Abu Dhabi is the capital of the United Arab Emirates and is one of the most modern and affluent cities in the world. The city is home to a number of iconic landmarks and attractions, many of which are free to visit.
If you want to explore the best of what Abu Dhabi has to offer, be sure to add these 12 free attractions to your list:
1. Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque
Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is one of the largest mosques globally and is considered one of the most beautiful. It’s free to enter, and you can explore the spacious interior and exterior at your leisure. Be sure to dress modestly when visiting (cover your shoulders and knees, and wear a headscarf if you’re a woman), and remember to take your shoes off before entering the prayer hall.
The unique thing about this mosque is that it’s open to people of all religions. Non-Muslim visitors are welcome every day except Friday. You can join a free guided tour, which operates in English and Arabic.
2. Emirates Palace
If you want to see what an opulent palace looks like, Emirates Palace is the place to go. This lavish hotel is one of the most expensive ever built, and its public areas are open to non-guests, so you can explore without spending a fortune.
The building is incredible, with a striking marble exterior and luxurious features throughout. Don’t miss the chance to try some gold-leaf infused Arabic coffee in the cafe or take a photo with one of the world’s most expensive cars in the lobby. You can also visit the onsite museum, which has a collection of fabulous Emirates-themed art.
3. The Corniche
The Corniche is a long, palm-lined waterfront promenade that stretches 8 kilometers (5 miles) along the Abu Dhabi coastline. It’s a great place to come for a walk, cycle, or skate, and there are plenty of cafes and restaurants along the way if you need refreshments.
If you’re feeling active, you can also try your hand at kite surfing or stand-up paddleboarding (SUP). These activities are available for a fee, but plenty of free things to do along the Corniche. Such as people watching, taking in the views, or simply relaxing on the beach.
4. Yas Island
Yas Island is an artificial island just off the coast of Abu Dhabi, and it’s home to a range of attractions, including Ferrari World, Yas Waterworld, and Yas Marina Circuit.
There’s also a great selection of hotels, restaurants, and bars, making it the perfect place to stay for a few days if you want to explore all that Abu Dhabi offers.
While entry to the island’s attractions does come at a cost, there are plenty of free things to do on Yas Island. You can relax on one of the many beaches, walk or cycle around the island’s perimeter, or explore the mangroves by kayak or stand-up paddleboard.
5. Ferrari World Abu Dhabi
Ferrari World Abu Dhabi is a must-visit for any car enthusiast. This indoor theme park is home to the world’s fastest roller coaster and a range of other adrenaline-pumping rides and attractions.
There’s still plenty to see and do if you’re not into thrill rides. You can explore the Ferrari museum, get up close to some of the world’s most iconic cars, or simply enjoy the views from the top of the park’s signature red roof.
Entry to Ferrari World Abu Dhabi is not free, although many other things are free in it.
6. Warner Bros. World Abu Dhabi
Warner Bros. World Abu Dhabi is a must-visit for any fan of the classic Warner Bros. cartoons. This massive indoor theme park is home to rides, shows, and attractions based on your favorite characters, including Bugs Bunny, Superman, and Batman.
Even if you’re not a huge fan of cartoons, you’ll still have a blast at Warner Bros. World Abu Dhabi. The park is incredibly well designed and offers something for everyone, regardless of age or interests.
The entry fee for Warner Bros. World Abu Dhabi is quite reasonable, especially when you consider the size and scale of the park. However, if you’re on a tight budget, there are plenty of free things to do in the park, such as exploring the many shops and restaurants or taking a photo with your favorite character without any charges.
7. Abu Dhabi Falcon Hospital
The Abu Dhabi Falcon Hospital is one of the unique places globally. This hospital is dedicated to the care and treatment of falcons, an essential part of Emirati culture.
Even if you’re not a bird lover, the Abu Dhabi Falcon Hospital is still worth visiting. The hospital offers tours that give you an insight into the fascinating world of falconry, and you’ll get to see these incredible birds up close.
The Abu Dhabi Falcon Hospital tours are free, making this one of the best things to do in Abu Dhabi if you’re on a budget.
8. Saadiyat Beach Club
Saadiyat Beach Club is one of the best places to relax and soak up the Abu Dhabi sun. This beach club offers a range of facilities, including a swimming pool, a private beach, and a selection of restaurants and bars.
If you want to use the facilities at Saadiyat Beach Club, you’ll need to purchase a day pass. However, there’s no need to spend any money if you just want to enjoy the beach. You can relax on the sand, swim in the sea, or simply take in the stunning views without paying off.
9. Qasr Al Hosn
Qasr Al Hosn is one of the most important historical sites in Abu Dhabi. This fort was built in 1790 and was once the home of the ruling family of Abu Dhabi.
Today, Qasr Al Hosn is open to the public and houses a museum that tells the story of the fort and its role in the history of Abu Dhabi.
In addition to the museum, you can also explore the grounds of Qasr Al Hosn, which offer stunning views of the city.
10. Heritage Village
Best Places to Visit in Abu Dhabi for Free is Heritage Village
The Heritage Village is a must-visit for anyone interested in the culture and history of Abu Dhabi. This open-air museum recreates a traditional Emirati village, complete with demonstrating traditional crafts such as pottery and weaving.
In addition to being a great place to learn about Emirati culture, the Heritage Village is also a beautiful spot for photos. The colorful buildings and traditional architecture make it one of the most photogenic places in Abu Dhabi. Most importantly, the entry is free, making it easy on your wallet.
11. Mushrif Central Park
Mushrif Central Park is one of the best places to spend a day in Abu Dhabi. This vast park offers plenty of space to relax, play sports, or go for a walk or run.
There are also several attractions within Mushrif Central Park, such as a playground, water park, and animal farm.
In addition to the attractions, Mushrif Central Park is also a great place to spot some of Abu Dhabi’s wildlife. The park is home to several birds and reptiles, so keep your eyes peeled as you explore.
Mushrif Central Park is completely free to enter and is open daily from sunrise to sunset.
12. Camel Market
The Camel Market is one of the unique places in Abu Dhabi. This market is dedicated to selling camels, and you can find everything from camel meat to camel milk.
If you’re not interested in buying anything, the Camel Market is still a great place to visit. It’s a fascinating glimpse into Emirati culture, and you’ll get to see these incredible animals up close.
The Camel Market is located in the Al-Ain area of Abu Dhabi and is open daily from 6 am to 7 pm. There’s no entry fee, making this one of the best free things to do in Abu Dhabi.
These are just a few of the many great places in Abu Dhabi for free. Whether you’re interested in history, culture, or simply want to enjoy the outdoors, you’ll find plenty of options. So don’t let a tight budget stop you from exploring all that this fantastic city has to offer.