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Abu Dhabi Destination Guide

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Your guide from the Luxury Travel Experts


Welcome to the Elegant Resorts Destination Guide for Abu Dhabi , created to help make your choice of luxury holiday as easy as possible. Here, you will find more detailed factual information about the destination you have selected.

If you require further information, not featured on this page, please call one of our Travel Consultants.

Overview+

Emerging as one of the leading leisure, entertainment and cultural destinations in the UAE, Abu Dhabi City’s heart is its six-kilometre-long Corniche, set right beside the turquoise waters of the Arabian Gulf.  You can visit archaeological sites; take a guided tour of the famous Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque; shop at a plethora of malls and souks; relax on beautiful white-sand beaches; enjoy fine dining at a range of classy restaurants; take in concerts by world-famous entertainers (Metallica, Coldplay, Madonna, Elton John, Scissor Sisters and David Guetta are just a few of the acts which have graced Yas Arena’s stage) and even take a hop-on/hop-off Big Bus tour around all of Abu Dhabi’s major landmarks. 

General Information
CapitalAbu Dhabi
LanguageArabic and English
Time Difference0 hours
CurrencyUAE Dirham
Voltage240V

Health

Health facilities, hygiene and disease risks vary worldwide and you should take health advice about your specific needs as early as possible. We highly recommend that you seek specialist advice from your Doctor and, where recommended, obtain vaccinations or tablets for protection against, for example: Malaria, Hepatitis A, Polio and Typhoid. In some cases, treatments for Malaria should begin well in advance of travel. Travellers may also be required to show Yellow Fever Certificates on arrival in certain destinations ie, some African countries. Please note that you are strongly advised against scuba-diving for 24 hours before travelling by air. We would also like to draw your attention to the risk of DVT (Deep Vein Thrombosis) and recommend that you consult with your doctor before travelling.


Visa

Visa and Advance Passenger Information

All passengers must ensure they have valid, acceptable passport, any required visa and any other documentation for both the final destination and any stop-off points en route. Please make sure that Advance Passenger Information is submitted in advance to travel for all destinations. Failure to hold correct documentation or submitting incorrect details with Advance Passenger Information or Visa applications may result in refusal of carriage or entry into a country. Please check with the relevant Embassy regarding visa requirements well in advance of your travel date. Charges may apply for some visas.

Travelling With Children or Without an Adult

Children travelling without both parents should be aware that some countries require documentary evidence of parental responsibility before allowing lone parents to enter the country (for example, South Africa) or, in some cases, before permitting the children to leave the country. Please contact the relevant Embassy for the county you are travelling to for further information.

Climate+

This is a destination with almost year round sunshine, little rainfall and near perfect winter temperatures. Abu Dhabi's temperature is high throughout the year, although for visitors, it is at its most appealing between September and April. Temperatures range from a low of around 13C on winter nights, to a high of around 42C on a summer's day.

Temperature Guide

These figures show monthly average maximum temperatures and monthly average rainfall for Abu Dhabi.

  Temp °C Rain mm
January247
February2521
March2815
April336
May381
June390
July410
August411
September390
October350
November300
December266

Highlights+

To Do
There are many unusual and exciting activities which are readily available for anyone to try, from the typical sports to those which are more extreme. Sand-boarding and skiing are both very popular and you can try your hand at both on Abu Dhabi's desert dunes, with gentle to 300-metre-high slopes. Camel racing is also very popular in Abu Dhabi and there is always a lively atmosphere – a very memorable experience. If you want to see the sights of the city, then you can either take a helicopter over the city or have a once in a lifetime experience with a balloon ride over the beautiful desert, with breathtaking views.

Shopping
Shopping is incredibly popular in Abu Dhabi, with a very diverse range of shops and centres. Bartering is expected, so don’t hold back from grabbing yourself a bargain, and you can start off at one of the souks, such as Al Ain Souk. Souks,traditional Arabian markets, are spread across the city and sell a variety of goods. There is Carpet Souk, Al Mina Fruit & Vegetable Souk, Fish Souk, Souk Al Bawadi & Souk Al Qaws – and each of them has a bustling atmosphere.

To See
There are many attractions worth visiting in this bustling city, with amazing architecture and stunning views from Jebel Hafeet. For a spot of culture, the mosques in Abu Dhabi are fascinating. Unlike most mosques, Sheikh Zayed is open daily for visitors and offers complimentary one-hour guided tours. The mosque boasts one of the world’s largest chandeliers – ten metres in diameter, fifteen metres in height and weighing over nine tonnes – and the world’s largest hand knotted woven carpet. 

Please note that if you are visiting, mosque authorities do not provide any Abayas/headscarves to guests before they visit the mosque. Visitors are kindly requested to respect the local laws and dress appropriately in modest, conservative, loose fitting clothing – long sleeves, long skirts and trousers. The following attire is deemed unacceptable and guests may be denied entry if they are not considered to be dressed appropriately: no transparent (see-through) clothing, no shorts for men, no shorts for women and skirts must be ankle length, no tight clothing, no swimwear and no beachwear, shoes must be removed before entering the mosque, so we recommend slip off shoes, a headscarf for ladies is essential (these can be provided when you arrive). Furthermore, intimate behaviour; i.e. holding hands or kissing is not acceptable in a Muslim place of worship. For safety and respect to worshippers, visitors should stay within the areas of the mosque that are permitted and not roam freely around. Smoking and food are not allowed in the mosque area. Visitors are requested not to touch the Holy Quran (Holy Book) and other architectural elements inside the main prayer hall. ALL women will be asked to wear a traditional robe (abaya) and headscarf (shayla) before entering the mosque. Guests may wear their own, however, must be closed (not open abayas) and non-transparent. Children are to be supervised. The area around the mosque is still under construction and personal safety must be observed at all times.

Hili Fun City
The perfect family day out with twenty-eight attractions, from high-speed roller coasters to leisurely cruises on the lake.

Saadiyat Island
Abu Dhabi has over two-hundred islands, of which some are accessible to visitors and host various different activities or events. Saadiyat Island is located just seven minutes away from downtown Abu Dhabi and is currently undergoing a remarkable transformation into a premier leisure destination and cultural hub; a national museum, Guggenheim Abu Dhabi and Louvre Abu Dhabi are planned, while a superb 18-hole golf course and Monte Carlo Beach Club (sister to the original beach club located on the French Riviera) are already available.

Sir Bani Yas Island
Sir Bani Yas Island is home to one of Arabia’s largest wildlife reserves, with over 10,000 free roaming animals, such as gazelles, giraffes, hyenas, cheetahs and Arabian Oryx. It's also home to Abu Dhabi’s Grand Prix circuit, Yas Marina Circuit - which can be experienced up-close with various track day packages – and a water park with forty-three rides spanning the size of twenty football pitches.   

Abu Dhabi Grand Prix
Abu Dhabi’s Grand Prix was added to the Formula 1 calendar in 2009, usually taking place in November, the race itself is staged in the twilight of the late afternoon, with the track being floodlit to give a heightened frisson and experience for drivers and race goers, alike. The circuit is set around the glamorous Yas Marina, its scenic setting enough to rival the iconic waterfront settings of the F1 races held in Monte-Carlo and Valencia. Demand is likely to be extremely high for this annual premier sports event, so do contact our Travel Consultants to ensure your preferred accommodation and tickets are still available. However, if you aren’t lucky enough to secure tickets for the main event, the circuit can still be visited year-round and it is possible to go behind-the-scenes for comprehensive escorted track tours that will take in the circuit itself, the North Grandstand, hi-tech facilities, air-conditioned pit garages, media centre and paddock (charges apply). Alternatively, driving and passenger experiences, private driving tuition, track days, karting and a drag racing academy will provide excellent, controlled and safe leisure pursuits for driving fanatics, some of which can also be enjoyed by children (charges apply).

Getting There+

Please contact us for flight information.

Travel Gems+

Travel Planning
Our Travel Consultants can advise on, arrange and pre-book many things to enhance your holiday. This includes everything from spa reservations and dinner reservations, to a range of special experiences available in our featured resorts that you may not know about.
 
Desert Oasis
A luxury oasis and the ultimate tranquil retreat, located in the legendary Liwa Desert – one of the largest uninterrupted sand deserts in the world – Anantara Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort offers a peak into the traditions and style of old Arabia whilst embracing all the amenities and style of the 21st century. Here you can do as little or as much as you wish – from lazing by the freeform pool to camel trekking and archery lessons.

Ramadan
Ramadan is observed for one month each year and is a period of fasting when the pace of life is slower, public areas are busier and there are certain restrictions, for example, consuming food in public, drinking alcohol and use of restaurants.

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Our dedicated Indian Ocean & Arabian Gulf Experts are ready to help you design your luxury holiday to Abu Dhabi. Furthermore, we have 5 Travel Consultants who have personally visited Abu Dhabi and can offer you their first-hand knowledge and experience.

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As the foremost British pioneer of luxury travel – and boasting an ever-increasing collection of prestigious accolades that celebrates this – Elegant Resorts is a tour operator with the expertise, knowledge and reputation to deliver only the very finest tailor-made luxury holidays to our clients, honed by almost thirty years of experience in this niche travel business.

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