The Top 6 Side Trips to Take During the Abu Dhabi F1 Weekend

The Yas Marina Circuit is one of the best new race tracks in the world. Full of tight turns and long straights, there are plenty of opportunities for drivers to overtake and fight for a lead position. Because of this, the F1 races here are definitely exciting and worth watching.

If you are an avid Formula 1 fan, taking a holiday in Abu Dhabi in December to watch the live race is certainly something worth saving up for. Aside from seeing a thrilling race and taking part in all the incredible festivities during the F1 weekend, you will get the chance to visit other fascinating places in this beautiful emirate by going on a few side trips.

Many of these side trips might be included in the bundle if you purchase an Abu Dhabi Grand Prix package. In case they are not, you can go on your own to explore the capital city at leisure.

Below are the six places you have to visit while you are in Abu Dhabi for the Formula 1 weekend:

1.    Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque

Start your string of side trips in Abu Dhabi by immersing yourself in the emirate’s rich culture. You can do this by visiting the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque.

This world-famous mosque was built in memory of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan. Located along Sheikh Rashid Bin Saeed Street, this religious site serves as a house of worship for Muslims. Additionally, it is an educational and cultural hub, which is why it is one of the must-visit places in the emirate.

The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is also one of the largest and most architecturally beautiful mosques in the world. As such, visiting this place should be at the top of your Abu Dhabi side trips list.

2.    Louvre Abu Dhabi

While you’re in Abu Dhabi, make sure you stop by one of the newest attractions here: the Louvre Abu Dhabi.

This art and civilization museum is a joint project between the local government units of the UAE and France. It houses some of the most renowned, priceless art pieces made by Vincent Van Gogh, Jacques-Louis David, and Claude Monet. You will also find the world’s most expensive painting here: Leonardo da Vinci’s “Salvator Mundi.”

The building itself is stunning and mesmerizing. Its elegant architecture, which boasts a distinctive form, design and architecture, will leave certainly you impressed.

3.    Yas Mall

A visit to Abu Dhabi won’t be complete without going on a shopping spree. If you don’t want to stray too far from the Yas Marina Circuit, head to the Yas Mall.

The Yas Mall is the biggest mall in Abu Dhabi. This three-level structure offers the best shopping, dining, and entertainment experiences with its numerous stores, restaurants, and recreational facilities.

The mall is also close to other popular attractions such as the Warner Bros. World Abu Dhabi and Ferrari World.

4.    Ferrari World

If watching an F1 race up close and personal isn’t enough to satisfy your need for speed, do drop by Ferrari World.

This Ferrari-branded amusement park is home to the fastest roller coaster in the world, the Formula Rossa. It also houses other thrilling rides and facilities, one of which is the Scuderia Challenge — an interactive motion simulator that allows you to experience driving a Ferrari F1 car.

While you’re here, make sure you try the Drive a Ferrari ride and F1 and GT virtual simulation. You will emerge from the park feeling like Sebastian Vettel or Charles Leclerc.

5.    Al Khatim Desert

Al Khatim Desert is the most beautiful desert in Abu Dhabi. Its vast openness and rolling landscape also make it the perfect place for one of the must-try activities here: safaris.


Sign up for a desert safari so that you can experience dune bashing and camel riding. If you’re feeling more adventurous, try sand boarding, quad biking, and wadi bashing.

Complete your safari experience by joining the outdoor barbecue dinner at the desert safari camp.

6.    Abu Dhabi Corniche

Although Yas Marina has its own fantastic beach, you won’t go wrong with checking out Abu Dhabi’s other incredible shorelines.

The best public beaches in this emirate can be found along the Corniche. They are free of charge and open to all. They feature toilets and showers as well.

Aside from taking a dip, you can also simply relax at the beach with your favorite book, nibbles, and drink or take photos of the fantastic coastline. Just be sure to come with proper beach attire.

If you are planning to purchase an F1 hospitality package, find out if these places are included in the complimentary tour. If not, explore them on your own during your free time on your Abu Dhabi holiday.


Oliver Kent is the Managing Director of ZK Sports & Entertainment, operating in the Middle East for over 10 years now. He is currently leading the company’s recent appointment as the Exclusive Marketing and Sales Agent for F1 Experiences in the Middle East.