One of the best advantages to living or travelling in the UAE is the year round sunshine. Clouds in the UAE very rarely spoil the views, which is one huge reason why watching the sun go up and down is best done here.
Whether your looking for places to start your day on a high or somewhere tranquil to see out the day with an equally amazing view, we’ve got you covered with this guide on the Best Places in Abu Dhabi to Watch Sunrise and Sunset.
Sunrise & Sunset Times in Abu Dhabi by Season
Before we dive in, you’re going to need to know what time the sun rises and sets.
Here are the approximate timings of sunrise in Abu Dhabi for a year. This will save you from missing those stunning sunset views late in the evening in Abu Dhabi.
|Months||Timings in Dubai Local Time|
|April – September (Summer)||5.30 AM – 6.10 AM|
|October – Mid December (Monsoon)||6.10 AM – 7.05 AM|
|Late December – March (Winter)||6.10 AM – 7.00 AM|
Ok, now for our top 10 below!
Al Maryah Island
Let’s first start off with Al Maryah Island. The island, formerly known as Sowwah Island is situated in between mainland Abu Dhabi and Al Reem Island, offering incredible photo opportunities of the sunrise and sunset with towering skyscrapers of the city in the backdrop.
Al Maryah island receives its name due to its infamous oasis area’s, of which a species of Arabian Deer called Al Mariyah reside.
With 5 towers and a multi level podium, Etihad Towers has it all. Here you can Dine, Shop, Live, Stay and do Business, all under one roof. Situated at the exclusive beachside of Al Ras Al Akhdar district, Etihad Towers offers panoramic views of Abu Dhabi and the Arabian ocean, day and night, from the observation deck or the ground.
Observation Deck at 300 – Hilton Hotel
Located inside Etihad Towers 2nd tower, we have the highest vantage point in Abu Dhabi.
The Observation Deck at 300 is on level 74 of Conrad. Enjoy the 300 meter high birds eye view of the city, corniche and Arabian gulf.
Cost – AED95 (With a AED55 credit voucher to be used at any of the cafes inside)
Opening Hours – 12am to 8pm Monday – Saturday.
Downtown Abu Dhabi
The working week doesn’t need to be all doom and gloom. Get up early, grab a coffee and see the sunrise behind the towering skyscrapers of Downtown Abu Dhabi. They say that seeing the sunrise before work literally improves your day and makes you more productive too!
Life is too short to live in the work bubble. Step outside the ordinary once in a while, it’ll do you some good!
Grand Sheikh Zayed Mosque
It doesn’t matter whether you follow Islam or not, the Grand Sheikh Zayed Mosque is a beautiful sight to behold. Sunrise and Sunsets here make the mosque that extra bit special.
If you are visiting but follow a different religion, please make sure to be respectful on your visit.
Head outside the city lights in search for the stars at sunset and you will not be disappointed. There are many sunrise and sunset tours you can book, or why not take a venture out alone for some more peace and quiet. The fossil rocks dotted around the Abu Dhabi desert with the star lit backdrop is probably one of the best natural sights you will ever see!
Al Hudayriat Island
Take the bridge to Al Hudayriat Island for incredible vantage points of Abu Dhabi.
Depending on which side of the island you take your spot, you can view most of the areas of southern Abu Dhabi from here. The most popular spot is to the north of the island, which presents unrivalled views of Abu Dhabi’s Emirates Towers as well as the Abu Dhabi Marina.
Where better to watch the sun go up and down than on top of a mountain?
Located approximately a 2 hour drive outside Abu Dhabi city, in Al Ain, Jebel Hafeet is the 3rd tallest vantage point in the UAE, and sure not to disappoint with your sunrise or sunset views.
How to get to Jebel Hafeet from Abu Dhabi
There are three main ways to travel to Jebel Hafeet from Abu Dhabi which can be seen below:
- Jump on the X90 Bus from Al Nayhan Bus Station – 2hrs 13mins – 30AED
- Grab a Taxi – 1hr 26mins – 350AED
- Self Drive – 1hr 26mins
Abu Dhabi Corniche
Probably one of the most obvious places to see sunrise and sunset in Abu Dhabi, but still a great place to go. Alongside other beaches in Abu Dhabi such as Saadiyat Beach, Al Bateen and Al Qurm which also offer great sunset and sunrise views, Abu Dhabi Corniche seems to do it best.
The Corniche offers three different backdrops into one. Whether it’s the city skyline that does it for you, the beach or the promenade; sunset / sunrise here is not to be missed.
Abu Dhabi National Mangrove Park
Step into something a little different for your morning or evening views and try out Abu Dhabi National Mangrove Park.
Located to the north of mainland Abu Dhabi, the mangrove park offers views at sunrise or sunset with a different vibe. Whether your happy watching the sun through the lush tropical plants, trees and birds; or you want to jump in a kayak for a soothing ride down the rivers, the national mangrove park is a great spot for all.
The best things about sunrise and sunset are that it’s free, and it’s beautiful if viewed from the right area. We could go on forever listing places to see the sunrise and sunset in Abu Dhabi, but we hope you’ve at least enjoyed our favourites.