Visit Abu Dhabi
A lot of tourists travel to Dubai and that is what they see out of the United Arab Emirates. Just 150K further South the capital city of UAE, Abu Dhabi is located. When I was there this time it was my second one and to be honest, AUH is much nicer than Dubai. Better beaches and more to see and do. There are loads of tall buildings, a croniche for to stroll around at, important sights that has been constructed during the nations 46 years existence. But in the jungle of great sights, the crystal clear water, beach clubs, skyscrapers and shoppingmalls what shouldn’t you miss out when you plan a vacation in Abu Dhabi? Here comes my very best recommendations if you plan a visit to Abu Dhabi.
Plan your visit
I would definitely say that between late September and beginning of May. Then the climate is the best, around 30 degrees. During the summer months it is steaming hot and trust me, you don’t want to walk around in a city when it is 44 degrees. Even going to the beach will make you feel like you are looked into a sauna.
If you want to just get a winter escape and catch some sun, four full days is enough but if you plan on doing heavy sightseeing and hang out on the beach I would say a week. So if you choose your flights well Abu Dhabi is a vacation option you can visit during a long weekend (good tip if you are saving on your vacation days).
If you fly in to Abu Dhabi airport (AUH) you will most likely arrive with Etihad since it is their homebase and they have the majority of the marketshare in AUH. You can also fly to nearby Dubai (DXB) which is located 150K away from Abu Dhabi and from there take a shared taxi, bus or rent your own car. Last year when I was in Abu Dhabi I flew in to DXB with Emirates and this time to AUH with Air Baltic. From the airport to the city center the most efficient option is to take a taxi. It will cost around 20 EUR one way and take about 30 minutes.
Where to stay
There are loads of hotels to choose between from the most luxury to the modest ones. I would recommend to pay a bit more for accommodation so you get a private beach and pool if you plan doing beach activities. Also staying at a location nearby attractions you want to visit will save you a lot of time because it is quite far from one place to another and wasting vacation time in a taxi isn’t that fun.
What to see?
In Abu Dhabi there are loads of things to see. Just strolling at the croniche watching the magnificent skyscrapers is a sight in itself. If you like doing shopping there is a lot of shopping malls. Some doesn’t look that fancy from the outside but inside they are both spacious, shiny and have a lot of stores. For beach fanatics there is also loads of beaches and beach clubs to visit. And for thrill seekers Ferrari world brings you adventurous rides. If you like fast cars, the final race in Formula 1 is held in Abu Dhabi in November every year. Recently the French museum Louvre opened a spinoff in Abu Dhabi if you like to be a bit cultural. Or go and see the souk if you like historical sights. I have not tried out everything but as you can imagine the city has potential to be a great vacation spot. The main attractions we saw this long weekend were the below which are must see places both of them.
This hotel is the third most expensive hotel in the world. To stay in I don’t know but to build. We went inside to check it out and it was enormous. There are even helicopter bases belonging to it. Definitely worth a visit.
The Sheikh Zayed Mosque also called Grand Mosque is my favorite religious building worldwide. It is the perfect photo spot and I can walk around there for hours and hours just feeling the peaceful atmosphere. Suddenly when we were walking around taking pictures we did for a few seconds thought our lives were over. All of a sudden a bunch of military planes came flying at a very, very low level towards the mosque. Then they were turning and we could breath. And guess what, it was not a final moment for us it was just a part of the Formula 1 race and celebration of the nations 46th year. This place is worth a blog post itself so I will of course make one.
What to eat and drink?
When it comes to food you can find everything in Abu Dhabi. From Starbucks, to Shake Shack, Mc Donald’s and american favorites such as Cheesecake factory. There are of course also loads of local places to eat at. To find food is not a problem. But if you want to drink alcohol to your meal you should go to a hotel since it is not possible to order alcohol to your meal at a normal restaurant. One of my favorite food places if you want fresh food in UAE is the French chain Paul. There are also quite a lot of bars and especially rooftop bars from where you can enjoy the great skyline Abu Dhabi has to offer.
That concludes my starting guide to the city of Abu Dhabi. If you don’t already have it on your bucket list I advice you to put it there. It is more fun to visit it before everyone has done so. If this was not enough inspo about AUH I have already plans to create some more blog posts from this place where I bring you to the Grand Mosque, desert safari and beach life of Abu Dhabi. Sounds tempting in dark December right?
/ Pernilla that love going for winter escapes