What are your top tips for staying in Abu Dhabi (win prizes for sharing!)

Discussion in 'Travel Tips & Strategies' started by JoeD, Oct 10, 2018.

  1. JoeD

    JoeD Well-Known Member

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    As explained in more detail here, each week for 8 weeks, I'll be starting a forum thread asking readers to share their tips/suggestions/anecdotes about a destination I'll be visiting in the next couple of months.

    The author of the best comment (most useful, funniest, etc - as judged by me) will win a small prize and will also be entered into the Grand Prize draw with the other weekly winners, where you could win 2,000 Norwegian Reward CashPoints (worth ~£185).

    All contributions are very welcome - particularly things like:
    • Recommendations on what to see/do/eat/drink
    • Thoughts on the best hotels (particularly sweet spots using points!)
    • Tips on how to get around
    • Best airport lounges and other airport info
    • Best ways to fly there using points/miles
    • Amusing/interesting stories about the destination/travelling there
    This week's destination is Abu Dhabi.

    Share your knowledge, help me out, and maybe win a prize!
     
  2. KathyH

    KathyH New Member

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    Bubbelicious Brunch at the Westin Abu Dhabi, even better if you can make it during the HSBC Abu Dhabi Golf Championship in January. The Golf Championship is really cheap to get into and you get to see some world class players.

    Visit the theme parks on Yas Island, Ferrari World, the new Warner Brothers World and to cool off Yas Waterworld. Whilst on Yas, try an F1 circuit driving experience if you can't be there for the main race in November. If you fancy a bit of culture then the Abu Dhabi Louvre is a must especially when they get round to displaying their new purchase, Da Vinci's Salvator Mundi (having radided the piggy bank for an odd $450.3 million to buy.)

    Anyone staying at the Yas Island hotel will notice the change to a W after the Marriott take over and there are many new hotels opened on Saadiyat including Jumeirah in November 2019.
     
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  3. AS100

    AS100 New Member

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    Go the Grand Mosque and make sure you take the guided tour (I believe the English language ones are at 11am and 5pm but check timings). The building is phenomenal and the guides are excellent. Afterwards, you can head to the souq next to the Shangri La and dine at some of the restaurants by the river.

    Yas Waterworld is rated as the best waterpark in the UAE and a nice way to cool off.

    Most of the top hotels are very good (Jumeriah, Ritz Carlton, Rosewood, Shangri-La, St. Regis Saddiyat is an amazing resort. For something a little different, you can stay at Qasr Al Sarab or Desert Island by Anantara which are just outside Abu Dhabi)

    I would also purchase the entertainer app - which gives you 2 for 1 on many/most hotels (need to email in advance) and restaurants and activities. Pays for itself very quickly.

    Easiest way to get around is by Taxi - cheap and frequent or you can hire a driver for the day. Careem App is better than Uber for a nicer ride.

    Both Emirates and Ethiad lounges are good

    Fly into Abu Dhabi or DXB. Abu dhabi is 2 hours from DXB. Can fly into either airport. Best method of using Emirates points is by including Colombo (Sri Lanka) on your ticket.

    Amusing/interesting stories about the destination/travelling there

    For the Grand Mosque, you need to cover up (no shorts and women need head covered). Price of alcohol is eye wateringly high.
     
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  4. mrlondoner

    mrlondoner New Member

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    To get around the city book Careem - 20AED for signing up using the code PIOTRM1.

    Yas Island has a free bus around the island. It goes to the main mall where you have Ikea for a fantastic breakfast and generous lunch. The prices are so low it is not even worth mentioning them.

    At Yas I recommend Crowne Plaza - walking distance to the beach and nice views.

    Sofitel Abu Dhabi Corniche is excellent even though it has no private beach. It has a shuttle bus to the malls and beach but also to Yas via Louvre. You can get off there and take Careem or a regular taxi to Saadiyat.

    Saadiyat beach is the best - pay for just one lounger if you go in the late afternoon or evening as there will be plenty of empty ones and no one will care at the point if you use them.

    Entertainer app codes/vouchers etc are cheaply sold on ebay.

    While it is true that covering is needed when you go to the Grand Mosque a lot of people actually do not cover so they can get clothes from the Mosque staff for a day and take some pictures in them.
     
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  5. beppo

    beppo New Member

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    Taxis are cheap in Abu Dhabi ( and cheaper than Dubai) so the location is not an issue because you have to move by car as most sights are scattered on a vast area and the walkable ones can be a pain if it's 40C outside.

    I stayed at Le Meridien as I was Gold SPG at that time. Another time I have stayed at Hilton, both had impressive breakfasts and are cheap (for Western Europe standard) if there is not a major event.

    Etihad has buses going from AUH airport to Al Ain/Dubai (and vice versa) for free if you fly them (you need to reserve 24 hours in advance though on their website using your last name and pnr) so you can move across the Emirates and get back to AUH if you fancy. Dubai got better beaches than Abu Dhabi in my humble opinion.

    Major sights are The Emirates Palace, the Sheik Zayed Mosque, and the new musea recently opened (Louvre but not only that). The Ferrari park is an option if you like that. Desert excursions can be easily arranged, they are quite touristy but cheap and it was fun.

    When you leave please make sure you stock up on dates, there are top quality items but the supply I got from the Abu Dhabi coop ( a big supermarket next to Le Meridien) were delicious too and at a fraction of the price.

    Have a safe trip!
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2018
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  6. JoeD

    JoeD Well-Known Member

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    Thanks everyone - brilliant tips! Apart from the "eye-wateringly high" alcohol prices, got to say I'm looking forward to it rather more now than I was!
     

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