One of the main things to consider when you’re a woman planning solo travel is safety. Abu Dhabi is one of the safest cities in the UAE. It is a prominent, forward-thinking metropolitan hub where women are welcome to travel on their own. Abu Dhabi has a rich historical heritage coupled with friendly people, modern conveniences, beautiful sights and excellent entertainment options. As a woman travelling solo to Abu Dhabi, you can let your hair down and enjoy your travel, without compromising on your safety or happiness. Read on to know why Abu Dhabi is perfect for a solo woman traveller.
Abu Dhabi has a Brisk and Ladies-friendly Nightlife
Abu Dhabi is not as much of a commercial hub as Dubai is – the pace of life is definitely slower here. Still, Abu Dhabi’s attractions are many – there’s a vibrant nightlife, with clubs and pubs open 24-hours. People feel safe to socialise in public out at night without fear. Alcohol is legally available, so don’t be afraid to drink something at a bar.
Almost all bars and nightclubs have special ladies’ nights; the idea is to provide free drinks to ladies in order to attract the serious male drinkers. You can obtain a list of the best nightclubs and bars from your hotel.
Bars are generally open from 12:00 noon till about 1 A.M. Nightclubs, on the other hand, open at 8 P.M. and remain open till 3 A.M. Nightclubs are bars are usually the busiest on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday.
A Few Words Of Caution
As a solo woman, you’ll be expected to enjoy yourself within the constraints of Islamic moral guidelines.
Abu Dhabi does have a dress code for bars and nightclubs, so be sure to inquire what mode of dress is acceptable before you visit.
People travelling on a visa are usually exempt from carrying an alcohol permit. Only non-resident Muslims are expected to carry alcohol permits while drinking.
As a woman, it’s safer for you to take a taxi when you want to get to go sightseeing in Abu Dhabi. Taxis are cheap and clean, chauffeured by smart and polite drivers. Best to avoid taking the bus anywhere.
Abu Dhabi’s Nightlife Options
Abu Dhabi’s nightclubs put on entertainment shows almost every night of the week; here are some fun options you can explore with other travellers and expats:
Theme nights comprising of quizzes, small skits and stand-up comedy
- Music concerts
- Fashion shows
- Live music bands – rock, pop and some jazz
What To Enjoy In Abu Dhabi And Meet People
Abu Dhabi is home to an international crowd; people come here from several countries. Most of these travellers and expats tend to congregate at bars and nightclubs. Making friends is easy, and establishing a network with other travellers offers further safety and reassurance to solo women travellers.
Abu Dhabi is well-known for the Corniche, an epic four-mile long ocean promenade. The promenade is lined with tables, chairs and benches where you can rest and have a drink or have a picnic. Over here you’ll meet many locals and other travellers. Be sure to take pictures of the remarkable Capital Gate building that leans to the left at 18 degrees. Don’t worry, it is meant to be like that. From the promenade, you can get a good eyeful of Abu Dhabi’s architecture, including the 360ft high emirate’s flag.
Head over to Yas Island near the airport to meet up with fun people who don’t mind letting their hair down and scream like kids. Yas Island’s Waterworld has a stomach-churning choice of rides, slides, endless wave machines and terror-causing deep water ravines. There’s also the Yas Island is also home to Ferrari World, the world’s first F1 theme park. Grab a ride on world’s fastest roller coaster, Formula Rossa, and scream your way while hitting 150mph. You can also run or bike along Abu Dhabi’s Formula 1 track. Yas Beach is a fabulous beach with a DJ Booth and lounge facilities. You can spend an entire day on Yas Island without getting bored, and have several new friends by the time you’re done!
Sign up for tours to visit all the beaches one day and a desert safari in Abu Dhabi the other. You can go dune-bashing on the red dunes one day and go crab-hunting the next day in the warm Arabian Sea. Attend local feasts and festivals and watch belly-dancers jiggle about to exotic Arabic music. There are all fun activities where you’re bound to meet other people enjoying themselves along with you.
The Emirates Palace
The Emirates Palace, apart from being absolutely huge and gorgeous, is also the venue for music concerts. Many popular artists conduct concerts here. The Emirates Palace is surrounded by the rich red dunes of the desert; listening to a music concert in ancient place is an exotic experience.
The observation deck at the Jumeirah at Etihad Towers Hotel is the best place for skyline views of the city. Get your ticket price redeemed for food and drink from the deck’s restaurant. Lean over the parapet with other travellers, nursing a drink in your hand and looking over the city’s fabulous skyline. The Avenue at Etihad Towers is a high-end fashion mall. You’re bound to meet many solo women travellers there!
Emirates Park Zoo
Just a short distance from the city is this zoo, which has giraffes, elephants and white tigers, apart from a selection of primates. There is a lovely seal enclosure with a blue pool and a flamingo park as well.
Sign up for a boat tour and enjoy the spectacular views of the city’s architecture, the desert, desert monuments and more. You’ll find many tourists enjoying the fresh ocean breeze along with you. The sunset cruises are especially popular when it’s nice and cool and you can see the pink dusk settling over the city.
Escape to the Liwa Oasis settlement for a day of exploring the largest sand dunes in the world. Enjoy riding on dune buggies, do some sand surfing or ride a fairly well-tempered camel. Also, visit the Al Ain oasis, and challenge yourself to climb the Jebel Hafeet peak.
Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque
This mosque can seat 40,000 worshippers at a time and is open for tourists. Enjoy the magnificent architecture; every column in the mosque is panelled with marble and inlaid with semi-precious gems. The mosque also lays claim to the world’s largest carpet and chandelier.
You can stay at any hotel in Abu Dhabi; hotels are safe and the staff is usually courteous. The Shangri-La is close to the Corniche; each room has its own balcony looking over the canal. The Ritz-Carlton, Eastern Mangroves Hotel & Spa and Premier Inn are all great. Make sure you wear modest clothing that covers your shoulders and your knees. Loose maxi skirts are great to wear in the heat, along with full-sleeved long cotton tops. You don’t have to dress like a nun, but a little caution can go a long way.
All images are provided by guest author