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9 Wheelchair-friendly Places to Visit In Abu Dhabi

9 Wheelchair-friendly Places to Visit in Abu Dhabi

If you’re on the hunt for a beautiful, culturally rich vacation spot along the coast, Abu Dhabi is likely on your radar. With stunning architecture, luxurious hotels, and lots of history to explore, it’s no surprise that roughly 24 million people visit every year.

While the city may not be synonymous with wheelchair accessibility, there are a surprising number of activities and attractions that cater to those with mobility challenges. From rolling through the sprawling grounds of the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque to exploring the bustling markets of the Heritage Village, Abu Dhabi offers a wealth of adventure. 

If you ever need some extra assistance, you can count on Strive Mobility for hiring mobility equipment in Abu Dhabi. Let’s take a look at how every traveller has the opportunity to make unforgettable memories in this desert oasis.

Getting Around In Abu Dhabi 

Getting around Abu Dhabi in a wheelchair is significantly easier than in many other developed countries. Anyone with a disability can use public buses in the city for free. These buses are wheelchair-accessible and can get you almost anywhere. 

If you want to ride in style or explore outside the city centre, you can pre-book a taxi. Tawasul taxis feature wheelchair lifts and high roofs and can accommodate hired wheelchairs in Abu Dhabi. All you need to do is call roughly 30 minutes ahead, and you can be picked up from anywhere in the city.   

While the heat may keep you indoors or by the beach, there are several walking paths throughout the city that are wheelchair-friendly. Chances are, wherever your adventures take you there will be several options for transport. Here are 9 of the incredible spots you can check out. 

1. The Breathtaking Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque

Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque
Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque

The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is an absolute must-see on your trip to Abu Dhabi. This architectural marvel boasts 82 domes and took over 10 years to complete. 

You’ll be in awe of the 10-metre wide, 24-carat gold chandelier and the breathtaking engravings that cover the space. On Fridays, the mosque is closed to the public and can hold upwards of 40,000 worshippers. 

The white marble columns and floors of this gorgeous building means sunglasses are a must. Since the building is an active place of worship, you should plan to wear loose clothes, and women will need a headscarf. 

You can experience the entire mosque from your wheelchair, and even take a free guided sunset tour to learn more about the history. The light reflecting off the architecture makes this an excellent way to end a day. You can take a taxi or a bus to Sheikh Zayed, on the eastern edge of the city.  

2. Explore the Corniche

Abu Dhabi Corniche
Abu Dhabi Corniche

The Corniche is a beautiful seaside promenade that stretches for 8 kilometres along the coast of Abu Dhabi. The entire promenade is wheelchair-accessible, and the views of the city skyline and the Arabian Gulf are simply stunning.

The beach features specially designed solar-powered tracks with chairs for wheelchair users to safely ride into the water. These allow you to take a dip in the water without getting your wheelchair wet, or needing any assistance.

Along the promenade, you can discover gardens, parks, cafes, and more. In the evening, you can catch the famous Abu Dhabi skyline illuminated in all its glory.

3. Experience a Wealth of Culture at The Louvre Abu Dhabi

Louvre Abu Dhabi
Louvre Abu Dhabi

 

In a landmark partnership with France, Abu Dhabi established its own Louvre in 2007. You can experience the universal beauty and culture of art from around the world, right in the core of the UAE. 

The Louvre Abu Dhabi works to bring art to life with classes, films, and a children’s museum. Their collection spans the entirety of human history, with artefacts and artwork from the first peoples to modern art. 

The interior of the museum is fully accessible to wheelchair users, and there are elevators and ramps throughout the building. It also has an outdoor art lounge, several cafes, and a speakeasy style bar, so you can easily spend an entire day. 

4. High Octane Fun at Yas Island 

Yas Island in Abu Dhabi
Yas Island Abu Dhabi

Yas Island is a wonderland of activities, located just 15 minutes from the International Airport. Visit the world-famous Formula 1 race track, Ferrari World, Water World, or Warner Bros. World. 

Recent accessibility upgrades mean that every theme park on the island has an in-depth, publicly available breakdown of each ride’s physical requirements. They each have something fun to experience, no matter what your physical limitations may be. 

If theme parks, water parks and aquariums aren’t your thing, Yas Island also boasts the largest mall in Abu Dhabi, a 20-screen cinema, tons of bars and restaurants, and more. With on-island hotels, you might find yourself spending several days on the island. 

5. The Lush Beauty of The Garden City 

Al Ain Abu Dhabi
Al Ain Abu Dhabi

If you want to escape the heat of the city and take a day trip somewhere fresh, Al Ain is an excellent choice. Built around the Al Ain Oasis, the Garden City is full of beautiful palm trees, ancient irrigation systems, and cool breezes. 

Al Ain also features a world class zoo and a fully restored fort from the 1800s. Both of these attractions are 100% wheelchair-friendly, and offer unique glimpses into the history and wildlife of the region 

6. Experience the Ultimate Relaxation at Saadiyat Beach Club 

Saadiyat Beach Club
Saadiyat Beach Club

Saadiyat Beach Club is the perfect place to relax and unwind in style. This luxurious beach club has multiple pools, private cabanas and a stunning beach with White sand and crystal-clear water. 

The club is fully accessible to wheelchair users, with ramps and elevators available. There are also accessible changing rooms and pool lifts for those who need them. You can indulge in a spa treatment, enjoy a meal at one of the on-site restaurants, or simply soak up the sun and enjoy the view. 

7. Get Wild at The Abu Dhabi Falcon Hospital 

Abu Dhabi Falcon Hospital
Abu Dhabi Falcon Hospital

For anyone looking to go off the beaten path, the Falcon Hospital is an excellent choice for a unique excursion. Falconry is a traditional sport in the UAE, and the country’s National emblem features a falcon. 

Visit the Falcon Hospital to learn about the history, care and training of these majestic birds. You can go on a tour of the facility and get a chance to interact with the falcons up close and personal. 

The hospital is fully accessible, with only one small ledge that may need to be traversed. The staff are well-trained and accommodating, able to assist with any special needs. 

8. Go Back in Time at the Abu Dhabi Heritage Village 

Heritage Village Abu Dhabi
Heritage Village

If you’re interested in the rich history of Abu Dhabi, the Heritage Village may be the perfect addition to your itinerary. Experience the highs and lows of desert life with interactive exhibits and workshops. Try your hand at pottery, weaving, and even metalwork as they were done in pre-modern UAE. 

The village features traditional homes, a market, and reenactments of life in the past. You can pick up souvenirs in the spice shop, such as handmade soap, herbs and more. 

9. Experience Royalty at Qasr Al Hosn

Qasr Al Hosn Abu Dhabi
Qasr Al Hosn Abu Dhabi

Qasr Al Hosn is the oldest stone building in Abu Dhabi and holds a significant place in the history of the city. Originally built as a fort in 1760, it was later converted into a palace for the ruling family. 

Today, the Qasr Al Hosn Cultural District houses a museum and cultural centre that highlights the history, heritage, and development of Abu Dhabi. Dubbed the House of Artisans, this is one of the best spots to see Emirati craftsmanship in real time. 

Wheelchair users can easily access the museum and guided tours are available in English, Arabic and sign language. You can explore at your will and soak in the timeless architecture and cultural touchstones. The perfect finish to the day is a visit to Bait Al Gahwa for rich coffee and fresh dates. 

Accessibility at Local Airports 

If you’re travelling to Abu Dhabi internationally, you’re most likely going to be flying in. Not all airports are equally accessible for folks using a wheelchair. Let’s take a look at the most common airports and what you should expect. 

Abu Dhabi International Airport 

Zayed International Airport has a team of dedicated staff to ensure that all passengers with disabilities and reduced mobility have easy access to the airport facilities. This includes special assistance services such as wheelchairs, assistance with check-in and boarding and accessible toilets and ramps. 

The airport also has designated parking spots for passengers with disabilities and accessible transportation to and from the airport. This is an excellent option if you want to jump right into your adventures, especially if Yas Island is on your itinerary because they are so close together. 

Dubai International Airport 

This massive airport has multiple terminals, so pay attention to which terminal your flight is departing from, especially if you need additional assistance. T1 and T3 have excellent airport access but T2 is outlying and can take some time to navigate; give yourself plenty of time. 

Like Abu Dhabi International Airport, Dubai has designated parking and offers a range of services and accommodations for passengers with disabilities. This includes wheelchairs, assistance with check-in and boarding, and accessible toilets and ramps. 

Al Ain International Airport 

Located near the desert oasis, Al Ain’s airport is significantly smaller than the other two on the list. It’s a great option if you want to start off exploring Al Ain, and the small footprint of the airport itself makes it easy to traverse. 

This airport does have a team to assist passengers with disabilities, but it’s recommended that you let the airport know about special needs in advance. The space is wheelchair-friendly, and you should be able to book transport to anywhere in Al Ain. 

Disability-Friendly Hotels in Abu Dhabi

Accessible accommodations in Abu Dhabi are designed to provide a comfortable and convenient stay for travellers with disabilities. These accommodations often feature services such as 

  • wheelchair-accessible rooms
  • grab bars in bathrooms
  • ramps and elevators for easy access
  • staff trained in accommodating guests with disabilities

Most of the major hotels in Abu Dhabi are accessible, but there are still a few recommendations that stand out. 

The Emirates Palace is an architectural marvel on its own, and for those looking to experience pure luxury, it’s the obvious choice. Also, the Shangri La Qaryat Al Beri is another 5 star hotel option, where the hotel and surroundings are fully accessible. The speciality suites at the Shangri La are very accommodative for anyone willing to spend a little more money for the additional space (for wheelchair or hoist storage for example). There is also enough space for a profiling bed in the living area in this suite, which has the added benefit of a fully equipped kitchenette 

If you are looking for something a little less extravagant down on the beach, check out the Khalidiya Palace Rayaan or the Traders Hotel. 

For Yas Island connoisseurs, there’s always the futuristic W Abu Dhabi. 

Any of these locations would make for an excellent stay and fit all your needs. 

Explore Abu Dhabi for a Thrilling and Accessible Adventure 

Visitors to Abu Dhabi can find a range of high-quality, wheelchair-accessible accommodation as well as private tours and attractions that cater to their needs. Whether you are exploring the stunning Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, learning how to weave, or enjoying the world-class shopping and dining options, there are endless opportunities for a comfortable and unforgettable visit.

Whether you need to rent a wheelchair, a mobility scooter, or other specialized equipment such as a profiling bed or patient hoist, Strive Mobility has your back. When you rely on Strive Mobility, you can focus your energy on creating the perfect itinerary rather than stressing about equipment.

 

Please note, this information was gathered through online research, including blogger reviews and the attraction’s websites but we haven’t physically visited each venue.

Written on behalf of Strive Mobility