There's something fascinating about sitting by the harbourside watching the dhows slip off to sea. At any time of day, there's work going on as fishers mend their nets, pile up lobster pots, hang out colourful sarongs to dry, unload fish and congregate for communal chats. As you survey the resting dhows strung together five abreast, you can almost forget Abu Dhabi's modern backdrop as its ancient past as a fishing village is revealed.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Abu Dhabi attractions

1. Heritage Park

0.23 MILES

This attractive family park straddles both sides of the far eastern end of the Corniche, with great views of the traditional dhow harbour across the water…

2. Al Mina Fish Market

0.26 MILES

This large fish market bustles with traders selling row upon colourful row of the sea's bounty from the ice bars. It's busiest early in the day when…

3. Warehouse 421

0.43 MILES

In a former port warehouse, this contemporary arts centre and gallery hosts temporary exhibitions showcasing the UAE's art, design and creative scenes…

4. Al Maryah Island Promenade

1.19 MILES

This 5.4km-long promenade bends gently round the western shore of Al Maryah Island and offers good views of Abu Dhabi and the busy channel of water in…

5. Abu Dhabi Global Market Square

1.27 MILES

If you're into modern architecture, this development's cluster of glass-and-steel office monoliths on Al Maryah Island is the heart of Abu Dhabi's new…

6. Lake Park & Formal Park

1.44 MILES

These two shady parks straddling 4th St and spreading along the Corniche fill up with families, joggers and picnickers in the early evening. The…

7. Capital Gardens

1.47 MILES

This park in the heart of downtown offers two multipurpose playgrounds, a mini climbing wall and basketball and football areas; and there's an erupting…

8. Abdullah Hamaid Al Rumaithi Mosque

1.58 MILES

Squeezed between looming towers, this mosque is one of two that bookend a plaza hidden off the main roads. Keen photographers should come here at sunset…