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Visiting SeaWorld Abu Dhabi – Is it Worth it? My Review

My review of SeaWorld Abu Dhabi Yas Island which we visited during our school holidays since my daughter loves dolphins and was very excited about the show. Our friend had visited prior to us, and they mentioned arriving early so we could see as much as possible. I have to say they were right. The whole Seaworld Abu Dhabi  was pretty amazing and worth visiting for kids and adults alike and in my opinion of the best things to do in Abu Dhabi

Information about SeaWorld Abu Dhabi Aquarium 

SeaWorld, the top marine life park in the United States, has opened its first marine life park outside of the country. SeaWorld Abu Dhabi features the largest aquarium in the United Arab Emirates, as well as the first facility dedicated to marine research, rescue, rehabilitation, and release.

The park, spanning 183,000 square meters, has been designed by Yazdani Studio of CannonDesign in Los Angeles and aims to promote a greater understanding and appreciation for ocean wildlife, while also highlighting the importance of wildlife conservation. 

The centrepiece of the project is a multi-story aquarium that houses marine life from the Arabian Gulf and beyond. 

Seaworld Abu Dhabi Entrance - what to expect on your visit
SeaWorld Abu Dhabi Entrance

Must Visit Places in SeaWorld Abu Dhabi with Kids or Without 

You should visit everything at SeaWorld Abu Dhabi Aquarium, but I don’t think you can do it in one day. I have never been to Seaworld in the US, but the Abu Dhabi version is enormous.  I wish we had longer than the day to explore because there were attractions and shows we didn’t see, and I wish we had. SeaWorld Abu Dhabi is divided into sections with various themes and a central area where they all connect. It can be confusing as some areas can be a 10-15 minute walk, especially if you have children with you. 

Here are the ones we watched and the ones I wish we had the time to do so. 

1. Dolphin Show: One of the must-visit attractions at SeaWorld Abu Dhabi is the dolphin show. Watch these intelligent creatures perform acrobatics, interact with their trainers, and show off their amazing skills. It’s an absolute delight for both kids and adults.

Dolphin show, seat at the back unless you want a splash

2. Pearl Dive Experience: Witness the traditional method of pearl diving in an immersive presentation. This unique experience reflects an important aspect of Abu Dhabi’s heritage and offers a glimpse into the region’s rich history.

I wasn’t sure how they would perform this, but they actually did dive in the water to show people how it is done. My daughter still talks about the experience. It is very interactive, and the staff did an excellent job. 

3. Animal Feeding Sessions: Do not miss the animal feeding sessions, where you can learn about the eating habits of different marine creatures like sharks, rays, and turtles. We did catch a couple of feeding sessions but didn’t stick around for the full explanation, although it was very nice and I did learn a lot. 

You can get lost around the area so get a map

4. Tide Pool Touch Tanks: Kids and adults will both enjoy the Tide Pool Touch Tanks. This is an interactive exhibit where you can touch and feel various sea creatures under the guidance of a trained marine biologist.

5. Sea Rescue Center: At SeaWorld’s Sea Rescue Center, witness the compassionate rescue and rehabilitation efforts of the SeaWorld team. It provides insights into their work to care for and protect the marine life.

6. Behind-The-Scenes Tours: Don’t miss a chance to go behind the scenes to understand the work that goes into providing the care for SeaWorld’s animal inhabitants and learn from their expert animal care staff.

7. Explorer’s Reef: The Explorer’s Reef is an immersive walkthrough exhibit that showcases a diversity of marine life from coral reefs around the world.

You can even have lunch with penguins swimming

8. Sea Turtles and Penguins: Visit the exhibits of sea turtles and penguins. Learn more about these creatures, their habitats, and the conservation efforts to protect them. I loved the fact we could walk so close to the penguins. It is cold in there so bring a jacket but definitely worth it. 

9. Shark Encounter: For thrill-seekers, there’s the Shark Encounter, where you can come face to face with some of the ocean’s most feared predators.

10. Journey to Atlantis: End the day with a thrilling water coaster ride. Journey to Atlantis combines dazzling special effects and unprecedented thrills. Remember that the venue offers several experiences that may have age or height restrictions, so it’s best to check the website or consult with staff upon arrival. 

I love the fact you can get close to the penguins

Is Seaworld Abu Dhabi Worth Visiting? 

Definitely, I didn’t know what to expect, and I am not into caged animals, but this was such a beautiful design, and it felt very immersive. I really loved one ocean or endless ocean, and I wish I had more time to spend there. There was something very peaceful about being surrounded by the blue of the water in a very dark room. I wish I could have taken a notebook and just relaxed there, but sadly, my daughter was not keen, and it was closing time. 

How Long Do You need at Seaworld Abu Dhabi? 

If you are visiting Abu Dhabi and plan to visit Ferrari World and the waterparks, I would suggest getting a yearly pass, especially if you plan more than one visit to the city.

We spent the whole day there, and I wish we had more time to explore the area and book more experiences and shows. If you are coming with children, they will absolutely love it. 

If you don’t plan on visiting more than once, then go to the opening to be able to enjoy a lot of the animals and shows. 
Mark the ones you want to visit, including the feeding sessions, and then make your way through Seaworld Abu Dhabi at your leisure in between the activities. 

Note that there is a lot of walking but also they have plenty of restaurants and coffee shops where you can rest and enjoy a snack. 

They also offer guided tours if you want to learn from the pros. I did stay close to a few of the guides, especially with the otters, because I found the information fascinating. 

SeaWorld Abu Dhabi Things to do

SeaWorld Abu Dhabi Ticket prices 

You have various ticket options when it comes to SeaWorld Abu Dhabi. You have a single entry, multi-park or annual pass. We bought the multi-pass option, although I wish we had bought the annual since I do plan on visiting Abu Dhabi again before the year is out. 

How to get to SeaWorld Abu Dhabi & Tips 

Seaworld Abu Dhabi is on Yas Island, close to Ferrari World, Warner Bros and Yas Waterpark. We rented a car, which I always find convenient when in the United Arab Emirates since distances are large, but it is also easy to drive in the country. The aquarium is around a 30- to 40-minute drive from Abu Dhabi’s city centre, and you can reach it by bus or taxi as well. 

If you are driving from Dubai depending on where your hotel is it can take you from 1 hour to 2 hours due to traffic. I would suggest setting off early to make the most of your visit to SeaWorld Abu Dhabi.

Overall I would happily return to SeaWorld Abu Dhabi and spend an extra day there just taking everything slower than just rushing to see all the shows and activities. I feel it is a fantastic thing to do with children of any age while visiting Abu Dhabi.

Where to stay when visiting SeaWorld Abu Dhabi?

If you are visiting several of the parks and you don’t want to drive back to Dubai for example, the best option is to book into some of the hotels on Yas Island.

Personally next time we visit I would love to book into the WB Warner bros themed rooms especially as my daughter will be older and appreciate more of the character rooms.

All of the hotels offer beach but the new Hilton Resort is the one I was considering booking before staying with our friends they even have a kids play areas. For a more budget option I would recommend the DoubleTree Residences by Hilton which also has access to the Hilton Resort beach and for larger families is a great option with apartments available.

One thing I like about Abu Dhabi is that hotel prices are cheaper than in Dubai especially during busy periods. If you are looking to explore both cities but also want a beach holiday staying in Abu Dhabi longer might be a good alternative. I mean, where can you get the Four Seasons for £250 per night, considering the same option in Dubai is easily triply the price.

If you want to stay in Abu Dhabi then there are several hotel choices available. I have stayed in a few hotels over the years there. The Marriott in Downtown Abu Dhabi is a good option and walking distance to the corniche and a Mall.

Also one of my favourite hotels is the Andaz Capital Gate by Hyatt which is leaning more than the Pisa tower and a magnificent hotel design. Their suites are pretty amazing and I have been to several of them over the years.

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