Guide to Meeting & Event Planning in

Abu Dhabi

Learn why should host your next meeting, event, conference or incentive in Abu Dhabi.

Why Abu Dhabi for Your Next Meeting or Event?

Abu Dhabi, the capital and the largest of the seven emirates that make up the United Arab Emirates (UAE), offers the best of the modern and the traditional. Here are cutting-edge meeting facilities, soaring spires of commerce, stunning white beaches and shimmering turquoise waters. Attendees can explore the rich cultural bounty of Qasr al Hosn, Abu Dhabi city’s oldest stone building, and the Louvre Abu Dhabi, the first universal museum in the Arab World. Your group also will enjoy authentic local culture, expanses of awesome desert and unforgettable experiences replete with menageries of horses, camels and falcons, artisan crafts and charming legends. 

Meet Abu Dhabi

Only in Abu Dhabi

  • The Abu Dhabi Convention and Exhibition Bureau has entered into partnership with SITE — the Society for Incentive Travel Excellence — to enable its employees and stakeholders to receive a specialized professional certificate and reap the rewards of the society’s programs and best practices. This follows another recently announced alliance with global travel service provider, which will generate a slate of social and economic initiatives to attract visitors worldwide, as well as promote conservation practices for sustainable tourism.
  • The convention bureau has a partnership with destination management company Miral to provide financial incentives to support large meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions in the UAE capital and especially Yas Island, which has become a top location for leisure, entertainment and hospitality. The program rolled out on Jan. 1, 2022, with an initial focus on meetings and incentive travel. Efforts will include hosting client events, familiarization trips, site inspections and more. 
  • In related news, the CVB has forged an agreement with Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, to support MICE groups traveling to the destination. Among the offerings to eligible clients will be complimentary and discounted flights, event-planning assistance and a series of value-adds to event organizers. Contact the bureau for more information. And the convention bureau recently announced a partnership with prominent global travel service provider, which will generate a slate of social and economic initiatives to attract visitors worldwide, including meetings business, as well as to promote conservation practices for sustainable tourism. 
  • The emirate’s department of culture and tourism has unveiled the new Advantage Abu Dhabi Meetings & Incentives 2.0, an enhanced version of a program that provides value-adds and benefits to meetings and incentive organizers, including complimentary or reduced costs on site inspections, welcoming drinks, airfare, guest rooms and guest-room upgrades, spa discounts and more.
  • The Louvre Abu Dhabi, an offshoot of the famous French repository of art, is located on Saadiyat Island and is rapidly becoming a major cultural center with numerous other museums and more in the works. Visitors will find some 600 stellar works from around the world spread among 23 galleries.
  • The largest house of worship in the United Arab Emirates, the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque can hold more than 40,000 people and is an essential stop for visitors of all faiths. Completed in 2007, the mosque’s stunning design incorporates stunning touches from different Muslim civilizations and includes ornate onion-top domes, a reflective pool that engulfs the courtyard, and the iconic prayer hall with what is said to be the world’s biggest chandelier.
  • Yas Island, just 20 minutes from downtown Abu Dhabi, is a fast-growing leisure and entertainment district bristling with colorful theme parks (like Warner Bros. World and Yas Waterworld), sports and shopping. Meeting planners now can access a full calendar of events, including Broadway-style musicals, special Walt Disney shows, Grand Prix car racing, championship golf and more taking place here over the next year.

Travel Essentials

Meeting and Event Venues

Meetings & Event Venues in Abu Dhabi

  • Abu Dhabi has implemented strict health and safety protocols, which are updated regularly. The latest requirements for visitors and events can be found here
  • Italy meets Abu Dhabi with the recent opening of Talea restaurant by acclaimed chef Antonio Guida. Guests will enjoy a highly curated selection of seasonal and authentic Italian dishes, including ravioli, handcrafted carbonara, artisanal pizza and more, in an elegant yet lively setting that includes a glass-paneled show kitchen, live entertainment and stunning seaside views.
  • The world’s first Warner Bros.-branded hotel has opened in Abu Dhabi, the 257-room WB Abu Dhabi, Curio Collection by Hilton. On Yas Island, the hotel is decked out in iconic cinematic artwork and offers five signature restaurants, a fitness center, a spa and two pools, one of which adorns the roof. For meetings and events, the property has more than 5,450 square feet of dedicated space across five rooms, the largest of which spans 4,165 square feet. Guests enjoy complimentary daily access to Yas Island theme parks. 
  • The 545-room Hilton Abu Dhabi Yas Island opened in 2021 and features the sumptuous eforea spa; dining at the casual Cafe Del Mar Abu Dhabi and the Capila Pool Bar and Grill; and the 360 bar, which affords gorgeous sunset views. The hotel also has a total of 22,653 square feet of event space spread among 20 meeting rooms, the largest being the 15,381-square-foot Yas Grand ballroom, which can accommodate up to 910 people for a banquet or 1,200 for a reception. 
  • The 499-room W Abu Dhabi Marriott – Yas Island in the heart of the city’s entertainment district is in close proximity to attractions such as Ferrari World Abu Dhabi, Warner Bros. World Abu Dhabi and the mammoth Yas Mall shopping center. Set atop of  the F1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix racetrack, the hotel features 45,500 square feet of event space.

  • In the Mina Zayed port area, Warehouse 421 is an arts and design center offering a wide-ranging selection of local and regional culture including paintings, sculpture and more elaborate art installations.
  • The burgeoning Khalifa City district includes the Al Forsan International Sports Resort, a more than 17 million-square-foot playground featuring all manner of water sports, go-karting, horseback riding, wake boarding and more. The property’s largest meeting space is a ballroom that can hold up to 350 people; add the attached outdoor terrace for a total of 500 seated guests. Attendees can stay at the adjacent 400-room Marriott Hotel Ali Forsan, with its own meeting space for up to 350 attendees.
  • The 428-room Crown Plaza Abu Dhabi Yas Island has six meeting rooms able to accommodate a total of 840 attendees. Also on-site are a pool and a spa.
  • The centrally located, five-star Dusit Thani Abu Dhabi has 402 guest rooms and a total of 35,000 square feet of event space. This opulent Thai-style property offers an array of amenities such as the Namm Spa with eight treatment rooms, an outdoor swimming pool with sun deck and pool bar, the DFIT Fitness Center and more. 
  • Another five-star entry is the 43-story Grand Hyatt Abu Dhabi Hotel & Residences in the West Corniche district, with 21,500 square feet of meeting space spread among 14 meeting rooms, the largest of which is an 11,200-square-foot ballroom. The hotel’s 428 guest rooms include 36 luxury suites, and its large infinity pool overlooks the Arabian Gulf.
  • Just five minutes from Abu Dhabi International Airport, the 18-hole, par-71 Abu Dhabi Golf Club offers a variety of spaces for meetings, including a boardroom seating 14, a banquet hall for up to 100 and the Falcon Terrace, able to accommodate up to 200. Most spaces have stunning views of the greens and/or the city’s skyline, and attendees can make use of a two-tiered driving range as well as an on-site pool and tennis courts.
  • Set on Sri Bani Yas Island, a private wildlife reserve, the Desert Islands Conference Center includes beautiful beachfront space for an outdoor banquet or cocktail party for up to 1,000 people. Indoors, up to 360 can gather among six meeting rooms, the largest of which spans 5,381 square feet. Also on-site is exhibit space totaling 6,458 square feet. 
  • The 64-room Desert Islands Resort & Spa by Anantara, adjacent to the Desert Islands Conference Center on private Sri Bani Yas Island, has its own 9,633 square feet of meeting space for up to 590 attendees spread among 11 rooms.
  • In the city’s busy Park Complex, the 172-room Park Arjaan by Rotana has more than 25,000 square feet of event space, including a ballroom that can host a banquet for up to 550 people, a theater that can seat 700 and a meeting room that can host 500. The hotel offers guests full access to the neighboring Rotana Hotel, with its variety of dining venues.
  • The dramatically undulating glass walls of the 281-room Millennium Capital Gate Abu Dhabi makes it a standout in the emirate’s commercial district. For on-site dining, a sumptuous breakfast can be had at the all-day Oceana, while South American and Arabian cuisine are available at Noche. The hotel’s Mizan Spa features a full menu of treatments, while meetings take place in eight event rooms totaling 6,000 square feet of flexible event space for up to 700 attendees. Abu Dhabi International Airport is just a 20-minute drive away.
  • The 262-room Sheraton Khalidiya is in the heart of the city, close to the Abu Dhabi Corniche. The property has views of the sparkling Arabian Gulf along with three dining options and nine meeting room.  

Things to Do in Abu Dhabi

Extending Your Trip in Abu Dhabi

  • Don’t-miss events taking place in Abu Dhabi in 2023 include the International Indian Film Academy, which takes place takes place on Yas Island, May 26-27. Known as the world’s biggest celebration of Indian cinema, the event promises lots of glamour and fashion.
  • Adventure lovers in your group will enjoy a visit to Circuit X Hudayriyat Mar Vista at the all-new Hudayriyat Leisure and Entertainment District at Hudayriyat Mar Vista. On-site attractions include BMX Park for bike lovers, featuring a fun dirt trail complete with sharp corners, ramps and hills; Skate Park, with its assortment of street-style walls, bridges, bowls and ledges; and Ropes Park, where visitors tackle a three-level ropes course spiced with 31 obstacles.
  • Several of the emirate’s properties offer day passes to their spectacular swimming pools. Among the resorts are Emirates Palace, Zaya Nurai Island and Rixos on Saadiyat Island.
  • Construction on what’s being called the “next-generation marine-life theme park,” SeaWorld Abu Dhabi, is 90 percent completed as the attraction readies itself for a 2023 opening on Yas Island. Built on five levels with a total area of close to 2 million square feet, the attraction will celebrate our watery world and its inhabitants in a variety of themed environments, habitats, rides and immersive experiences.
  • Just south of Yas Island, the new Yas Bay Waterfront district has opened with a wide range of dining, nightlife, entertainment and leisure offerings. Among highlights at the development are 15 restaurants, the 545-room Hilton Abu Dhabi Yas Island and the Etihad Arena, which can accommodate up to 18,000 people and has hosted world swimming championships, mixed martial-arts events, top entertainers and more.
  • Conveniently close to the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre, the new Al Qana development is now welcoming guests to its 1.5 miles of attractions along the Khor Al Malta river. The complex includes a variety of dining experiences; a marina offering water sports and sunset sail excursions; the massive National Aquarium with 10 themed zones sustaining more than 330 species; winding waterfront walking paths, and more.
  • The largest indoor aquarium in the Middle East has opened in the emirate. The National Aquarium comprises 10 themed zones that include in-depth explorations of environments such as ocean, rain forest and Arctic, with an emphasis on sustaining native wildlife and preserving the planet. On display are more than 330 species contributing to an on-site population of more than 46,000 animals.
  • For a truly immersive experience, consider a stay at Arabian Nights Village in the heart of the Abu Dhabi desert, a melange of accommodations ranging from air-conditioned tents to opulent suites in private detached houses. Activities include a safari over stunning sand dunes, swimming in the Oasis Pool with its panoramic desert views, camel trekking and “fat biking." The on-site Al Maqam restaurant serves a mix of Arabic and international cuisine.
  • Home to more than 200 species, the Al Ain Zoo claims title as the largest such repository in the Middle East, devoted to educating visitors about protecting endangered species and sustaining the earth’s environment. Here you’ll find rare examples of the dada gazelle, the brown capuchin, the Arabian sand cat and many others. The on-site Sheikh Zayed Desert Learning Center presents a variety of exhibits spread among five interactive galleries taking visitors on a journey through the past, present and future of the UAE’s ecology. The building itself has been certified LEED Platinum, and the venue’s SZDLC Theatre can be booked for intimate corporate events or small meetings. 
  • Opened in 1999, the Abu Dhabi Falcon Hospital is devoted to providing veterinary health-care services to the graceful birds, who were used by Bedouin hunters to catch prey for hundreds of years and now are raised for the sport of falconry. The facility, open to visitors on select days, is well worth a visit for an up-close look at the “patients” as well as a peaceful garden area complete with falcon statues and fountains, and an on-site museum of Arab falconry.
  • A unique nature-oriented experience can be had at Jubail Mangrove Park, where visitors will find a series of boardwalks meandering through a carefully cultivated ecosystem that’s home to all manner of herons, flamingos, myriad fish and copious crustaceans. Opened in January 2020, the park features rangers on hand to answer questions, a floating platform outfitted with a net through which one can glimpse the denizens below, a viewing tower affording panoramic views and more.
  • Also on Saadiyat Island, the Manarat Al Saadiyat, an arts complex with three galleries, an arts studio, a 250-seat auditorium and a roster of offerings ranging from comedy nights to theater workshops, yoga classes and film screenings. 
  • For golfers, the city has six courses to satisfy duffers and experts alike. For example, Yas Links, nestled on the western shores of Yas Island, offers a challenging 18-hole, par-72, 7,450-yard championship course as well as a nine-hole, par-3 academy course, all complemented by a fine-dining restaurant, views of Abu Dhabi’s striking skyline and a private lawn for events and croquet. 
  • Release your group’s inner speed demons at Ferrari World Abu Dhabi, a theme park on Yas Island that celebrates all things vroom with more than 37 high-octane rides and attractions. Have fun on the Formula Rosa, said to be the world’s fasted roller coaster, soaring to over 170 feet high (and dropping just as much); the Bell’ Italia, where you ride in a small-scale 1958 Ferrari 250 California through a mini-Italian landscape; and the Fiorano GT Challenge, which lets teams compete on twisting parallel tracks riding Ferrari F430 Spiders. 
  • Abu Dhabi Desert Morning Safari lets participants ply the dunes via three modes of travel: 4x4 (a four-wheel-drive vehicle), camel and sandboard (think snowboard on the sand).
  • The world’s largest uninterrupted sand mass awaits visitors to the Empty Quarter, a 250,000-square-mile desert on the outskirts of Abu Dhabi that extends into Saudi Arabia. This awe-inspiring expanse is dotted with oases and properties including the 242-room Al Ain Rotana Hotel, with its own garden, spa, pool and six restaurants.

Top Restaurants in Abu Dhabi

Among top spots to grab a bite in Abu Dhabi are: