Less flashy than its Emirati brother, Dubai, Abu Dhabi has positioned itself as a sophisticated, pretty city with large gardens and parks, wide green boulevards and opulent shopping malls. Shopping is a mainstay attraction in this desert city, the most popular malls being Marina Mall and Abu Dhabi Mall. If you’re feeling adventurous head for Yas Island with its Ferrari World theme park including the world’s fastest roller coaster.
Spend an afternoon at the majestic Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque while learning about Abu Dhabi’s culture and religion, or walk along Abu Dhabi’s spectacular Corniche waterfront. Desert safaris and dune bashing are also popular excursions out of town.
Your cruise ship will dock at Port Zayed, about 4km outside the city. There are metered taxis and shuttle buses outside the port’s main gate. The hop-on hop-off bus can also be caught nearby, while some cruise lines will offer shuttle buses to the city’s main malls.