South of Abu Dhabi, Emirates National Auto Museum houses 230 vintage and custom vehicles owned by Sheikh Hamad Bin Hamdan Al Nahyan, also called the Rainbow Sheikh for his love of the colors of the rainbow. Here, one of the world’s largest car collections is displayed inside and outside a pyramid-shaped hangar. The Basics
Step inside the 2-story pyramid and explore long rows of vintage and modified cars, trucks, 4-wheel-drive and military vehicles, and more. Must-sees include the Sheikh’s seven ”rainbow” Mercedes—one for each day of the week—a steam-powered Mercedes dating from 1885, and a bizarre Dodge Power Wagon replica eight times its original size. Afterward, head outside to view extra-outlandish vehicles, such as the world’s largest motorized model of a World War II Willys Jeep and an old Caledonian Lockheed airplane baking in the sun.
The museum is 28 miles (45 kilometers) south of Abu Dhabi, so a tour is the easiest way to visit. Opt for a trip to the museum that includes admission, free time to explore, and private round-trip transfers from the city. Things to Know Before You Go
How to Get There
- A visit to the Emirates National Auto Museum is essential for car buffs.
- Don’t forget your camera; photography is permitted and every car is a one-off.
- The museum has no café or vending machines, so bring bottled water and snacks.
- The pyramid is air-conditioned, and basic restroom facilities are available.
The Emirates National Museum is in a fairly remote location, a one-hour drive south of Abu Dhabi via the E11 and E65 highways. No public transport links exist, so self-driving, tours, and taxis are the only options, though you’ll need to pay cab drivers to wait. Booking a tour will eliminate these transport hassles and the worry of driving yourself into what is effectively the UAE desert. When to Get There
The museum opens daily from 9am to 5pm, although it’s wise to check before setting out. Winter, spring, and fall are good times to visit. In summer, be aware that the pyramid, although air-conditioned, can be hot. Must-Sees at the Museum
Make sure you go outside to see the quirkiest exhibits. Marvel at the Sheikh’s globe-shaped trailer and check out the world’s largest 2-wheeled caravan, complete with eight ensuite bedrooms and a roof terrace.