Both the capital city of the United Arab Emirates and the eponymous Abu Dhabi emirate (the largest of the seven emirates), Abu Dhabi is the centre of the political, cultural, commercial and industrial activities for the country.
Once a fishing village with a pearling trade, the city has grown to become the second largest city in the UAE (behind Dubai) and a truly cosmopolitan destination, attracting immigrants and expats from around the world.
From stunning beaches and sky-high buildings to modern shopping centres and amusement parks, there is something for everyone in Abu Dhabi.
Cruise passengers can look forward to visiting a modern, family-friendly city that is warm and welcoming to tourists, while staying true to its Arabic heritage.
The cruise port at Abu Dhabi is located near the centre of the city, giving passengers easy access to all that this city has to offer.
The cruise terminal is still a temporary facility, and will remain so while plans for a permanent facility are completed. Though far from the luxury the permanent structure will most likely present, cruisers are still able to access a number of facilities.
Facilities at the port include:
Visitor information desk
How To Get Around
Abu Dhabi boasts a well-developed public transport system, with taxis and buses being relatively cheap to take and easy to access. The most common type of taxi you will see is a silver taxi and they will usually be clearly signed to show if they are available.
Walking is an option, although keep in mind the size of the city and the often intense heat – this can make walking difficult. There are pedestrian walkways and crossings for those wanting to stroll the streets, though.
Travel times from the port:
It is a 20 minute journey to Ferrari World
It is a 30 minute journey to the Abu Dhabi Falcon Hospital.
Currency – The currency in Abu Dhabi is the Emirati Dirham (AED). Notes come in 500, 200, 100, 50, 10 and 5 AED. Coins come in 50 fils and 1 AED. While many vendors and facilities will accept GBP and USD, change will be given in AED, so if you want to avoid carrying local currency, it is generally most practical to use credit cards.
Time Zone – Abu Dhabi runs on Gulf Standard Time (GST), which is 4 hours ahead of Coordinated Universal Time (UTC).
Weather – The climate in Abu Dhabi is classed as hot desert, meaning the city generally enjoys blue skies year-round. The cooler season is from November to March. June through September is typically extremely hot and humid. August is the hottest month in Abu Dhabi, with temperatures reaching an average high of 42.9 degrees Celsius. January is the coldest month, with an average high of 24.1 degrees Celsius.
Shopping – If you are visiting Abu Dhabi, you cannot leave without spending at least a small amount of time shopping. Shopping has been described as a national pastime for locals and visitors alike, so make sure you take advantage of all that’s available. Choose from the traditional souk selling Arabian items or head to one of the ultra-modern malls which have all the latest designers and brands on show. If you aren’t sure where to spend your cash, keep an eye out for local art, wood carvings, perfumes and carpets – these are all treasures you can take with you and appreciate in the future.
Abu Dhabi Falcon Hospital – This veterinary facility for the falcon is the largest of its type in the world, taking in over 11,000 birds each year. It is far from just a medical centre though – when you visit this hospital you can visit the extravagant wards where these feathered creatures take some time off to recuperate, as well as visiting the onsite museum and the free-flying area. You can also try your hand at the sport of falconry if you’re up for it. You’ll find the hospital open to visitors from 10am-2pm, Sunday through Thursday.
Ferrari World Abu Dhabi – Ferrari World Abu Dhabi is the largest indoor theme park. It opened in 2010 and features a variety of rides, thrills and journeys which suit visitors of all ages. Experience fine dining in Italian restaurants and enjoy a number of shops. You can choose from different levels of passes to suit your tastes. Ferrari World is located on Yas Island – you can pre-book tickets to make your day flow more efficiently, or buy on the day.