Is Abu Dhabi safe for females? Don’t know where to stay or what it’s like to travel to Abu Dhabi as a female traveler? What are the top attractions in Abu Dhabi or experiences that you shouldn’t miss on your solo trip?
If you’re looking for answers to all these questions, this post covers all that a traveller should know before visiting Abu Dhabi as a woman.
* Before you travel, check what paperwork or visas are required for Abu Dhabi.
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- Solo Travel in Abu Dhabi
- Things To Do in Abu Dhabi
- Things To See in Abu Dhabi
- Things To Do Around Abu Dhabi
- Getting Around Abu Dhabi
- Best Time To Visit Abu Dhabi
- Facts About Abu Dhabi
Visiting Abu Dhabi as a Woman
For solo female travel Abu Dhabi, be mindful about the Emirati traditions: While the place is welcoming, it also entails you to respect its customs and traditions.
For instance, don’t eat in public during the holy month of Ramadan, and be cautious while taking pictures of certain government structures and locals, particularly Emirati women. Moreover, any kind of PDA is not allowed here.
Mosque Etiquettes: If you plan to visit the region’s religious attractions, the Abu Dhabi dress code insists on dressing modestly, which further indicates covering your hair. Mosques, including Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, make available abayas along with headwear.
Is Abu Dhabi safe for a woman travelling alone? Abu Dhabi is a safe city, but that doesn’t mean that it’s absolutely devoid of any hazards. So be careful when strangers try to befriend you or invite you for a drink. Politely turn down any food/drink offered by unknown people and skip any food/drink left unattended for a long time.
Wondering about the Abu Dhabi dress code? Comfortable loose clothing is recommended for your UAE trip. It’s okay to put on beach wear on the private Abu Dhabi beaches attached to your hotel accommodation. But when you visit an Abu Dhabi mall and other public places, wear dresses that cover your shoulders, arms and knees.
Carry a jacket for your winter Abu Dhabi trip and use a shawl (regardless of your summer or winter visit) as it will be helpful when you visit the remarkably air-conditioned indoor attractions.
Things To Do In Abu Dhabi as a Solo Female Traveller
The United Arab Emirates is made up of seven Emirates, with Abu Dhabi being the capital (not Dubai as you may think).
For things to do alone in Abu Dhabi, there are a vast spectrum of attractions – leisure options, theme parks, and extraordinary cultural experiences, combined with strict Abu Dhabi laws and crime free environment, indicates that Abu Dhabi is a safe Arabian metropolis.
It may not be liberal (when it comes to what you should wear and certain other related aspects), but the place is definitely welcoming with friendly people all around. In fact, it ticks all the boxes for females on the lookout for a safe yet activity-packed solo trip.
1. Spend a day at Yas Island
Whether you’re inclined to have heart-racing fun, exotic experiences, or some vacation adventures in Abu Dhabi, a visit to Yas Island Abu Dhabi is a must during your Abu Dhabi holiday. It’s an all-inclusive leisure and entertainment destination with the following attractions under its roof. Pick the ones that go with your preferences: or look at the activities you can do at Yas Island here
2. Ferrari World Abu Dhabi
This popular tourist destination in Abu Dhabi is the world’s Ferrari-branded theme park. It has some exciting Ferrari-based rides including the world's fastest roller coaster! * Check tickets & availability: Ferrari World
3. Yas Waterworld
For water lovers, one of the best places to visit in Abu Dhabi is Yas Waterworld. It’s a colossal water park which is built to honor the region’s rich pearl diving tradition. It has almost all water rides and attractions imaginable. * Check tickets & availability: Yas Waterworld
4. Warner Bros Abu Dhabi
The one of its kind theme park has six themed sections which breathe in life to your favorite superheroes and cartoon characters such as Batman, Superman, Tom and Jerry, and Scooby Doo. If you love Warner Brothers, you'll love Warner Bros World. * Check tickets & availability: Warner Bros
5. CLYMB Abu Dhabi
The recently opened indoor attraction boasts the world’s largest skydiving chamber as well as the world’s tallest climbing wall.
6. Yas Marina Circuit
This is the venue of the prestigious Abu Dhabi Grand Prix and one of the places to see in Abu Dhabi for motor race enthusiasts. * Check tickets & availability: Yas Marina Circuit
N.b. Some of these attractions such as Yas Waterworld offer ladies only day. So check out its website for more information.
7. Get the best views over Abu Dhabi from the Observation Deck at 300
This observation deck perched on the Jumeirah at Etihad Hotel’s 74th floor offers you the highest yet unrivaled vantage point to take in the capital city’s marvelous city skyline views. * Check prices & availability: Etihad Tower
8. Experience a Desert Safari in Abu Dhabi
This is one of Abu Dhabi activities that you shouldn’t miss! But if you think that this is not safe for solo females, then know that it’s a fully guided excursion with all desert activities, cultural experiences, entertainment and dining included (depending on the type of Abu Dhabi desert safari); just make sure that you take this tour through a reputable service provider.
The rest is assured that it promises you some unforgettable moments as part of your Abu Dhabi trip. It’s likely that you’ll get to enjoy the electrifying ever dune bash, take a camel ride, enjoy belly dance and tanura show, and savor the finest BBQ delights, among others. * Check prices & availability: Desert Safari
9. Relish the real gold at Emirates Palace
The imposing, five-star Emirates Palace Hotel is a photo stop in most Abu Dhabi tours. But if you wish to give a unique twist to your Emirates Palace tour, then head to its Le Café, where you can enjoy ice creams, special cappuccino and camel burgers, all topped with real 23 Karat gold flakes. * See the Palace on a half-day guided city tour
10. Go on a mangrove kayaking trip
This is one of Abu Dhabi’s hidden gems which introduces you to the region’s untouched natural beauty. You can take an eco-tour with a kayaking session to discover the beauty of Mangrove National Park. * Check availability: Kayaking mangrove trip
One of the best activities for women traveling to Abu Dhabi is shopping. Shopping options in Abu Dhabi may not be as extensive or vast as compared to that of in Dubai. That said, you won’t be disappointed checking out its many malls and traditional souks, mainly the Date Market and the Souk Central Market.
Things To See In Abu Dhabi Solo
Sheikh Zayed Mosque
Don’t miss this impressively enormous landmark, particularly if you’re a first-timer in Abu Dhabi. With a capacity to hold 40,000 worshippers, this place of worship is all-white and is captivating for its mix of tranquil lakes, beautiful columns, and elegant minarets. It also has to its credit the biggest chandelier (weighing over nine tonnes) and the largest of its kind carpet. It's one of the places to visit in Abu Dhabi for free; however, you’re expected to cover your hair once inside. * Check prices & availability: Sheikh Zayed Mosque
Qasr Al Hosn
This is a must-experience for history and culture buffs. Once the residence of the royal family and later the seat of government, it’s now transformed into a museum where you can glimpse into the modest Emirati past. There is also a watch tower, which is the oldest of its kind in the region. Besides access to the exhibits that date back to the pre-historic era, your ticket also gives access to the House of Artisans and Bait Al Gahwa, where you’ll get to know everything about the renowned Arabic coffee – its importance in Emirati heritage, its authentic preparation and how it served.
Louvre Abu Dhabi
This magnificent structure on Abu Dhabi’s Saadiyat Island gives you the chance to discover the Arab World’s first universal museum. See the treasured masterpieces of brilliant artists such as Vincent Van Gogh, Leonardo da Vinci, etc., and most importantly, immerse yourself in its striking architecture that creates a rain of light effect with a massive perforated dome of over 180 meters in diameter. This tourist spot in Abu Dhabi is thanks to the design by Jean Nouvel, the award-winning French architect. * Check prices & availability: Louvre Abu Dhabi
Qasr Al Watan
This awe-inspiring segment of Abu Dhabi’s Presidential Palace Complex gives you a slice of the region’s unmatched royalty and extraordinary architectural style. Trace the footsteps of international dignitaries and world leaders as you explore its several fascinating sections, including the Great Hall, Presidential Banquet, Presidential Gifts, Governance and Spirit of Collaboration, House of Knowledge and Qasr Al Watan Library with more than 50,000 books. You’ll also be able to watch Palace in Motion – the unique light and show. * Check prices & availability: Qasr Al Watan
Abu Dhabi Falcon Hospital
The falcon is the UAE’s national bird and has always been integral to the rich Emirati culture and heritage. So know how these birds are given expert medical care at Abu Dhabi Falcon Hospital which is the first as well as largest of its kind in the world.
All in all, Abu Dhabi is a great place to trip solo. The Abu Dhabi tourist attractions are mind-blowing. There are superb dining choices and, most of all, exceptionally hospitable people.
Things To Do Around Abu Dhabi
Discover Al Ain
Placed about 170 kilometers from Abu Dhabi city, Al Ain is probably the greenest of all places in the UAE. That’s not all; it’s the country’s only place to be included in the UNESCO World Heritage Site list. You’ll get to visit Qasr Al Muwaiji, the birthplace of the UAE’s president (Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan), discover the ancient Al Jahili Fort, and even ascend to Jebel Hafeet which is the UAE’s second highest peak.
Now if you want to escape from all, take a tour to Al Ain Oasis; it will take your breath away with its unequaled lush surroundings with over 150,000 palm trees which more interestingly are irrigated by the traditional falaj system, dating back to over 3000 years. * Check prices & availability: Al Ain
Make a trip to Liwa Oasis
Feeling adventurous or looking for an authentic Arabian retreat, head to one of the must-visit places in Abu Dhabi. Take a trip to Liwa Oasis, which is at the edge of the colossal Empty Quarter, or Rub al Khali, which is not only the largest desert in the Arab Peninsula but also the largest sand desert in the world. A blend of ancient forts, charming camel farms and towering dunes such as Moreb dunes of over 200 meters height make your Liwa oasis truly extraordinary.
Travel From Abu Dhabi To Dubai: If you're traveling to Abu Dhabi, why not see Dubai at the same time? A short drive of less than two hours will lead you to the UAE’s most glamorous city. From Burj Khalifa, the Dubai Mall and Dubai Frame to Burj Al Arab and the man-made Palm Jumeirah Island, there is a lot to see here. Depending on the number of hours or days you wish to spend here, you can sign up for a dhow cruise, enjoy a trip to its theme parks, such as IMG Worlds of Adventure or plan a whole day at Dubai Parks and Resorts.
When you're travelling to Abu Dhabi, if you do book any tours within Abu Dhabi or on a day trip outside of the Emirate, it's recommended to book your transfers with your tour.
Getting Around Abu Dhabi
To get around in the city, you can consider a private transfer with a driver through the company of a professional tour or instead opt to travel in the public buses or cabs which are equally safe.
Best Time To Visit Abu Dhabi
If you enjoy pleasant weather, outdoors and distinct seasonal events, the best time to visit here is between November and April. As it’s also the peak season, be ready to pay quite a good amount of money for accommodation and airline tickets.
However, this may not be the case when you plan to visit here in the summer months, especially from June to August. These are the hottest months in Abu Dhabi. The scorching heat may not allow you to enjoy the outdoors, but its many indoor Abu Dhabi attractions will keep you busy throughout.
Facts About Abu Dhabi
- Abu Dhabi is the capital as well as the largest city in the UAE (United Arab Emirates).
- With about 700 kilometers of coastline, it has over 200 islands, apart from desert landscape and mountains.
- Being part of the Islamic country, the Abu Dhabi culture and traditions are greatly inspired by its religion.
- Abu Dhabi’s literal meaning is Father of the Gazelle.
- Abu Dhabi is one of the region’s largest producers of dates.
- When it comes to architectural marvels, Abu Dhabi may not be as popular as its neighbour, Dubai. But, it’s still noteworthy for its structures like Aldar HQ and the Capital Gate Building which is also a Guinness World Record holder for its leaning tower.
- Abu Dhabi is about 150 kilometers away from Dubai, which is roughly two hours’ drive away.
Important Numbers For Abu Dhabi
- Ambulance: 998
- Police: 999
- Customer Protection: 800 555
About the Author
Neha is a post-graduate in Mass Communications who loves to write about her travel experiences. In her spare time, she loves listening to music and plans her next travel adventure.