Abu Dhabi is the capital of the United Arab Emirates and is affectionately known as the 'Garden City of the Gulf'. It offers relaxed, luxury holidays on its beaches, in the green parks and sophisticated boulevards of the city or in the sweeping dunes of the desert.
The largest emirate of the UAE, Abu Dhabi is rich in history. Discover traditional Arabian life as you stroll through the Heritage Village overlooking the pristine Corniche city waterfront or the ‘Story of Abu Dhabi’ exhibition at the Qasr Al Hosn ‘White Fortress’, the oldest building in Abu Dhabi. A ‘must-see’ of any stay in Abu Dhabi is the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, an Islamic architectural marvel in white marble and gold inlay that is open daily to visitors. For those who like to relax, the white sand beaches of Saadiyat Island, Yas Island and the Corniche are the best places to soak up the sunshine, while Yas Island is the destination for thrill seekers too; who can head to Yas Marina Circuit, Ferrari World Abu Dhabi and Yas Waterworld. To experience the best of both worlds, why not twin centre the excitement of the city with the serenity of the desert in Abu Dhabi’s vast Al Gharbia region?
Abu Dhabi boasts great shopping; head to Marina Mall on the breakwater by Emirates Palace or Yas Mall on Yas Island, the largest shopping mall in the emirate with over 400 top fashion stores and dining outlets. For authentic Arabian souvenirs visit the city’s World Trade Centre souk or the Dates market near the port.
While away the days sailing on the turquoise Arabian Gulf on a pearl diving adventure or kayaking through the city’s mangroves teeming with birdlife. Abu Dhabi is a modern metropolis full of surprising experiences.
Getting there Time Difference: GMT +4 hours
Flying Time: 7 hours 5 minutes (direct)
Etihad Airways flies direct from London Heathrow and Manchester and Edinburgh to Abu Dhabi.
British Airways also flies direct from London Heathrow to Abu Dhabi.
Coffee is offered in Abu Dhabi as a symbol of hospitality, a custom originating from Bedouin tradition. Here’s a tip: when ordering coffee outside your resort, you are most likely to receive Arabic coffee, called Kahav, which has a bitter flavour, no milk and is spiced with cardamom. It’s an acquired taste. For American coffee, you should specify which kind, and if all else fails ask for Nespresso.
Couples, families, world-class infrastructure, spectacular scenery, beautiful beaches, shopping, heritage and culture.