Dubai to Abu Dhabi Day Trip Guide | Getting There, Things to Do, Restaurants & More
Abu Dhabi, the capital city of the UAE, is a popular tourist-friendly city that makes for a great day trip from Dubai. The city is home to many famous attractions such as Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, Yas Island, and Ferrari World. Due to the wide range of activities available in Abu Dhabi, it attracts all kinds of travelers including foodies, art enthusiasts, beach lovers, shopaholics, and so on. Here is everything you need to know to plan a day trip from Dubai to Abu Dhabi.
Why take a Day Trip from Dubai to Abu Dhabi
- Abu Dhabi is the capital of the UAE and offers a wide range of fun activities to visitors.
- This Middle Eastern city is home to many architectural wonders and features skyscrapers, luxury hotels, and mosques whose design rivals Dubai’s architecture.
- The road from Dubai to Abu Dhabi is quite well-maintained, making it convenient to plan a day trip.
- The city has a number of fantastic amusement parks where you and your family can spend a fun-filled day.
- Whether it is dune bashing or jumping from a plane, Abu Dhabi offers a unique selection of activities for thrill-seekers to get their hearts pumping.
- Enjoy a tranquil evening on a kayak or a Dhow cruise and watch the city lit up beautifully.
- A day trip to Abu Dhabi from Dubai will offer you stunning views of the coastline as you make your way through the highway.
Abu Dhabi at a Glance
Distance from Dubai: 140 km or 87 miles
Travel Time: 1 hour 30 minutes (car)
Best Time to visit: October – March (winter season)
Modes of transportation: Bus/Car
Approx Budget: AED 295
Things to do: Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, amusement parks, beaches, and architecture
Getting to Abu Dhabi From Dubai
Travel Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Taxi Fare: AED 290
A day trip to Abu Dhabi from Dubai is easily possible via car or taxi. The highways are well-maintained and driving alongside the coast is quite enjoyable. Standard toll rates are applicable on the highway and make sure your car has a ‘salik’ sticker tag to pay the toll fees automatically.
Travel Time: 1 hour 40 minutes to 2 hours
Bus Stations: Abu Dhabi Central Station and Mussafah Shabiya Bus Station (RTA)
Timings: E100 bus runs throughout the week with a bus departing every 15 minutes or so. The first bus starts between 4:20 AM – 4:40 AM while the last bus is between 12 AM – 1:05 AM.
Price: AED 25
Top Things to Do on A Dubai to Abu Dhabi Day Trip
1. Visit Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque
Mosque | Attraction
One of the most gorgeous mosques in the world, the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is a true architectural wonder in the Middle East. Featuring 82 domes and 96 columns, this mosque is also home to the world’s largest carpet and the world’s third-largest chandelier. Visitors who wish to learn more about the Emirati culture must pay a visit to this grand mosque in Abu Dhabi.
Nearby: Al Maqtaa Mall, Khalifa Park, Al Qana
2. Tour the UAE Heritage Village
The UAE Heritage Village offers a glimpse into the desert life through its village setup. This make-believe traditional oasis village features goat hair tents, a falaj irrigation system, and more. Visitors can even attend live workshops here to see the demonstration of traditional skills such as pottery, metalwork, and more.
Nearby: Marine Eye, Marina Mall
3. Take Photographs of Emirates Palace
The Emirates Palace is a stunning 7-star hotel with a private beach and 85 hectares of gardens and lawns. The beautiful architecture of this hotel includes 114 domes, a palace auditorium, and a grand ballroom. Visitors can explore parts of the hotel that are open for all tourists and take gorgeous photographs of this hotel.
Nearby: Observation Deck at 300, Qasr Al Hosn
4. Relax at the Beaches
Since Abu Dhabi is located beside the gulf, it is home to many beautiful beaches. For jogging and morning walks, Abu Dhabi beach is a great place to visit while Corniche beach is perfect for swimming and sunbathing. Al Bateen Beach and Breakwater Beach are public beaches where you can relax and enjoy the gulf views in Abu Dhabi.
Entry: Mostly Free
5. Admire the Art at Louvre Abu Dhabi
Museum | Attraction
Enjoy a tour of the Louvre Abu Dhabi and view the wide range of artworks and artifacts that are displayed here. Apart from the artworks from different civilizations, this museum also has a unique design and is surrounded by water, making it one of the most beautiful buildings in Abu Dhabi.
Nearby: Abu Dhabi Beach, Saadiyat Beach
Entry: AED 60
6. Kayaking Through Mangrove Forests
One of the most offbeat things to do in Abu Dhabi is kayaking through the mangrove forests that border the coastline of the city. This is a popular leisure activity to do with your family where you can enjoy a glimpse into the mangrove forests of Abu Dhabi.
7. Have a Cup of Tea in Observation Deck At 300 Meters
City Views| Sight-seeing
The Observation Deck at 300m is Abu Dhabi’s Burj Khalifa and is located on the 74th floor of Conrad Abu Dhabi Etihad Towers hotel. From here, visitors can enjoy a stunning view of Abu Dhabi’s skyline while having high tea.
Nearby: Emirates Palace, Qasr Al Watan
Entry: Free (for hotel guests), AED 95 (for non-hotel guests)
8. Enjoy Abu Dhabi Dhow Dinner Cruise
One of the top things to do in Abu Dhabi is to enjoy a beautiful cruise along with the city at night. Cruise on a traditional Arab boat while relishing a delicious buffet as you admire the gorgeous skyline of the city and the reflection of the beautifully lit buildings in the water.
9. Visit Qasr-Al-Hosn
Museum | Attraction
Qasr-Al-Hosn is one of the oldest stone buildings in Abu Dhabi that has now been turned into an exhibition center. This museum will give you a glimpse into the history, architecture, and culture of Abu Dhabi through numerous pictures and artifacts.
Nearby: Abu Dhabi Beach, Al Wahda Malls
Things to See Near Abu Dhabi
Island | Leisure
This small island near Abu Dhabi is a must-visit as it features several amazing amusement parks, a Grand Prix racing circuit, a golf course, and a beach for the guests to enjoy.
Distance: 35 km or 30 minutes
This water park is a perfect place to visit in summers to enjoy the water slides and rides with your family or friends. There are many shopping and dining options available here as well.
Distance: 40 km or 30 minutesfrom AED 395
Enjoy the thrill rides and driving simulators being offered at this motor racing-themed amusement park in Abu Dhabi.
Distance: 37 km or 28 minutesfrom AED 420
Island | Leisure
This small, developed island is home to a lot of amazing museums along with a beautiful marina where visitors can enjoy the ocean views.
Distance: 18 km or 22 minutes
Warner Bros World Abu Dhabi
This indoor amusement park is a great place to visit for families. Here, guests can enjoy rides and shows based on Warner Bros. characters.
Distance: 40 km or 30 minutesfrom AED 395
Best Places to Eat in Abu Dhabi
Al Mrzab Restaurant
For Emirati and Kuwaiti cuisine, Al Mrzab Restaurant is one of the top places to eat in Abu Dhabi. The traditional dishes like machboos and harees are a must-try here.
Price for Two: AED 300
Address: Airport Road, behind the National Theatre - Abu Dhabi - United Arab Emirates
Al Fanar Restaurant and Cafe
This restaurant serves the best home-style cooked Emirati dishes in Abu Dhabi and is located in YAS Mall.
Price for Two: AED 150
Address: The Fountains, Yas Mall - Yas Island - Abu Dhabi - United Arab Emirates
Al Meena Restaurant
A mix of international cuisine.
Price for two: 140 AED
Address: Occidental Sharjah Grand, Al Khan, Sharjah
Nusr-Et Steakhouse Abu Dhabi
This is one of the best places for meat, especially steak, in Abu Dhabi. One of the best things to try here apart from steak is Baklava as the dessert.
Price for Two: AED 1500
Address: The Galleria Level 1 Below Four Seasons Hotel, Abu Dhabi - Abu Dhabi - United Arab Emirates
Meylas Emirati Restaurant – AlMuneera
This Middle Eastern restaurant is located on Al Raha beach and offers delicious Emirati cuisine along with stunning coastal views.
Price for Two: AED 200 - 250
Address: Al Raha Beach - Al Muneera - Abu Dhabi - United Arab Emirates
Best Places to Stay in Abu Dhabi
Bab AlQasr Hotel: Enjoy some gulf views from this 5-star property and make the most of the outdoor pool and the private beach access from here.
Price for 2/night: AED 350
Located in the Sharjah center, this hotel is themed in traditional Arabian aesthetics. It has a beautiful pool in the middle courtyard.
Price for two/night: 240 AED
This is a gorgeous and lavish property that is located on the main street. It offers a bar, a fitness center, and a rooftop pool for the guests to enjoy.
If you want to enjoy a luxurious stay in Abu Dhabi, then this is the best place to stay!
Saadiyat Rotana Resort & Villas: This is an upscale beach resort that features 7 restaurants, a spa, and stunning views of the Gulf.
Frequently Asked Questions About Your Dubai to Abu Dhabi Day Trip
The best places to stay in Abu Dhabi are Bab AlQasr Hotel, Grand Millennium Al Wahda, and ibis Abu Dhabi Gate.
Taking a taxi/car is the quickest and the most convenient way to reach from Dubai to Abu Dhabi.
Abu Dhabi is a beautiful city with lots of amazing attractions and activities. A day trip to Abu Dhabi from Dubai is a great way to explore all these sights in the city.
Yadoo’s House Restaurant & Café, Mezial, and Al Derwaza Restaurant are some of the best places to eat on a Dubai to Abu Dhabi day trip.
YAS Island, Ferrari World, Saadiyat Island are some of the best things to see near Abu Dhabi.
Yes, you can do a full-day tour from Dubai to Abu Dhabi. This can be done with the help of a guided tour or using public transportation.
A taxi from Dubai airport to Abu Dhabi will cost you around AED 335 and will take approximately 1 hour 30 minutes to complete the journey.
Visitors can use ride-hailing apps such as Uber to plan a day trip from Dubai to Abu Dhabi. Generally, Uber charges more than a normal taxi with the price ranging between AED 380 – AED 650, depending on the vehicle chosen for the ride.
There are three bus services available from Dubai to Abu Dhabi – E100, E101, and E102. All these buses are operated by Dubai Roads and Transport Authority (RTA).
It costs AED 25 and 2 hours to reach Abu Dhabi from Dubai using a bus.