Racing fans and adrenaline junkies are gearing up to travel to Abu Dhabi as the emirate is preparing to host another season of adventure-packed Grand Prix in the month of November. While most of the action will be centred on the Yas Marina Circuit, where world’s top racers will drive their swanky and mean machines at insane speeds; visitors can follow up the thrill and excitement at these top five places that feature on almost all tourist itineraries to the city:
Al Forsan International Sports Resort
Famed for its world-class equestrian facility boasting an eco-friendly 800-seat indoor arena as well as 169 stables, Al Forsan International Sports Resort is a great place to be looking forward to an active and fun day with the whole family. The full size polo-pitch is impressive but the stars here are 39 English and Irish-bred horses that are used for training aspiring students in equestrian disciplines such as riding, polo, show jumping and dressage. Besides, visitors can indulge in activities such as paintballing, shooting and motor sporting.
Arabian Wildlife Park
Occupying almost half the space on the Sir Bani Yas Island, the Arabian Wildlife Park was established by late UAE President Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan for the protection and preservation of native animals. Wildlife lovers will be happy to meet Arabian rock hyrax, ostrich, the Beisa oryx, cheetahs, giraffes and striped hyena amongst 10,000 other animals that call this island a home. A nature and wildlife ride aboard a 4×4 with an expert guide is one of the best ways to explore the park and meet with its denizens.
A favourite amongst children, Yas Waterworld on the Yas Island is an Emirati- themed water park boasting over 45 rides and attractions including live concerts and shows. Take a free fall from the Jebel Drop or race your family members to the bottom of Sebag, ride through the eye of a tornado with Dawwama or spend some lazy hours at Al Raha River – no matter what you choose, you are guaranteed a few hours of relief from boredom and scorching Emirati sun. Additionally, you will not want to miss riding on the Bandit Bomber, the longest suspended roller coaster in the Middle East.
Drive out of Abu Dhabi for hour and a half to reach Al Ain, declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site for being one of the oldest continually inhabited settlements in the world. Visitors love to hike or cycle to the top of Jebel Hafeet, the second highest peak in the UAE and the highest in Abu Dhabi. The Al Ain Zoo, with its population of over 4000 animals, is another famous attraction here as is a Camel Market, one of the only few remaining in the country. Adventure seekers cannot look past Wadi Adventure Park nestling in the foothills of the Jebel Hafeet, perfect for white water rafting, kayaking and surfing. The record breaking facilities at the park include 3.3 metre man-made surf wave that is the world’s largest and its 1.7 kilometre kayaking channel network that is the world’s longest.
An oasis of lush, verdant surroundings, dotted with perfectly-manicured gardens and delicate mangrove plantations, Yas Links is an ideal place for golf lovers to practise their swing and for golf aspirants to fall in love with the sport. Offering a stunning view of the Arabian Coastline, the Par 72 championship course here sprawls up to a 7,450 yards. Among a plethora of other luxurious facilities, guests can take advantage of romantic boat rides as well as world-class fine dining restaurants here.