Abu Dhabi

Emirates Palace

Vacation in Abu Dhabi

Most likely not as famous as vacation destination as Dubai, but for us is vacation in Abu Dhabi a good option to combine with a Dubai visit as part of your UAE visit.

Abu Dhabi is a bit more conservative than Dubai. You will also find less “craziness” then in Dubai. A big plus is that Abu Dhabi is less crowded. Beach hotels have for example a much bigger beach, for less people.

The big advantage of the United Arab Emirates is that beside the beach and pool, you also have plenty of things to explore. Although there is less to explore in Abu Dhabi, you still have options. And of course, there is no lack of shopping malls during your vacation in Abu Dhabi.

Things not to miss

  • The White Mosque is one of the highlights from Abu Dhabi
  • The Emirates Palace. Especially at night with the colored light is a highlight to visit.
Abu Dhabi Skyline by night

Accommodation

There is no lack of luxury hotels for your vacation in Abu Dhabi. However, the number of hotels is less then you will find in Dubai.

We have in Abu Dhabi experience with the Hilton, Intercontinental and the St. Regis.

We stayed at the St. Regis shortly after it opened, and we had a very good opening offer. This is an amazing very luxurious hotel. We even had a butler service included, who packed and unpacked our suitcase, while we were enjoying a swim.

The hotel is not directly on the beach, you had to cross a tunnel to reach the swimming pool and the beach. This is the case with all hotels located on the Corniche.

The Hilton has a good beachclub, which you can reach via a tunnel. It takes like a 5 minutes walk. It has on top a good location, close to the Emirates Palace and the Marina Mall. The Marina Mall is in a walking distance, at least if it is not to hot. Half way your walk there is a nice terrace, with nice views of the skyline of Abu Dhabi. One of the best places to enjoy a shisha.

The period we stayed at the Intercontinental was during our first stay in Abu Dhabi and is already a while ago.  

Keep on building

Safety

Like Dubai, Abu Dhabi is a very safe place. With very low crime rates there is not much to worry in Abu Dhabi. Safety is not something to worry about during your vacation in Abu Dhabi.

The only thing is to obey the local Muslim laws. In our opinion, when you are a guest in a country you have to respect the local laws and culture. So don`t drink alcohol on the streets, or get very drunk and loud. This could bring you into serious trouble. 

The Emirates Palace

Getting there

The Abu Dhabi airport has many direct flights from Europe and is easy to reach in about 6,5 hours from Amsterdam.

You could also fly to Dubai and take a taxi to Abu Dhabi. The transfer time is about 2 hours and cost around $100.

Weather

Make sure to avoid the summer months. It is just to hot. A lot of terraces will even not be open because it is simply to hot. It might be tempting to go to Abu Dhabi during the summer months, as the hotel prices will be low. But think twice before you book for this period. It might be so hot that you can almost not leave the airconditioning. The spring and autumn months are the best period to visit Abu Dhabi.

There is not such a thing as a rainy season. A full rainy day is exceptional, and more days with rain in a row does almost never happen.

In the months January and December, the temperature can drop to the low 20s. Still very pleasant weather, but not every day is right to relax at the beach. On top with the desert climate, late in the afternoon the temperature will drop quite quick. Even if the day temperature is well above 30 degrees, once the sun goes down it will feel chilly when you step out of the swimming pool.

Food and drinks

You have plenty of options to choose from. There are options for every kind of budget. In the shopping malls you will find large food courts with plenty of options where you can have a cheap dinner.

Throughout the city there are plenty of restaurants, also for all kind of budget.

In general, in terms of food and drinks, Abu Dhabi is cheaper then Dubai.

Nightlife seems to be frequented by prostitutes. The few places we went, clubs in the 5-star hotels were full of prostitutes. This makes it for a couple no fun to go out.

Ferrari world in Abu Dhabi
Shopping in Abu Dhabi
White mosq

We like a vacation in Abu Dhabi, because it feels less crowded than Dubai. Also, prices, especially for hotels, are more affordable than in Dubai. On The Real Travel Blog you can also read about our experiences in Dubai.

After we stayed at the Hilton the Walk in Dubai, we loved the Hilton in Dubai, where we had plenty of space on the beach and at the pool.

In terms of nightlife and other attractions, there is defiantly more to do in Dubai. Maybe the best option is to divide your time between Dubai and Abu Dhabi. In Dubai you can spent more time on exploring the city and its attractions and to take the time to relax in Abu Dhabi.

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Sheikh
The Sheraton in Abu Dhabi

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