Where to Stay in Abu Dhabi – Top 5 Neighborhoods and Hotels

Interior of the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi, showcasing the intricate floral design on the walls and the stunning gold and crystal chandeliers, with natural light streaming through the windows

Hiya traveler, as the road takes you to the Middle East, I’ll be your gal for an insider scoop on where to stay in Abu Dhabi! I’ve visited this marvelous city recently, and I’m still under the impression of how fabulous everything was! 

Now, to help you plan your stay, I’ve handpicked all the best areas and hotels AND have sorted them by interest and budget! This way, you can just mix and match and find the perfect option for you! 

The Corniche is the best area to stay for first-timers, as it’s near the sea, it’s packed with shops and restaurants and is close to the attractions. But stay tuned to read about 5 areas in total that are perfect for tourists! 

I promise you that planning your stay after reading my blog post will be easy!

Also, don’t forget to book your stay in advance – this destination is becoming more popular year by year!

Quick Picks for Your Stay

These are the best hotels in Abu Dhabi that are up for grabs:

luxury hotel
Luxurious hotel bedroom with a large bed, teal accents, and expansive windows offering a city view, under a glowing ornate ceiling.
mid-range hotel
Elegant hotel lobby with modern bookshelves, a grand chandelier, and a sleek marble reception desk.
budget hotel
Rooftop hotel swimming pool lined with lounge chairs and umbrellas, overlooking a cityscape under a clear blue sky.

Courtyard by Marriott World

Best affordable accommodation in the center

Watch my video, it will give you a visual explanation of all the areas:

Here’s a map to help you visualize all the areas where to stay in Abu Dhabi that I will be talking about in this post:

A colorful map highlighting the best areas to stay in Abu-Dhabi, with numbered locations and labels for easy navigation
  1. The Corniche: for first-timers
  2. Yas Island: for families
  3. Al Zahiyah : for a local experience
  4. Al Raha + Khalifa City: for budget
  5. Al Khalidiya : trendiest place

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

Writer of the post  in a tropical print dress smiles at the camera on the sandy Corniche Beach with the Abu Dhabi skyline in the background under a clear blue sky, with text 'Miss Tourist' in the corner.

The Corniche is a gorgeous and modern waterfront area and one of the best places where to stay in Abu Dhabi if you’re visiting the UAE capital for the first time. 

It boasts an impressive and modern waterfront promenade that is 5 miles long, just perfect for those Arabian sunset strolls or biking sessions (special pathways are available)! 

I stayed in Corniche during my visit, and I loved how easily accessible everything was! 

You’ll find tons of luxury hotels near 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. 

You’ll have the beautiful blue water, soft white sand, and the stunning Abu Dhabi skyline as a backdrop. The Corniche Beach here has separate areas for families with kids (Gates 2 & 3), singles and large groups (Gate 4), and those looking for a quiet zone (Gate 2 again). You can also rent loungers and umbrellas on the beach (25 AED per lounger). In between, you have the beach for the general public, which is free of charge.

Nearby, you’ll also find the Emirates Heritage Village, where you can see what a typical Arabian village looks like.

And 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 in Dubai!

NOTE: East of The Corniche, you’ll find Saadiyat Island, a new commercial hub of Abu Dhabi, where the iconic Louvre Abu Dhabi is located!

Luxury hotel
A collage of three hotel photos to stay in Abu Dhabi Corniche area: a beachside dining experience under a translucent geodesic dome at sunset, a serene palm-fringed pool with crystal-clear waters and white sun loungers, and a luxurious hotel room with plush bedding and expansive city views through large windows

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 in Corniche for sure, especially for couples!

Other accommodation options in The Corniche

Poolside loungers under white umbrellas by a tranquil pool with palm trees in the background

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

Modern hotel room with a large bed, white and orange decor, and a green patterned wall.

Sit by the pool as the sun goes down or hit the gym of this budget hotel that has spacious rooms

Bright living room with peach sofa, wooden coffee table, and a TV showing Netflix.

A cozy beachfront apartment with a city view, no more than 25 minutes from all attractions

Things to do in The Corniche

  • Relax all day long and swim at The Corniche Beach
  • 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
  • Eat a delicious traditional meal at Chagh Kabab
  • Go shopping in the Marina Mall
  • Cool off during a hot summer day at Lake Park

2. Yas Island – best place to stay in Abu Dhabi with family

Aerial view of the iconic Ferrari World theme park on Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, with its distinctive red roof and Ferrari logo, surrounded by highways and the fading light of dusk.

Located 10 miles (20 km) away from the City Center, this area is filled with entertainment opportunities for every type of traveler! It will be fun for everyone, but 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 with 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! 

If I have Formula One enthusiasts among my readers, you’ve hit the jackpot (check out the description of the W Abu Dhabi Hotel below for a special surprise)!

Luxury hotel
A collage of three hotel photos to stay in Abu Dhabi in Yas Island: an inviting living room with ocean views and deep red curtains, a serene bedroom with a white comforter and orange accents, and a luxurious poolside setting with modern architecture and palm trees.

This fabulous 5-star hotel has absolutely fantastic amenities like 2 swimming pools, 6 on-site restaurants, a gym, a delicious breakfast, and a private beach area. Stay here and get direct access to the attractions like Ferrari World, Yas Waterworld, Warner Bros, and SeaWorld!

Other accommodation options in Yas Island

Luxurious rooftop pool with a white structural canopy and vibrant pink loungers.

A spectacular hotel with room views of the Formula One race track (prices skyrocket during the race days, book in advance!)

Charcoal grey sofa in a modern living room with sheer curtains and indoor plants.

An affordable hotel with great amenities like a swimming pool, free parking, and Wi-Fi

Spacious living room with a neutral-toned sectional sofa, eclectic cushions, and an oriental rug.

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

Things to do in Yas Island

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

A scenic view of the Al-Zahiyah district in Abu Dhabi with pedestrians walking along a tree-lined promenade, overlooking the turquoise waters and the distinctive architecture of the Nation Towers in the background

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 districts of Abu Dhabi

Although Al Zahiyah now 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 also get to 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 the 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
A collage of three hotel photos to stay in Abu Dhabi in Al Zahiyah area: a spacious lounge with black and white striped sofas and orange lamps, a minimalist bedroom with a mustard chair and large windows, and an indoor pool with a tranquil atmosphere and nighttime lighting

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

Elegant bedroom with a large bed featuring a patterned gold bedspread, framed artwork above, and ambient lighting.

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

Rooftop pool area with chic lounge furniture, overlooking urban skyscrapers under a clear sky.

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

Chic living room with green velvet armchair, round metal tables, and wall-mounted TV

A nice apartment with Al Reem island views in a calm area just a bit south of Al Zahiyah

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
  • Visit the Heritage Park, a replica of a traditional local village
  • 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

Silhouette of a person making a heart shape with their hands in front of the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi, illuminated at night, with the 'Miss Tourist' logo in the corner.

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. It’s a must-do while you’re here! 

This mosque is the biggest one in the country, and its architecture is simply spectacular! I honestly don’t think I’ve been to a more beautiful religious site in my life!

Inside the mosque, you can see the largest hand-knotted carpet in the world, measuring 60,570 square feet (5,627 m2)! Over 1,200 artisans worked on it! I’m still in awe of it!

Conveniently for travelers looking for where to stay in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, Al Raha and Khalifa City are located close to the Abu Dhabi International Airport! So you don’t have to worry about overspending on a cab or wasting too much time with public transport.

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 locals 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
A collage of three hotel photos to stay in Abu Dhabi in Al Raha and Khalifa City area: a vast outdoor pool at a resort with blue waters and lush surroundings, an opulent bathroom with a large tub and marble details, and a comfortable bedroom with a red leather bench and sea views.

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

Outdoor restaurant patio with wooden tables and chic seating, modern architecture, and blue accent lighting under a twilight sky.

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

Nighttime view of a hotel rooftop pool with a central jacuzzi, surrounded by lounge chairs and ambient lighting.

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

Cozy living room with a gray sofa, glass coffee table, and artistic wall decorations, complemented by natural light.

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

View of a bustling street in Al Khalidiya, Abu Dhabi, with modern skyscrapers in the distance, traffic lights on green, and a dedicated bicycle lane, complete with the 'Miss Tourist' watermark.

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. 

In this area, you’ll find another top attraction, the Qasr Al Watan, or the presidential palace, with absolutely amazing architecture and attention to detail in design!

Al Khalidiya also has one of the best luxury hotels in the world, the Emirates Palace Hotel!

Finally, I’m sure all my foodies out there will appreciate all the street food spots in Al Khalidiya. 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!

Luxury hotel
A collage of three hotel photos to stay in Abu Dhabi in Al Khalidiya area: a luxurious suite with a golden bed and elegant decor, a spa-like bathroom with an ornate bathtub, and an aerial view of a water park amidst expansive greenery and resort facilities.

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

Opulent hotel lobby with high ceilings, ornate arches, and a large chandelier, filled with guests and seating areas.

A lovely Abu Dhabi hotel with one of the largest private beach areas, amazing room views, and a spa

Resort-style pool with clear blue water, surrounded by palm trees and red poolside umbrellas against a backdrop of a high-rise building.

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

Contemporary hotel bedroom with a large bed, plush headboard, and a well-appointed work area, bathed in soft lighting.

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:US$220
💵 Mid-range hotel:US$150
🛏️ Budget:US$80
📍 Best area:The Corniche
🛎️ Best luxury hotel:St Regis Abu Dhabi
🧳 Mid-range hotel:Le Royal Meridien
👛 Best budget hotel:Courtyard by Marriott World

FAQs about where to stay in Abu Dhabi

Writer of the post with her husband takes a sunny beachfront selfie with the Abu Dhabi skyline in the background, the clear turquoise waters of the Corniche Beach beside them, and the 'Miss Tourist' logo visible.

🏖️ 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 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 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 in Abu Dhabi is $250 for luxury hotels, for mid-range hotels is $160, for the budget is $100 per night.

⛱️ Where to stay in Abu Dhabi for 1/2/3 nights?

If you’re planning a short stay, I recommend staying in The Corniche area as it’s central, packed with fabulous restaurants, and near the beach! 


Writer of the post wearing a patterned headscarf stands in the foreground, smiling gently, with the brilliantly lit Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque forming a luminous backdrop at night,

I hope this post helped you decide where to stay in Abu Dhabi and which luxury hotels to book!

I know I gave you tons of places to stay, 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 deal!

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,


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