Saturday, 8 September 2012


    Abu Dhabi offers more than just perfect sandy beaches and year-round sun. In fact, the range of choices can be overwhelming. As the official airline of the United Arab Emirates, it's our mission and our pleasure to ensure you enjoy your stay here. That’s why we’ve created this quick guide. In it, we’ll share some of our favourite sights in Abu Dhabi with you. Whether you’re travelling to the UAE for a quick stopover, a business trip or an extended holiday, the perfect adventure is waiting. What's more, in 2011 Etihad Airways launched our “Essential Abu Dhabi” destination marketing campaign. Designed to enhance Abu Dhabi’s place as a top tourist and MICE destination, the campaign has brought all the major tourism operators in the emirate of Abu Dhabi together under one showcase umbrella to promote the very best the UAE’s capital has to offer. Hotels, tour operators, dining outlets, shops, adventure parks, cultural attractions and sports facilties are providing a range of offers to entice tourists and business travellers alike to spend time in Abu Dhabi with a wide range of fantastic discount offers and deals. Visitors flying into Abu Dhabi on Etihad simply present their Etihad boarding card at participating outlets to redeem the offers within seven days of arriving in Abu Dhabi.
Desert safari
Locals will tell you that if you only do one thing in Abu Dhabi or Dubai, it should be a desert safari. Choose either the adrenaline-packed dune-bashing variety, where you assault sand dunes at high speed in 4-wheel drives, or the more sedate camel trekking. Tours often include dinner at a Bedouin campsite, belly dancing, a traditional henna artist, a falconry demonstration and the chance to try out sandboarding - snowboarding on sand. A multitude of operators offer these trips, so be sure to compare prices.

Where: Abu Dhabi, Dubai
How: Call +971 2 617 7810/11 or email:      
           Sheikh Zayed Mosque                       
 One of the largest and newest mosques in the world, Sheikh Zayed Mosque, also known as the Grand Mosque, is as breathtaking as it is large. Take a tour and you will be dazzled by the Swarovski crystal chandeliers, 24 carat gold and precious stonework, the endless white marble domes and columns, and the largest hand-woven Persian carpet in existence.

Remember that this is a working place of worship and a holy site for Muslims. Women are expected to wear headscarves, and no shorts or bare skin is allowed.

Where: Abu Dhabi

   Dhow cruise

Experience life the way it was lived here before the discovery of oil by taking a trip on an authentic Arabic sailing boat – while enjoying panoramic views of the Abu Dhabi skyline. Several companies in Abu Dhabi offer sunset Dhow cruises that include traditional food and drink, and Dhows may be chartered for larger private parties. Ask at your hotel’s concierge desk for a reputable operator.

Where: Mina Port, Abu Dhabi.

The Corniche
Arguably the most picturesque part of Abu Dhabi, the Corniche is a coastal promenade dotted with manicured gardens and fountains, against an impressive skyline. There are trees for shade, play areas, a new beach with “softer sand” and bicycle rentals for the more adventurous. In the distance, you’ll notice what was once the tallest unsupported flagpole in the world - until Jordan and Turkmenistan built bigger ones. All in all, the Corniche is an ideal place to kick back and relax while enjoying the view.

High tea at the EmiratesPalace Hotel                                                                                    
Many people don’t realize that Abu Dhabi has its own seven-star hotel: the enormous Emirates Palace. Lavishly appointed and set upon an impeccably manicured lawn at the end of a long drive, the Emirates Palace Hotel  is a favourite of celebrities and football stars. If staying here is a bit out of your budget, you can still experience its famed luxury by booking yourself in for its decadent high tea. You’re also likely to chance upon one of the many fascinating exhibitions which are regularly held here.

Camel racing                                                                                                                             
No visit to the desert is complete without seeing camels, and if those camels are galopping at speeds up to 65 km/hr (40 mph), so much the better. A visit to the camel racetrack near Abu Dhabi allows you to experience this traditional Middle Eastern sport. Admission is free, so what do you have to lose?

Where: Al Watba Camel Racetrack, 45km outside Abu Dhabi, on the road to Al Ain.
When: Races are held early on Thursday and Friday mornings from 20 August – 19 February.


Al Jahili fort                                                                                                                                
Located about 2 hours from Abu Dhabi in Al Ain, Al Jahili fort is a must see for anyone interested in the history of the region.

One of the largest and most impressive forts in the country, Al Jahili dates from 1891. Built by Sheikh Zayed the First, it has served as both defensive fort and royal summer residence. Having recently undergone an extensive renovation, the fort contains a visitor information centre, a temporary exhibition space and a spellbinding permanent exhibition about the noted British explorer and travel writer Wilfred Thesiger, also known as Mubarak bin London.

Thesiger crossed the Empty Quarter in the 1940s, a notoriously dangerous and inhospitable desert, not once but twice. Many of his photographs are on display in the museum, providing a fascinating look into Abu Dhabi’s past.

Over and above the exhibitions is the chance to take a look around the fort itself. Most of the rooms and towers are open to the public and may be explored at will.

Falconry – the sport of Sheikhs                                                                                             
Originally used by the Bedouins for hunting small game, falconry enjoys a long and exalted history in Abu Dhabi. A popular sport among the ruling class, it is not uncommon to see these birds being carried into Etihad Diamond First Class cabins at the height of the hunting season. Experience the noble art of falconry for yourself at the Abu Dhabi Falcon Hospital.

Guided tours include a visit to the Falcon Museum, a falcon show and lunch in a Khaima, a traditional Arabian tent. Reservations should be made two days in advance for individuals and a week in advance for groups. You can reserve your place by contacting the Abu Dhabi Falcon Hospital.

For those who would prefer something more modest, the Heritage Village in Abu Dhabi also occasionally offers falconry demonstrations.

Sougha – Handmade handicraft                                                                                            
In partnership with Etihad Airways, Sougha is an initiative launched by the Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development to preserve the ancient and much-cherished tradition of Emirati handicraft. Each of the unique products available through Sougha has been skillfully handmade by a team of dedicated craftwomen from across Abu Dhabi, the Western Region and Northern Emirates, using a wealth of techniques perfected over the generations. With the word ‘sougha’ actually translating to ‘souvenir’ in English, why not treat yourself or a loved one to something special, from exquisite handbags, purses and pouches to eye-catching bracelets, key chains and pillows?

Where: Sougha products can be purchased on-board your next Etihad Airways flight, or at the Etihad shops in Marina Mall and Madinat Zayed Mall in Abu Dhabi, the Sougha kiosk in Abu Dhabi’s Central Market Souk, at MORE cafés in Dubai, and through Sougha booths at various exhibitions.

Watch: take a look at
this video about Sougha, shot in the Etihad Airways headquarters.

Liwa Date Festival                                                                                                                       
Fancy a date at a beauty competition? Look no further than the annual Liwa Date Festival in Al-Gharbia, the Western Region of Abu Dhabi. The festival is a celebration of the age-old tradition of date production, and usually runs in July but check with your hotel or tour guide for specific dates.

Did you know there are around 120 different types of date? Typically, more than 3,500 farmers enter their best 250 dates in this beauty competition for six varieties of dates: khallas; Dabbas, Abu Maan, Fardh, Nukhba and the Khanizi. Winners receive vehicles and cash prizes of up to AED 5 million. Dates are big business in the UAE!

Alongside the date festival are lectures on agriculture, special educational sessions for children, poetry evenings and Islamic cultural celebrations. Camel, horse and falcon races also set pulses racing at the festival in Liwa, organized by the Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage (ADACH).

Where: Liwa, about 150km south-west of Abu Dhabi
When: July
Participants: 3,500+ farmers, 80,000+ visitors
Area: 52,000 square metres

Abu Dhabi offers year-round diving and a wide variety of dive options. Reefs, wrecks, night diving – they’re all here. Although not as spectacular as the better known east coast, there’s plenty to hold your interest if you’re only in town for a few days and don’t feel up for the three-hour drive to Fujairah or Mussandam. Snorkelling trips are also available. The main hotels have facilities






  1. Abu Dhabi Desert Safari
    is the best and i can ensure you that you are not gonna lose your money in rot ........

  2. Whether you’re travelling to the UAE for a quick stopover, a business trip or an extended holiday, the perfect adventure is waiting.

    Al Raha Golf Gardens Abu Dhabi