Depart your central Dubai hotel in the morning. Meet your guide, settle into your comfortable, air-conditioned coach and travel through the desert, past Jebel Ali port, to Abu Dhabi, the UAE’s capital.
Along the way, hear fascinating facts about Abu Dhabi’s rapid development following the oil boom of the 1950s and 1960s. Before then, the city was little more than a small fishing port, with a handful of buildings, harborside and a defensive fort.
Learn how the discovery of oil changed everything at lightning speed, and how recently, Abu Dhabi’s rulers have taken their cue from glamorous Dubai, investing heavily in futuristic architecture and leisure attractions.
Start with a visit to Masdar City: a multi-billion dollar eco-city under construction on the edges of Abu Dhabi. The energy-efficient city is powered mostly by solar panels and composed of cube-like buildings that make it look like it’s landed from a sci-fi movie.
Take in the views of the city, due to be finished in 2525, before continuing to Yas Island, an artificial island given over to luxury hotels and leisure parks.
Marvel at the spectacular Yas Viceroy Hotel with its eye-popping LED canopy, and stop for photos of the Yas Marina F1 circuit.
Take in gleaming Ferrari World Abu Dhabi, the world’s first Ferrari-designed motorsport park. While your tour doesn’t include time to experience the park’s rides, visit the gift store to shop for Ferrari-themed souvenirs (own expense).
Refuel with lunch (own expense) on Yas Island, and afterward, visit Saadiyat Island, another man-made islet that showcases Abu Dhabi’s contemporary art and cultural achievements.
Pose for photos at the UAE Pavilion — an acclaimed sustainable building — and explore the visitor center at Manarat Al Saadiyat, where videos and scale models illustrate the Abu Dhabi of the future.
Snap pictures of the glittering Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, Abu Dhabi’s best-known mosque, before returning to Dubai, where your day trip ends at your hotel.