The 10 Things You Must Know While Travelling To Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi, besides being the capital city of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), is also the largest among the Emirates, taking up about 80% of the UAE’s landmass. From a traveler’s point of view, Abu Dhabi is definitely more conservative than Dubai which is why, these 10 Things You Must Know While Travelling To Abu Dhabi. The city’s regimented system is deeply rooted in the tenets of Islam. Also, it is more laid back and relaxed when compared to Dubai’s hectic pace of life.

Abu Dhabi, interestingly, is also the UAE’s richest emirate. From a global oil resource point of view, you’ll be intrigued to learn that Abu Dhabi holds nearly 10% of the crude oil supply in the world.  There are several things you should know before you travel to Abu Dhabi, pertaining to the city’s customs and also what’s best to enjoy in the city.

  1. 10 Things You Must Know While Travelling To Abu Dhabi : What To Wear While In Abu Dhabi

  • Public Places: Both women and men must wear clothing that covers both shoulders and knees.
  • Beach: Both women and men are allowed to wear tiny swimsuits on the beach, but a total cover-up is necessary when off the beach.

All indoor spaces are fully airconditioned and cold at times, so always carry a light shawl or jacket with you.

  1. 10 Things You Must Know While Travelling To Abu Dhabi : What Language To Speak 

In Abu Dhabi, 4 and 5 star hotel staff will speak English, but not all Arabic-speaking people will be comfortable with English. Learn a few words in Arabic, at least for Thank You, Hello, Water, and Help and so on while in Abu Dhabi.

  1. 10 Things You Must Know While Travelling To Abu Dhabi : How To Get Around In Abu Dhabi 

10 Things You Must Know While Travelling To Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi does not have a sophisticated Metro line as does Dubai. Taxis are easy to find, and since petrol is cheap, going to places by taxi is easy on your wallet. You can book by calling the TransAD hotline +971 600 535353. Not all of Abu Dhabi taxies are equipped with a meter, though. Best to avoid these, and best to negotiate rates in advance of the journey. If you’re a woman traveler, look for pink taxis which are driven only by female drivers. While riding in a taxi, avoid giving street names, as some of these are confusing. Most drivers recognize the names of hotels, shopping malls and buildings though.

  1. 10 Things You Must Know While Travelling To Abu Dhabi : When’s The Best Time To Visit Abu Dhabi? 

Since Abu Dhabi has sunny weather all year, you can visit at any time. Summer months though, can be uncomfortably hot. So if heat bothers you, visit during October and May, when the weather is pleasant.

  1. 10 Things You Must Know While Travelling To Abu Dhabi : How To Deal With The Heat?

10 Things You Must Know While Travelling To Abu Dhabi

If you’re in Abu Dhabi during the peak hot season, be sure to carry a few pairs of sunglasses with you. The wraparound style of glasses works best, as it’ll keep the sensitive skin around your eyes covered.

Wear loose cotton clothing; other materials, even silk, can make you perspire a lot. Wear light colors, especially white, and avoid wearing black at all costs. Keep your head covered with a scarf, and keep drinking water throughout the day.

  1. 10 Things You Must Know While Travelling To Abu Dhabi : How To Respect The Local Laws

10 Things You Must Know While Travelling To Abu Dhabi

  • Ramadan: Before booking your holiday, be aware that the holy month of Ramadan begins 10 days earlier each year. Muslims fast from dawn until dusk during this month, and all eateries are closed during the day. Be sure to respect the laws against eating and drinking in public to respect those who are fasting.


  • Alcohol: You can purchase alcohol at restaurants, bars and nightclubs, but do not drink while out on the streets. Being even slightly drunk in public could earn you a hefty fine and even a night in jail.


  • No PDA: Men and women must not touch, hug or kiss in public. This is a very strict law and offenders can be fined, jailed or deported depending on the seriousness of the crime.


  • No Drugs: The UAE does not tolerate drugs, narcotic or otherwise. So if you’re carrying even a tiny joint of weed, best discard it before getting on the plane. If you’re taking medications, be sure you carry your doctor’s prescription and a thorough diagnosis of your condition. The decision of the customs officials is final in any case, so if they don’t allow your medications to pass through, you may have to do without them.
  1. 10 Things You Must Know While Travelling To Abu Dhabi : What Are The Best Things To Do In Abu Dhabi?

10 Things You Must Know While Travelling To Abu Dhabi

Some of the best uniquely UAE-activities that you can enjoy in Dubai are to enjoy an Abu Dhabi desert safari and a dhow cruise. Abu Dhabi also has the world’s only Ferrari-themed park, Ferrari World, in Yas Island; it’s definitely worth a visit. Also make it a point to unique landmarks such as the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, constructed entirely of Macedonian marble, with the largest chandelier and the largest carpet in the world. Women must wear the black abaya and cover their heads and men must cover their legs and head before entering the mosque.

  1. 10 Things You Must Know While Travelling To Abu Dhabi : How To Get The Most Of The Trip 

10 Things You Must Know While Travelling To Abu Dhabi

Before planning your Abu Dhabi trip, watch out for special events around your visit. You could get the chance to attend an international star’s concert, attend unique exhibitions, sales and sporting events. The Abu Dhabi Formula 1 Grand Prix takes place in November, which is usually thronged by tourists.

  1. 10 Things You Must Know While Travelling To Abu Dhabi : What’s The Best Way To See Abu Dhabi?

10 Things You Must Know While Travelling To Abu Dhabi

Sign up for a city-wide Abu Dhabi city tour, offered by several local tour operators. You can sit back in the comfort of a luxury, fully airconditioned bus and be taken to all the famous landmarks in the city, including the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, Yas Island and others.

  1. 10 Things You Must Know While Travelling To Abu Dhabi : To Tip Or Not To Tip? 

Be sure to tip your waiter, driver, hotel staff and car valet for good service. However, in high-end dining establishments, a 10% gratuity is automatically added to the bill to cover tips. Check your bill before leaving a tip in such cases.



There’s a lot to see and do in Abu Dhabi, and you can have a wonderful and fun trip as long as you are respectful of the city’s laws. While in Abu Dhabi, do check out the new cultural district at Saadiyat Island. The new Abu Dhabi Louvre is coming up there along with a branch of the Guggenheim museum.


About the Author :

Sagar is a foodie by heart who also loves to explore places on his own. He wants to convert his hobbies into profession and even aspires to open his own travel website along with a Chinese restaurant. His Blog –



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  1. Courtney CJ

    I had no idea about those pink taxis, but I absolutely love it. I would love to have that experience. I am currently stalking flight deals because I really would like to get to the UAE before the end of this year. I certainly appreciate your tips. After experiencing Ramadan in Morocco, I feel as though I will be better versed and prepared for my next visit to a Muslim country.
    Courtney CJ recently posted…A First-Timer’s Guide to Flying Coach On Emirates AirlinesMy Profile

  2. Rashmi and Chalukya

    Abu Dhabi is high on the list, especially for the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque. The grandeur mosque and its architecture is awe-inspiring. These are some interesting facts some of which we weren’t aware of. It’s always good to be advised on things not to do when visiting a new destination to be on the safer side and also to observe the customs and beliefs of locals with respect.
    Rashmi and Chalukya recently posted…Reasons Why Bali is on Top of our Bucket ListMy Profile

  3. Laura Nalin

    I’m so looking forward to seeing Abu Dhabi at some point. I’d love to see the mosques and just experience the culture as it’s so different than my own or anywhere else I’ve lived/visited. Thanks for all these great tips!

  4. Mariella Molestina

    Good blog post! Very recommended to read and know before you go visit very conservative destinations. My best friend went to Abu Dhabi for her wedding anniversary and she literally was the only one wearing a bikini, while the rest of the women were wearing Burka bikinis (if thats even the right name for it!) I always tell people to be very well informed about the destinations they are going on before hand! Loved your post!
    Mariella Molestina recently posted…It’s Always Beer O’Clock In Dublin! Visiting The Guinness Storehouse.My Profile

  5. James

    I had the problem of getting around Abu Dhabi, those female driven taxis look perfect for solo travelers, especially if they have a meter. The Abu Dhabi desert tour at sunset must be amazing! A city wide Abu Dhabi tour including the mosque sounds perfect too.

  6. Mel Butler

    I have only been in Abu Dhabi briefly when I have flown to Australia. Though I have been curious to stop there longer and visit the city. But because of the laws I have been a bit weary about visiting. What interesting facts, I never knew that it was the UAE’s richest emirate and that they hold nearly 10% of the crude oil supply in the world that is a lot. What a good informative post on what you can and cannot do. Btw I like the idea of the pink taxis with women drives, something I would not expect.
    Mel Butler recently posted…Sunrise hike and Breakfast on an Alpine Farm Morgins SwitzerlandMy Profile

  7. Abigail Sinsona

    I have read many blogs about Abu Dhabi (and Dubai too!) so I am curious to go! This is such a helpful guide for those visiting these cities for the first time. I have heard about some of these based on experiences from my friends who have traveled there.

  8. Emma Lomas

    Abu Dhabi is a hidden gem! I’ve travelled to the city 5 times, and actually prefer it to the metropolitan city of Dubai! All the information you’ve highlighted is important when visiting, especially knowing what to wear in public, as Abu Dhabi is a lot less Westernised than Dubai.
    Ferrari World and Yas Waterworld are awesome, a great day out!

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