When considering a travel experience that is unashamedly uber-luxe, it’s hard to go past Abu Dhabi, a city that’s almost unmatched in terms of ultra-luxurious accommodation, shopping and experiences to excite.
The Travel Associates team loves UAE’s capital for its diversity and exclusivity, along with its famous Emirate hospitality, its convenience and its safety. Just 14-hours from Sydney, Abu Dhabi is a fabulous destination to visit in its own right, but also a convenient stopover location for Australian travellers looking to make every part of their travel a holiday to remember. After all, magical memories are what lives on well beyond the holiday itself so why not spoil yourself with the very best of the best on your own terms.
What to see and do in Abu Dhabi
Sitting on the calm Arabian Gulf, Abu Dhabi is made up of more than 200 islands, each offering a unique world of its own, from desert safaris, luxury shopping malls and dining experiences, palaces and historical landmarks, a contemporary CBD to pristine beaches and coral reefs.
Iconic Abu Dhabi experiences include Qasr Al Watan, Abu Dhabi’s working presidential palace, which opened in 2017. Embodying the pristine white and curved architecture of old Arabia, Qasr Al Watan guides travellers through the rich tapestry of culture, governance, and national art of Abu Dhabi. Between sight-seeing, as your Travel Associates advisor to book you a day at Saadiyat Beach Club, an exclusive hang-out spot where you can listen to DJs, enjoy a cocktail, read and swim in the pool or warm Arabian ocean.
If you’re seeking an out-of-the-box experience, look to do a sunset Kayak in and around the Louvre Abu Dhabi, after a day of exploring the world’s second Louvre Museum. For thrill and adventure seekers, Abu Dhabi is home to 14 amusement and theme parks, including the fastest roller coaster in the world, fittingly located at Ferrari World Abu Dhabi.
As a change of pace, travel back in time to Al Ain Oasis, a lush 4000-year-old oasis, located in the ‘heritage heartland’ of the emirate. The UNESCO World Heritage-listed site is an unusual experience, immersing travellers in the intense aromas of Emirati culture in its forest of date palms, figs and native jujube trees.
Luxury accommodation in Abu Dhabi
Abu Dhabi embodies Emirati extravagance like no other, especially in its award-winning hospitality sector. When looking for accommodation, some of our favourites include St. Regis and Park Hyatt hotels located on Saadiyat Island. There’s also no going past Emirates Palace for perhaps one of the most luxurious stays around. And for those who like to keep up their social media appearances, one of the world’s most “Instagrammed” hotels, Qasr al Sarab Desert Resort by Anantara, is an essential stay.
Your Travel Associates advisor can find you the perfect hotel to suit your style and taste, as there’s certainly plenty of luxurious options to choose from.
Dining experiences in Abu Dhabi
Having hosted the inaugural Middle East and North Africa (MENA) 50 awards, Abu Dhabi is home to some of the region’s finest gastronomic experiences and restaurants. For foodie experiences, you can deep dive into authentic Abu Dhabi at the Souks, local markets where you can enjoy Emirati street food. While enjoying your morning espresso, it will most likely be served with a date, a staple in the Emirate and Middle Eastern cooking. An Abu Dhabi must-do is visiting the Mina Date Market, where you can try over 100 types of dates, both local and from neighbouring Oman and Saudi Arabia.
For more of a luxury experience, enjoy a high-tea 300 meters above ground at the highest vantage point in Abu Dhabi at Observation Deck 300 in the Conrad Abu Dhabi Etihad Towers.
Abu Dhabi has one of the highest expat populations in the world and is a melting pot of cultures, which places Abu Dhabi home to some of the regions’ best Indian, Ethiopian and Italian food.
Is it safe to travel to Abu Dhabi in 2022?
Australians can travel with peace of mind knowing that Abu Dhabi has been voted by The Numbeo Safety Index as the safest city in the world for six years running. Also noting that alcohol is permitted, and moderation expected, likewise, travellers should look to dress modestly when visiting national landmarks, Mosques or Palaces.
When planning a trip to Abu Dhabi, all inbound tourists are reminded first to check DCT Abu Dhabi’s destination website VisitAbuDhabi.ae for the latest travel guidelines and necessary COVID-19 precautionary measures.
As of 26 February 2022, you no longer need a PCR test to fly to Abu Dhabi if you are fully vaccinated. It is also no longer mandatory to take a PCR test on arrival at Abu Dhabi International Airport. Overseas travellers do not require a booster shot to enter Abu Dhabi, but to visit Abu Dhabi’s attractions or public venues you will be required to show an Australian proof of vaccination certificate and negative PCR test within 14 days of your visit.
There’s no doubt that a trip to Abu Dhabi will excite your luxurious side, and we think you deserve every minute of time you spend in this incredible city surrounded by the beautiful beaches and water, fabulous food, mind-blowing shopping experiences and its wonderful culture and hospitality.
For an all-encompassing ultra-luxurious trip, Abu Dhabi really does have something for everyone’s taste, so why not live the life of royalty in this extraordinary city, even if it’s just for a few days because we know you’ll never forget your time in this heavenly oasis. In fact, we think you’ll be back in no time.