Local time Abu Dhabi


Travel to Abu Dhabi

Flying to Abu Dhabi

British Airways and Etihad Airways operate direct flights to Abu Dhabi from the UK. Etihad Airways runs direct flights from the USA. KLM, Lufthansa and Qatar Airways are among the other carriers that serve the capital. Flights vary in price, and are particularly high at the start of the summer, when many leave Abu Dhabi, and in autumn, when many of the capital’s big-draw events take place.

Flight times

From London - 7 hours; New York - 13 hours; Los Angeles - 16 hours; Toronto - 13 hours; Sydney - 14 hours 45 minutes.

Travel by road

In recent years, significant improvements have been made to the road network in and around Abu Dhabi to improve traffic flow.

The minimum legal driving age is 17.

Traffic drives on the right, with speed limits of up to 60kph (37mph) in built-up areas, up to 120kph (75mph) on major roads and up to 140kph (87mph) on motorways. These must be observed as penalties for speeding are severe and rigorously enforced. Speed cameras can be found on most major roads, and breaking the limit by more than 20kph (12mph) can result in a week in prison and the car being impounded for a month. The new motorway between Abu Dhabi and Saudi Arabia - known as Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Road - was opened with a 160kph (99.5mph) speed limit.

Under no circumstances should you leave the scene of a motor accident or move the vehicle before the police have arrived, as this is an offence. There is zero tolerance for drinking and driving in the UAE.

Emergency breakdown services

Arabian Automobile Association (tel: 800 4900, in the UAE).


The three main roads leading into and out of the emirate (Khaleej Al Arabi, Sheikh Rashid Al Maktoum Street and Salam Street) merge into one main highway that links the city to the airport. There are few street names in Abu Dhabi, so make sure you know the closest landmark to your final destination.


Dubai Bus (tel: +971 800 9090; www.dubai-bus.com) runs regular inter-emirates buses between Abu Dhabi and Dubai. From Dubai, there are coach services to Muscat, Oman.

Time to city

From Dubai - 1 hour 30 minutes; Al Ain - 2 hours.

Travel by Rail


A new railway network is under construction which will offer freight and passenger services within the UAE and eventually to neighbouring countries.


Etihad Rail (tel: +971 2 499 9999; www.etihadrail.ae) runs the new rail network, but there are currently no passenger services in operation.

A digital image at https://illuminoto.com

Book Accommodation

Featured Hotels


Le Royal Méridien Abu Dhabi

Recently renovated, this high-end hotel with 202 guest rooms and 74 luxury suites, offers indoor and outdoor swimming pools, wireless internet access, a fitness centre with sauna and steam room and a squash hall. Le Royal Méridien also has nine restaurants and bars and excellent facilities for business meetings and banquets.

Hilton Abu Dhabi

As well as great city centre views, the Hilton has all the hallmarks of a classy chain hotel. It has a gym, one of the city's biggest indoor swimming pools and a sauna. The restaurant serves up a combination of international cuisine and local specialities. All guest rooms have high-speed Wi-FI access too.

One to One Hotels - The Village

One of Abu Dhabi's first truly boutique hotels, The Village was built to resemble a modern local street, complete with shops and restaurants. Located in a comparatively quiet part of the city, its 127 apartment-like rooms are separated into clusters of 18, each with its own rooftop pool. Facilities include LCD TVs, Internet access and a gym.

Emirates Palace

Allegedly one of the most expensive hotels ever built, this stunning palace boasts nearly 400 magnificent rooms and suites. Facilities include 10 on-site restaurants, a spa, a swimming pool and a private beach. Even if you can’t stay the night, book an unforgettable afternoon tea at Le Vendome.

Yas Viceroy Abu Dhabi

This luxurious 5-star hotel is undoubtedly the most iconic building on Yas Island. Built over a racetrack and with unrivalled access to Yas Marina, its on-site amenities include huge modern rooms, world-class bars, restaurants and a stunning rooftop pool. It’s also the hot ticket during the Formula One season.

St. Regis Saadiyat Island Resort

This gorgeous resort is far enough from the mainland to feel like a true escape from the city, but still has plenty of on-site entertainment to ensure a pleasant stay. Along with classy, residential-style rooms, 5-star restaurants and glamorous bars, there’s also a lovely spa and stunning private beach.