Attractions Nearby Abu Dhabi, Day Trips and Excursions

(Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, UAE)

Aerial photo of Dubai's seven-star Burj Al Arab HotelOutside of Abu Dhabi and within the other six Arabian emirates are a very appealing mixture of attractions, well connected by road. Nearby attractions include the Al Ain, Kish Island and also Mina Jebel Ali, which is a popular day trip destination from Abu Dhabi and features a beachfront stretching more than 15 km / 9 miles alongside the Arabian Gulf.

A truly unique desert city and quite unlike anywhere else in the world, Abu Dhabi has transformed itself in the past few decades, by building spectacular resort complexes, acclaimed golf courses, and some of the tallest skyscrapers on the planet. Dubai is one of the most notable of all the nearby excursions from Abu Dhabi and its endless attractions stand to the north-east of the city, being roughly a one and a half hour drive down the highway.

Dubai beachfront picture


The Palm Islands of Dubai have become rather famous attractions and these man-made islands are simply enormous, boasting some 500 km / 311 miles of beachfront alone. Those looking for a sunny beach holiday will soon realise that the white sandy beaches around the Jumeirah are particularly special and overlooked by the famed seven-star Jumeirah Beach Hotel, which resembles a sail in its overall shape. Nearby, the Wild Wadi water park is a great way to cool down in the hot Arabian sunshine.

Abu Al Abyad

Formerly known as Abu al Jirab, Abu Al Abyad is the biggest of approximately 200 individual islands and lies some 125 km / 78 miles to the south-west of Abu Dhabi and just 3 km / 2 miles from the shoreline of the United Arab Emirates. Abu Al Abyad is a typical offshore island within the beautiful Arabian Gulf, sited in the waters separating the mainland, which are especially shallow and sheltered. Known for its strong connections with the pearl fishing industry, attractions on Abu Al Abyad are often related to this heritage. There are also more than 50 archaeological sites spread around the island, and the chance to spot some spectacular wild Arabian Oryx wandering around.

Al Ain view

Al Ain

Often referred to as the UAE's 'Garden City' and located directly east of Abu Dhabi, Al Ain is around 140 km / 87 miles away, being easily reached in just two hours by bus. There is a range of tempting attractions to be found within Al Ain, making this a very popular day trip. Those coming here may like to visit the Jebel Hafeet, which is actually the second-highest mountain within the whole of the United Arab Emirates. The Camel Souq (market) may also be of interest, along with the Al Ain Museum and Fort, and also the Al Ain Oasis, where literally thousands of mature palm trees await.

Kish Island image

Kish Island

The Iranian Island of Kish has become something of a major tourist resort and is situated 17 km / 11 miles off the coast of mainland Iran, within the Persian Gulf. Relatively close to Abu Dhabi, those wishing to pay a visit to Kish Island will be pleased to find that you will not need a visa for short excursions. Attractions on Kish Island include coral sand beaches, crystal-clear waters suitable for snorkelling and stunning scenery - since this ranks amongst the most beautiful island resorts that the Middle East has to offer. Families in particular enjoy visiting the Kish Dolphin Park, the Mysteries of the World Zoo and the Green Tree Park.

Mina Jebel Ali

Jebel Ali can be found to the north-east of Abu Dhabi, where is has become the biggest residential development in the UAE, after only Dubai. The attractions of Jebel Ali are extensive and tend to relate to the picture-postcard coastline. These include an enormous harbour and port (the Kasbah Liberty Centre), plenty of notable restaurants and shops, golf and a choice of water sports, such as windsurfing, water skiing and exciting banana boat rides.