Abu Dhabi Experience: Our Expert Advisor Shares her Story

Tanya, one of our expert travel advisors, went to Abu Dhabi and got to experience what the city has to offer for herself. Read all about her trip and her top tips!

Abu Dhabi, Here I Come!

I was really blown away by Abu Dhabi and fell in love with everything about it.

The city can basically be divided into 3 parts:

  • Abu Dhabi City. Here, you’ll find the Corniche. This is a beautiful waterfront, about 10kms long with lots of restaurant, beach clubs, walks and play areas for kids.
  • Saadiyat island which is only 20mins drive from the Corniche. This is the perfect beach resort!
  • Yas island which is only 10mins from Saadiyat. Yas island is where all the theme parks are – more on that later!

What we did in Abu Dhabi

We stayed in Jumeriah at Etihad Towers & the Saadiyat Rotana

The Jumeriah

These rooms were probably the nicest I have ever stayed in. The bathroom was just as big as the bedroom and lounge. Everything was electronic, even your sheer blinds and a separate button for your curtains. All the rooms in this hotel had a panoramic view of Abu Dhabi which was amazing to wake up to. The Jumeriah has an amazing 75 floors! I was a bit worried about the lifts as our room was on the 38th floor. But even the lifts had amazing views and they didn’t feel like they were moving.

The restaurant was fab. It had so much choice and the service was great. The hotel has its own bakery, so you can get any kind of bread or cake you can think of. The 74th floor had an observation deck where you could go for lunch. The panoramic view was spectacular. This is free for guests but if you’re not staying at the hotel you can still go to the observation deck for a fee.

The Jumeriah also has The Avenue Shopping mall with all the top designers. It’s super luxurious and the location’s great. There’s a bar on the top floor with a DJ most nights and great food and drink.

Saadiyat Rotana

This is a beautiful hotel with modern, bright decor. It’s only open in October. This hotel is a little bit away from the city and feels like a lovely beach hotel that offers amazing villas with your own pool. The food was great too! This hotel is a good choice for someone who wants to be by the beach but still close to the sights of Abu Dhabi. It’s also got a kids club and it’s only about 10 minutes from the theme parks. This was my favourite part of Abu Dhabi.

While I was in Abu Dhabi, I picked up a few hints about the city’s other hotels!

The Hilton

This is right next to the Jumeriah. I really liked it’s Ladies’ Night, and the fact they had a jazz band most nights.

Emirates Palace

This 5* opened in 2005 so it’s super modern. It’s got two wings and both have their own amazing pools with separate kids pools. All the rooms have balconies with amazing beach views. There’s 4 restaurants, a great atmosphere and overall it’s just really luxurious and relaxing.

Fairmont Bab Al Zayed

This hotel got a refurb in 2016 so the standard is good and nothing’s old! It has great deals around All Inclusive restaurant offers where you can eat in one all day or get 15% off. You can also opt for Fairmont Gold rooms with great perks like breakfast, afternoon tea, personal check-in, happy hours and midnight snacks.

The hotel has 2 private beaches which is really special, great pools. I ate in the buffet restaurant and the food was done to a very high standard. This hotel seems to be more reasonably priced for people that may have a smaller budget but still expect a good standard.

Things to do in Abu Dhabi

Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque

A real must-see!  Ladies must be well covered down to their wrists and down to their ankles, as well as wearing a scarf over their heads. Men are generally okay to wear their shorts and t-shirts. If clients are not prepared and not dressed correctly they can hire a long black cloak at the Mosque. The Mosque is free Entry but people will not be allowed visit if they do not respect their rules.

Saadiyat Island

This is a stunning beach resort – 9kms of sand. There is a shuttle bus that will bring you to Yas Island every hour. Great for a nice, relaxing laid back holiday.

Yas Island

I think Yas Island would be perfect for a winter sun getaway. It’s a kid’s dream; this is where you’ll find all the theme parks.

  • Marina Circuit, the Formula One track, is open on Tuesday and Sunday nights. It’s so fun to walk around the track, or spring for the Formula One driver experience.
  • Warner Bros. Word Abu Dhabi is an amazing indoor amusement park that’s so worth a visit.
  • Ferrari World gets the adrenaline going! It has the largest loop rollercoaster and the fastest in the world too. It’s a good choice to families but I don’t think you’d need to spend the whole day there.
  • Water World has an amazing 45 slides. It’s good for adults as well as kids.

For grownups, Yas island has a nightclub for anyone that wants to stay up late or a marina with a few restaurants and bars. I went to the Yas beach club which I also loved. A nice pool on the beach, cabanas, nice big mattresses to sunbath on and a bar to get yourself a cocktail. If you are staying on Yas Island you get free entrance to this beach club once you get a pass from your hotel that you are staying in.

There is also a huge golf course on Yas Island for anyone that loves to play golf.

Yas Mall is beside you too and you which has over 400 shops.

My Travel Tips

  • If you’re travelling with Etihad, hang on to your boarding pass! This has the ‘Extraordinary Pass’ on the back of it which can get you up to 20% off some of Abu Dhabi’s main attractions (even the theme parks).
  • Museum lovers will enjoy Abu Dhabi’s answer to Paris’ famed Louvre. The Louvre Abu Dhabi features a wide range of incredible art, organised into 12 chapters that takes visitors from the ancient past into the modern world. A really nice afternoon of culture.
  • I really recommend the Desert Safari! This was one of my favourite nights. We went Dune Bashing, rode a camel, had a campsite dinner, watched a belly dancer and did some unforgettable star gazing. The experience was so enjoyable and relaxing.

Tanya is a Senior Travel Consultant at Cassidy Travel. She’s helped countless Irish holiday makers have their big adventure. We hoped you liked reading about her experience!


Thinking of booking your Abu Dhabi holidays? Check out the Cassidy Travel website for great deals on cheap holidays to Abu Dhabi, or call us on 0818-332500 for expert travel advice!

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