A trip to the United Arab Emirates is not complete without a stop in the capital city of Abu Dhabi. Of course, many travelers prefer the glitz and glamour of Dubai, but for a better cultural experience, Abu Dhabi is the best choice. As the capital city, Abu Dhabi is quite large and spread out, so deciding which area to stay in Abu Dhabi is a daunting task. Fortunately, we’ve rounded up the best neighborhoods, as well as the best Abu Dhabi accommodation in each area, to help you decide where to stay in Abu Dhabi.
Wondering where is the best area to stay in Abu Dhabi? Below are 8 of the best neighbourhoods in Abu Dhabi to help you make the right decision when trying to work out the best accommodation in Abu Dhabi for you. We have tried to make the guide as easy to follow as possible. We have also included some things to do or places to visit as well as some eatery suggestions of either our favourite places or some funky places to eat at within the areas in Abu Dhabi so you can use this as a go to guide.
We will cover off all types of Abu Dhabi accommodation options from Hostels to luxury Abu Dhabi hotels as well as how to decide where to stay in Abu Dhabi 2023, the best Abu Dhabi hotels, best places in Abu Dhabi to visit, the best places to stay in Abu Dhabi, hotels near Abu Dhabi attractions, Abu Dhabi neighborhood guide and many more.
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Prefer self contained apartments or rental? Here are a few options:
The Corniche – Where to stay in Abu Dhabi for one night
The Abu Dhabi Corniche is a gorgeous stretch of waterfront property that stretches for eight kilometers from the Emirates Palace along the Persian Gulf waters. If you’re on a quick visit and want to know where to stay in Abu Dhabi for one night, the Corniche is the best area for tourists who want some beach time in their urban vacation.
The Corniche is also a great option for where to stay in Abu Dhabi with family because the promenade is lined with children’s play areas, and there is a family-friendly beach area designated specifically for families. In addition to many hotels, the Corniche also has dozens of restaurants and food stalls, making this the perfect Abu Dhabi destination.
Where to Stay in The Corniche
Saadiyat Island – Where to stay in Abu Dhabi for couples
Just five minutes from downtown and only 20 minutes from Abu Dhabi International Airport lies Abu Dhabi’s newest, and most luxurious, neighborhood. Development here is relatively new and it is planned to be the cultural center of Abu Dhabi, with up to eight museums planned. Saadiyat Island best place to stay in Abu Dhabi for nightlife, there are plenty of bars in this area.
If you are looking for a five-star Abu Dhabi hotel, then Saadiyat Island is a good place to find one! With a public beach, amazing views, and top-notch restaurants, this is the best area to stay in Abu Dhabi for couples who are celebrating their honeymoon and looking to splurge on a luxurious experience.
Where to Stay in Saadiyat Island
Al Maryah Island – Where to stay in Abu Dhabi for tourists
Another “new-ish” area of Abu Dhabi is Al Maryah Island, a hub for finance and technology, as well as upscale dining and shopping. Positioned to become the new city center of Abu Dhabi, Al Maryah Island is sandwiched between the main area of Abu Dhabi to the west and Al Reem Island to the east, making it a convenient place to stay if you are looking for luxury accommodation that is not far from the best tourist attractions of Abu Dhabi. As the home of Abu Dhabi’s stock exchange, this may not be the most budget-friendly area of the city, but it’s one of the more glamorous!
Where to Stay in Al Maryah Island
Yas Island – Where to stay in Abu Dhabi with family
Yas Island might be considered the best area to stay in Abu Dhabi for families because of the endless entertainment opportunities found here. Located about 25 kilometers inland from the main area of Abu Dhabi, Yas Island includes such tourist attractions as Ferrari World, Yas Waterworld, and Warner Brothers World, three theme parks that have fun for the whole family.
Yas Mall is Abu Dhabi’s largest luxury mall, with over 400 international brands. There are dancing fountains, dozens of great restaurants, and several hotels to choose from in the area. Wondering which are the best hotels in Abu Dhabi for families, check out our below suggestions:
Where to Stay in Yas Island
Al Reem Island – where to stay in Abu Dhabi for 2 nights
The original financial center of Abu Dhabi is Al Reem Island, which is undergoing a period of heavy development as well. It’s one of the fastest-growing neighborhoods in terms of real estate, with many locals and expats snatching up high-rise condominiums in the area.
Boutik Mall is a great place to start your exploration of Al Reem Island, with global brands, independent retailers, cafes, restaurants, and a supermarket. While there are fewer hotels here, you will likely be able to find apartment rentals for your visit, and the hotels of Al Maryah Island are just minutes away.
Where to Stay in Al Reem Island
Al Raha – Where to stay in Abu Dhabi close to the airport
Occupying a small strip of land between the islands and the mainland, Al Raha is an older residential area that is split into Al Raha Beach and Al Raha Gardens. This is also the best neighborhood to stay if you want to be close to Abu Dhabi International Airport.
Al Raha Beach is a popular spot for watersports and relaxation, with waterfront villas and condo buildings lining the beach. Being a popular area with expats and locals, there are many features you would expect in a residential setting, such as grocery stores, entertainment, and shopping. The marina is also a hub for entertainment and activities.
Where to Stay in Al Raha
Budget Hotels in Al Raha
Phoenix Plaza Hotel Apartments
Affordable Luxury Hotels in Al Raha
The Westin Abu Dhabi Golf Resort & Spa
Al Khalidiya – Where to stay in Abu Dhabi for first timers
Just inland from the Corniche lies the neighborhood of Al Khalidiya, a residential area popular with expats and locals alike. This small square of land offers the best of both worlds, with traditional culture on display alongside the modern side of Abu Dhabi. Wondering where to stay in Abu Dhabi for 3 nights? Al Khalidiya is a great spot to base yourself so that you can enjoy Abu Dhabi’s sights but also be able to relax.
The central location makes Al Khalidya popular with expats and travelers, so there is no shortage of shopping and dining in the area. Some of the best tourist attractions, such as the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque and Mangrove National Park, are just minutes away by car.
Where to Stay in Al Khalidiya
Budget Hotels in Al Khalidiya
Ibis Abu Dhabi Gate
Khalifa City – Where to stay in Abu Dhabi on a budget
For a more suburban experience, with some budget-friendly options, Khalifa City is becoming more popular with travelers and residents of Abu Dhabi. Many residents commute into central Abu Dhabi from Khalifa City, so the options here are of a residential nature. You’ll find many parks, schools, grocery shops, and parks, as well as a golf course. The airport is adjacent to one end of the district, while Al Raha beach and Saadiyat Island are just minutes away.
Where to Stay in Khalifa City
Budget Hotels in Khalifa City
Ibis Abu Dhabi Gate
FAQ on where to stay in Abu Dhabi
Which zone is best to stay in Abu Dhabi?
Which part or zone of Abu Dhabi is the best for staying overnight? Most people would claim that it is the downtown area close to the beach is the best area to stay. As a lot of the major tourist attractions and things to do are concentrated in this area.
How many days are enough for Abu Dhabi?
You can stay in the UAE for three days or three months, but generally I’d recommend a three-day visit, which will give you enough time to experience the major tourist attractions. However, a two-week trip will allow you to see more of the UAE than just the tourist sites.
Is it better to stay in dubai or Abu Dhabi?
Dubai is substantially bigger and offers more family-friendly activities, nightlife, luxury hotels, and affordable lodging options. Abu Dhabi, on the other hand, is a little more pricey. Abu Dhabi is a lot more peaceful than other cities despite being more expensive.
Abu Dhabi cannot compare to Dubai in many ways as Dubai is significantly bigger and offers more things to do for families, nightlife, entertainment, and luxury hotels in addition to a wide range of affordable accomodation. Abu Dhabi is a somewhat more expensive, significantly more laid-back choice than Dubai, with fewer (but better) beaches.
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