The capital of the United Arab Emirates and its second most populous city, Abu Dhabi’s rapid development and wealthy citizens have seen it grow into an advanced metropolis. The UAE has diversified its economy away from oil, with new business opportunities in the likes of professional services, healthcare and education.
The new five-star Saadiyat Rotana Resort opened in March and features conference facilities, while the Hyatt Capital Gate is located beside the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre. Also consider Jumeirah at Etihad Towers with its own private beach and the Eastern Mangroves Hotel & Spa by Anantara.
La Peite Maison at Al Maryah Island opened in October last year offering French, Mediterranean and Niçoise cuisine. Another new opening is the Butcher and Still at the Four Seasons Hotel, a 1920s Chicago-themed steakhouse which also has a cocktail bar. For an authentic Emirati experience, visit Mezlai at the Emirates Palace.
For top views of the city and cocktails, check out Ray’s Bar on level 62 of Jumeirah at Etihad Towers. Barfly by Buddha-Bar in the Venetian Village has a lounge and bar overlooking the Grand Canal. Alternatively, watch the sunset at the outdoor bar at Asia de Cuba on the Corniche beside the beach.
Etihad Airways customers travelling in Business or First can use the free Etihad Chauffeur service, which can be requested 24 hours prior to flight. Taxis are plentiful from all airport terminals and car hire is available in the airport’s Skypark Plaza opposite Terminal 3. The A1 bus runs every 40 minutes to downtown Abu Dhabi.
Check out the stunning Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque. The Louvre Abu Dhabi opened in November and has works on display from da Vinci, Monet and Van Gogh. Adrenalin junkies should take a trip over to Ferrari World, which is home to the world’s fastest rollercoaster, or visit the Yas Marina circuit where visitors can take to the track in a sports car.
Etihad operates three daily flights from Heathrow to Abu Dhabi and also flies twice daily from Manchester and five times a week from Edinburgh. British Airways operates a daily service to Abu Dhabi from London Heathrow.