Walk the streets and see a whole new side of Abu Dhabi
What no-one really tells you about Abu Dhabi is how bizarre and interesting the backstreets can be. They are littered with a mishmash of cultures, and odd shops that you wouldn’t necessarily think worth visiting, but in totality, the back streets of Abu Dhabi represent the real world of Abu Dhabi, away from the sheen and polished skyscrapers that define this great city.
As Abu Dhabi is completely safe, you should have no worries about venturing beyond the main streets and it really is an eye opener. Don’t be afraid to go and ask shopkeepers about what they offer. They all love the banter. Your only downside is if you hate being stared at. The male’s eyes do wander – so if you are female, conservative covering up is the way to go.
Our favourite areas are:
1 - The area behind Madinat Zayed Shopping Centre and near the New Medical Centre where you will find a treasure trove of tailors.
2 - The area between Electra (Sheikh. Zayed the Second Street) and Hamdan Street where places like Lulu redefine the term dollar shop.
3 - The area behind the Etisalat buildings or behind Fotouh al Khair shopping centre where some of the Indian shops can serve amazing food for next to nothing. Try some of the freshly squeezed juices too.
4 - The area parallel to Khalidiya (Sheikh Zayed the First Street) starting at the Al Muhairy Centre and ending at Lulu Supermarket where the bright lights of pastry shops are tempting until you arrive at the Lebanese Flower where the shawarmas will more than satisfy your appetite from the long walk.
Points of Note:
- If you are going for a wander, it’s probably best to do it at sunset, or from 5pm onwards. Take a bottle of water with you!
- Get lost! You are only ever a few minutes away from a main road and a taxi that can take you back to modern amenities
- Don’t wear your best clothes or you will stand out!
When – Daily, after 4pm
How long – 1 hour plus for each roam around.
Location – (1) “New Medical Centre” (2) “Backside Crowne Plaza”, Hamdan Street (3) “Backside Foutouh Al Khair”, near Etisalat (4) “Al Muhairy Centre”
Cost – Free