12 hour stop over in Abu Dhabi
On our way to China with Etihad at the end of April, we did a 12 hour stop-over in Abu Dhabi. Abu Dhabi is the capital and the second most populous city of the United Arab Emirates.
Of course you can use a taxi or public transportation to move around but because of time, flexibility and price we choosed to hire a car. To hire a car in Abu Dhabi is really cheap. Usually, you pay between 20 and 30 Euro. We paid 40 Euro as we booked for 2 drivers. Driving around Abu Dhabi is really easy and parking is free. At least we did not need to pay in any place. We got an automatic yellow Ford Figo.
After we got the car and did all the administration it was about 7.30 AM when we left the airport. We planned to do our first stop at the Sheikh Zayed Mosque. But it was still closed when we arrived. Ok, so lets do the mosque later. Oh, keep to the speed limit while driving, there are a lot cameras around and penalties are high. It was already quite hot at about 9 AM but still doable. We stopped at the Corniche Promenade and had a short walk around there.
Etihad Towers and Emirates Palace
It was getting hotter and hotter and I suggested to go to the Etihad Towers. When we arrived there, we realized that we have two things at the the same place: The Emirates Palace Hotel as well as the Etihad Towers just opposite. First, we did not realize that the Palace was a hotel and thought it is a really fancy and expensive restaurant. When you are in Abu Dhabi, definately have a walk around this Hotel! It is one of the most expensive Hotels in the world. Inside the buildings, you obviously do not feel the heat as everywhere is AC.
But only the 10 minute walk from the Emirates Palace Hotel to the Etihad Towers was more than enough. It was wayyyy tooooo hot!!! Going up the Etihad Towers costs 75 AED but you can tranfer the entrance fee to a voucher to buy something to eat or to drink at at the top of Abu Dhabi.
Do not expect to have a great meal as it is really expensive. Either you have a coffee or a really expensive sandwich or just a salad. But it is really worth going up the Towers. The view is great! You cann overlook the whole of Abu Dhabi.
Our last stop before visiting the mosque and going back to the airport was the Marina shopping Mall. We wanted to eat something and as we did not want to walk around for a long time and search for something. I can advise to have a snack at the mall as you can find cheap and tasty food.
The Sheikh Zayid Mosque
Finally, we are on our way to the mosque. In the meantime, I read that it is actually a good time (it was around 4 PM, end of April) as you can see the sunset which was starting around 6~7PM and is not only beautiful to watch but also to take some nice photos. The mosque is just incredible! We saw many cool things in Abu Dhabi but only visiting the mosque is worth a stop-over! If you have only a few hours time then go and see it! It was the most beautiful mosque I have seen so far and I saw already quite a few.
What we did not see was the Ferrari World. We actually wanted to stop there shortly to only take a photo there but we spent too much time in the mosque so we had to go straight to the airport.
My recommended list for a stop over in Abu Dhabi
- Sheikh Zayid Mosque
- Etihad Towers (going up costs 75 AED, the entrance fee can be used as a voucher on the top)
- Emirates Palace
- Corniche Promenade
- Marina Mall
(6. Ferrari World – we did not do that)
(7. Louvre Abu Dhabi – we neither did that)