Whether you grew up in Abu Dhabi or moved here during Marhaba, discovering what the campus and city have to offer is one of the best ways to feel at home. Here are 10 spots and activities every NYUAD student should strive to do before graduation.
1. Qasr Al Hosn
The recently reopened fort is the oldest building in Abu Dhabi and a must for understanding the history of the city. First constructed in 1761 as a watchtower to defend the single source of freshwater on the island, it was expanded over the following decades to become the Sheikh’s permanent residence. The fort remained the seat of government until 1966. Today, Qasr al-Hosn is home to a museum and research center dedicated to the history of the UAE.
2. Emirates Palace
Nothing adds a little bit of luxury into a student lifestyle like sipping on a coffee with gold flakes in a luxury hotel. The ideal place to bring visiting family members of friends, walking around Emirates Palace truly makes you feel like royalty, even if you cannot afford to actually spend a night at the hotel. Make sure to take a photo on the steps with the iconic Etihad tower skyline for a memory you will surely return to once you’ve graduated.
3. NYUAD Arts Center Events
From Lucinda Childs to Angelique Kidjo, RealAD to 47Soul, the NYUAD Arts Center is home to some of the world’s premiere artists and performers. A hub of culture and art for Abu Dhabi, the shows at the Arts Center are meant to inspire and entertain. Tickets are free for NYUAD students and there is no excuse for not attending at least one show during your four years.
4. Louvre Abu Dhabi
The Louvre Abu Dhabi hosts some of the world’s masterpieces. Students can receive a discount for admissions, and the museum rotates their display and exhibits regularly so each visit is bound to feature new work.
5. Go to the Beach
Between classes, homework, and research projects, it can be easy to forget that we live on a desert island surrounded by sparkling blue waters. With Saadiyat Beach Club a five-minute drive away, it is the ideal place to relax and unwind. If swimming isn’t your thing, volunteer for turtle patrol or the nurdle hunt to help protect the environment. A small bonus is being able to send family and friends in cold climates a photo reminding them that NYUAD students enjoy summer weather year-round.
6. An NYUAD Sports Game
Though small, we still have a lot of school pride. Supporting our classmates from the stands, while decked out in purple and yelling out cheers continues that sense of community that is essential for NYUAD. Even if sports aren’t your thing, going to Defend the Nest or an Interclassico can be a blast because of the atmosphere of fun and support from fans.
7. The Desert
Though almost every student goes to the desert during their Candidate Weekend, taking a desert trip with friends is a completely different experience. Rent a car, borrow some camping equipment, and drive out to the desert for a night under the stars. It’s the kind of college adventure you’ll remember forever and one so central to living in Abu Dhabi.
8. Lie Under the Palm Trees
The palm trees are so emblematic of NYUAD’s campus and a student favorite spot. On a sunny day with a slight breeze, there are almost always students reading or lying down in the shade under the palm trees. Grab a book, some homework, or just listen to the birds (whether they’re recordings or real) and enjoy the serenity under the palms.
9. Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque
A vision of Sheikh Zayed to create a monument to Islam and the diversity of its followers, the Grand Mosque is open to visitors of all faiths and from all over the world. With four years to visit, NYUAD students should make the time to go both during the day to see the white domes and columns and bathed in sunlight, and the night, when the mosque turns different shades of blue according to the phase of the moon.
10. The Graduation Stage
You have finally made it! Make sure to enjoy this day and reminisce on all the memories and friendships created over the past four years.