In one word, Abu Dhabi is just 'wow'. Often shadowed by its sibling, Dubai, Abu Dhabi is even better. Far away from the blanket of sophistication that Dubai wraps, Abu Dhabi is, in fact, a perfect hybrid of a traditional and a modern city. The capital of United Arab Emirates, Abu Dhabi is also the richest city in the world.

Why Abu Dhabi is a better Family Travel Destination than Dubai
A small family enjoying some time on a beach in Abu Dhabi
A small family enjoying some time on a beach in Abu Dhabi

Travelling with family -

First and foremost, Abu Dhabi is extremely safe for travellers. The crime rate is low and the locals are genuinely friendly. With plenty of attractions to offer, kids and adults alike love this destination. From beaches to desert to amusement parks to wonderful sites, it has so much to offer.

Why Abu Dhabi is a better Family Travel Destination than Dubai
A picture of the marvellous Emirates Palace taken from a drone camera
A picture of the marvellous Emirates Palace taken from a drone camera

Fun things to do -

Abu Dhabi was a desert in the last century. But it has exquisitely transformed itself into one of the most developed cities in Asia. Following are the most fun things to do in the magnificent city:

a Emirates Palace -

Emirates Palace is one of the most magnificent places to visit in Abu Dhabi. It is the most expensive hotel in UAE and is an architectural marvel. If you don't want to spend a lot of money on a stay, consider visiting one of the restaurants to get a view of the interiors.

Why Abu Dhabi is a better Family Travel Destination than Dubai
The mindblowing Ferrari World as seen from the top
The mindblowing Ferrari World as seen from the top

a Ferrari World -

Kids love it. Adults love it. Ferrari World is one of the most popular places among tourists in Abu Dhabi. It has a theme park as well which is home to the fastest roller coaster in the world. For those seeking less thrill, there are 4D adventures, Ferrari Car exhibitions, etc.

Why Abu Dhabi is a better Family Travel Destination than Dubai
Entrance gate to the Abu Dhabi Heritage Village
Entrance gate to the Abu Dhabi Heritage Village

a The skyscrapers -

Although Dubai has much better skyscrapers, Abu Dhabi is not trailing far behind. The city is home to several majestic towers which will make you take out your camera and go on a shooting spree.

Why Abu Dhabi is a better Family Travel Destination than Dubai
The hustling and bustling Central Market in Abu Dhabi
The hustling and bustling Central Market in Abu Dhabi

a Abu Dhabi Heritage Village -

The Heritage Village is a clear winner if you are looking for some free things to do in Abu Dhabi. It has a museum, traditional houses, a beach, etc. This place gives a sneak peek of what Abu Dhabi used to be in the past.

Why Abu Dhabi is a better Family Travel Destination than Dubai
An aerial view of the Abu Dhabi Corniche
An aerial view of the Abu Dhabi Corniche

a The Souk at Central Market -

Central Market is one of the most happening places in Abu Dhabi. Abu Dhabi has quite a few world-class malls, but this one is special. It has the aura of the vintage shopping centre. There are also some cafes and restaurants inside the market.

Why Abu Dhabi is a better Family Travel Destination than Dubai
Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is one of the most beautiful mosques in the world
Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is one of the most beautiful mosques in the world

a Abu Dhabi Corniche -

See the real beauty of Abu Dhabi's skyline from The Corniche. It comprises of parks, eateries, beaches (some of which are open only for families). If you are in the city on, say, New Year's Eve, UAE National Day, any mega event, this would be the best place to see the fireworks and enjoy the celebration.

Why Abu Dhabi is a better Family Travel Destination than Dubai
The exotic Abu Dhabi Beach blanketed with powder white sand
The exotic Abu Dhabi Beach blanketed with powder white sand

a Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque -

If there is one place in Abu Dhabi that everyone should visit, it is the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque. This stunning religious site is made from semi precious stones and Italian Marble. It is the third largest mosque on the planet and has the largest chandelier as well as the longest Persian carpet in the world.

Why Abu Dhabi is a better Family Travel Destination than Dubai
A view from within the Observation Deck at 300
A view from within the Observation Deck at 300

a Warner Bros Studios -

The Warner Bros Studios will open on Yas Island in the last week of July, 2018. It will have more than 20 rides along with theme sites such as Batman, Flintstones, etc.

a Saadiyat Public Beach -

The desert city surprisingly has a beach ... and a pristine one. The beach is long and wide, with soft golden sand. The seawater is clean and clear and the waves are safe for kids as well. One can rent a sunbed and an umbrella, too. There are also lifeguards on duty.

a Observation Deck at 300 -

Etihad Towers is one of the must-visit sites in Abu Dhabi. It is home to the Observation Deck at 300 which allows you to view the entire city. The deck is located 300 metres above the ground, on the 74th floor of the mighty tower.

a Desert Adventure -

From camel safari to riding an ATV, a visit to Abu Dhabi would be incomplete if you miss out on a desert adventure. You can even camp in the desert overnight and get the feel of an Arabian Night.

a Yas Water World -

When you suggest water world to your kids in Abu Dhabi, they will automatically say Yas (yes?). This water park is grand, with as many as 43 rides and slides. The thrill and fun attract people of all ages.

a Yas Marina Circuit -

Explore the iconic Abu Dhabi F1 Grand Prix circuit on foot or bike (cycle). Every Tuesday, visitors are free to borrow cycles and go for a spin. One can also try riding a fast car (think Jaguar XF) on this beautifully crafted race track

a Louvre Abu Dhabi -

This one is a highly recommended place to visit in UAE's capital. It is an architectural marvel. The museum was recently opened and has an exquisite range of art collection. It has paintings made by artists ranging from Leonardo da Vinci to Andy Warhol.

Where to stay -

There are a lot of wonderful places to stay in Abu Dhabi, with plenty of them being ideal for families. Following are some of the best accommodation options for a family:

a Crowne Plaza Yas Island -

Crowne Plaza offers the luxury of a 5-star hotel for the price of a 4-star hotel. Located on Yas Island, Crowne Plaza is an ideal hotel for families. It houses an infinity swimming pool, a kids centre, several dining options, etc.

a Mercure Centre -

Mercure Centre is located at an ideal location, where the popular places of interest lie at a walking distance. There are also a variety of eateries available at nearby locations. The rooms are pretty good and the pricing is within the budget. The hotel also has a pool, a bar, and a few restaurants.

a Grand Millennium Al Wahda Abu Dhabi -

Grand Millennium is the next door neighbour of Al Wahda Mall, making it a perfectly located. The hotel is home to restaurants, health clubs, and a rooftop swimming pool. Guests can stay at deluxe rooms or apartments, specifically eyed for families.

a Vision Links Hotel Apartment 3 -

If you do not fancy staying in typical hotels, then this could be the right choice for you. This hotel offers house-like accommodation. Each apartment has its own kitchen, too. Depending on the desire, guests can avail a studio, one bedroom, or two bedroom apartment.

Food -

When it comes to having food in Abu Dhabi, there will be no problem whatsoever. Being a tourism hotspot, Abu Dhabi caters to all kinds of taste bud. Whether you are a vegan or an avid meat eater, whether you like your food spicy or sweet, whatever your favourite cuisine is, you will surely find it in Abu Dhabi.

Why Abu Dhabi is a better Family Travel Destination than Dubai
Tourists enjoying sandboarding in Abu Dhabi
Tourists enjoying sandboarding in Abu Dhabi

Getting Around -

Being a developed city, getting around in Abu Dhabi is fairly simple. As a tourist, one can consider the following options.

a Taxi -

The simplest way to travel around Abu Dhabi is to take a taxi. Taxis are not too expensive in this city and can be found quite easily.

a Rent a Car -

To be honest, one should consider renting a car for at least a day when visiting Abu Dhabi. The roads are perfectly carved out and it is pretty easy to get your hands on a luxurious car (think of Lamborghini, Ferrari, Jaguar, etc.).

a Hop on, hop off -

The best way to explore the city is by taking a bus tour, especially if you are on a short visit. The hop on, hop off bus is completely air conditioned and offers audio guide in a wide range of languages. It is a much, much better alternative than hiring a car with a driver cum guide. Kids will totally enjoy it.

a Sea Plane -

Taking a sea plane from Abu Dhabi to Dubai or vice versa is a great way to explore the two cities. Passengers get an aerial view of some of the world's tallest towers, including Burj Khalifa.

Why Abu Dhabi is a better Family Travel Destination than Dubai
The roller coaster ride at Yas Water World is insanely amazing
The roller coaster ride at Yas Water World is insanely amazing

Budget -

Abu Dhabi is not as expensive as Dubai, but that does not mean that it is pretty cheap. For a family of four, including a couple and two children, a budget of INR 8000 per day should suffice. It includes local transport, food, and accommodation. Any activities and shopping would, of course, cost you more. Check out Bugyal's Trip Calculator to analyse your daily average expenses.

Why Abu Dhabi is a better Family Travel Destination than Dubai
Yas Marina Circuit illuminated with colourful LED lights
Yas Marina Circuit illuminated with colourful LED lights

Visa -

Indian citizens whose passport is valid for at least six months can get a Tourist Visa for UAE. The visa application fee is around USD 95 to 100, and the visa will be valid for 30 days from the day of arrival. It is essential to have a sponsor to avail a UAE visa.

Why Abu Dhabi is a better Family Travel Destination than Dubai
Saying that Louvre in Abu Dhabi is breathtakingly beautiful would be an understatement
Saying that Louvre in Abu Dhabi is breathtakingly beautiful would be an understatement

How to Reach -

You can take a direct flight from a number of destinations in India. The cost of a return flight will cost you around INR 16000 or more.

Why Abu Dhabi is a better Family Travel Destination than Dubai
A Porsche parked out for rent
A Porsche parked out for rent

When to go -

Throughout the year, numerous tourists visit Abu Dhabi. The city April, May, September, and October are the best months to visit Abu Dhabi.

Why Abu Dhabi is a better Family Travel Destination than Dubai
A sea plane flying over Abu Dhabi
A sea plane flying over Abu Dhabi