Best Areas to Stay in Abu Dhabi + Our Top Hotel and Resort Picks For all Types of Travellers
Working out where to stay in Abu Dhabi can be a challenge. There are a huge number of hotels and resorts to suit every budget scattered across the city.
This handy guide highlights the best places to stay in accordance with your travel priorities and is designed to help you in your decision-making.
Firstly, it is important to get to grips with the geography of Abu Dhabi. Spread over a number of islands connected by bridges, Abu Dhabi covers a large area that can seem difficult to navigate when visiting the city for the first time.
- Which area of Abu Dhabi is the best place to stay?
- Which hotel has the most central location in Abu Dhabi?
- Which hotel has the best views of the city of Abu Dhabi?
- Which hotel is the most luxurious in Abu Dhabi?
- Which hotel is closest to Abu Dhabi International airport?
- Which hotels have the best view of Sheikh Zayed Mosque?
- Which Abu Dhabi hotels are closest to the shopping malls?
- Which hotel should I pick for a romantic getaway in Abu Dhabi?
- Where can I stay in Abu Dhabi on a shoestring budget?
- Which hotel is best for families in Abu Dhabi?
- Are there any golf resorts in Abu Dhabi?
- Can I camp or glamp in Abu Dhabi?
Which area of Abu Dhabi is the best place to stay?
Abu Dhabi does not follow a traditional zonal land use model. The ‘downtown’ area, pushing back from the Corniche, is not where you find all of the modern shops, fancy restaurants and amenities. It is, however, still seen as the heart of the city by most residents and is home to most government offices and a number of hotels.
Many people opt to stay on Yas Island due to its proximity to the airport and the variety of entertainment options on offer there. For many, Yas Island is seen as the centre of all the action, away from the hustle and bustle of the downtown ‘working zone’. It is home to the Yas Marina Circuit and all of Abu Dhabi’s theme parks.
Other alternatives are Al Maryah Island, with its glitzy shopping mall and high-class restaurants and Saadiyat Island, an area of outstanding natural beauty and home to hundreds of nesting loggerhead turtles.
The ‘best place to stay in Abu Dhabi’ really does depend on the sort of holiday that you want. Are you a culture vulture or a beach lover? Do you want lively days and late nights? Are you looking for family fun or a romantic getaway?
In this article, we highlight a number of hotels that could make the perfect base for your stay in Abu Dhabi.
Where possible, we have given the approximate price for a weekend stay in a standard room sleeping two people in January 2023. Prices are subject to change and do vary with the season. For the most up-to-date information and prices, we recommend that you check with the hotel directly or follow the booking.com links provided.
Which hotel has the most central location in Abu Dhabi?
Staying on Abu Dhabi Corniche is always a good option. The Corniche is the cultural heart of the city, and sea views, as well as city vistas, make the Corniche the perfect location to base your Abu Dhabi city break.
That is not to say that the Corniche is the focus of all of the action; hives of activity can be found dotted around the city with the biggest shopping and nightlife scenes on Yas and Al Maryah islands.
The Corniche does, however, offer proximity to a long stretch of sandy beach, some small shops and cafes and landscaped parks and gardens, as well as a few interesting sites such as Qasr Al Hosn, the Abu Dhabi Cultural Foundation and the WTC souk.
Accommodation options on Abu Dhabi Corniche
There are numerous hotels along the Corniche with varying amenities. Here are just some of the available properties listed in terms of price range:
- UItra Luxury: Emirates Palace (2500 + AED). Known as the first hotel in the world to call itself ‘7 star’, the Emirates Palace is the height of luxury. For booking information and rates, click here or see TripAdvisor reviews.
- Luxury: The St. Regis Abu Dhabi (1,200 AED) offers exceptional service and excellent dining options, as well as a private beach club and pool terrace. For booking information and rates, click here or see TripAdvisor reviews.
- Mid-Range: Radisson Blu Hotel & Resort (600 AED)* includes a large pool and lazy river, private beach access, spa facilities, gym, climbing wall and zip line. For booking information and rates, click here or See TripAdvisor reviews.
- Budget: Set back from the Corniche in the Khalidiya area of the city, the Khalidiya Hotel offers pleasant budget accommodation (200 AED). Facilities include a health club and a small rooftop pool. Other budget accommodations of varying standards are available in the streets parallel to the Corniche.
Which hotel has the best views of the city of Abu Dhabi?
If you’re looking for stunning views of the city, the Conrad Hotel at Etihad Towers should be top of your list. The views from the higher floors are spectacular and extend towards Capital Gate (Abu Dhabi’s bendy tower) in the northeast and over the Marina, The Emirates Palace and the presidential palace of Qasr Al Watan to the south and west.
The Observation Deck on the 74th floor is the perfect place to take afternoon tea or have a few cocktails at sunset.
Which hotel is the most luxurious in Abu Dhabi?
There are a multitude of 5-star hotels with impeccable service and the plushest of rooms, but you can’t talk about luxury without talking about the Emirates Palace Hotel (2500 + AED). Yes, it’s expensive, but you really do get what you pay for. Located at the end of Abu Dhabi’s Corniche road, next to the Presidential Palace, the Emirates Palace is in a league of its own.
Set amongst lush gardens on a pristine stretch of white coral sand beach, the imposing building is awe-inspiring. Designed in the arabesque style, the hotel is punctuated with porticoes and fountains and is decorated with intricate paintings and mosaics. The amount of gold leaf used throughout the building is incredible – it’s even served on top of your Cappucino at the sumptuous lobby cafe!
The rooms are generously sized and beautifully decorated. Each room has a dedicated butler to cater for your every whim. There are two expansive pools, including a family pool with slides and a lazy river, as well as a private beach with the opportunity for camel riding and a variety of water sports.
Dining at the Emirates Palace is a delight. The restaurants on offer include two Michelin-starred restaurants, Hakassan serving Chinese-inspired dishes and gourmet Italian Talea.
Other Luxurious Places to Stay in Abu Dhabi
There is no shortage of 5-star hotels in Abu Dhabi. Other luxurious options would include t
- The St. Regis Abu Dhabi on the Corniche (1,200 AED)
- The St. Regis Saadiyat Island Resort (2,200 AED) or Jumeirah Saadiyat (1500 AED) on Saadiyat Island
- The Ritz-Carlton in the Khor Al Maqta area
- The Rosewood (1250 AED +) or The Four Seasons (1100 AED+) on Al Maryah Island might also suit your requirements.
If you’re looking for a truly luxurious desert experience, then The Qasr Al Sarab Resort by Anantara, deep in the Liwa desert, is the place to stay. Prices for one night in a standard room at this remarkable desert resort cost in the region of 3,200 AED.
- For up-to-date prices and more details about the Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort, click here or see TripAdvisor reviews
Learn more about staying outside of Abu Dhabi – including the best luxury desert resorts, along with glamping and eco-retreat options here
Which hotel is closest to Yas Marina Circuit and the Yas Island Theme Parks (Ferrari World)?
You’ll be pleased to learn that you can stay within a stone’s throw of all of the Yas Island action. Yas Plaza is home to a number of budget-friendly hotels, each with its own amenities and complimentary access to Yas Beach.
Conveniently located within walking distance to both Yas Marina and Yas Marina Circuit and the new Yas Bay Waterfront (home of the Etihad Arena), it’s the perfect place to stay, especially during the cooler months.
In warmer weather, you may wish to make use of the complimentary bus service that runs between the plaza hotels and all of Yas Island’s major attractions, including Ferrari World, Yas Waterworld, Warner Bros. World, Yas Mall, Yas Links and Yas Marina. Getting a taxi is also no problem as there is a taxi rank conveniently located at the front of the plaza.
What hotels are there at Yas Plaza?
There are five hotels located at Yas Plaza. All fall in the medium price range. The fact that the hotels are within walking distance of each other means that you can benefit from the food and beverage outlets and spa facilities in each hotel (pools are reserved for in-house guests only). Here are some of the highlights of each of the 5 Yas Plaza hotels:
Crowne Plaza Abu Dhabi – Yas Island
Highlights: Great sunset views, lovely Arabic restaurant, relaxed outdoor bar. Full apartments with kitchenettes are available at the associated Staybridge Suites. Cost: 550 AED
Radisson Blu Hotel Abu Dhabi, Yas Island
Highlights: Amerigos Mexican restaurant, with its poolside terrace, is a great place to grab a taco or a steak as the sun sets. Italian restaurant Fellini Garden is another great place to eat with excellent ladies’ night deals on Mondays. Cost: 834 AED.
Park Inn by Radisson
Highlights: Lovely pool area and fantastic golf course views are on offer at the Park Inn. The Belgian Cafe is a great place to grab a beer and a bite. Cost: 721 AED
Yas Island Rotana
Highlights: Beautiful pool area, nicely decorated rooms, excellent Indian restaurant, a wonderful steak house and good sports bar. Cost: 834 AED
Centro Yas Island by Rotana
Highlights: Budget-friendly, limited facilities but access to all the facilities and restaurants in the adjacent Rotana. Cost: 700 AED
Other places to stay on Yas Island
In addition to the Yas Plaza Hotels, the Hilton offer three accommodation choices on Yas Island.
- Opened in 2020, The Hilton Abu Dhabi, on Yas Bay, offers a luxurious base with a beautiful spa and pool area as well as the associated Cafe Del Mar Beach Club. Located in the heart of Yas Bay, this is the perfect base for anyone that enjoys the al fresco dining scene and refined nightlife. Prices start at around 1350 AED, to find out more click here or See TripAdvisor Reviews
Set away from Yas Bay, adjacent to Warner Brother’s World and Yas Waterworld is The WB Abu Dhabi (1695 AED). Here you can dine with Bugs Bunny, Batman and other WB heroes or chill out by the relaxing rooftop pool. There is also the Doubletree by Hilton (1,222 AED) for those seeking a quieter refuge after a day of fun.
Finally, perhaps the snazziest of Yas Island hotels is W Abu Dhabi – Yas Island (formerly the Viceroy), located at the heart of Yas Marina Circuit with views over the racetrack and Yas Marina. This is a vibrant and trendy place to stay with live musicians and DJs regularly performing at Wet Deck and the W Lounge. You can expect to pay around 1,500 AED per night for the privilege of staying at this incredibly trendy property.
Which hotel in Abu Dhabi has the best beach?
If the beach is your top travel priority, the Saadiyat area is the place to stay. The pristine stretch of white coral sand sees five beautiful, five-star hotels generously spaced along it. Whilst the hotels are pricey, there are often good deals available both for UAE residents and international travellers.
Each of the 5 Saadiyat resort hotels have something different to offer. Here we give a brief synopsis of each hotel and why you might like to stay there.
The St. Regis Saadiyat Island Resort
Service as this beautiful village-like resort is truly outstanding, and the rooms are impeccable. An excellent choice for foodies with its outstanding South-East Asian restaurant, Sontaya as well as its experimental modern Greek restaurant Maazi. The breakfast at the St. Regis is second to none with a variety of international dishes, all cooked to perfection. Buddha Bar Beach, with its ocean views, is the perfect place to chill out and enjoy sundowners before tucking into some truly sumptuous Asian dishes.
Saadiyat Rotana Resort & Villas
A relaxed atmosphere makes this a great resort for families. The rooms are modern and clean, and the service is of a high standard. There are a number of excellent family eateries on-site, including Hamilton’s Gastropub and Si-Si Italian restaurant.
The resort’s biggest asset is the enormous pool and poolside beach bar, Nasma. Although set back from the sea, Nasma offers a chilled-out place for casual drinks and bites in a stress-free environment. There’s also an excellent kids’ club with a supervised play area.
- Prices start at approximately 1200 AED. For more details and how to book, click here or see TripAdvisor reviews
Park Hyatt Abu Dhabi Hotel and Villas
Another stunning five-star resort with a beautiful pool area and fantastic spa facilities. This hotel is good for families due to the variety of swimming pools and well-run kids club. There are, however, adult-only areas of the pool terrace and beach.
One of the highlights of a stay at the Park Hyatt is eating at The Beach House. The Mediterranean-style restaurant and roof terrace is perfect for a romantic meal or a relaxed gathering with friends. Other places to eat include Le Cafe buffet restaurant and
Rixos Premium Saadiyat Island
The only hotel on Saadiyat to offer an All-Inclusive option, the Rixos is great for families with its wave pool and splash zone.
Prices for a weekend stay start at 4500 AED for a garden-view deluxe room on an all-inclusive basis.
Jumeirah at Saadiyat Island Resort
The modern Jumeirah Resort is of a very high standard. Rooms are spacious and modern, and the communal areas are well thought out. Breakfast is served buffet-style in the chic White restaurant and includes local and international flavours. Dining options include the outstanding Tean restaurant, which serves up a variety of Arabian delicacies, including a large selection of Levantine wines.
The pool area is separated into three sections with two adult/family pools and a smaller kids pool with splash features. There is a kids club and a children’s playground.
As if all of this wasn’t enough, the spa facilities are truly excellent and include a Himalayan salt chamber as well as a jacuzzi, steam room and sauna.
Other benefits to staying on Saadiyat Island
The hotels are all close to the Saadiyat Cultural District, which features the Abu Dhabi branch of the Louvre Museum and the new Guggenheim development.
Saadiyat is also one of the best places in Abu Dhabi to capture the sunset, and with numerous beachside bars and restaurants, the perfect place for a romantic evening.
Which hotel is closest to Abu Dhabi International airport?
The closest hotel to Abu Dhabi International Airport is The Premier Inn Abu Dhabi International Airport. Prices start at 389 AED. Night-use rooms are also available at the airport for around 850 AED.
Note that the airport is only a stones’ throw away from Yas Island, making any of the Yas Island hotels mentioned here a great choice too for those wanting to stay under 10 minutes from the airport.
Which hotels have the best view of Sheikh Zayed Mosque?
Sadly building work along the canal means that the hotels which once boasted views of the mosque can now only offer glimpses. The only hotel where good views of the mosque are still possible is The Ritz-Carlton Abu Dhabi.
The Ritz-Carlton is a beautiful property with Italian features and a stunning pool area. It boasts some wonderful restaurants both in the hotel itself and the adjacent Venetian Village. You can expect to pay around 1038 AED per night for a standard room.
A slightly cheaper but lovely option is the Shangri-La, which also features excellent restaurants as well as a small souk selling a variety of traditional items, Qaryat al Beri.
Each of the hotels in the Bab Al Bahr area has its own private beach and pool area – just don’t expect the same quality sand as you’d find on Saadiyat.
Which Abu Dhabi hotels are closest to the shopping malls?
There are shopping malls all over Abu Dhabi; they are not restricted to the downtown area. In fact, two of the best malls, The Galleria and Yas Mall are on completely different islands!
Staying at one of the hotels listed above will give you easy access to Yas Mall, but if you want to ‘shop til you drop’ at Abu Dhabi’s largest mall, The Galleria, staying on Al Maryah Island at the Rosewood Hotel might be the thing for you.
The Rosewood is a stunning hotel with a variety of high-end bars and eateries. Restaurants include the buffet restaurant Aqua (which hosts a fantastic Saturday Brunch) and the authentic and atmospheric Cantonese restaurant Dai Pai Dong.
The speakeasy-style Dragon’s Tooth Bar will transport you to a romantic era with top-quality cocktails and exceptional service. Underground cellar La Cava also hosts daily cheese and wine nights that no connoisseur should miss!
The hotel has a number of al fresco dining spaces which make the most of the excellent views across the water towards the skyscrapers of the city. There is a good-sized rooftop pool and an awesome kids club with well-trained staff.
Alternatively, you may decide that the Four Seasons (994 AED), also on Al Maryah Island, is a better choice for you.
Which hotel should I pick for a romantic getaway in Abu Dhabi?
Whilst it is easy to be seduced by the luxuriousness of The Emirates Palace or the glittering sea views and quality dining experiences provided by The St. Regis on Saadiyat, who wouldn’t want to be whisked away to a quiet desert island? Nurai Island, just a 12-minute boat ride from Abu Dhabi, offers the height of luxury on a private desert island.
Accommodation at the Nurai Island Resort is provided in small beach-side bungalows, which feature a large open-plan living space and outdoor terrace with a private pool.
There are larger shared pools and beach spaces at the island’s two main F&B hubs found by the pier and at South Beach. Restaurants by the Pier include Frangipani and Hooked, as well as Ginger Mermaid, a lively beach bar.
There is also a beautiful spa and a fantastic children’s play area and water park, as well as a kids’ club in this area. Alternatively, South Beach is a chilled-out party zone with a lively bar and pizza restaurant, a surfing pool and swings and hammocks for grown-ups. The rest of the island is remarkably tranquil and can be explored on foot or by bicycle.
A one-night weekend stay at Nurai Island is likely to cost somewhere in the region of 14,000 AED, which includes taxes and boat transfer.
Alternatively, for a romantic desert experience, Anantara Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort cannot be beaten. Whether you stay in a standard room, villa with a pool or at the traditional Bedouin Camp, this hotel really is something special. A 1-night weekend stay will cost around 3,200 AED.
Where can I stay in Abu Dhabi on a shoestring budget?
Although it’s a city more synonymous with luxury, budget travellers aren’t completely forgotten in Abu Dhabi.
The 3-star Centro Hotels operated by Rotana are a great budget alternative to some of Abu Dhabi’s flashier properties. They are often built next to Rotana hotels, and guests are able to use the Rotana’s facilities which generally include gyms, saunas, pools and spas. Prices are usually around 300 AED.
The Premier Inn also has a few locations in Abu Dhabi, including at Capital Gate, close to the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC). People familiar with Premier Inns in the UK may be surprised to know that the Abu Dhabi incarnations have swimming pools and in-room refrigerators. Prices start at 250 AED per night.
Which hotel is best for families in Abu Dhabi?
The UAE is a very family-friendly country. Most hotels cater well for children. All of the Saadiyat hotels, as well as most 5-star hotels along the Corniche, have Kids’ Clubs as well as children’s pools and splash areas. Buffet restaurants also provide a variety of child-friendly foods.
Budget hotels tend to be less child-friendly, particularly in downtown Abu Dhabi, simply for lack of extra facilities such as pools and playgrounds.
Our Top Family Hotels in Abu Dhabi 2023
- Saadiyat Rotana Resort and Villas
- Rixos Premium Saadiyat Island
- The WB Abu Dhabi, Curio Collection by Hilton
Are there any golf resorts in Abu Dhabi?
There are numerous golf courses in Abu Dhabi, all with hotels within easy reach. The most convenient golf-course/hotel combo can be found at Abu Dhabi Golf Club and the Westin Golf Resort and Spa.
The Westin (AED 749) is a well-managed property with direct access to the adjacent golf course. The hotel is relaxed but offers a high standard of customer care with excellent dining and spa facilities. The pool area is well-kept and includes an adult-only pool as well as a family pool.
Weekend brunches and afternoon tea at the Westin are reasonably priced and beautifully put together, so make sure that you treat yourself during your stay!
Another favourite with golfers in Abu Dhabi is the Park Hyatt Abu Dhabi Hotel and Villas, which sits immediately adjacent to the Saadiyat Golf Club.
Can I camp or glamp in Abu Dhabi?
We hope you’ve found this Abu Dhabi accommodation guide helpful in locating the best areas to stay in Abu Dhabi and some of our favourite hotel recommendations.
Before you go… Important things to consider planning a trip to Abu Dhabi
- Pop into our essential planning information page, it includes everything you need to know about getting around Abu Dhabi, a handy guide on what to pack as well as top tips for first-timers on the dos and don’ts, laws, and customs in the UAE.
- Don’t forget to pack your travel insurance!
- Discover the best places to stay in Abu Dhabi, or bag a bargain on your accommodation here:
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