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Looking for ways to keep your family entertained during the summer break? This list provides a glimpse into the exciting indoor activities that await you and your family in Abu Dhabi. Picture used for illustrative purposes. Image Credit: Gulf News Archives

Dubai: If you are struggling with finding ways to keep your family entertained during the summer holidays, don't worry! You can escape the heat and explore these exciting indoor activities and attractions in Abu Dhabi.

1. Unveiling the architectural marvels at Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque

Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque

One of the most iconic landmarks in the UAE, Abu Dhabi’s Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, is a great way to enjoy a cultural afternoon or evening during the summer break. You can book a tour of the mosque, which will allow you to get a more in-depth understanding of the architectural marvels of the mosque, along with building a better cultural understanding.

Plan your visit:

Visiting hours
• Saturday – Thursday: 9am to 10pm
• Friday - 9am to 12pm, 3pm to 10pm.

Cost - Entry is free and while the guided tours are also free, it is advisable to book them in advance through the website -

Location - Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is situated between the three main bridges connecting Abu Dhabi to the mainland - Maqta, Mussafah, and Sheikh Zayed bridges. You can enter the mosque from Al Salam Gate.

2. Discover the Qasr Al Watan Presidential Palace

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Qasr Al Watan

Uncover the UAE's fascinating history at Qasr Al Watan, a presidential palace open to the public.

Explore its magnificent halls and learn about the nation's rich traditions through guided tours that are a great way to understand the UAE’s journey through history. The guided tours run every 30 minutes, and take about an hour to cover the building’s key sites and attractions.

Another exciting feature of the palace is the light show. If you head to Qasr Al Watan at around 7.30pm on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, the building’s façade transforms into a canvas for a sound and light show. The show is titled ‘Place in Motion’ and it celebrates the story of the UAE.

Plan your visit:

Where to book tickets - You can book your tickets in advance through the Qasr Al Watan website -

• Adults – Dh65 per person
• Children – Dh30 per person

Timings – 11am to 6.45pm every day.

Location – Next to Emirates Palace Mandarin Oriental Abu Dhabi, at the end of the Abu Dhabi Corniche. If you are driving to the palace, there is free parking available at the Visitor Centre car park.

Free shuttle bus - You can also reach the palace by taking the ‘Bus route A’ of the ‘Visit Abu Dhabi Shuttle Bus’. For more information on the bus routes and how to book tickets, click here.

2. Book an entire football field or basketball court at Abu Dhabi Summer Sports 2024

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Stock image used for illustrative purposes. Image Credit: Pexels/Bk Aguilar

With an early bird discount of 50 per cent applicable to visitors booking slots from June 14 to 21, this year’s edition of Abu Dhabi Summer Sports offers visitors the chance to play football, basketball, table tennis and cricket along with many other sports at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC). This is a great way to stay fit and exercise, without facing the summer heat.

How to book a sports court or field

• Visit the ADSS website -, and click on the ‘Book Now’ button.
• Next, select the sport from the drop-down menu, the date, duration and then book the time slot. Click ‘Continue’.
• You will then see an overview of the total cost. Click on ‘Proceed to Cart’.
• If you have an existing account with ADSS, log in with your mobile number and password. If you don’t click on ‘Sign Up’ to create an account. You will have to enter your full name, nationality, gender, mobile number and email address.
• Once you have created an account, you can proceed to pay for your booking online with your credit or debit card. You will receive a confirmation for the booking on your registered email address.

Plan your visit:

• Operating dates are from June 14 to August 23, 2024.
• Open daily from 8am to 1am.

Cost - Entry to the centre is free but for each activity, or for booking courts and fields, you will need to pay separately.

Location - ADNEC Centre is located on Al Khaleej Al Arabi Street in the Al Rawdah area, and the Abu Dhabi Summer Sports programme is being held in Halls 5 to 11. Parking is free at Car Parks A and B.

3. Dive into an aquatic wonderland at The National Aquarium Abu Dhabi

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The National Aquarium Abu Dhabi Image Credit: Supplied

This summer, embark on an underwater adventure at the Middle East's largest aquarium. The National Aquarium boasts over 46,000 fascinating creatures from 300 unique species, spread across 10 themed zones. Witness unique marine life and learn about the importance of conservation.

Plan your visit:

Where to book tickets – Save time and book your tickets in advance through the official website - You can also purchase the tickets on site.

Ticket prices
• General admission – Dh110. It allows you to enjoy the 10-zone journey at the aquarium.
• Beyond the glass – Dh140. This includes a behind-the-scenes look, the 10-zone journey and a glass bridge walk.

Timings – Every day from 10am to 10pm

Location - The National Aquarium is located in the Al Qana development, along Al Maqta Street (E20), between the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque and the Sheikh Zayed Cricket Stadium.

4. Explore art and culture at the Louvre Abu Dhabi

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Lourve Abu Dhabi Image Credit: Gulf News Archive

Immerse yourselves in a world of art and history at Louvre Abu Dhabi, the first universal museum in the Arab world, showcasing artwork from across the world. This architectural marvel houses an impressive collection of historical, cultural, and sociological works from ancient times to the contemporary era. There are 9,200 square metres of galleries, including a Permanent Gallery and a Temporary Gallery, which includes loans from notable French museums.

Plan your visit:

Where to book tickets - Visit the official website - and click on the ‘Buy Tickets’ button. Book the date and time, register your details and pay for the tickets online. You will receive a digital ticket on your registered email address.

• Every day from 10am to midnight.
• Galleries and exhibitions close at 6.30pm on weekdays and at 8.30pm from Friday to Sunday.

Ticket prices
• For adults 18 years old and older - Dh63
• Free Entry - For Children under 18, senior citizens and residents above 60, and People of Determination with a companion.

Location - Saadiyat Cultural District in Saadiyat Island

How to get there

From Abu Dhabi City – From the Corniche or Mina Port road, take the E12 highway towards Saadiyat Island. As you cross into the island, take the exit for Jacque Chirac Street, to reach Louvre Abu Dhabi.

From Dubai – Stay on E11 on Yas Island, and then take the Saadiyat Island/Yas Island exit onto Sheikh Khalifa Highway E12 and drive along Yas Highway to the Cultural District/Louvre Abu Dhabi on Saadiyat Island. Follow road signs to Louvre Abu Dhabi.

5. Ice skating or bowling fun at Zayed Sports City

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Stock image used for illustrative purposes. Image Credit: Pexels/cottonbro studio

Get active and have some fun at Zayed Sports City! This sprawling complex boasts facilities for over 30 sports, you can enjoy indoor sports like ice skating, bowling, table tennis, and more. Enjoy some friendly competition, hone your skills, or simply have a blast with loved ones.

Plan your visit:

Booking - Book courts in advance for basketball, volleyball, and football online - ( the cost depends on the sport and timing).

Ice skating and bowling – No prior bookings are involved for ice skating and bowling. Ice skating costs Dh55 for the daytime and Dh105 for the evening. For bowling, it is Dh25 per game.

General timings - 7am to 10pm.

Timings for Zayed Sports City Ice Rink
• Monday to Thursday - 12pm to 9.30pm.
• Friday - 12pm to 11.30pm (from 2.45 to 9.30pm the ice rink is reserved for women only).
• Saturday - 10.15am to 10.30pm.
• Sunday - 10.15am to 9.30pm

Timings for Khalifa International Bowling Centre
Everyday between 12pm and 12am.

Location - Zayed Sports City is located off of Airport Road, near Carrefour and Al Noor Hospital, in the Al Mushrif neighbourhood of Abu Dhabi.

How to get there

From Dubai - Take the E11 highway towards Abu Dhabi. Take the exit towards Mussafah/Maqta Bridge and then keep right and exit towards Abu Dhabi. After the bridge, make a left at the second stop light (the Hilton Hotel will be on this corner). Continue straight through the roundabout to Gate 6.

From Abu Dhabi City - Head east on Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed al Maktoum Road (Old Airport Road/ Old Road 2), towards Maqta Bridge. Turn right at the light after Carrefour, towards KFC (Hilton Hotel will be on this corner). Continue straight through the roundabout to Gate 6.