Abu Dhabi is one of those cities where you will run out of time before you even scratch the surface of what it has to offer. Pre-book a cheap airport rental to make the most out of your holiday.
The islands of Abu Dhabi are a mixture of flawless beaches, golf courses and wildlife sanctuaries. Try Delma Island for its ancient history and glowing pearl diving centres, Sir Bani Yas Island to spot some of the 10,000 free roaming animals in the wildlife park, or Yas Island for the very best in super yachts and super cars and a massive waterworld fun park.
Visit the city’s most iconic attractions, such as the exquisite Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque and The Emirates Palace. Take a peek into the luxurious Etihad Towers, where you can visit the 74th floor of Tower 2 for views of the city you won’t get anywhere else, and visit ‘The Avenue’, an eye-bulging collection of exclusive boutique shops. Cool off with some time on the water, either in the natural bay or at a man-made water park. You can swim, snorkel, dive, stand-up paddleboard, kayak and wakeboard for a refreshing day out for the whole family.
Hiring a car in Abu Dhabi
Head to Airport Rentals, where all you need to do is enter your arrival and departure dates into the search function to see a full list of available cars from the Abu Dhabi International Airport. This includes makes and models from the likes of Avis, Budget and Hertz. With so many companies to choose from, you can compare each vehicle and price to find the right one for you, whether that’s a luxury model or something simpler.
Your booking comes with round-the-clock support and the option to change or cancel without any charge for most cars.
Abu Dhabi International Airport (AUH)
Touch down to the modern facilities of Abu Dhabi International Airport, the second largest airport in the UAE which serves around 20 million passengers each year. The airport is divided up into three terminals each offering high-end retail, duty-free shops, cafes, fast food joints and restaurants. Airport hotels and pods are available for those needing to catch up on some zzz’s, plus a luxury spa, smoking lounges and airline lounges.
Picking up a hired car is easy at Abu Dhabi Airport with rental kiosks open 24 hours a day. Head to the Skypark Plaza, opposite Terminal 3 to grab your keys. If you are hiring from a downtown location, hail a taxi to the city or take the local A1 bus from the lower curbside outside each terminal.
Guide to driving a rental car in Abu Dhabi
Find directions, driving tips and parking information for Abu Dhabi.
Driving from the airport to Abu Dhabi city center
The drive from Abu Dhabi International Airport to the city takes around 25 minutes. Exit the airport and follow signs to Abu Dhabi - Sweihan - Al Hayer Rd/E20. Merge onto this highway and stay in the left lanes to continue on 30th Street towards Al Bateen Executive Airport, then turn right on 15th Street to arrive in the downtown area.
Driving tips for your Abu Dhabi rental car
The UAE is known for its extreme driving and has the highest rate of road fatalities in the Middle East. Take note of the following driving tips:
● Drive on the right-hand side of the road and overtake on the left.
● Watch out for camels near the roads and always stop at zebra crossings for pedestrians.
● Locals often speed in their luxury cars; stick to the speed limit and arrive at your destination safely.
● The UAE has a zero limit for intoxication. If you plan on drinking, leave your car hire at the hotel and take a taxi.
● Ask your rental car provider about tollways and paying instructions.
Read more for guidance on driving in foreign countries.
Parking options at Abu Dhabi Airport and in the city
Choose from either short-term parking or valet service at Abu Dhabi International Airport. Pay between 5 to 10 AED for the first 30 minutes and for each additional hour. Terminal 1 and Terminal 3 charges AED 240 for the day while Terminal 2 and Garden Parking Car Park charge AED 120. Valet is available at T1 and T3 at a rate of AED 75 per hour.
When parking in Abu Dhabi city find two types of paid parking; standard and premium. Metered from Saturday to Thursday from 8am to 12am, these spaces are located throughout the city. In standard parking, the maximum stay is 24 hours at a rate of AED 2 per hour or AED 15 for the day. Premium is limited to 4 hours with a charge of AED 3 per hour. Park and Ride lots are also available for free parking outside the city with complimentary shuttle bus services to downtown.
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