Tourism

Where to Stay in Abu Dhabi – the 5 Best Areas and Hotels for Every Budget

Welcome to the land of gold and luxury! The capital city and the largest emirate in the UAE is one of the best places to stay ever! This city is a heaven for luxury cars and super-high buildings with the most peculiar designs, and let’s not forget about the hotels in Abu Dhabi, which are the best sight for sore eyes!

Even the Abu Dhabi International Airport looks like a spaceship! Home to the largest desert in the world and the largest mosque in the country, Abu Dhabi’s magic will make you fall in love with the city and never want to leave!

There are tons of places to see here from Saadiyat Island to the Etihad Towers, but let’s first find the best hotels where to stay in Abu Dhabi. I’ve looked through many lists of Abu Dhabi hotels located just a few minutes away from all the attractions and made the greatest list for you but I can’t secure you a spot, so make sure you book in advance to get the best deals!

Let’s go, the bustling downtown won’t stop for us!

If you are in a hurry

If you want to book now, quickly browse this list with the best hotels for where to stay in Abu Dhabi all located in The Corniche area

airbnb

Sky Room

An Airbnb with amazing reviews

mid-range hotel

Le Royal Meridien Abu Dhabi

budget hotel

Courtyard by Marriott World

Best affordable accommodation in the center

Here’s a map that will help you visualize all the areas where to stay in Abu Dhabi that I will be talking about in this post. All of which are in the Downtown area.

1. The Corniche – where to stay in Abu Dhabi for the first time

I’m sure I speak for everyone when I say that I love traveling to diverse places! Give me beaches, sun, local vibes and a bit of an urban atmosphere as well, because we all know how nice it is to shop in a city you’ve never been to before!

The Corniche is a gorgeous and modern area and one of the best places where to stay in Abu Dhabi that boasts an impressive and modern waterfront promenade, just perfect for those Arabian sunset strolls during the hot summer days.

You’ll find tons of luxury hotels on the beach, restaurants, cafes, and a few children’s playgrounds. At night, The Corniche becomes even more alive as everyone comes here for a breath of fresh air or to chill in one of the shisha cafes. If you haven’t had enough of the luxury hotels and skyscrapers here, then take the train and visit the beautiful Dubai city for even more impressive towers or check out these 14 things to do!

This area is definitely one of the best places where to stay in Abu Dhabi if you’re visiting the special capital city of the UAE for the first time. The beach is just a few minutes away on foot, and it’s one of the most scenic spots in the city, at least for a tourist! Beautiful blue water, soft white sand, and the stunning Abu Dhabi skyline as a backdrop.

It’s quite rare to find such a pristine beach in such a unique location. Those sunset pictures will look amazing here! The beach is quite popular and it has sunbeds and umbrellas, but you’ll also find private beach areas as well so make sure you check before going.

Luxury hotel

Get the royal treatment at this luxurious resort in The Corniche, which looks like a palace! The beautiful traditional, yet modern design and rooms with huge windows will blow your mind. Guests have access to the private beach area and couples can enjoy a romantic dinner on the beach at sunset. I think this is one of the best places to stay here for sure!

Other accommodation options in The Corniche

Mid-Range

Enjoy a delicious dinner with a view of the Abu Dhabi skyline at this gorgeous hotel that has two pools and a bar

Airbnb

A friendly private apartment with a great view of The Corniche that offers a pool and a kitchen

Things to do in The Corniche

  • Relax all day long and swim at The Corniche beach
  • Go shopping in the Marina Mall
  • Take a stroll around The Corniche Park
  • Admire the architecture of The Landmark and Baynunah Tower
  • Take the kids to the nice playground in the Family Park
  • See some cool pieces of art at the friendly N2N Gallery
  • Eat a delicious traditional meal at Chagh Kabab
  • Cool off during a hot summer day at the Lake Park in The Corniche area

2. Yas Island – best place to stay in Abu Dhabi for families

Located 10 miles (20 km) away from the city center, this area is filled with entertainment opportunities for every type of traveler! Especially for those of you who are visiting Abu Dhabi with the kids. You’ll find the best hotels in Abu Dhabi here, from luxury hotels to budget ones but I recommend booking in advance. This area has tons of attractions and always gets people looking for accommodation early.

One of the biggest attractions here is the famous Ferrari World, a cool amusement park that opened in 2010 and has since then made tourists flock to try the world’s fastest roller coaster, Formula Rossa! I’m sure the kids will love this place and trust me, it’s going to be difficult to get them out of here!

Don’t worry, they’ll come running once you tell them that there are so many other things to see like the Yas Waterpark, a huge park with activities for every age, from young children to adults who crave an adrenaline rush! Here you’ll also find the Cinesplash, the first water cinema in the region. Movies in the water? How cool is that?

It’s pretty impossible to get bored Yas Island, seriously! And if you still have some time or energy left after visiting all those amazing places, the Yas Marina Circuit is where you’ll find the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, a Formula One motor racing event! So if I have any sports enthusiasts among my readers, you’ve hit the jackpot!

Luxury hotel

Chill under the Arabian sun all day long by the infinity pool of this luxurious hotel and catch the best sunsets here! The beachfront property offers a restaurant and tennis courts in case you’re in the mood for a game! The kids can have fun in the play area while you relax in the spa for a few hours making this a great place where to stay in Abu Dhabi for families.

Other accommodation options in Yas Island

Mid-Range

With a spectacular design and a good location, this hotel offers two pools, family rooms, and amazing views

Budget

Another friendly mid-range hotel that has three restaurants on-site, a spa center, and family rooms

Airbnb

Enjoy your stay in Abu Dhabi in this spacious apartment that has a kitchen, three rooms, and free wifi

Things to do in Yas Island

3. Al Zahiyah – where to stay for a local experience

Located in the north part of the city, this central neighborhood used to be known as the Tourist Club Area and it’s one of the oldest sides in Abu Dhabi. Although now Al Zahiyah has a few more modern buildings and looks cosmopolitan, it still has that old charm and is one of the best places to experience the international atmosphere that makes the United Arab Emirates so famous.

Unlike The Corniche, this area is filled with local people who have settled here from all around the world, so you should definitely book your hotel here if you want to experience the authentic multicultural side of this city.

You’ll taste the Arabic culture in this district, so get ready to explore a lot of narrow streets, friendly restaurants, and cute local shops. Al Zahiayah is made up of a mix of residential and commercial buildings. Expect to see many well-known Abu Dhabi hotels, business towers, and some residential buildings in this district.

For those of you who are looking for where to stay in Abu Dhabi to have the perfect shopping experience, then Al Zahiyah area is your spot.! I recommend going to the Abu Dhabi Mall, which has over 200 shops plus some new restaurants that you can try! And if you want to see the modern towers and buildings, Al Maryah Island, the business and financial hub of Abu Dhabi is right next to this neighborhood.

Luxury hotel

This luxurious hotel has some of the best views of Al Maryah Island! I love the modern decor and practical rooms, which also have a lounge area and balconies. You can relax and swim in the indoor pool and maybe hit the gym afterward if you want to work off all the food you will be eating at the on-site restaurant.

Other accommodation options in Al Zahiyah

Mid-Range

Enjoy your stay in Abu Dhabi in this hotel with city views, a hot tub, sauna, and spacious rooms

Budget

A perfect choice for those traveling on a budget, this central hotel has an outdoor rooftop pool and a bar

Airbnb

Guests will love this cute and traditional apartment that has two rooms, a kitchen, and free wifi

Things to do in Al Zahiyah

  • Explore the narrow streets and enjoy the local culture in Al Zahiayah
  • Go shopping for souvenirs in the Abu Dhabi Mall
  • Discover the best restaurants in the area
  • Take a stroll in Electra Park
  • Go for a coffee at the friendly Lotus Cafe & Lounge

4. Al Raha and Khalifa City – best place to stay for budget travelers

These two neighborhoods are located one next to another, right in the southern part of the city. Popular among travelers who stay in Abu Dhabi on a budget, these areas are a bit further away from the city center but you can always use public transport to visit some big attractions.

One of the most important landmarks in Abu Dhabi City, the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, is not too far from Khalifa City, and actually on the bus route to the airport. It’s a must-do while you’re here, the Mosque is the biggest one in the country, and the architecture is simply spectacular!

Conveniently travelers looking for where to stay in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, these two areas are located super close to the Abu Dhabi International Airport! So you don’t have to worry about paying a lot of money for a cab or wasting too much time with public transport if you only have a short trip.

The Al Raha neighborhood is home to another fantastic beach, a very chilled place filled with villas and apartments right on the banks. Because a lot of local people frequent this place, you’ll also find a few grocery stores to help you save even more should you wish to cook for yourself.

Khalifa City is not too far from Saadiyat Island, and it’s another residential area that’s becoming more popular among travelers. The neighborhood is very relaxed, and it has a lot of green spaces and parks. I love a city that cares about the fresh air in the hood!

Luxury hotel

I love the regal design of the rooms in this luxurious hotel! They even have marble bathrooms! I’m sure that couples will enjoy the romantic views from their balcony over the Corniche coastline! With a private beach area, a spa center, and three swimming pools, this place will steal your heart!

Other accommodation options in Al Raha and Khalifa City

Mid-Range

Enjoy your stay in Abu Dhabi in one of the best hotels that has a spa and sports center with three swimming pools

Budget

Located right near the airport, this budget hotel offers a buffet breakfast and has private bathrooms

Airbnb

A cozy apartment that has a spacious room, a kitchen and offers access to a hot tub and an outdoor pool

Things to do in Al Raha and Khalifa City

5. Al Khalidiya – the trendiest place in Abu Dhabi

Located right near The Corniche area and the beach, this central neighborhood has long been seen as Abu Dhabi’s underrated cultural hub. A place where the old meets the new, you definitely get the best of both worlds here, including some cool art galleries, restaurants, and let’s not forget about its proximity to the beach!  

Many people who stay in Abu Dhabi say that Al Khalidiya is not a destination but a whole experience, and I couldn’t agree more! The area is super colorful and showcases some of the older architecture of the city as well. If you’re looking for where to stay in Abu Dhabi, I highly recommend this place as one of the coolest spots and it has one of the best luxury hotels in the world, the Emirates Palace!

I’m sure all my foodies’ out there will appreciate all the street food spots in Al Khalidiya and the variety of restaurants here will have you visiting a new cuisine every day! They even have a restaurant inspired by the Game of Thrones tv series! I told you, this location has some very unique spots!

Luxury hotel

This is your chance to live your Arabian royalty dream! This five-star Emirates Palace hotel has its own private beach area with views of the Persian Gulf. The design of the rooms and the marble bathrooms will make you want to live here forever! I love the lounge area outside, especially at night when the lights turn on. This is pure luxury!

Other accommodation options in Al Khalidiya

Mid-Range

A lovely Abu Dhabi hotel with one of the largest private beaches area, amazing rooms views, and a spa

Budget

Relax by the pool of this 5-star resort that offers amazing views from the room’s balcony and free wifi

Airbnb

This studio is one of the best places to stay in Abu Dhabi, it offers a private beach area and a backyard

Things to do in Al Khalidiya

👑 Luxury price: $250
💵 Mid-range hotel: $160
🛏️ Budget: $100
🏠 Airbnb: $100
💰 Accommodation prices: High
📍 Best Area: The Corniche
🛎️ Best luxury hotel: St Regis Abu Dhabi
👛 Best budget hotel: Courtyard by Marriott World

Frequently asked questions about Abu Dhabi

🏖️ Which is the best area to stay in Abu Dhabi?

The Corniche is the best area where to stay in Abu Dhabi, you get the best of both worlds, a beach, and the city’s urban side, and you can stay at the St Regis Abu Dhabi, one of the best luxury hotels here.

🚫 Do and don’ts in Abu Dhabi?

During your stay in Abu Dhabi, try to dress modestly, especially when visiting the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, and don’t get too drunk on the capital city’s streets.

💰 Is Abu Dhabi cheaper than Dubai?

Yes, it is cheaper to visit Abu Dhabi than Dubai. Although, this place still screams luxury and is filled with high towers and five-star hotels so it is still on the expensive side of places to visit. 

🤔 How much does it cost to stay in a hotel in Abu Dhabi?

The average price for accommodations where to stay in Abu Dhabi is $250 for luxury hotels, for mid-range hotels is $160, for the budget is $100 per night.

Conclusion

I don’t know about you but after seeing all this luxury and the incredible business center of this city, I might find some places to stay in Abu Dhabi forever! I hope this post helped you decide where to stay in Abu Dhabi, which luxury hotels to book, and which location suits you best.

I know I gave you tons of places to stay and luxury hotels options but here are my absolute two favorites both located in The Corniche area:

It might seem like the list of hotels in Abu Dhabi is never ending but they sell really fast and I suggest you book yours in advance to make sure you get the best of the best!

Have fun experiencing the culture of this magical city, visit the amazing Etihad Towers, Al Maryah Island, and Saadiyat Island, and eat all their delicious food! Don’t forget to leave me a comment if you have any questions or just want to rave about the luxury places in Abu Dhabi.

Have an amazing trip,

Victoria


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