A destination of distinction, the richness of Abu Dhabi’s Arabian heritage is interwoven with a luxuriously modern touch. The stunningly diverse landscapes will take you from cosmopolitan city centres, to serene desert, pristine beaches or lush oasis in the blink of an eye. Combine this with year-round sunshine, and the distinctive Arabic hospitality and you have a destination that can offer you the best of all worlds.
The capital of the United Arab Emirates, Abu Dhabi, gives holiday makers the advantages of a modern city perfectly combined with ancient traditions. Sightseeing, world class shopping, modern facilities, and luscious landscapes combine with year-round sunshine and distinctive Arabic hospitality to give you a destination that truly offers the best of all worlds. One of the best ways to experience more of the local heritage, and desert oases is to travel inland, and an easily accessible place to do this is to visit the ancient silk road junction of Al Ain, which the UAE shares with Oman. Offering some of the most beautiful areas of desert, colours are brightest November to March, and approaching Al Ain from Abu Dhabi wll delight your senses as you see bright green date palms stand against glowing red dunes and a deep cobalt sky. Other Abu Dhabi highlights include the legendary Liwa Desert, one of the largest uninterrupted sand deserts in the world, and also the location of the incredible Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort by Anantara, which provides a luxury oasis for discerning travelers. Recline by the plunge pool outside your own private villa, or stretch out on a sumptuous day-bed surrounded by rich Middle Eastern fabrics and local artifacts, or simply relax and enjoy the secluded desert landscapes that surround you.
Abu Dhabi city itself bursts with vibrancy and state of the art facilities, luxurious hotels, spas, and designer golf courses blend with distinctive Arabian landmarks such as the recognizable white marble exterior of the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, well worth a visit as the only mosque in the Emirate open to non Muslim guests. Shop till you drop at palace-like shopping malls and indigenous souks, offering the best handicraft from local Bedouins to the best of Paris’ or Milan’s high street fashion brands.
Just 90 minutes from Abu Dhabi city, near the Oman border, lies the garden city of Al Ain. A true oasis, Al Ain was for thousands of years an important stop on the Arabian trading routes. Steeped in history, the city is adorned by impressive forts, archaeological sites and Bedouin charm. Home to one of the famous peaks of the majestic Hajar Mountain and the highest point in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi (Jebel Hafeet), other visitor highlights include the popular Al Ain wildlife park.
For adventure and thrill seekers, Yas Island is a must visit. Abu Dhabi’s newest leisure and entertainment destination is just 15 minutes from the city centre. Experience the world’s fastest rollercoaster at the Ferrari theme park, keep your pulse racing with a lap around the F1 circuit, visit the world class Marina and Yacht club and delight in the vast array of international cuisine available on the island.
Climate: Sunshine and blue skies are guaranteed almost every day in Abu Dhabi, and rainfall is almost non-existent. Avoid the high temperatures of the summer months (where temperatures can reach up to 48 degrees in July and August) by travelling between October and May.
Best time to go: November thru April.
Flying time: 7 hours
Our preferred airlines: British Airways, Etihad Airways and Emirates Airline
Do I need a visa? British nationals do not require a visa. Other nationalities should check with their embassy.