurants or food stalls sitting side by side the food courts inside the different malls, water parks and theme parks in Abu Dhabi.
Go for an adventure and fill your palate with mouth watering dishes such as Shawarma, hummus, Tabbouleh or mixed grilled vegetable or meat. I love their Tandoori Chicken and Shawarma. Even though there are dishes like these in the Philippines, the taste is still better where it came from.
It’s only once in awhile you get to travel to a new destination so why not immerse yourself in their local food. You’ll definitely enjoy all the flavors dancing in your mouth. The serving is huge and the price is not expensive. It’s one of the great things in Abu Dhabi.
Next stop that’s perfect for the titos (uncle in Filipino) and the titas (aunt in Filipino) is the well known Scandinavian furniture brand, Ikea. Prepare to shop until you drop with everything you can find from kitchenware to bed sheets–there’s just so much to see inside.
Like the other branches across the world, it’s a huge establishment you can go to for a couple of hours. They even have a food court you can chill at if ever you get tired. We found several items which were on sale and were able to bring home during our trip to Abu Dhabi.
If you love designing your house with beautiful yet not too expensive items, Ikea is the place to be. There were plenty of shoppers because of the sale so expect a lot of kids and adults running around the maze-like aisles of the store. Don’t worry, it will be worth it!
There are also a lot of malls in Abu Dhabi, like in Dubai, that are good to go around. Their prices are a bit lower compared to Dubai when we shopped at different clothing stores like Cotton On, Abercrombie & Fitch, H&M, etc.
The mall I loved the most was Centrepoint which was also near Ikea and Ferrari World. It’s beautiful, clean and complete with well known brands. It wasn’t super crowded so we weren’t too tired from shopping and walking around. It’s also a nice place to have coffee or dinner because of the wide variety of restaurants or cafes inside the mall.
Other malls you can visit are Abu Dhabi Mall, Deerfields Mall, Mazyad Mall or Capital Mall. It’s an endless city full of consumer related establishments. Just be sure you bring a lot of cash with you if you plan to shop until you drop!
If you’re tired of all the concrete destinations, take a walk at the beach to relax with the mesmerizing view of the Persian Gulf. It’s a breath of fresh air where you can just take in everything around you.
The HodgePodge Lifestyle recommends visiting the city of Abu Dhabi in UAE. There are flights you can take from Manila via Cebu Pacific, Emirates or Qatar Airlines. It’s worth the trip and it’s easy to get a visa for a couple of days visit in the Middle Eastern destination.