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Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates, is a hot spot year-round for tourists who want to hit the beach. It also boasts a wealth of history and culture that is ripe for exploring. Summer is the slowest time for tourism, as temperatures can get up to 110 degrees Fahrenheit and only dip down to 90 degrees Fahrenheit at night. There are deals for flights and hotels during summer, but the weather can be very uncomfortable. If you can’t handle the heat, try visiting during another time. Fall is busier with tourists, and temperatures are still warm with highs from 82 – 106 degrees Fahrenheit, so be sure you are prepared for the heat by hydrating and using sunscreen. Winter is the most popular time of year for tourists to visit. Temperature highs range from 74 – 82 degrees Fahrenheit, however, with the comfortable weather come higher prices on flights and hotels as well as much bigger crowds. Spring can also be busy, more so in March and April. The weather is warm, with highs from 82 – 106 degrees Fahrenheit. Rain is almost never an issue in Abu Dhabi, so enjoy the dry weather and don’t forget to pack sunglasses and a hat.
Abu Dhabi International Airport is located 19 miles east of the city, and offers many means of transportation to get you into the city.
Hail a taxi outside of any terminal for around 75.00 AED. There are both regular and luxury taxis available, the cost difference is only around 5.00 AED, but you might appreciate the extra baggage space and plush seats of the luxury taxis. The trip to downtown will take you 30 – 35 minutes.
Look for the green and white A1 bus to take you to the city center. It stops outside of Terminals 1 and 2. The fare is 4.00 AED one-way. Hop on and ride for about 45 minutes before getting off at Al Zahiyah.
Car rentals are available at Abu Dhabi International Airport. Be sure to look for the best deals on car rentals with momondo.
It’s possible to explore parts of Abu Dhabi on foot, but if you plan on covering a lot of ground, it’s best to stay out of the heat by using Abu Dhabi transportation with air conditioning.
There are 14 routes that cover the city of Abu Dhabi and will take you to all the major tourist spots. One ride costs 2.00 AED, but you can purchase an Orja pass for 30.00 AED that is good for a week and allows unlimited travel. Buy passes at kiosks by the bus stations.
It’s common to take a taxi in Abu Dhabi as they are affordable and abundant. Taxis can be hailed anywhere it’s safe to stop, just look for the silver car with a yellow top, or they can be booked ahead of time over the TransAD hotline. Fares start at 4.00 AED plus 1.60 AED per mile. You will need cash as taxis do not accept credit cards. Be warned that fares do go up between the hours of 10:00 pm and 6:00 am.
For those who want to explore Abu Dhabi by car, there are plenty of rental options at the airport and at many hotels. To drive in the United Arab Emirates, you must have an international driving license prior to arriving. Parking fees are relatively cheap, at 3.00 AED per hour for up to 4 hours in premium spots, or 2.00 AED per hour for up to 24 hours. Parking is free on Fridays and holidays.
US citizens with a US passport that is valid for more than 6 months do not need to obtain a visa prior to entry to the UAE if the duration of their visit will be less than 1 month. For foreign nationals, please check the Embassy of the United Arab Emirates website.
Abu Dhabi is a winter destination for anyone looking to get away from the cold. However, the city is much more than just sun and surf. Here some of the best things to do while in Abu Dhabi.
It’s a good idea to wear long, loose clothing, both as a way to fend off the heat and to respect the local culture.
Tipping is not expected as a service charge is added to restaurant and hotel bills. However, if the service is exceptional, a tip of 10% – 15% is graciously accepted.