things to do in abu dhabi with kids


For me, the biggest joy is travelling with my family, especially when that involves introducing new and exciting destinations to Thor. Having been to Abu Dhabi once before, we knew exactly what places to visit once we come back altogether and we actually didn't visit a few places like the desert or beach clubs first time there on purpose to get to experience it all together.

When thinking of Abu Dhabi as a destination, then I know for many it may seem like a place more dedicated to adults with their modern hotels full of delicate luxuries and fine dining. But it is actually one of the biggest desert playgrounds ideal for families with kids thanks to their wide selection of theme parks, zoos, desert adventures and other fun activities, keeping families occupied during their visit to the UAE😉👌 So without further ado, here's a list of fun activities families can enjoy while visiting Abu Dhabi:

Beach Clubs

If there's one thing Thor absolutely loves, it's swimming. So picking a hotel with a pool was a total must. But in addition to just spending your time by the hotel's pool, I suggest visiting beach clubs. And Abu Dhabi offers many of them! Not only does it give you a relaxing day by the pool, sunbathing, read a good book, listening to music and eating delicious food. But beach clubs actually offer lots of activities for children as well from dedicated areas to kids attractions to even specific programs. Just check the websites of different beach clubs and pick whichever one suits your needs the best. Of course you could always go to Yas Waterworld for a themed waterpark, but for our family beach clubs work better😜 We went to Saadiyat Beach Club and I can totally recommend trying that out - with kids or without.

The Emirates Palace

To get the full experience of the luxury Emirates have to offer, visit the Emirates Palace for a relaxed afternoon tea. First having built by the UAE founder Sheikh Zayed, it was designed to have joint meetings of the 7 Emirates to become stronger together and maximise return on the oil reserves that have brought wealth and prosperity to the land. The Emirates Palace is still in use today for such purposes but more known as a pricey luxury hotel for the popular and mega rich people. And what better way to get the idea of that luxury than by paying a visit to the palace! Although most parts of the hotel are available only for the hotel guests, there is still a big area to walk around and a cafe to go for a lunch. But remember, there is a strict etiquette of clothes to be able to visit the Emirates Palace. Dress semi-formal, no shorts or sandals allowed for men and not too short clothes allowed for women.

Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque

The Mosque is a total must-visit when you are in Abu Dhabi. It is the largest mosque in the country and the key place of worship for prayers. The mosque was built 13 years ago as a project by then president of the UAE, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, who wanted to establish a sturcture that would unite the cultural diversity of the Islamic world with the historical and modern values of architecture and art. His final resting place is located on the grounds of the complex as well. But for travellers not familiar with the Islamic culture, the Grand Mosque is still worth a visit. Being an absolute masterpiece of architecture and design, you can see luxury and attention to detail on every step, no matter your age! There are no dressing restrictions for men, but women have to cover their hair and wear a traditional clothing provided at the entrance to be able to visit. Btw, it looks the most magical during sunset, but be sure to take enough time to visit the mosque - it is very popular and getting through the queues can take up to an hour, especially during weekends and cultural holidays.

Desert Safari

Being a desert country, there are lots of attractions around the land of sand and their famous desert safari is no exception. This was without a doubt our most favorite thing we did in Abu Dhabi and I can not recommend going for an evening safari enough cause it truly is a night to remember! The evening started around 3 pm when we were collected in a big 4x4 car to drive to the desert for about an hour. Once arrived, we got to visit the camel farm followed by some dune bashing on our way to the camp. When we got to the desert, it was time for all sorts of activities from sand boarding to camel rides to henna painting to trying on traditional clothes. It was so much fun! Once the sun began to set you're served a delicious buffet dinner with lots of options, followed by dance performances. 

Ferrari World

Like many other tourist attractions, Ferrari World is famous worldwide and a total top destination for all the boys and men interested in automotives and the world of fast cars. The park is packed with motorsport-themed rides and attractions and the annual Formula 1 Championship race takes place right there on Yas Island every year. So definitely an exciting place to visit for every formula fan, big or small😉

In addition there are a few great attractions to children in Abu Dhabi, that we didn't get to visit this time around but are definitely worth to take a look! If you're travelling with smaller kids, go for a fun day at the Yas Waterworld, visit the animals at the Emirates Park Zoo or meet their favorite characters at The Warner Bros. World. If your children are already older or you're travelling without any children at all, look at the art at Louvre Abu Dhabi and go for a walk to the five-mile seaside strip of Corniche, which is Emirate's best spot for fun in the sun. The beach of Corniche is split into three separate areas - families, singles and public beach.

In conclusion, whatever your family's taste and preferences are like, Abu Dhabi is sure to offer a variety of activities and attractions to spice up your trip to the capital of UAE. 

PS: Biggest thanks to airBaltic for flying us to Abu Dhabi and don't forget to also read about my tips on flying with kids!😊