When you don’t feel like shopping or relaxing by the pool, there are plenty of places to explore in Abu Dhabi where you will always find adventure.
From the foothills of Jebel Hafeet, with its 500 ancient burial tombs, head up the mountain on the winding tarmac road – a great place to show off the grip of your performance car. Near the top of the 1,249m peak – the second highest in the UAE – is the unique mountain oasis resort of the Mercure Grand Jebel Hafeet. From here, enjoy spectacular views of the city of Al Ain below.
For authentic Arabian heritage and old-fashioned hospitality, stay at one of the cabins or Bedouin tents in the Arabian Nights Village. Dine on traditional Arabic dishes and let the oud player and belly dancers take you to another world.
Why not spend a day in the desert dune bashing or camel trekking, then kick back with a cocktail and admire the gorgeous sunset from your verandah.
If you want to explore the wilder flora and fauna, take a seaplane trip to Sir Bani Yas Island. From the comfort of your 4×4, look out for the giraffes, gazelles, cheetahs, hyenas and Arabian oryx that roam the island. Explore the mangroves by kayak and mingle with the flamingos in their natural habitat. Or take a relaxing cruise around the island on an Arabian dhow. If you still need more adventure, try your hand at falconry, archery, or even pearl diving.
Finally, for the more courageous, there’s Tel Moreeb, which, at 300m high, lays claim to being the world’s highest dune. Camp at its base, grill dinner over a campfire and gaze at the stars in the clear desert sky. In the morning, take plenty of water for the hike up the 50° incline to the top of the dune. Here you will have spectacular views of the desert where you might even be lucky enough to spot a rare black camel. Look out for quad bikes or dirt bikes attempting the ascent on the dune’s super-smooth sand.
Whether you are exploring the wildlife or looking for another kind of adventure, you won’t be short of options in and around Abu Dhabi.