4 Ways to Unwind in Abu Dhabi (Plus Bonus Tips to Recover After a Busy Week)

Feeling worn out at the end of a seemingly long work week? Or perhaps you’re struggling to manage emotions that are running high because of significant challenges in your life?

Whether you live and work in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) or are just visiting after a stressful week, you need all the help you can get to relax.

city skyline across the sea during daytime

The good news is that there are plenty of things you can try to unwind in Abu Dhabi that will leave you feeling re-energized and ready for another busy week ahead. Below are several ways you can recover from a busy week:

  1. Get pampered at a spa.

Having a spa day is the most straightforward way to relax and feel revitalized. Massages, body scrubs, and facials let you focus more on yourself.

Spa therapy also encourages the release of serotonin, the “happy hormone” responsible for stabilizing people’s moods and feelings of well-being.

You have a wide range of spas to choose from in Abu Dhabi, including:

  • Iridium Spa at St. Regis Saadiyat Island Resort: Perched on one of the city’s finest beaches, this establishment houses a total of 12 treatment suites, steam rooms, saunas, and relaxing plunge pools.
  • Dahlia Spa at Four Seasons Hotel: This spa offers a one-of-a-kind experience and is known for having the only quartz sand therapy treatment in Abu Dhabi.
  • ELLE Spa at Marriott Downtown: Made with a Parisian flair that’s more affordable than others of its kind in the city, this establishment offers a great spa experience for the right price.
  1. Explore the UAE culture.

Whether you’re an expat or a local in the city, one of the best ways to keep your mind off work is to divert it somewhere else. And what better subject to fill your mind with than the Emirati culture?

If you notice, learning about the local culture and art is one of the popular things to do in the UAE. Below are some excellent destinations you may want to try:

  • Qasr Al Watan at Al Ras Al Akhdar: A working Presidential palace, the Qasr Al Watan is opened to the public as a cultural landmark, featuring a wealth of knowledge about the legacy of the UAE.
  • Louvre Abu Dhabi at Saadiyat Island: This is the country’s most prominent culture and arts mega-project that not only provides an overwhelming amount of knowledge about eras from the Stone Age to the present, but also lets you relax in Jean Nouvel’s breathtaking architectural masterpiece.
  • Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque: Considered the most popular attraction in the UAE, the Grand Mosque is an excellent place to relax, especially during less busy periods. It has a serene atmosphere that lets you connect with your spirituality, regardless of your religion.
  1. Gaze at the out-of-this-world beauty of the stars.

Stargazing in the desert is another popular relaxation strategy for people visiting Abu Dhabi.

Besides dune bashing and fat-biking, you can also relish the darkness in Qasr Al Sarab, chart the stars, and bask in the beauty of constellations.

Even better, try to check online if a meteor shower is expected to light up the sky on the night of your trip. This will also make for a romantic experience for couples.

  1. Have a refreshing visit at a water park.

Exhausted from going around and about in the Emirati heat? Consider spending a refreshing weekend at a famous water park in the UAE.

Yas Waterworld Abu Dhabi is one of the largest tourism projects in the country and is home to some of the best water entertainment in the Middle East.

There, you’ll find different adventures designed for people of all ages, such as:

  • Dawwama: Lets groups of up to six people try descending through a massive tornado water coaster for the ultimate adrenaline-pumping experience.
  • Jebel Drop: A heart-pumping water slide that allows riders to feel what it’s like to drop from a height of 10 stories in the tallest speed slide in the region.
  • Cinesplash: Guests can stay dry while experiencing the wonders of the deep in 5D virtual reality.
  • Bubbles Barrel: Designed for surfing enthusiasts who want to experience riding the largest sheet wave in the world.
  • Hamlool’s Humps: An intense three-hump speed slide where guests can plummet from the highest point in the water park.

Bonus Tips to Help Yourself Recover After a Busy Week

Ready to go on a relaxing weekend in Abu Dhabi? Try the following bonus tips to make sure you recover from a busy week:

Release tension and just breathe.

Whether you do it on your trip or before you leave home, remember to just breathe.

Focus on your breathing for about five minutes or so. This will help you de-stress and switch off your fight-or-flight response to whatever is causing tension in your life right now. Breathing also helps switch on your parasympathetic nervous system to allow you to relax.

Then, try to release pent-up tension by undergoing massage therapy or focusing on a hobby, among other things. Different individuals may need various things to achieve this, so look for what works for you.

Quiet your mind.

People on vacation may find it challenging to stop thinking about what they need to do when they return to their day-to-day lives. If you face the same issue, try to get those things out of your mind and put them on paper.

Writing down to-do lists or even a journal can help quiet your thoughts. Doing this regularly also helps foster mental clarity.

Having your thoughts written down also allows you to get a better picture of what you’re doing and become more organized and productive upon returning to work or whatever you took a break from.

Do what you love.

Another excellent way to unwind is to do the things you love. Take time off of your obligations and just do what you like for a change.

Set aside bills, chores, meetings, and appointments. Then, use this break to return to a hobby, go to places you love, or meet with people you care about. Do whatever brings you happiness and refill what’s been depleted from your life.

Rest Well to Perform Well

Work and life can sometimes feel like a race. You work hard without stopping, eventually feeling exhausted physically, mentally, and emotionally. Replenish what you’ve used up with good rest and recreation, and watch your performance improve.