A few weeks ago I went on a weekend trip to the peaceful capital of the UAE, Abu Dhabi. If you ever plan to visit Dubai, which is the biggest tourist attraction in the Middle East, I definitely recommend a visit to the city of Abu Dhabi over the weekend, or even just a day trip.
Abu Dhabi is actually an island, and even though it’s officially considered the capital of the United Arab Emirates, it is much less crowded than Dubai and activities limit themselves to relaxation, beach time, a nice restaurant here or there and visiting some well known places like the Grand Mosque and the newly opened Louvre. Abu Dhabi has it’s own airport, and is about 1,5 hour of a leisurely drive from the much busier and exciting Dubai.
For our weekend visit we stayed in the Fairmont Bab Al Bahr, which for me has been one of the best hotel experiences so far. The service was excellent and the hotel rooms have an extraordinary view. The pool and the beach were amazing and the breakfast outstanding, with loads of healthy options and excellent coffee. I thoroughly enjoyed staying here and can’t recommend it enough for a weekend trip or short stay-cation.
If you are looking for a more budget accommodation, I recommend searching for decent hotel apartments around Salam Street and the Corniche, there are a lot of very affordable options starting at 300 AED (80 USD a night). This is considered budget in the Arab Emirates.
When staying in a resort like the Fairmont there’s hardly a need to venture outside of the property. Everything you need it on-site and if you go away for a one or two night stay, there is little time to go and explore between check-in, beach and pool time, dinner and breakfast.
If you do want to venture out into the city, I highly recommend visiting the Louvre or the Grand Mosque, or if you are not from the UAE probably one of the bigger malls.
For me Abu Dhabi was a weekend of luxury and peace away from my busy life in Dubai. I hope you’ll have a chance to visit this wonderful place one day.