There has been increased interest in Abu Dhabi in recent years; the tourism industry has taken notice of the UAE’s rich culture, friendly people, and extremely luxurious hospitality industry. Abu Dhabi is an incredible place for travellers who are looking for something new and exciting. If you’ve read this far, then you’re probably considering visiting the city and perhaps taking Grayline’s Abu Dhabi city tour. This blog post will give you an idea of what to expect during your private city tour of Abu Dhabi.
Visit Abu Dhabi for a taste of the UAE's rich culture
Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque
Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is one of the largest and most beautiful mosques in the world and is an incredible sight from a distance, due to its huge size (290m by 420m) and stunning white marble exterior. The mosque is the largest in the UAE, making it the main place of worship during celebrations such as Eid and Friday gathering. Usually, the mosque holds around 30,000 people, but over 41,000 people visit during Eid!
On the tour, you will be shown around the mosque and given ample opportunity to admire the incredible craftsmanship and materials used in its construction. But you will also learn about the mosque’s history. Although the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque was only completed in 2007, an impressive 11 years after construction had begun, it has a fascinating history and ultimately exists due to Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the late president of the UAE, who wanted to build a mosque that would help unite the people of the Islamic world, connecting them through shared culture, history, and societal values. There are numerous activities and educational programs in place to ensure that Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is as culturally significant as it is visually and architecturally impressive.
Within the mosque, you will be given the opportunity to admire historic Islamic art and appreciate its incredible landscaping. There’s nothing like it anywhere in the world and it’s a brilliant start to your private tour of Abu Dhabi!
Saadiyat Island – The Louvre Abu Dhabi
On the tour, you will visit Saadiyat Island, which is the home of the Louvre Abu Dhabi. The UAE and the French Government made an agreement when they decided to set up the Louvre Abu Dhabi; it was established to serve as a bridge between East and West, to champion art from around the world, thus bringing people together through art. This sense of optimism and enthusiasm is a massive part of the culture in the UAE and its Louvre museum embodies these ideals perfectly.
The Louvre Abu Dhabi (Credit: thefool0803 via Flickr)
The museum has been linked with France’s Louvre for the next thirty years: the two museums share a common name and the two establishments have agreed to share works between each other for special events and exhibitions. The Louvre Abu Dhabi was designed by the esteemed French Architect Jean Nouvel, who has a considerable portfolio of museums and buildings in many of the biggest cities in the world, including Seoul, London, Paris, Barcelona, Copenhagen, Doha, Kuala Lumpur, and now Abu Dhabi.
The Louvre Abu Dhabi is located on the vibrant Saadiyat Island and was established in November 2017. Still a relatively new project, it’s an exciting time to visit the site and find out a little more about the 35,000 different artworks and historical pieces contained inside. Perhaps the most striking thing about the building isn’t its art, but the architecture itself, with the incredible dome which seems to float, unattached to the rest of the structure. If you’d liked to spend a little longer here, we have a different tour that combines the Sheikh Zayed Mosque with the Louvre Museum.
Fruit and Dates Market at Abu Dhabi Harbour
After visiting the Grand Mosque and Saadiyat Island, you will be taken to Abu Dhabi harbour to visit the fruit and dates market. For those who relish the opportunity to try another country’s cuisine, the market is the pulse of the city’s vibrant food culture, with plenty of variety and peerless quality. You’ll find the locals are friendly and happy to talk to you about their produce. If you want to, you may be able to haggle over the price of the various food sold at the market. If food is often the main reason you travel to new places, then you may be interested in our dining at the Emirates Palace package.
Grayline’s half-day city tour of Abu Dhabi is a brilliant way to get acquainted with the largest city in the Emirates and it’s the perfect way to see many of the most significant attractions in one day, giving you more time to spend in the Louvre Abu Dhabi or Ferrari World, the world’s largest in-door theme park. If you have any questions about this tour or any of our Abu Dhabi tours, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. Plan your next big adventure in the UAE today!