alot of people would not immediately associate with a Middle Eastern
destination, but Abu Dhabi is different! The local Sheikh has
amassed a unique collection of contempory art by Middle Eastern
artists. Such artist often suffer from condemnation and work away
from their homelands.
Worth a stop over!
This is a spectacular sport and a trip to the races can be one of
the most memorable highlights of a visit to Abu Dhabi. Cheer on the
camels as they clumsily gallop around a specially made track. Races
normally take place on weekend mornings, with additional races on
public holidays. Camel racing season runs from October to April.
For a taste of this sport, head to the Al Wathba Camel Race Track
(about 45km east of Abu Dhabi on the Al Ain Road), or to the Al
Maqam Track near Al Ain. Try to get to the racetracks as early as
possible to soak up the bustling atmosphere. The track opens at
6:30am with races starting from 7:30am to 9am. Entrance to the races
Diving and snorkelling
Many good dive sites are easily accessible from Abu Dhabi, including
wreck or deep water dives and reef dives. It is possible to dive
year round in the warm seas, and there is a rich abundance of marine
life, including barracuda, spotted eagle rays, stingrays, and much
The following companies offer guided dives: Abu Dhabi Sub Aqua Club,
Arabian Divers & Sportfishing Charters, Sea Tourism and Western
Marine Sports Club. There's a range of dives on offer, from Junior
to Master, for PADI certified divers.
Desert safari and dune bashing
A trip to Liwa Oasis, a two hour drive from Abu Dhabi city, starts
with a thrill-a-minute spot of dune bashing. Rent a four wheel drive
from Abu Dhabi, get a good map and explore to your heart's content –
but never go out alone, always make sure there is more than one
vehicle. Navigate bumpy trails through the meandering sands and up
300m dunes. Take in ‘Camel Rock’, ‘Saddle Rock’ and the ancient
Those wanting to take part in a guided trip, can explore old
settlements and camel farms to look at traditional nomadic desert
lifestyles. Take a trip to see a splendid cadre of desert live-stock
and animals, before settling down in tents for a night under the
Get a bird's eye view of the city's landmarks and heritage sites or
experience the majestic Liwa Desert with a Falcon Aviation Services
(FAS) helicopter sightseeing tour. There's a choice of two tours,
experiencing the city's key sights or further a field, departing
from Marina Mall daily. Key visits include Lulu, Reem, Saadiyat and
Yas islands, the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, Yas Marina Circuit and
Ferrari World Abu Dhabi.
Helicopters can seat up to six people; tours last either 20 or 30
Sand boarding and skiing
Boasting the world’s largest dunes, towering hundreds of metres
above the surrounding plains, the Liwa Oasis on the edges of the Rub
al-Khali or Empty Quarter is a sand skier’s paradise. For novice
skiers, daunted by the 300 metre Liwa dunes, skiing down gentler
slopes that stretch across the Abu Dhabi desert may be the place to
start this daring adventure.
A word of caution though: desert temperatures will be quite high
during the day, so aim for the dunes in the early morning. Wear
light clothes, sunglasses and a hat to protect yourself from the
strong sun, and don’t forget to use plenty of sunscreen.
Kayak, sail or wakeboard the waters
Visitors to Al Gharbia’s first specialist watersports service
provider, Western Marine Sports Club (WMSC), can enjoy a wide range
of marine sports and activities, including sailing, pedal boats,
kayaking, paddleboats, wakeboarding, knee boarding, water skiing,
jet skiing, parasailing, floating loungers, fishing and, for the
more relaxed visitors, inflatable bubbles.
The club is based at the Mirfa Hotel and also operates the first,
purpose-built dive centre in Mirfa, complete with qualified Emirati
instructors and guides to bring local knowledge to the experience.