The Sheikh Zayed Mosque in Abu Dhabi

In recent years, Abu Dhabi has become synonymous with architectural ambition and splendor. It’s difficult to believe that 50 years ago this place was just a little more than a small fishing and pearling village at the edge of the desert. If you’re planning on visiting Abu Dhabi this year, you should know that there are several works of architecture in the capital that are worth admiring.

To help you plan your visit, here are the 5 best works of architecture in Abu Dhabi you absolutely shouldn’t miss:

1. The Louvre Abu Dhabi

Nouvel-designed Louvre Abu Dhabi is a work of art in itself.
Located on Saadiyat Island and surrounded by lagoons, the futuristic building seemingly floats on water and features a jaw-dropping domed roof. Built with nearly 8,000 metal stars arranged in a geometric pattern, the dome allows distinct amounts of sunlight to enter, casting shimmering dots throughout the interior.
Comprising 55 detached buildings, the Louvre Abu Dhabi is a modern-day art medina, with its white, smooth walls fashioned from sand.

2. The Sheikh Zayed Mosque

The Sheikh Zayed Mosque is a dazzling oasis of white stone, gleaming light, and staggering proportions, and it is an absolute must-see for all travelers visiting Abu Dhabi. You can find out more details about this building and practical tips to plan your visit at this link. 

The Sheikh Zayed Mosque in Abu Dhabi

The Sheikh Zayed Mosque in Abu Dhabi

3. Etihad Towers

Etihad Towers is the name of a complex of five towers located in the Al Ras Al Akhdar district of Abu Dhabi.
A reflection of the city’s modern, sophisticated and luxurious ambitions, these skyscrapers are a spectacular and sparkling addition to the city’s skyline. The towers are located opposite the Emirates Palace hotel and feature many offices, apartments, and a hotel. Tower 2 has an amazing Observation Deck on the 75th floor, the highest vantage point in Abu Dhabi, and offers stunning views across the city and Arabian Gulf.

architecture in abu dhabi

architecture in abu dhabi

4. Capital Gate

This is a spectacularly cantilevered building that adds its unique architectural form to the Abu Dhabi skyline. Affectionately nicknamed the ‘leaning tower of Abu Dhabi’, this building has been specially designed to lean at an angle of 18 degrees (almost four times the gradient of the Leaning Tower of Pisa in Italy) and stands 160m tall. Part of the building is a hotel which is a five-star establishment with almost 200 rooms and suites.


5. The Emirates Palace

Built as a landmark showcasing Arabian culture, Emirates Palace has created a niche in luxury hospitality. Traditional materials and motifs were blended with the latest technology. The building’s exterior of marble, granite, and stone includes self-cleaning coated glass spandrels and balcony fronts.

This staggeringly luxurious hotel cost a knee-weakening £4billion to build – the second most expensive the world has ever seen. Perhaps unsurprisingly it has been awarded the exclusive rating of 7 stars, something reserved for only a handful of hotels across the world.

architecture in abu dhabi

Tags: Abu Dhabi architecture; best buildings in Abu Dhabi; coolest buildings in Abu Dhabi