Khalidiya is one of the most vibrant parts of Abu Dhabi. It’s a part of the city where old meets new. Whether you’re looking to spend a few hours in the mall, walking the streets on a bargain hunt, looking for a place to eat or just want to spend some time on the beach, you won’t go wanting.
Where it’s located
The area is one of the bigger districts on Abu Dhabi Island, bordered by Al Bateen to the west, Al Manhal and Al Zaab to the east and Al Rowdah to the south. The northern edge of the district runs alongside the Corniche.
The E20 – Khaleej Al Arabi Street – runs through it, making it one of the easiest areas to access.
Good for Day out at the beach followed by some light shopping and maybe a cheeky culture trip.
Bad for Hotels – only the Sheraton Khalidiyah exists in the area. Parking can also be a headache.
Transport and parking
Parking Although parking is in plentiful supply, it can be a headache during weekend evenings. The car parks along the Corniche fill up quickly, and the network of backroads can be pandemonium. Most of the parking is Dh2 per hour (black and turquoise painted kerbs), but there are some premium parking areas too at Dh3 per hour (white and turquoise painted kerbs). Bus A number of bus routes run through the area. Taxis Taxis are all over the place. The Corniche is usually a good place to find them.
Naturally the beach at the Corniche is the centre point of all recreation and general merriment in Khalidiya, and so to is the surrounding park land.
Al Khalidiyah Park, on the corner of Khaleej Al Arabi Street and Zayed the First Street is well worth a couple of hours, children will enjoy feeding the ducks.
A cinema exists in nearby Khalidiyah Mall.
Those with any cultural inclination may be surprised, but there are a couple of quaint art galleries in Khalidiya. The Etihad Modern Art Gallery is a fun little place, and also features a very quirky café, perfect for chilling out in the evenings. Then there is the Ghaf Art Gallery, which is located next to Al Khalidiya Park.
The area’s obvious shopping destination is Khalidiyah Mall. With ample parking, this mall features all the usual suspects, such as Centrepoint and various High Street brands.
The back streets are a treasure trove of independent retailers. While most things are available, there is no shortage of textile shops and ones that will offer to repair your iPhone even when Apple say it can’t be done…
3 restaurants to try
Third Avenue The Third Avenue Pub is located at the Sheraton Khalidiya Hotel. An English-themed pub, it’s the ideal meeting point for friends, and a great place to watch live sports, especially football. The food menu serves typical pub favourites from burgers to Thai green curries. Phone 02 444 0444
Green Tea Green Tea is a tiny café located behind the Shining Tower. This tiny place is a close-guarded secret (well, it was). It serves the best chicken paratha wraps in the capital. It’s the ideal place to grab a quick bite while on the move – and yes, it is one of those places where your car horn can summon a menu. Phone 02 491 6336
The Living Room Behind Khalidiyah Mall is a well presented private residential complex called Khalidiyah Village. Nestling within the gated community is a tiny – and we mean tiny – café called “The Living Room”. There are only a few tables, but for superb, genuine home-cooked food, this is the place to go. Parking is limited, and it’s important to respect the neighbours. It’s intimate surroundings make it great for breakfast and lunch. Phone 02 639 6654