You’ve seen the picturesque movie scenes shot in the dunes of Abu Dhabi and you’ve heard of the wilderness of this beautiful place. Abu Dhabi truly offers the best of everything. But there is one more thing that makes it even more special and unique: its cultural and heritage richness.
Just four hours away by plane, you can marvel at Abu Dhabi’s tall skyscrapers, pristine beaches and fantastic wildlife. And to really immerse yourself in this amazing city, try these exclusive activities you won’t find anywhere else!
1. Fascinating falconry
Practiced for more than 2,000 years, falconry is a traditional Emirati sport that requires patience and cooperation between the falconer and the bird. Traditional falconers have developed special herding and breeding methods over the years and opened them up to people to experience through a variety of desert safaris.
If you want to learn more about this fascinating sport, a visit to the Abu Dhabi Falcon Hospital near the international airport is your best bet. Here you will find a falcon display museum as well as a facility housing free-flying falcons. View hospital tours here.
2. Exquisite Henna
A trip to Abu Dhabi is incomplete if you don’t get a traditional henna (or Mehndi) tattoo! With its roots in Persia, Arabic designs came of age and took the world by storm. Henna began as a temporary form of skin decoration, but grew into a wedding tradition in the Middle East and India. It originated around 5,000 years ago, initially due to its natural cooling properties and was used by people living in the desert. Arabic style henna as we love and know it in India is also very popular as it is said that no design can look the same no matter how hard you try. Get your special henna tattoo in villages or safaris.
3. Clever Saluki Hunt
Super intelligent and extremely fast, the Saluki dog breed has been a hunting/guard dog for the people of the Arabian Peninsula for over 5,000 years. Native to the region, the speed, intelligence and loyalty of this dog make it a breed appreciated around the world. Smooth or feathered, both types of Saluki dogs are the hunting companions of the Bedouins of Abu Dhabi. They usually hunt in packs of two to six where the Salukis lead the chase and the Bedouins follow on horseback or camels. The Abu Dhabi Saluki Center honors desert traditions of hunting, training and breeding Salukis, with visitors learning not only the unique traits of this dog, but also how to care for them. Watch the Falcon and Saluki show at Liwa Desert.
4. Traditional craftsmanship
Discover more about the traditional arts and crafts of the United Arab Emirates at the Al Reef Handicrafts Training Center. You can learn about traditional crafts in this welcoming and educational space. Find the Al Reef Craft Training Center at the Al Ain Sportplex, a family-friendly destination in Abu Dhabi’s lush garden city of Al Ain, home to the 1.6km Al Ain Karting Circuit, cricket, football, paintball and more. Register for your special session.
Apart from these enriching activities, you can also visit Miraj Islamic Center, Emirates National Automobile Museum, UAE Currency Museum and Zayed Center.
Are you ready for this? Book your tickets now!