Are you looking for the best places to stay in Abu Dhabi? Whether you’re a tourist or a business traveler, this city has plenty of accommodation options to suit your needs.
Known for its high-rise skyscrapers, beautiful beaches, and variety of activities, Abu Dhabi is home to lots of different neighborhoods and each one offers something different.
This article will take you through the best areas to stay in Abu Dhabi along with the best hotels in each area, so you can make an informed decision. So let’s take a look at exactly where to stay in Abu Dhabi!
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Overview of Where to Stay in Abu Dhabi
Located on the Persian Gulf, Abu Dhabi is the capital and second-most-populous city of the United Arab Emirates. It has a diverse mix of cultures and attractions that will please visitors from all walks of life.
The city is located off the mainland and is actually situated on several islands in the Persian Gulf. The majority of these islands are all connected via roads, with three main roads connecting the city to the mainland.
Abu Dhabi is made up of three key regions; the UAE Capital City, Al Ain (the Eastern Region), and Al Dhafra (the Western Region).
These regions are then split up into smaller neighborhoods and islands so there are plenty of areas to choose from. If you’re wondering where to stay in Abu Dhabi, then be prepared for a hard decision!
Before you decide on any neighborhood, you’ll need to think about your allowed budget, the attractions you’d like to be close to, and public transport links.
Abu Dhabi is known to be one of the most luxurious cities in the world and it’s also one of the wealthiest. For this reason, you’ll need to be careful when choosing the best area – especially if you’re traveling on a budget.
The majority of the popular tourist attractions are located toward the edge of the islands, with many of them overlooking the Persian Gulf. Because of this, you’ll want to choose your location carefully.
Another important thing to think about is public transport. There are public buses that can take you around the city and hop-on-hop-off tour buses which are another great way to get around.
However, many people choose to get around by using taxi services although costs can soon add up doing this!
If you’ve not got the time to read this article right now, then you can take a look at this table instead. It covers the best areas to stay in Abu Dhabi and has a quick breakdown of what each one has to offer.
|AREA||BEST FOR||RECOMMENDED HOTEL||MORE HOTELS|
|Corniche||Beach, first-time visitors, sightseeing, food||The St. Regis Abu Dhabi||More hotels in Corniche|
|Yas Island||Family-friendly, sightseeing, first-time visitors, location||Hilton Abu Dhabi Yas Island||More hotels in Yas Island|
|Saadiyat Island||Luxury stays, culture, sightseeing, beach||The St. Regis Saadiyat Island Resort||More hotels in Saadiyat Island|
|Al Zahiyah||Nightlife, authentic experience, sightseeing, food||Southern Sun Abu Dhabi||More hotels in Al Zahiyah|
|Al Khalidiya||Atmosphere, food, location, shopping||Emirates Palace Abu Dhabi||More hotels in Al Khalidiya
|Khalifa City, Al Raha||Budget-friendly, family-friendly, green spaces, relaxing getaway||Marriott Hotel Al Forsan||More hotels in Khalifa City|
|Al Maryah Island||Shopping, fine dining, luxury stays, waterfront location||Rosewood Abu Dhabi||More hotels in Al Maryah Island|
Best Areas to Stay in Abu Dhabi
This section is going to go through the best places to stay in Abu Dhabi and show what each one has to offer.
If you’ve not been to Abu Dhabi before then you’re likely to feel very overwhelmed when trying to decide where to stay.
I’ve created this guide based on my personal experience and research so that it will give you all the information you need to know. So if you’re looking for a more in-depth guide on where to stay in Abu Dhabi then keep reading.
1. The Corniche – Best place to stay in Abu Dhabi for first-timers
If you’re wondering where to stay in Abu Dhabi and it’s your first time in the city, then take a look at The Corniche.
It’s undoubtedly one of the most beautiful areas in the city, with a pristine beach, crystal clear waters, and an 8 km (5 miles) long promenade that you can walk along. Even if you’re only spending one day in Abu Dhabi, it’s a must visit!
This part of Abu Dhabi is famous for its incredible sunsets, variety of dining options, and proximity to some of the city’s most popular attractions. This includes The Observation Deck at 300, Heritage Village, Corniche Park, and the Emirates Palace.
Whether you’re looking to visit the city’s top attractions, shop til you drop, or try some delicious cuisine, this neighborhood has something for everyone.
The highlight of this area though has to be Corniche Beach! It’s rare to find a beach this pristine in a bustling city, but it definitely ticks all the boxes. As Abu Dhabi encounters sunlight all year round, it’s the perfect place to cool down and take a dip!
However, the one thing you’ll want to keep in mind is the cost of accommodation options here. Budget-friendly properties are few and far between, as the area is primarily catered towards 4 and 5-star hotels.
However, if you don’t mind splashing the cash then The Corniche is definitely one of the best areas to stay in Abu Dhabi!
Pros and cons of staying in The Corniche
- Plenty of awesome attractions within walking distance
- You’ll get to relax on Corniche Beach
- Sunsets are incredible from the promenade
- Limited options when it comes to budget-friendly accommodation
- Some of the beach areas are private so keep that in mind
The best places to stay in The Corniche
LUXURY – The St. Regis Abu Dhabi
If you’re after the ultimate luxury stay, look no further than The St. Regis Abu Dhabi. Thanks to its fantastic location, all rooms and suites at the property offer a magnificent view of the La Corniche area.
MID-RANGE – Radisson Blu Hotel & Resort, Abu Dhabi Corniche
Boasting a stunning beachfront location, gorgeous rooms, and excellent facilities, the Radisson Blu Hotel & Resort has so much to offer. It’s also just a 10-minute drive from the city center.
Just a short walk from Corniche Beach you’ll find this gorgeous 4* hotel. Courtyard by Marriott World Trade Center has plenty to offer including modern suites, fantastic facilities, and a great location of course!
2. Yas Island – Best area to stay in Abu Dhabi for families
Yas Island is one of the best neighborhoods to stay in Abu Dhabi if you’re traveling as a family. Not only are there plenty of gorgeous hotels to choose from, but you’ll also find lots of amenities in this area including cafes and restaurants.
However, the main reason why it’s such a family-friendly location is simply due to the huge variety of activities and attractions!
If you’re a fan of the F1 then you’ll also want to pay a visit to the Yas Marina Circuit which is home to the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
As you can see, Yas Island is easily one of the best places to stay in Abu Dhabi due to the sheer amount of activities on offer.
Whether you’re looking for a thrill at the theme parks or you’d prefer to relax at the marina, you won’t be short of options. You’ll also find plenty of local taxi services in this area!
Pros and cons of staying on Yas Island
- Great area if you’re traveling with children
- Lots of awesome attractions nearby
- Hotels can sell out way in advance as this area is very popular
- The traffic in this area can get busy, especially during rush hour
The best places to stay on Yas Island
LUXURY – Hilton Abu Dhabi Yas Island
This 5* hotel is set in a beautiful location and many of the rooms offer striking views. However, it’s the facilities that steal the show with a swimming pool, several bars & restaurants, and an on-site spa.
MID-RANGE – Crowne Plaza Yas Island, an IHG Hotel
Crowne Plaza Yas Island is set along a golf course and boasts a variety of fantastic facilities. This includes three swimming pools, a sun terrace, an on-site spa, and a variety of restaurants and bars.
This is one of the most budget-friendly hotels on Yas Island. Boasting spectacular bay-view rooms, two swimming pools, an on-site spa, and a private beach area – this place has a lot to offer.
3. Saadiyat Island – Best place to stay in Abu Dhabi for luxury getaways
If you’re looking to splash the cash then Saadiyat Island is one of the best areas to stay in Abu Dhabi.
According to statistics online, it’s thought that nearly 90,000 millionaires were residing in the city back in 2018.
With so much wealth in Abu Dhabi, it’s no wonder that you’ll find plenty of 5-star hotels to choose from. However, one of the best places for this is Saadiyat Island!
Although Saadiyat Island is a relatively new area of the city, it’s already known for its pristine white beaches and exclusive resorts.
It’s one of the most luxurious areas in the city so it’s perfect for those looking to relax on Saadiyat beach and spend some time in the spa.
Saadiyat Island is also going to be one of the best places to stay in Abu Dhabi for culture as they’ve got several museums planned for this area.
This includes The Natural History Museum, the Guggenheim Museum, and the Zayed National Museum – all of which are supposed to open by 2025.
Pros and cons of staying on Saadiyat Island:
- Beautiful white sandy beaches
- One of the most affluent areas in Abu Dhabi
- Plenty of attractions to visit
- You won’t find any budget-friendly hotels in this area
- There aren’t many hotels in general in this area, and they can sell out way in advance
The best places to stay on Saadiyat Island:
This 5* resort is one of the most luxurious hotels you’ll find in Abu Dhabi and has a fantastic reputation. With its beachfront location, excellent facilities, and modern suites, this is the best option if you’re looking for a luxury getaway.
MID-RANGE – Jumeirah at Saadiyat Island Resort
Boasting striking bay views, gorgeous suites, and fantastic facilities, Jumeirah at Saadiyat Island Resort is a great choice for a beach vacation. The resort has over 300 rooms, suites, and villas to choose from so there is definitely something for everyone.
BUDGET – Saadiyat Rotana Resort and Villas
As I mentioned, you won’t find any budget hotels on Saadiyat Island. Saadiyat Rotana Resort and Villas is still a 5* hotel but the prices are much more reasonable than other luxury hotels in the area so it’s worth checking it out!
4. Al Zahiyah – Best area to stay in Abu Dhabi for nightlife
There are plenty of fantastic areas to spend an evening in the city, but Al Zahiyah is by far one of the best places to stay in Abu Dhabi for nightlife.
Al Zahiyah used to be known as the ‘Tourist Club Area’ and it’s one of the oldest neighborhoods in the city! Although it’s not one of the most popular areas in Abu Dhabi today, it still has a lot to offer.
For starters, this neighborhood is situated right by The Corniche area so you’ll have the best of both worlds. However, Al Zahiyah is filled with locals rather than tourists so you’ll get an authentic experience here.
This area is also home to the iconic Abu Dhabi mall so it’s the perfect location for keen shoppers.
It’s the nightlife that this area is most famous for though, so if you’re after a lively night then Al Zahiyah is one of the best neighborhoods to stay in Abu Dhabi.
You’ll also find plenty of authentic restaurants and quaint cafes in this area, so it’s a good idea to simply wander around and see which hidden gems you come across.
Just keep in mind that accommodation options are limited here compared to other neighborhoods in Abu Dhabi.
Pros and cons of staying in Al Zahiyah
- You’ll get an authentic, local experience
- Great for nightlife and has a lively atmosphere
- Limited accommodation options compared to other areas in Abu Dhabi
- This area can get pretty crowded
The best places to stay in Al Zahiyah
LUXURY – Beach Rotana – Abu Dhabi
Beach Rotana is a 5-star hotel that offers direct access to a private beach and the Abu Dhabi Mall so it’s in a great location. There are also plenty of facilities on-site including a swimming pool, a spa, and twelve restaurants!
MID-RANGE – Southern Sun Abu Dhabi
Southern Sun Abu Dhabi is a gorgeous 4-star hotel that offers an outdoor pool, a sauna, a fitness center, and an on-site restaurant. The pool is situated on the rooftop and from here, you’ll get epic views of the city skyline.
BUDGET – Nehal Hotel
Nehal Hotel is situated in the heart of the city, and many of the rooms offer striking views of Abu Dhabi’s skyline. At the hotel, you’ll find a spa, fitness center, and restaurant so you won’t be short of facilities either.
5. Al Khalidiya – Best area to stay in Abu Dhabi for ‘trendy’ shops & cafes
Deciding where to stay in Abu Dhabi isn’t easy as there are so many incredible options!
Before I go any further, it’s important to note that strictly speaking, Al Khalidiya is a super small neighborhood. However, usually when people say Al Khalidiya they refer to a larger area including parts of Al Bateen and Al Ras Al Akhdar as well.
This makes Al Khalidiya is one of the liveliest neighborhoods in the city, and it’s also considered to be one of the most ‘trendy’ areas in Abu Dhabi.
Full of quirky boutique stores, awesome cafes, and authentic restaurants, there’s so much to do in this part of the city. Now, Abu Dhabi as a whole isn’t known for its ‘party scene’ but you will find some great hotel bars here too!
It’s also really close to The Corniche and Downtown Abu Dhabi, as well as popular attractions such as the Qasr Al Watan, Emirates Palace, and the Etihad Towers. If you’re looking for the most Instagrammable places in Abu Dhabi, you can’t miss this area!
Pros and cons of staying in Al Khalidiya
- Corniche Beach and Downtown Abu Dhabi are nearby
- Plenty of cafes and restaurants to choose from
- Close to the most famous Abu Dhabi attractions
- Limited accommodation options, so you may struggle to find anywhere with availability
- There aren’t as many public transport links in Al Khalidiya
The best places to stay in Al Khalidiya
LUXURY – Emirates Palace, Abu Dhabi
Emirates Palace is hands down one of the most luxurious hotels in the whole of Abu Dhabi so if you’re looking for a luxury vacation, you’ll be in great hands! The hotel has 2 swimming pools, a private beach area, and 14 different dining options.
MID-RANGE – Conrad Abu Dhabi Etihad Towers
Conrad Abu Dhabi Etihad Towers is another great option if you’re looking to be close to Al Khalidiya. This place has so much to offer with 3 swimming pools, 12 award-winning restaurants, and a private beach. It’s also home to Observation Deck at 300, an observatory located on the 74th floor providing 360º city views.
BUDGET – InterContinental Abu Dhabi
If you’re looking for a more budget-friendly option but still want to be in the heart of the city, then check out InterContinental Abu Dhabi! This hotel is located right on the beach, only a 10-minute drive from downtown and it also has lots of restaurants on site.
6. Khalifa City & Al Raha – Best place to stay in Abu Dhabi for budget travelers
If you’re wondering where to stay in Abu Dhabi and you’re on a strict budget then Khalifa City or Al Raha is your best bet. I’ve grouped these two neighborhoods together as they’re located next to each other.
Both Khalifa City and Al Raha are situated on the mainland of Abu Dhabi, so they’re quite a way out from the other areas in this guide. This is one of the reasons why they’re both such great options for budget travelers.
Khalifa City especially is one of the ‘up and coming’ neighborhoods in Abu Dhabi, even though it’s quite a way from the downtown area.
Many locals have decided to live here and commute to the city center instead, which has in turn increased the amenities in this neighborhood.
Now, you’ll find plenty of parks and green spaces, boutique shops, and trendy restaurants. This makes it another great area for families if you don’t mind the journey into the city center.
Another handy thing about staying in this area is that it’s near to the airport! If you’re looking for a quieter experience and to cut your costs, then Khalifa City is one of the best areas to stay in Abu Dhabi.
Pros and cons of staying in Khalifa City/Al Raha:
- Great for budget travelers as hotels are more affordable (even the 5-star ones)
- Plenty of amenities including restaurants, shops, and green spaces
- Limited properties compared to other areas in the city
- Quite a way out from downtown Abu Dhabi
The best places to stay in Khalifa City/Al Raha:
LUXURY – Marriott Hotel Al Forsan, Abu Dhabi
Boasting an Olympic-sized swimming pool, a miniature waterpark, and an on-site spa, you won’t find many hotels like this one! If you stay here you’ll also benefit from six different restaurants and a variety of activities.
MID-RANGE – Al Raha Beach Hotel
This 5* hotel is extremely affordable compared to the other 5* resorts in Abu Dhabi. With three swimming pools, an on-site spa, several dining options & bars, and a beachfront location – it’s the perfect option!
BUDGET – Ibis Abu Dhabi Gate
Ibis Abu Dhabi Gate is just a 15-minute drive from these two neighborhoods so it’s still in a handy location. It’s one of the cheapest properties by far in the area and has so much to offer!
7. Al Maryah Island – Best place to stay in Abu Dhabi for shopping & dining
If you’re wondering where to stay in Abu Dhabi then you can also take a look at Al Maryah Island. This neighborhood is located between the city’s main island and Al Reem Island, so it’s in a fantastic location for exploring Abu Dhabi.
Al Maryah Island is one of the newest neighborhoods in the city, although it’s quickly growing to be one of Abu Dhabi’s hottest shopping destinations.
Here you’ll find The Galleria which is home to over 400 stores and a variety of entertainment options including a cinema.
At this shopping mall, you’ll have the choice of over 100 restaurants – some of them catered towards fine dining so there’s something for everyone!
This makes Al Maryah one of the best areas to stay in Abu Dhabi if you’re a keen shopper or you’re looking to try delicious food.
However, just keep in mind that accommodation options here are extremely limited, and you won’t find budget options in this neighborhood.
For this reason, many people choose to stay in the neighboring area of Al Reem as there’s more choice, and prices are cheaper.
Pros and cons of staying on Al Maryah Island
- One of the best places in Abu Dhabi for shopping
- Great for luxury stays
- There are hardly any accommodation options on Al Maryah Island
- You won’t budget options in this part of the city
The best places to stay on Al Maryah Island
This 5-star hotel is set in a great location and offers stunning views of the bay! Boasting six restaurants and lounges, an on-site spa, and an outdoor swimming pool – there’s plenty to do here.
MID-RANGE – Rosewood Abu Dhabi
Rosewood Abu Dhabi is another 5-star hotel but its prices are often much cheaper than the Four Seasons. The hotel is located next to the city’s premier shopping destination, and you’ll benefit from excellent facilities if you stay here.
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