- Aldar Headquarters
- Capital Gate
- Emirates Palace
- Etihad Tower
- Hazza Bin Zayed Stadium
- Louvre Abu Dhabi
- Qasr Al Hosn
- Sheikh Zayed Bridge
- Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque
- W Abu Dhabi
Counted among the wealthiest cities in the world, Abu Dhabi has come a long way from its modest, nomadic past. The city is dotted with a spectacular display of engineering and design marvels that are bound to leave the onlookers in awe. Famous architectural landmarks in Abu Dhabi range from historical palaces to modern structures that embody the best of both worlds.
TOP ARCHITECTURAL LANDMARKS IN ABU DHABI
Here are the most unique buildings in Abu Dhabi that you shouldn’t miss out on.
Ever seen a circular skyscraper? The Aldar Headquarters was the first ever to be constructed in the world.
Designed by MZ Architects, this one-of-a-kind architectural landmark in Abu Dhabi is also called the “coin building” for its spherical shape and burnished exterior.
Constructed with nickel and steel, the Aldar HQ building took three years to build at a cost of USD 1 billion. The structure stands 124 m tall in Al Raha, Abu Dhabi and offers excellent views of the sea and the city.
If you thought Italy’s Leaning Tower of Pisa was peculiar, Abu Dhabi’s Capital Gate is even more impressive. This ingenious tower holds a Guinness World Record recognition for being the furthest leaning man-made tower in the world. Its incline is said to be 18 degrees that is four times as much as that of the Leaning Tower of Pisa.
The modern structure defies the norms of conventional skyscrapers, guaranteeing it a spot on this list of architectural wonders in Abu Dhabi. Capital Gate is located in the Capital Centre and stands 160 m tall.
The Emirates Palace Abu Dhabi is counted among the world’s most expensive hotels. The construction of this architectural landmark in Abu Dhabi cost around USD 3 billion to complete. The resort emanates opulence in every nook and corner. The architecture boasts an Arabesque essence with elements of balance, rhythm, and proportions common in Islamic-style constructions.
One of its standout features is the magnificent domed atrium, which is thought to be the largest in the world. Also contributing to the structure’s grandeur are the stunning interiors gilded with 86,000 sq.ft worth of gold leaf! Emirates Palace is located in Al Ras Al Akhdar and offers a private marina to its guests.
The Etihad Towers is a five-building complex that reflects the modern-day Abu Dhabi – luxurious and sophisticated. Three out of these buildings rank among Abu Dhabi’s tallest buildings, with the 305 m-Etihad Tower 2 being the tallest.
The complex is the epitome of architectural splendour with buildings that sport curved, dramatic exteriors shooting into the sky. Besides being a standout architectural wonder in Abu Dhabi, there are activities in Etihad Towers that contribute to its popularity among the masses.
HAZZA BIN ZAYED STADIUM
Located in the city of Al Ain, the Hazza Bin Zayed Stadium is the home of Al Ain Football Club. With a capacity to seat 25,000 people at a time, this stadium is an integral element of the Al Ain community and because of its stunning façade, is a distinguished architectural landmark in Abu Dhabi.
The stadium’s most unique feature is its exterior design that was inspired by the palm tree trunk. Incorporating fractural geometry, the London-based architects, Pattern Design Ltd. gave the stadium an outer peripheral that allows to naturally moderate the temperatures within the stadium.
LOUVRE ABU DHABI
Designed by the Pritzker Prize-winning architect Jean Nouvel, this spectacular museum appears as a floating dome. Surrounded by water that softens the otherwise stark outlook of Louvre Abu Dhabi, this masterpiece construction has a web-patterned roof that sifts the sunlight to the indoor galleries.
It is one of the most significant architectural wonders in Abu Dhabi that art aficionados would love to explore. Louvre Abu Dhabi is located on Saadiyat Island and covers an approximate area of 24,000 sqm.
QASR AL HOSN
Amid the gravity-defying contemporary architecture of Abu Dhabi, a traditional structure like Qasr Al Hosn is a unique marvel. Being the oldest stone building in the capital city, Qasr Al Hosn is often called the White Tower or the Old Fort.
Constructed back in 1761, this famous architectural landmark in Abu Dhabi has deep roots in the city’s history. The fort that was initially a watch tower, and later expanded into a stronghold for the ruling family of Abu Dhabi in 1930. The fort now serves as a museum and a home ground for the annual Qasr Al Hosn Festival.
SHEIKH ZAYED BRIDGE
Ultramodern and an absolute design genius, the Sheikh Zayed Bridge is a prominent testimony of Pritzker Prize-winning Zaha Hadid’s architectural brilliance. With its symmetrical arches and intricate design, Sheikh Zayed Bridge is a remarkably elegant and functional.
The bridge’s arches depict the undulating sand dunes of the Middle Eastern deserts. Sheikh Zayed Bridge stands 64 m high and covers a distance of 842 m. The bridge connects mainland Abu Dhabi to suburban developments of the capital city.
SHEIKH ZAYED GRAND MOSQUE
This gorgeous mosque needs no introduction and that’s exactly why it is included in our list of famous architectural landmarks in Abu Dhabi. Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is a stunning ode to the best of Islamic architecture that includes a combination of the Mameluke, Moroccan and Ottoman styles.
The mosque has 1,192 pillars, 82 domes and 4 minarets – and that is just one of the many fascinating facts about Sheikh Zayed Mosque that make it an architectural marvel. The mosque is completed in white marble and it took 11 years to build it.
W ABU DHABI
Located in Yas Island, this one-of-a-kind hotel is constructed atop the Yas Marina Circuit. It is the world’s first hotel to be built on an F1 race circuit. This unique building in Abu Dhabi has a stunning exterior façade that resembles a grid shell made of glass and steel.
When illuminated with the 5,000 LED bulb lighting system, this grid serves as a spectacular canopy that covers the hotel’s two towers. Unique and prominent the W Abu Dhabi Hotel makes a dynamic encore on the Abu Dhabi skyline every day and every night.
That concludes this compilation of the famous architectural landmarks in Abu Dhabi. The capital may not be the city of world’s tallest skyscrapers, but it definitely has all the architectural brilliance needed to stand apart from others.
Apart from these architectural marvels, there are a number of other tourist attractions in Abu Dhabi that make sure, you as a visitor have plenty to explore and enjoy.
Even if you’re looking for free activities in Abu Dhabi, the available choices are abundant. Whether you’re into cycling, volleyball or just sight-seeing – there’s something for everyone. And while you’re visiting, you shouldn’t miss out on the newly opened Jubail Mangrove Park.