Affordable Abu Dhabi: How to make the most of this incredible city for less

Awe-inspiring Abu Dhabi: cutting-edge architecture, Arabian Gulf views, opulent hotels and restaurants, record-breaking theme parks, and the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, famous for its marble, gold, and crystals.

There’s no denying that Abu Dhabi is well known for the most luxurious of experiences. However, you don’t necessarily need to be royalty to enjoy it. The city has plenty to offer to all travelers, especially those looking for a good deal. Here, I’ll help you find some great value options for staying, dining, and exploring affordable Abu Dhabi.


Why choose Abu Dhabi for your next vacation?

Abu Dhabi is a brilliant place to travel for all. Whether you are a lover of culture, music, history, sports, or food, there’s so much to do.
 
Perhaps you just want to sit back and relax, soak up the sunshine, and indulge in some “you time”. Perhaps you’ve got more than enough energy for an action-packed, adrenaline-fuelled break. Whatever your reasons for getting away, Abu Dhabi has what you are looking for.

Here are 5 favorite places to visit in Abu Dhabi that illustrate just how interesting and exciting Abu Dhabi is.

affordable abu dhabi Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque
Affordable Abu Dhabi: Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque

1. The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque

This place of worship is likely to be one of the most ornate places you’ll ever visit. With the world’s largest marble mosaic, handwoven carpet, and third-largest chandelier, this place surely dazzles. Its exterior is astounding: gleaming white, with intricate pillars and marble domes, surrounded by perfect glass-like pools.

It’s also a venue for quiet, calm reflection and provides an essential insight into the history and culture of Abu Dhabi and the rest of the UAE. You can explore it by yourself or as part of a guided tour.  


2. The Yas Island theme parks

Abu Dhabi is gaining a reputation as one of the world’s greatest playgrounds for adventure-seekers and adrenaline junkies, and it’s all down to the trio of record-breaking theme parks on Yas Island. Warner Bros. Abu Dhabi, Ferrari World Abu Dhabi, and Yas Waterworld Abu Dhabi are all here. Between them, there are hundreds of exhilarating rides, but each one offers something completely unique.

  • Ferrari World Abu Dhabi is home to the world’s fastest roller coaster and dozens of motor-sport-themed rides, simulators, and experiences.
  • Yas Waterworld Abu Dhabi features water coasters, action-packed slides, diving experiences, surfing adventures, and much more.
  • Warner Bros. Abu Dhabi is a Hollywood-themed amusement park that brings all your favourite characters to life: the Dark Knight, Fred Flintstone, Bugs Bunny, Scooby Doo and more. Enjoy fun rides and lots of themed dining and shopping; there’s brilliant fun around every corner.

3. Yas Marina

Yas Marina is the backdrop for a whole range of waterside adventures. Stroll along the dock admiring the picture-perfect views or hire a kayak and paddle the nearby mangroves. The Sailing and Rowing Centre offers a full range of watersports.

For thrillseekers, a seaplane can whisk you up into the clouds. Or you can spend an unforgettable day aboard a rented private yacht.  

Yas Marina is also restaurant-central. You can soak up the incredible atmosphere while feasting on fresh seafood, steaks, or whatever strikes your fancy. This is the place to be for sunset views, cocktails, and late-night partying.


affordable abu dhabi louvre
Affordable Abu Dhabi United Arab Emirates: The Louvre

4. The Louvre Abu Dhabi

The Louvre Abu Dhabi is a marvel inside and out. The futuristic building appears to float on water and is a work of art in itself. Inside is the region’s leading art museum, featuring regional treasures, wonders from across the world and through the centuries. It’s a must-visit venue for anyone with an interest in art. 


5. The Grand Prix Weekend 

Sport and adrenaline-fuelled adventure are big in Abu Dhabi. The Etihad Arena regularly hosts world-class sporting events, Yas Marina Circuit offers incredible driving experiences, and CLYMB Abu Dhabi gives visitors the chance to scale the world’s tallest indoor climbing wall.

One weekend a year in Abu Dhabi is extra special, however. It’s the weekend Formula One racing comes to town. The event itself is held at Yas Marina Circuit.

If you are here for this amazing event, you can enjoy an incredible race atmosphere as well as the spectacular concerts and live entertainment that accompany it. Past acts have included Beyonce, Aerosmith, and Eminem.


Where to find the best deals

Abu Dhabi is famous for its warm welcome and is keen to attract visitors from far and wide. For this reason, you’ll find plenty of great deals on accommodation, shopping, dining, and entertainment. Here’s how to track the best offers down.

Staying

Abu Dhabi offers hotels for every budget, from luxury 5-star accommodation to family apartments. Good deals can often be found with all.

Why not explore the range of hotels available on Yas Island? All are close to many visitor attractions and bountiful dining options. You can also currently avail of the excellent Stay and Play packages.

These Abu Dhabi holiday deals combine an outstanding choice of accommodation with entry to one, two, or all three of the island’s theme parks. Alternatively, the Stay and Golf package enables visitors to tee off at Yas Links, the region’s first true Links course. The Stay and Kart offer include a thrilling karting session on the Yas Marina Circuit.  


Dining

Abu Dhabi is ideal for those who want to indulge in a culinary retreat. There’s a truly international dining scene here with some Michelin star chefs creating outstanding cuisine. There are plenty of choices if you want to sample regional cooking like local seafood and flavorsome stews. All your favorite international chains are here, too.

To seek out the best deals, look into lunch menus at your preferred restaurants. They may offer a discount for 2 or 3 courses over lunch. There are often great value afternoon tea options available too.

However, the best value eating in Abu Dhabi is surely a set-price bottomless brunch, offered by some restaurants on Saturdays, but often throughout the week. You can choose from an incredible spread of dishes alongside unlimited drinks. Set prices are usually tiered according to whether you want to opt for soft drinks, house drinks, or champagne.

Depending on your choice of restaurant, you can opt for an opulent, romantic brunch for two or a family-friendly feast, or anything in between. Brunches are a great way to sample lots of different dishes from across the menu, too.


Shopping

Shopping is plentiful in Abu Dhabi, with some of the region’s largest shopping malls. These include Yas Mall, which is home to more than 400 brands and multiple dining and entertainment options. If you’d like to shop at discounted prices, look out for sales events and promotions that accompany Eid, Black Friday, Christmas, New Year, and the National Day holiday. 


Playing

Abu Dhabi’s visitor attractions regularly hold promotional offers so lookout for some great deals.  There are currently excellent discounts available on admission to The Louvre Abu Dhabi, for example. Plus there are really enticing family and friends offers available at CLYMB Abu Dhabi, Warner Bros. Abu Dhabi, and Ferrari World Abu Dhabi.

Discounts for one or more attractions may be presented when you buy entry tickets elsewhere. For example, ticket holders for Yas Island theme parks can currently get discounted entry to CLYMB Abu Dhabi.

Check regularly to spot the latest discounts and promotions. All holidays are a good time to look out for celebratory offers, too.

Abu Dhabi is not only awe-inspiring; it’s accessible and affordable. The warmest of welcomes awaits you in this city. Why wait? Begin planning your adventure in the UAE capital now!


About the author

Mirela Letailleur The Travel Bunny

Mirela Letailleur is a Romanian travel blogger living in the South of France. She writes on The Travel Bunny travel blog about affordable travel in Europe, creator of unique free travel guides, local travel expert. Problem solver. Wannabe coffee guru.

Read more about Mirela Letailleur

Other articles to help you travel to UAE
How to travel in Dubai on a budget
Things to do in Hatta on a road trip from Dubai
Dubai city tours