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Dubai to Abu Dhabi Day Trip Guide | Getting There, Things to Do, Restaurants & More

Explore Day trips from Dubai to Abu Dhabi 

Dubai's a whirlwind of excitement, but sometimes you crave a cultural adventure. That's where our Abu Dhabi day trips come in! Just a hop, jump, and a skip away lies the Emirati gem- Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates. We take the hassle out of exploring Abu Dhabi, offering convenient transportation and expertly planned itineraries. Check out the finest Sheikh Zayed Mosque and look at the breathtaking art installations at the Louvre Abu Dhabi– all within a day's trip from Dubai. Here’s how to make the most of of Abu Dhabi city tour.

Why a day trip from Dubai to Abu Dhabi is a must-do

Lose yourself in Abu Dhabi, the UAE's capital, where tradition meets modern marvels. Our day trips offer a taste of it all, from the stunning Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque to the spirited Emirates Village and the optional high-speed thrills of Ferrari World. Our tours offer a taste of everything Abu Dhabi has to offer, from history to modern marvels. Still unsure? Read on…

Dubai to Abu Dhabi- Why take a Day Trip from Dubai to Abu Dhabi
  • History & innovation: Wander the halls of Qasr Al-Hosn, the city's oldest building, and imagine life in a bygone era.
  • Thrill seeker's paradise: Feel the adrenaline rush as you drive the Yas Marina Circuit, home to the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Or, for an epic thrill ride, buckle up at Ferrari World, where the record-breaking Formula Rossa awaits!
  • Nature's escape: Ditch the city bustle and find serenity amidst the rolling desert dunes. If you're feeling adventurous, opt for a thrilling desert safari! Nature lovers can explore the diverse wildlife of Sir Bani Yas Island.
  • Emirati heritage: Step back in time at the Heritage Village and experience traditional Emirati life firsthand. Witness the fascinating art of falconry at the Abu Dhabi Falcon Hospital, or gain insights into the nation's rich history at Qasr Al Watan, the awe-inspiring Presidential Palace.
  • Family fun: From the heart-stopping thrills of theme parks like Ferrari World and Warner Bros. World, to the refreshing slides of Yas Waterworld, or captivating encounters with marine life at SeaWorld Abu Dhabi – there's something for everyone in the family!
  • Cultural immersion: Wander through vibrant souks, savor delicious cuisine, and experience the warmth of Arabian hospitality.

Know before you book your day trip from Dubai to Abu Dhabi

  • Relax and enjoy the ride: We take care of everything! Round-trip transfers from Dubai are a breeze, with comfy air-conditioned buses or private vehicles at your disposal. Plus, our expert guides will share fascinating stories along the way, making your day trip even more enriching.
  • Perfect weather, perfect time: Abu Dhabi shines brightest between October and April. Pleasant weather makes exploring the city and desert adventures a true delight!
  • Ferrari fanatic? Plan your day: If Ferrari World is your top priority, keep in mind it's a thrilling world to explore! Aim for a full day (5-6 hours) to conquer all the rides and soak up the Ferrari magic.

Which tour is best for me?

All tours include:

  • Roundtrip transportation from Dubai
  • Professional english- speaking guide throughout the day
  • Lunch is optional in Tour 1.
  • Yas Island theme park choices vary (choose one in relevant tours).
Exploring Abu Dhabi city:
  • Perfect for: First-time visitors or those seeking a cultural immersion.
  • Highlights: Witness the architectural marvel of the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque.
  • Optional: Explore the Heritage Village and delve into Emirati traditions. (Morning Tour only)
  • Upgrade: Savor a delicious lunch and discover the vibrant Abu Dhabi art scene at the Marjan Gallery.
  • Inclusions: Round-trip transfers, English-speaking guide, Mosque entry, Lunch (Optional).
Theme park adventure:
  • Perfect for: Thrill-seekers and kids looking for a fun day at Ferrari World.
  • Highlights: Unleash your inner speed demon at Ferrari World, experience movie magic at Warner Bros. World, or cool down at Yas Waterworld.
  • Bonus: Capture scenic views with a Corniche drive and photo stop at the Emirates Palace.
  • Inclusions: Round-trip transfers, English-speaking guide, Mosque entry, Entry to any 1 Yas Island theme park.
Cultural delights & artistic gems:
  • Perfect for: Architecture enthusiasts and art lovers.
  • Highlights: Explore the architectural marvel of the Louvre Museum alongside the Sheikh Zayed Mosque.
  • Bonus: Drive by the Corniche and get a glimpse of Emirati heritage at the Heritage Village.
  • Inclusions: Round-trip transfers, English-speaking guide, Mosque entry, Louvre Museum entry.
Unveiling Emirati legacy:
  • Perfect for: History buffs. 
  • Highlights: Delve into the rich tapestry of Abu Dhabi.
    Exclusive access: Explore Qasr Al Watan, the residence of the Crown Prince, and witness a captivating light and sound show (optional).
  • Bonus: Be mesmerized by the intricate details of the Sheikh Zayed Mosque and the world's largest hand-woven carpet.
  • Inclusions: Round-trip transfers, English-speaking guide, Mosque entry, Qasr Al Watan entry (optional), Light & Sound Show (optional).

Best things to do in Abu Dhabi

Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque

The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque isn't just a mosque, it's a masterpiece! This dazzling monument blends artistry from around the world, boasting shimmering white marble, intricate mosaics, and the world's largest hand-knotted carpet. Imagine the sunlight reflecting off the 82 domes, creating a magical spectacle that changes with the day.

  • Ideal for:  Architecture lovers and those seeking spiritual serenity.
  • Pro tip:  Dress modestly (shoulders and knees covered) to show respect. Allow 2 hours to soak in the beauty.

Louvre Abu Dhabi

The Louvre Abu Dhabi is more than just a museum – it's a journey through time!  Rising majestically from the sea, this architectural marvel features a mesmerizing dome that filters light like a desert oasis. Inside, wander through galleries showcasing the wonders of human creativity, from ancient artifacts to modern masterpieces.

  • Ideal for:  Art enthusiasts and history buffs.
  • Pro tip:  Catch the sunset for breathtaking views of the museum bathed in golden light.
  • Aim for 3 hours to explore the vast collections.

Yas Marina Circuit

Ever dreamt of being Lewis Hamilton for a day? At Yas Marina Circuit, you can! This world-renowned Formula One track lets you experience the thrill of speed firsthand. Take the wheel of a Formula 1 car and feel the adrenaline pump as you race around the same track as the pros. (Team Sainz all the way!)

  • Ideal for: Motorsport fanatics and adrenaline junkies.
  • Pro tip:  Check out supercar driving experiences to truly unleash your inner racer.
  • Plan for 2 hours of high-octane fun.

Desert Safari

No Abu Dhabi trip is complete without a desert safari! Venture into the vast Arabian desert on a 4x4 adventure. Experience the traditional Bedouin lifestyle with a thrilling dune bashing session and a gentle (or maybe not-so-gentle!) camel ride. Watch the sun dip below the horizon, painting the dunes in fiery hues. This adventure connects you to the UAE's natural beauty and rich culture.

  • Ideal for:  Adventurers and those curious about Bedouin life.
  • Pro tip: Opt for an evening safari for unforgettable desert sunsets. This half-day adventure will leave you with lasting memories.

Tips for Day trips from Dubai to Abu Dhabi 

  • Plan your adventure: Decide if cultural immersion, theme park thrills, or a mix interests you more.
  • Book early: Popular tours, especially during peak seasons, fill up fast.
  • Choose your travel time: Day trips typically last 6-10 hours. Pick a tour that suits your desired pace and interests.
  • Dress code: Adhere to local customs. Modest clothing that covers shoulders and knees is recommended, particularly at the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque.
  • Etiquette: Be mindful of noise levels and avoid taking photos of people without permission.
  • Cash: Carry some UAE Dirhams (AED) for smaller purchases.
  • Tipping: Not mandatory but appreciated for good service.

Frequently asked questions about your Dubai to Abu Dhabi day trip

Is one day enough to experience Abu Dhabi?

Although one day is enough to see the main attractions of Abu Dhabi, such as the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, the Emirates Palace, and perhaps a desert safari, extending your trip to two days allows you to explore more, including a full day at Yas Island to enjoy Ferrari World and Yas Waterworld without rushing .

What are the must-see attractions in Abu Dhabi?

Abu Dhabi is home to several must-see attractions, including the majestic Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, the opulent Emirates Palace, the cultural haven of UAE Heritage Village, thrilling desert safari experiences, and the scenic Corniche waterfront .

What are the best ways to travel from Dubai to Abu Dhabi?

The distance between Dubai and Abu Dhabi is about 140 kilometers, and there are several travel options:
By bus: Economical, with services like E100, E101, and E102 operated by RTA, taking around 2.5 hours.
By car: Renting a car or driving offers flexibility and the journey takes about 1.5 hours.
Organized tours: Convenient all-inclusive tours take care of transportation, entrance tickets, and provide guided information, making the trip seamless​.

Can you recommend any unique experiences in Abu Dhabi?

Unique experiences in Abu Dhabi abound:
National Aquarium Abu Dhabi: Explore the marine life at this newly opened aquarium.
Falcon Hospital: Get an insight into the local culture by visiting the world's largest falcon hospital.
Jubail Mangroves Park: A beautiful walk through the wetlands.
Wahat al Karama: A poignant war memorial with stunning views of the Grand Mosque​​.

Is tt better to take a taxi or rent a car for the Dubai to Abu Dhabi day trip?

Both options have their merits:
Taxi: Convenient and direct, suitable for those who prefer not to drive. The cost from downtown Dubai to Abu Dhabi can range around 300-400 AED.
Renting a car: Offers more flexibility and can be cost-effective for groups. The drive is straightforward on the E11 highway, but be prepared for fast traffic and remember that tolls apply​​.
Considering an overnight stay? It can allow you to fully immerse yourself in what Abu Dhabi has to offer without feeling rushed. Whether you're exploring theme parks on Yas Island or soaking in the grandeur of the city's architecture, there's enough to warrant a longer stay​.
For more detailed planning and to answer any more specific questions you might have, the original articles on Headout , Dubai Travel Planner​, and the detailed guides linked therein offer a wealth of information to ensure your trip from Dubai to Abu Dhabi is memorable and well-informed.