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E X T RAO R D I NA R Y

Abu Dhabi Your essential guide to the UAE capital 2017/18

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JOY.

An office in the sky.

Discover the difference of a Business Studio on our A380 from London. Sleep on a large, flat bed, relax with noise-cancelling headsets or work using in-seat connection ports and mobile or Wi-Fi connectivity. The ideal space for work, rest and play. Etihad Airways offer three flights a day from London Heathrow to Abu Dhabi and onwards to over 100 destinations.

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Welcome to

Abu Dhabi Discover this beguiling emirate and let your new-found knowledge increase sales to this culturally diverse destination

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CONTENTS 04 Top 10 Tips for Selling Abu Dhabi / The Essentials 05 Sights in the City 06 Action & Adventure 08 Yas Island 11 Cruise Control 12 Culture & Heritage 14 Al Ain 16 Arabian Sands 18 Future Perfect

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A

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bu Dhabi regularly

conjures images of beautiful blue skies, powder-white beaches and

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glittering skyscrapers. But there’s more to this enticing emirate than meets the eye. In this essential guide we’ll shine a spotlight on the must-see sights of the city and wider destinations, as well as great family destinations like fun-packed Yas Island.

Saadiyat Louvre Rotana Resort Abu Dhabi

We’ll also show you how to delve a little deeper on behalf of your clients, lifting the lid on Abu

Proudly published by BMI Publishing Ltd ©2017, Suffolk House, George St, Croydon, Surrey, UK, CR9 1SR. T: 020 8649 7233 | E: enquiries@bmipublishing. co.uk | W: bmipublishing.co.uk; sellingtravel.co.uk. Whilst every effort is made to ensure accuracy, BMI Publishing cannot be held responsible for any errors or omissions. Publishers: Steven Thompson & Sally Parker, Advertising Manager: Lisa Merrigan, Editorial Director: Steve Hartridge, Contributors: Andy Hoskins & Neal Baldwin, Creative Director: Matt Bonner, Designer: Monica Notarnicola, Production Manager: Clare Hunter, Commercial Director: David Clare, Managing Director: Martin Steady.

Dhabi’s great wealth of cultural

Abu Dhabi Cruise Terminal

attractions, getting to grips with the

Arabian Gulf

growing cruise industry, unearthing and taking a look at what new and exciting projects are waiting in the

Warner Bros. World

IHG Abu Dhabi

the delights of the Arabian desert,

Corniche

Yas Waterworld

Emirates Palace

Yas Marina Circuit 

wings. Help your

Anantara Spa Abu Dhabi

clients to discover extraordinary Abu Dhabi.

Jumeirah At Etihad Towers

Arabian Gulf

Ferrari World Abu Dhabi

Yas Viceroy Abu Dhabi

Dusit Thani Abu Dhabi

The Ritz-Carlton Abu Dhabi

 Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque

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TOP 10

Abu Dhabi

Selling Tips Keep these great facts to hand and you're guaranteed to secure those valuable sales

ESSENTIALS

1

Etihad Airways

(etihad.com)

offers triple-daily services to Abu Dhabi from London Heathrow, flies twice a day from Manchester and operates five times a week from Edinburgh.

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TIME: GMT +4 CURRENCY: Arab Emirate Dirham (AED) INTERNATIONAL DIAL CODE: +971 LANGUAGE: Arabic, though English is widely spoken. VISAS: British passport holders get a free 30-day visa on arrival. RELIGION: Islam is the official religion. People are free to practise their own faith. WHEN TO GO: Abu Dhabi has a sub-tropical, arid climate with year-round sunshine. Temperatures average 24C in the winter (Nov to Apr). Summer (May to Sep) can reach 45C, and hotels offer superb rates in this warmer period.

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seven hours, making Abu

the stunning Sheikh Zayed Grand

Mosque, which came second in TripAdvisor’s

list of the world’s top 25 landmarks. It’s free to enter and open to all faiths.

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Remind clients looking for beach bliss that Abu Dhabi’s Saadiyat Island was named

the ‘Middle East’s Leading Beach Destination’ at the World Travel Awards for the last five years.

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Journey times are just

Top of any list of must-see attractions is

For visitors in search of a cultural experience, the hotly anticipated Louvre Abu Dhabi (see p12) will

Dhabi a great alternative to the Caribbean

be a welcome addition to arts scene when it opens in November

and North Africa for those in search of winter sun. And thanks to

2017. Works by a number of masters will be on display.

Etihad’s ever-expanding network, Abu Dhabi is a perfect stopover destination en route to Asia or Australia.

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Once you arrive, getting around is easy. Abu Dhabi has a wellplanned, modern road system and taxis are reasonably priced

and plentiful. If you like your own independence, all of the major car hire companies have a presence in the emirate.

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Families will adore Yas Island (see p8), where theme parks like Ferrari World Abu Dhabi and Yas Waterworld rub shoulders

with golf courses, shopping malls and the Formula One racetrack, Yas Marina Circuit.

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Looking for the best view in the city? Steer clients towards Observation Deck at 300, a sky-high cafe on the 74th floor of

the luxurious Jumeirah at Etihad Towers hotel. Those looking for adventure should head out into the desert (see p16), where soaring sand dunes, camel rides, romantic

traditional dining under the stars and fairytale hotels await. A cruise is a fantastic way to experience Abu Dhabi, with both MSC Cruises and Celebrity Cruises offering tours of

the city and a day at the exclusive desert-island paradise, Sir Bani Yas (see p11).

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Sights in the City Steer your clients right with our insider’s guide to the capital’s very best attractions

TOP TIPS

The Corniche The beating heart of the city, Abu Dhabi’s Corniche is an 8km promenade that boasts lifeguarded beaches, restaurants,

The Italian Renaissance-style Ritz–Carlton (ritzcarlton.com) has the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque as its backdrop. The Thai-design inspired Dusit Thani Abu Dhabi (dusit.com) is located close to the Corniche and Eastern Mangroves. IHG (ihg.com) has several hotels in Abu Dhabi including InterContinental, Holiday Inn and Crowne Plaza properties.

cafes, children’s play areas and cycle

ceiling glass windows offer breathtaking views of the Corniche and Arabian Gulf. Light bites and ‘mocktails’ are also available. jumeirah.com

Emirates Palace

Stretching over a kilometre from wing to wing, Abu

and pedestrian pathways. To walk it of an

Dhabi’s most palatial hotel sits on a 1.3km stretch of private

evening, ice-cream in hand, is the perfect way to

beach. Facilities include 11 restaurants, two pools, a lavish spa and

get to know the city. visitabudhabi.ae

a private marina. Stop by for tea and try the Palace Cappuccino, sprinkled with real 24-carat gold flakes. emiratespalace.com

Saadiyat Beach This 9km ribbon of pristine white sand has a magnificent public

Zaya Nurai Island

beach, as well as private sections that can be accessed from the Park

The ultimate escape, this private-island resort is reached in 15

Hyatt and St Regis hotels, and from the super stylish Saadiyat Beach

minutes by private speedboat from Saadiyat Island. More akin to the

Club. Go from April to August for the chance to spot endangered

Maldives than the Arabian Peninsula, its 32 villas offer direct beach

hawksbill turtles that come to nest each year among the dunes.

access, plunge pools and personal butlers. zayanuraiisland.com

saadiyat.ae Clockwise from left: Strolling the Corniche is a great way to get under the skin of the city; the giant Emirates Palace hotel; Saadiyat Beach Club; shopping at the World Trade Centre mall; Zaya Nural Island

Retail Therapy Observation Deck at 300

So good is the shopping in Abu Dhabi it’s become something of a

Give new meaning to the term ‘high tea’

national pastime. Clients can find everything from high-end malls

at Observation Deck at 300, the capital’s

like The Galleria on Al Maryah Island (thegalleria.ae) to family

highest vantage point, on the 74th floor

favourites like Marina Mall (marinamall.ae) and the traditional

of Jumeirah at Etihad Towers. Floor-to-

markets of Al Mina, Abu Dhabi’s atmospheric port area.

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Action & Adventure From golf to go-karting and scenic flights to stand-up paddle boards, there’s no shortage of excitement in action-packed Abu Dhabi

TOP TIPS

Tee Time Golfers can tee off at any of Abu Dhabi’s six pay-and-play golf courses, all of which have certified PGA

Abu Dhabi is now firmly established on the Formula 1 calendar, and the destination really celebrates the race weekend. Special packages are available featuring hotels, race tickets and concerts featuring the world's top music acts

professionals on the books. Favourite

Seawings and Yellow Boats Offer clients a fresh perspective on the city

with a Seawings seaplane

fairways include the award-winning Abu Dhabi

tour (seawings.ae). The

Golf Club, home of the annual Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship,

25-minute flight begins with a

a European PGA Tour event; Yas Links Abu Dhabi on Yas Island,

thrilling water take-off from

Arabia’s only true links golf course; and the Gary Player-designed

either Emirates Palace or Yas

Saadiyat Beach Golf Club, the first ocean course in the region.

Marina and offer panoramic views

visitabudhabi.ae

of Yas Island, the Corniche and the city’s famous landmarks. Or thrill clients

What SUP?

with a 60-minute Yellow Boats speedboat ride

Guided tours by kayak or stand-up paddle board (SUP) are two of the

along Abu Dhabi’s waterfront. Dolphins and turtles can often be

most popular and healthy ways to explore Mangrove National Park,

spotted from the boat (theyellowboats.com).

19 square kilometres of luxuriant mangrove forest in the centre of Abu Dhabi city, just minutes from the Sheikh Zayed Clockwise from left: Kayaking in Mangrove National Park; Yas KartZone racing; Yellow Boats offers speedboat rides; on track at Yas Marina Circuit; stand-up paddleboarding is popular

Grand Mosque. Companies like Sea Hawk Water Sports (sea-hawk.ae) include

What a Drag! Yas Marina Circuit is a petrol-head’s paradise. Not only can you drive the track yourself at over 200kmh in an Aston Martin GT4 or

beach and swimming stops in their tours

Formula Yas 3000, you can also chase the chequered flag in a high-

and take care to point out the herons,

performance go-kart at Yas KartZone, or drag race against your

flamingos and dozens of other bird

friends in Mercedes AMGs on an internationally accredited

species that call the mangroves home.

drag-racing strip. yasmarinacircuit.com

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O N CE IN A L I F E T I M E E XPE RIE N C E T H AT I S E XCL U S I VE LY Y O U R S .

A BU D HA BI

D UBA I

PA R IS

R IY A D H

Take sanctuary from the bustle of the everyday at InterContinental Abu Dhabi where an exclusive escape awaits you. Wether you are simply taking in the spectacular view from any one of our exquisit guest rooms, relaxing with a tranquile dip in the hotel’s swimming pools, or indlulging in a gastronomic adventure at any of the 9 award winning restaurants and bars with all inclusive dine around consept. Our facilities, people and wealth of knowledge will ensure you are fully rested and recharged.

A MMA N

LOND ON

BA NG K OK

SHA NG HA I

SYD NEY

For more information please visit intercontinental.com/abudhabi

Live th e Int e r C o ntin e nt al life .

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Yas Island With 25 million visitors annually, Yas Island is well on the way to becoming one of the world’s top 10 destinations for families by 2022

TOP TIP Ferrari World Abu Dhabi The world’s first Ferrari-branded theme park offers fun for the whole family. The star attraction, Formula Rossa, hits a top speed of 240kph in

Yas Mall Yas Mall is the largest shopping centre in Abu Dhabi, home to

Clients can save money with a one-day or two-day Yas Park Pass, which offers discounted entry to both Ferrari World Abu Dhabi and Yas Waterworld. yaswaterworld.com/ ticketing

just 4.9 seconds, making it the world’s fastest rollercoaster. Not to

2.5 million square feet of

be outdone, the Flying Aces rollercoaster has the tallest loop in the

retail and entertainment

world – a stomach-churning 52m. And the thrills keep coming – the

space. Clients in search of some

latest ride, Turbo Track, hits new highs by launching its 'victims'

serious retail therapy can dish out

vertically through the park’s famous red roof. Younger kids can

their dirhams at more than 400 stores selling

practise their racing skills at the Karting Academy, or make a pit

the best international brands and a dazzling

stop at the Junior Training Academy, complete with climbing walls,

selection of great restaurants, including

slides, trapezes, gymnastic rings and suspension bridges.

Rogo’s, where food is delivered to your table

ferrariworldabudhabi.com

on a metal-tracked rollercoaster.

yasmall.ae

Yas Waterworld Looking for the coolest attraction around? Then splash down in Abu

Yas Beach

Dhabi with a trip to Yas Waterworld, home to more rides, slides and

Facilities at this pristine public

attractions than any other waterpark in the Middle East. Parents

beach are second-to-none, and

love the fact they can relax while younger kids enjoy the biggest

include a shaded kids’ splash

children’s play area in Arabia. Meanwhile, teens (and the young at

pool, sailing, kayaking,

heart) can dive into all sorts of wet and wild Clockwise from left: cycling Yas Marina Circuit; Yas Waterworld; F1 racing comes to Abu Dhabi each November; Yas Marina; the Flying Aces ride is the world's highest rollercoaster loop; Yas Viceroy is perfect for race fans; thrills and adrenalin rushes at Ferrari World Abu Dhabi

thrills – surf the world’s largest sheet wave, Bubble’s Barrel; drop through a

windsurfing, paddle boarding, jet skis, volleyball, an authentic Italian pizza

giant funnel in a six-person raft on

restaurant and a stylish

Dawwama; or soak up Arabia’s

beach lounge (adults only on

longest suspended rollercoaster, the

Fridays) complete with DJ

Bandit Bomber.

booth and infinity pool.

yaswaterworld.com

yasbeach.ae

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Each November, Yas Marina Circuit plays host to the Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, the spectacular conclusion to the F1 season

Yas Links Abu Dhabi

Prix, the spectacular conclusion to the

Set among the rolling hills

F1 season. But there’s plenty going on

and mangrove plantations of Yas Island, Yas Links Abu

throughout the rest of the year, too. Petrolheads can take a behind-the-

Dhabi is Arabia’s only true links golf course. The par-72

scenes tour of the state-of-the-art circuit, or drive the track themselves in an Aston

championship course, which

Martin, Jaguar, or Mercedes

regularly hosts events on the PGA

AMG. While on Sundays

European Tour, welcomes bookings from nonmembers, giving everyone the opportunity to test themselves on its demanding 7,450 yards. A nine-hole academy

and Tuesdays, visitors can jog, cycle or walk the

course, floodlit practice facilities and a great clubhouse restaurant,

track for free as

Hickory’s, round out facilities. yaslinks.com

part of a brilliant local health

Yas Marina Circuit

initiative.

Each November, Yas Marina Circuit is famously home to the Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand

yasmarinacircuit. com

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STAY HERE Treat clients with a stay at the five-star Yas Viceroy Abu Dhabi, the only hotel in the world sitting on top of a F1 race track. Or try the three-star and four-star options from Rotana, Crowne Plaza and Radisson Blu. yasisland.ae/hotels

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Cruise Control With more and more cruise lines either calling at or homeporting in the emirate, it’s now easier than ever to sell Abu Dhabi as a cruise destination

TOP TIP A few nights in Abu Dhabi pre- or post-cruise is a wonderful way for MSC Cruises or Celebrity Cruises clients to enjoy the many attractions of the emirate

City & Beach Combo

Gulf voyages. Many others,

Abu Dhabi’s state-of-the-art cruise terminal opened in Zayed Port in

including Seabourn Cruises,

December 2015, offering 24-hour immigration and customs facilities,

Oceania Cruises, Swan

banking facilities, tourist information, shops, restaurants and bus

Hellenic and Azamara Cruises,

and taxi stands. A year later, Abu Dhabi Ports opened Sir Bani Yas

will be calling at the emirate in

Cruise Beach, the Gulf region’s only desert-island cruise stopover,

2017. Overall, Abu Dhabi is expected to

where clients can enjoy sandy beaches, shady cabanas, more than

welcome 300,000 passengers this season, a figure that is predicted

2,000 sunbeds, spas, sports and barbecue amenities. Excursions

to rise to 450,000 by 2020, and to more than 808,000 by 2025.

include game drives in the region’s largest wildlife reserve (see p17) and activities such as mountain biking, snorkelling and kayaking.

Shore Excursions A whole raft of shore excursions are available in Abu Dhabi,

A Rising Tide

including trips to the Emirates Palace (see p5), Yas Marina Circuit

Both MSC Cruises and Celebrity Cruises will be homeporting ships in

(p8) and Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque (p12). Celebrity Cruises even

Abu Dhabi this winter (2017/18), welcoming passengers in Abu

offers a desert excursion designed by adventurer Ben Fogle

Dhabi City and calling at Sir Bani Yas Island as part of wider Arabian

(celebritycruises.com).

Graciously Thai in the Heart of Abu Dhabi Sultan Bin Zayed the First (Al Muroor Road), Abu Dhabi. United Arab Emirates.

P.O. Box 52799. Tel: +971 (2) 698 8888 | Email: sales.abudhabi@dusit.com Learn more at www.dusit.com/dtad

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Culture & Heritage With over 4,000 years of history to draw on Abu Dhabi is establishing itself as the cultural hub of the Arabian Peninsula

TOP TIPS Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque For two years in a row, Abu Dhabi’s stunning Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque has come second in TripAdvisor’s list of the world’s

Qasr Al Hosn – The White Fort Built in 1761 to defend the only water well on Abu

Falconry displays can be witnessed in several locations in Abu Dhabi. These include the Abu Dhabi Falcon Hospital, Sir Bani Yas Island and among the dunes at Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort by Anantara

Dhabi Island, Qasr Al

top 25 landmarks, beating the likes of the Taj Mahal in India and

Hosn is the oldest stone

Peru’s Machu Picchu. Able to accommodate more than 40,000

building in the city and as

worshippers, it boasts 82 domes, more than 1,000 marble columns

such has become a symbol of

and the world’s largest handmade carpet, which weighs 35 tonnes

Emirati heritage. Following years of

and took 1,200 women two years to make. Sheikh Zayed Grand

restoration, the fort will open to the public in

Mosque is open to all faiths, is free to enter and guided tours are

2018. In the meantime, a new exhibition

offered daily. szgmc.ae

outside the fort’s walls tells the story of the Emirati people and of the origins and growth of

Louvre Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi. qasralhosn.ae

The hotly anticipated Louvre Abu Dhabi, on Saadiyat Island, opens on November 11 2017. Its permanent collection will comprise more

Abu Dhabi Falcon Hospital

than 600 pieces of art, displayed across 23 state-of-the-art galleries.

Falcons were used for

Drawn from civilisations around the world, the works will tell the

centuries by the Bedouin for

story of shared human experience from Clockwise from top: Visitors on the 90-minute Abu Dhabi Pearl Journey cruise get to look for their own oyster pearls; the fabulous Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque; beady-eyed falcon; Qasr al Hosn tower; two images of the brand-new Louvre Abu Dhabi; Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is open to all faiths and can accommodate 40,000 worshippers

ancient times to the present day.

hunting. Today hunting is banned in the UAE but

The permanent collection will be

many Emiratis practise

complemented by around 300

falconry for sport and to

masterpieces on loan from major

honour the traditions of

French institutions, including

the past. Birds are regarded

works by Monet, Van Gogh

as members of the family and

and Matisse.

louvreabudhabi.ae

get regular check-ups at the Abu Dhabi Falcon Hospital, the

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largest and most

Qasr Al Hosn Exhibition

advanced of its kind in

This permanent exhibition at

the world. Opened in

the Qasr al Hosn Centre tells

1990, the hospital is one of the emirate's most popular tourist attractions. Public tours are run Sunday to Thursday

the story of Abu Dhab and its people through the city's oldest building. Fascinating oral testimonies and

at 10am and 2pm. falconhospital.com

historic photographs

Abu Dhabi Pearl Journey

bring this

Clients looking for a unique way to learn some Emirati

important

history can take the Abu Dhabi Pearl Journey. Sailing through the

building to

city’s natural mangroves on a traditional pearl-diving vessel, they’ll

life and its

learn how pearl diving formed the basis of the region’s economy underwent. They’ll also get to shuck their own oysters and keep any pearls they find inside! adpearljourney.com

key role as a symbol of

before the oil boom, and of the hardships the pearlers

Emirati heritage.

qasralhosn.ae

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Amazing Al Ain For an authentic taste of Abu Dhabi’s heritage, send clients to the rustic charms of Al Ain, about a 90-minute drive from the capital

STAY HERE Clients looking to stay overnight should consider the centrally located Hilton Al Ain (hilton.com) or the five-star Al Ain Rotana, whose spacious rooms, suites and chalets are complemented by an inviting pool and spa (rotana.com)

Al Jahili Fort Built in 1891 to defend the city’s palm groves, this picture-postcard fort is now home to an exhibition

allows visitors to navigate the shady walkways and many working date farms.

about British adventurer Sir Wilfred Thesiger, who crossed the deserts of the

Al Ain Zoo

Empty Quarter twice in the 1940s and 1950s,

Spread over 400 hectares at the foot

disguised as a Bedouin.

of Abu Dhabi’s highest peak, Al Ain Zoo is home to more than 4,000

Qasr Al Muwaiji

animals. Highlights include feeding

This modern museum has been built around the ruins of a century-

giraffes and safari tours in 26-seater

old fortress that was home to generations of Abu Dhabi’s ruling

trucks or private SUVs. alainzoo.ae

dynasty. It recounts the history of the fortress and its famous residents, as well as the wider history and archaeology of Al Ain.

Wadi Adventure

qasralmuwaiji.ae

Be sure to point thrill seekers towards Wadi Adventure, the Middle East’s first and only man-made white-water rafting, kayaking,

Al Ain Oasis Clockwise from left: Exploring Jebel Hafeet near Al Ain Oasis; Qasr Al Muwaiji fortress and museum; Al Jahili Fort; Wadi Adventure offers visitors a range of watersports; making friends at Al Ain Zoo

surfing and wakeboarding facility. wadiadventure.ae

The Al Ain Oasis is the first UNESCO World Heritage Site in the UAE open to the

Best of the Rest

public. A new visitors’ centre provides

Dusty, pungent and chaotic, Al Ain’s camel market is a wonderful

insight into how the region’s

immersion in Arabian culture. Both the Palace and National

inhabitants began taming the desert

museums shed light on Al Ain’s history. For a bird’s eye view, take

4,000 years ago, while a nifty new app

the snaking road up Jabel Hafeet, the emirate’s highest peak.

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Cluster Ad_Abu Dhabi guide_eng_oct_aw.pdf

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TIMELESS ARABIAN DESTINATIONS.

Anantara Sir Bani Yas Island Al Yamm Villa Resort

Anantara Sir Bani Yas Island Al Sahel Villa Resort

Desert Islands Resort & Spa by Anantara

Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort by Anantara

Eastern Mangroves Hotel & Spa by Anantara

EXPLORE THE WONDERS OF ARABIA. Whatever your dream getaway, Anantara Hotels & Resorts in Abu Dhabi has it all. Stay at an urban sanctuary in the heart of the capital at Eastern Mangroves Hotel & Spa, escape to a haven of nature and serenity at one of the three Anantara Resorts on Sir Bani Yas Island, or explore a luxury oasis at Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort. Email crome@anantara.com or call +971 2 895 8700

LIFE IS A JOURNEY. Visit anantara.com CAMBODIA • CHINA • INDONESIA • MALDIVES • MOZAMBIQUE • OMAN • PORTUGAL • QATAR • SRI LANKA • THAILAND • UNITED ARAB EMIRATES • VIETNAM • ZAMBIA

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Arabian Sands No trip to Abu Dhabi would be complete without some desert fun. Your clients will love these must-do Arabian adventures

TOP TIPS Discover the Empty Quarter You don’t have to travel far from the city before the desert takes hold. Much of the Western Al Dhafra Region is comprised of

one of Abu Dhabi’s incredible desert hotels. Perched on the edge of the dunes, the luxurious Tilal

The Empty Quarter is recognised as one of the world's few 'dark sky' regions, thanks to its lack of light pollution. Grab a pair of binoculars or a telescope and look to the heavens – stargazing doesn't get more amazing than this!

the Rub Al Khali (Empty Quarter) – the largest expanse of sand in

Liwa Hotel (tilalliwa.

the world. Made famous by British explorer Sir Wilfred Thesiger,

danathotels.com), a Danat

who chronicled two expeditions in his seminal book Arabian Sands

property and sister hotel to Al Raha

– and more recently seen in Star Wars: The Force Awakens as the

Beach, offers great-value all-inclusive

desert planet Jakku – it remains a place of tireless natural beauty:

packages, as well as dune bashing, horse riding

of enormous shifting sand dunes, kaleidoscopic sunsets and

and quad bike safaris.

dazzling night skies.

Deeper in still is Arabian Nights Village

Day trips are hugely popular, with clients able to experience the

(arabiannightsvillage.com), where woven

majesty of the sands alongside a range of exhilarating activities.

Bedouin tents and traditional mud and

Typically, guests are collected from their hotel in the city and treated

palm-frond houses offer comfortable

to a selection of modern and traditional fun, which include the likes

accommodation among the

of dune bashing in 4x4s, camel trekking, sand surfing and dinner

dunes, with a fully licensed

beneath the stars before being dropped back at their hotel door.

restaurant and outdoor pool

Etihad Holidays (eyholidays4agents.co.uk), Clockwise from left: Anantara's Qasr Al Sarab resort; camel trekking; fivestar luxury in the heart of the Empty Quarter; visitors can spot rare wildlife including the Arabian Onyx and cheetahs on Sir Bani Yas Island nature reserve; the Arabian passion for falconry is showcased for guests during desert excursions

If Only (agents.ifonly.net), Gold Medal

(goldmedal.co.uk) and Travel2 (travel2.com) all offer half- or fullday desert excursions.

on site. For the ultimate in luxury, suggest Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort by Anantara (qasralsarab.

anantara.com). Built to

Arabian Nights

resemble an old Arabian

To truly appreciate the desert, urge

fortress, this five-star retreat

clients to consider a night or two at

offers sweeping desert views, a

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Sir Bani Yas offers something unique. Where else can you watch a cheetah take down a gazelle in the morning, and be swimming in the warm, inviting waters of the Arabian Gulf in the afternoon? NABEEL AL ZAROUNI, UK COUNTRY MANAGER, DCT ABU DHABI

sumptuous spa, worldclass cuisine and the full complement of desert

Stretching over1,400 hectares, the Arabian Wildlife park is the protected

activities. It’s here that they pioneered fat biking – cycling through the soft sand of the

wilderness home to thousands of free-roaming animals and birds. Sea

dunes on specially designed bikes with extra fat tyres.

turtles and dolphins make their home in its clear coastal waters.

Sir Bani Yas Safari

Book your clients into one of

Offer clients something they’d never expect to find in the

the island’s three luxurious

Middle East – the chance to see highly endangered Arabian oryx,

Anantara hotels (sir-bani-yas-

Barbary sheep, gazelles, giraffes and even cheetahs on an open-jeep

island.anantara.com) and add activities

safari on Sir Bani Yas Island.

such as hiking, mountain biking, riding,

Established in 1977 by Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan this incredible island – situated 170km west of Abu Dhabi city – is a modern-day conservation success story.

kayaking, snorkelling, archery and falconry to their wildlife encounters.

sirbaniyasisland.com

visitabudhabi.ae

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18

Future Perfect The pace of change is fast in Abu Dhabi. We take a look at the hottest new developments looming large on the horizon

Saadiyat Island Cultural District is arguably the most ambitious cultural project ever conceived

Saadiyat Rotana Resort The five-star Saadiyat Rotana Resort is expected to open in the

for the care and conservation of local marine life. It will also be the first SeaWorld to open without orcas.

seaworldabudhabi.ae

Warner Bros. World Abu Dhabi

last quarter of 2017. Sitting on Abu Dhabi’s best beach (just down the road

Metropolis and Gotham City, the homes of Superman and Batman,

from the new Louvre Abu Dhabi museum), it

will be two of the six immersive worlds that make up Warner Bros.

promises stylish rooms and plush beach villas, a choice of eight

World Abu Dhabi, a $1billion theme park opening on Yas Island in

restaurants and a Bodylines Fitness & Wellness Centre. rotana.com

2018. Others include the Flintstones’ home of Bedrock and Warner Bros. Plaza, a recreation of Hollywood in its Golden Age. The park’s

CLYMB

opening is expected to increase visitors to Yas Island from 25million

Clients will need a head for heights when they visit CLYMB on

to 30million annually. wbworld.ae

Yas Island. Opening in 2018, the space-age-looking building will house the world’s widest flight chamber for simulated skydiving

Saadiyat Island Cultural District

and the world’s tallest indoor climbing wall, stretching to a height

Billed as the most ambitious cultural project ever conceived, this

of 43m. miral.ae

cluster of ‘starchitect’-designed museums shows Abu Dhabi’s intent to be the leading cultural light in the region. The first museum,

SeaWorld Abu Dhabi Clockwise from left: Projects on the way include Zayed National Museum; Warner Bros World Abu Dhabi; Guggenheim Abu Dhabi; Saadiyat Rotana Resort; and CLYMB

Expected to open on Yas Island by 2022,

Louvre Abu Dhabi, opens in November (see p12). Joining it in the years ahead will be the Zayed National Museum, designed by British

SeaWorld Abu Dhabi will include the

architect Norman Foster and backed by the British Museum, and

UAE’s first dedicated marine life

Guggenheim Abu Dhabi, expected – unsurprisingly – to be the

research, rescue, rehabilitation and

largest Guggenheim ever built; about 12 times larger than its New

return centre, with world-class facilities

York namesake. saadiyatculturaldistrict.ae

In partnership with

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Create sparkling memories that will last a lifetime.

Escape to a luxury beach resort experience, minutes away from the city center, and wake up to the view of one of the world's most magnificent mosques. For reservations, call +971 2 818 8181 or visit ritzcarlton.com/abudhabi.

Advanced reservations are required. Š 2017 The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, L.L.C.

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Yas Viceroy’s family journey is all about kids! Yas Viceroy Abu Dhabi offers a unique family journey that starts with a dedicated kids check-in. Each child receives a hotel ‘charge card’ to enjoy special treats during their stay. Experience the ultimate in 5 star glamping with “Camp Viceroy” and let the fun begin with “Generation V” where a unique world of education and entertainment awaits. Explore the island with the hop on – hop off “Yas Express Shuttle” which takes you to all the attractions located on Yas Island including Ferrari World, Yas Waterworld, Yas Mall, Yas Beach and much more. Enjoy in an array of culinary options in the 11 dining and lounge venues to delight the entire family.

For bookings please call +971 2 656 0700 or email yas.reservations@viceroyhotelsandresorts.com

viceroyhotelsandresorts.com/abudhabi Yas Viceroy Abu Dhabi, P.O Box 131808 Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, UAE

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Abu Dhabi 2017 - 2018  

Your essential guide to the UAE capital 2017/18