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, falcons and salukis (gracefully swift, silky-coated dogs), artisan crafts and charming legends. 

Only in Abu Dhabi

  • The Louvre Abu Dhabi, an offshoot of the famous French repository of art, has produced a new video, “We Are Not Alone," which takes viewers on a trip through the facility’s unique architecture. The story is told as a futuristic science-fiction tale narrated by celebrities such as American actor Willem Dafoe and German filmmaker Wim Wenders. The museum, which recently celebrated its second anniversary, is on Saadiyat Island, rapidly becoming a major cultural center with numerous other museums and more in the works. The building takes the shape of a filigreed half-sphere resting on a low base intersected by channels of water. Inside, 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 (Yas Mall). The sparkling new Hilton Abu Dhabi Yas Island, with 24 meeting rooms and a total of 27,512 square feet of event space, is just one premier venue here.


Meeting and Event Venues

New & Coming Soon to Abu Dhabi

  • In light of ongoing concerns about Covid-19, Abu Dhabi’s Department of Culture and Tourism has been working closely with industry partners to introduce a number of initiatives to ease visitor concerns and aid hotels and cultural attractions in reopening. The Go Safe certification program is one such effort, implementing strict hygienic measures across all tourism destinations including malls, restaurants, museum, public beaches, theme parks and more. To date more than 80 percent of hotels here are undergoing the process to become Go Safe-certified.
  • Coming to Yas Island in July is UFC Fight Island — a series of four exciting UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship) martial-arts contests to be held in the new Etihad Arena, the region’s largest multi-purpose indoor venue and part of the rapidly growing Yas Bay development. The fights will be televised globally on platforms such as UFC Arabia, available through the Apple Store and Google Play. Set on the island’s colorful waterfront, the arena can accommodate up to 13,602 people in the main area/seated floor and up to 1,600 in the grand ballroom.
  • The 499-room W Abu Dhabi – Yas Island has opened in the heart of the city’s entertainment district. The property is an instantly iconic landmark that sits alongside the Yas Marina and 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 45,466 square feet of event space spread among 17 meeting rooms, the largest of which spans 26,576 square feet. Among dining options are the Garage, an a la carte food hub; the Steam Table, serving noodles and dumplings; the Nikkei House, offering Peruvian/Japanese cuisine, and the Lebanese-flavored Meat Vault. A splashy W Wet pool is a favored locus for socializing.

  • Abu Dhabi  has unveiled its own cleaning certification initiative. The Safe and Clean program, developed by the Abu Dhabi’s Department of Culture and Tourism, will be rolled out in phases. The first phase will be dedicated to hotels, followed by tourism attractions and businesses. The program builds on the UAE's National Disinfection Program, launched in late March as part of the preventative and precautionary measures taken by the country to move quickly to contain the spread of COVID-19 and position it for a comeback and welcome groups as soon as safety allows.
  • In the Mina Zayed port area, Warehouse 421 is a new arts and design center offering a wide-ranging selection of local and regional culture including paintings, sculpture and more elaborate art installations. 
  • Even in a city known for using superlatives, the more than $US231,450 million Al Qana development promises to set new records for jaw-dropping design. This massive project, which broke ground in 2016, stretches about 1.5 miles along the Khor Al Maqta river that separates Abu Dhabi from the mainland. Set to debut later this year, Al Qana will comprise a string of waterfront attractions, restaurants and more. Among the highlights will be a 53,819-square-foot aquarium; a yacht marina; an expansive area for indoor and outdoor sports; a “wellness hub”; a winding walkway connected by four bridges; and Cinemacity, a complex of 15 theaters (with one screen measuring 85 feet wide) seating a total of up to 2,000 people, including three VIP theaters with private lounges and in-seat dining.. 
  • The burgeoning Khalifa City residential/entertainment district recently welcomed 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.

More Hotels & Venues

  • The strikingly curvy tower of the 188-room Andaz Capital Gate Hotel Abu Dhabi is connected to the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Center and offers some 10,000 square feet of its own meeting space in seven rooms, the largest of which spans 5,000 square feet. On-site features include the Rayana Spa, three restaurants, a rooftop outdoor swimming pool and an art gallery named 165 Below.
  • The 428-room Crown Plaza Abu Dhabi Yas Island has six meeting rooms able to accommodate a total of 840 attendees. Five on-site restaurants include Jing Asia (a fusion of Asian and international cuisine), Stills Restaurant & Bar (signature European dishes and an international array of draught beer) and Barouk, offering authentic Lebanese dishes. 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 splashy 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.
  • If your attendee list is unusually long, the du Arena, billed as the largest open-air venue in the Middle East, can holds up to 50,000 people. Myriad grandstands, VIP platforms and a 75,347-square-foot “Village” area are ripe with possibilities, and the venue offers full F&B operations. Entertainment (recent performances have included the likes of Bruno Mars and Middle East superstar Majida El Roumi) can be viewed from several opulent “tree house suites” for VIPS.
  • 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.

Things to Do in Abu Dhabi

Extending Your Trip in Abu Dhabi

  • 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 is 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.

Getting Active & Outdoors

  • For golfers, the city has six beautifully maintained 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 Excursions

Abu Dhabi Classic 1 Day Hop-On Hope-Off Tour. This at-your-own-pace tour visits the major landmarks in the city, including the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, the largest such edifice in the country; Heritage Village, a meticulously reconstructed traditional oasis encampment; and the colorful theme parks of Yas Island

Abu Dhabi Desert Morning Safari. This three-hour morning activity (so planned to avoid the midday heat) lets participants ply the dunes via three modes of travel: 4x4 (a four-wheel-drive vehicle), camel and sandboard (think snowboard on the sand).

Top Restaurants in Abu Dhabi

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