Dubai vs Abu Dhabi- which one is best to visit?


If you’re planning on traveling to the UAE, you may search for some of the perfect combination of culture and modern comforts that Emirates have to offer. However, the question arises, that what’s your expectations and focus for explorations.  Keep in consideration, both Dubai and Abu Dhabi have amazing attractions for Western visitors to enjoy. In order to help you decide whether you visit Dubai or Abu Dhabi, let’s make a guide comparing some significant points in terms of tourism, activities, and luxuries.

Both cities, Abu Dhabi and Dubai are located on the South coast of the Persian Gulf. Dubai is also known as the largest city in the Emirates, and densely populated. It is typically a popular destination for travelers for explorations because it has a modern urban vibe with Boat rental Dubai and plenty of other family-style attractions.

  • Dubai

Dubai, the city of gold is home to the most iconic building on Earth, name as the Burj Khalifa. This tallest man-made structure in the world, has an impressive observation deck including multiple stories in the tower. You can panoramic vistas of the city as well as ocean below.

Along with this, Dubai also offers the most luxury hotels on a scale unheard of outside of the Emirates. The Burj Al Arab is one of the world’s most elite hotels to stay there. Dhow cruise Marina is quite popular for dinner among locals and tourists.

Moreover, if you’re a fan of theme parks, Dubai is unrivaled when it comes to these attractions. As far as water parks go, Dubai could also be a top destination. In terms of museums, the city is home to smaller cultural attractions including the Dubai Museum, the Etihad Museum, as well as the fascinating, Hatta Heritage Village.

  • Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi is just an hour away from Dubai.  When the tourists look for some places to go similar to Dubai, Abu Dhabi offers than glitz and glam. However, with a little less hectic energy, it’s the capital city of the Emirates as well as the second most populated city. Abu Dhabi is known for its natural attractions and outdoorsy activities. It’s unique location on an island is something that attracts the people from all round the globe.

Moreover, Abu Dhabi is filled with gardens, public beaches, and parks making it an amazing destination for the eco-conscious traveler. You can travel between the two via bus or car. However, keep in mind that it’s a 3-hour round trip, so it makes sense to stay in each city on the days you’ll be exploring to avoid losing too much time.

Popular Outdoors Attractions

It’s fascinating to know that, both Dubai and Abu Dhabi are subject to the same extreme temperatures. However, when it’s not summer, you can find plenty of outdoorsy activities to do. There are more water-based activities in Abu Dhabi and Dubai is no slouch with Palm Jumeirah.

Dubai offers multiple cruise options. You can enjoy the beautiful and vibrant waters around Palm Jumeirah. Moreover, cycling enthusiasts love to explore Jumeirah Beach. Furthermore, people who want to explore the greater natural world of Dubai, there’s no better way than desert safari to enjoy the sand dunes.

On the other hand, Abu Dhabi is home to the Eastern Mangrove Lagoon National Park, an outdoorsman’s paradise. Visitors explore these gorgeous waters by kayak tour or a boat tour. Moreover, this city has also numerous other places to enjoy including the region around Yas Island. You can take a sightseeing cruise allowing you to sit back and relax and spend time too.

Popular Tours

Both cities offer a variety of tours in order to help visitors to explore respective neighborhoods, hidden gems as well as highlights.  Number of same companies operate in both cities and each also plays host to many small businesses.

In Dubai, the hop-on hop-off Dubai tour from Big Bus is one of the popular ways of exploring the city. The city offers multiple stops across tourist-friendly neighborhoods with various routes to choose from. Along with this, sightseeing doesn’t have to be confined to land, either in a city like this. Enjoy multiple activities in Dubai Marina, explores the Palm, and have fun in your own way.


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