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Opportunity Abu Dhabi - The Travel Trade’s Guide to an Expanding Destination


Our Diverse Destination of Distinction Abu Dhabi is one of the most diverse destinations anywhere. Here you’ll find the vibrancy of a cosmopolitan capital, the serenity of an ancient UNESCO World Heritage oasis settlement, the tranquility of dramatic desertscapes, inviting warm waters, secluded island getaways, a myriad of attractions – ancient and new – and an all-embracing traditional welcome that permeates them all. The emirate basks in virtual year-round sunshine with little rainfall and superb winter (October-May) temperatures which average around 24°C (75°F) during the day falling to 13°C (56°F) during the night. Summer (June-September) daytime temperatures can rise to 42°C (118°F) and there is high humidity. There are a number of world-class attractions where visitors can stay cool, these include: Yas Waterworld – an expansive waterpark with 43 rides and attractions, five of which

are one-of-a-kind; Ferrari World Abu Dhabi - the world’s largest indoor theme park - and Wadi Adventure, a man-made whitewater rafting, kayaking and surfing facility at the base of Jebel Hafeet, the city’s tallest heights. Abu Dhabi is one of the world’s safest destinations with an incredibly low crime rate and visitors benefit from the availability of a Tourism Police service trained to assist travellers. The destination is served by an increasing number of international and regional carriers, a first-class international airport, expanding accommodation options which are governed by a reliable and trustworthy classification system, tour guides trained to international standards and growing and maturing ground handling and attractions segments.

FRONT COVER: CAPITAL GATE TOWER AT ABU DHABI NATIONAL EXHIBITION CENTRE


CONTENTS

OVERVIEW Abu Dhabi City Al Ain Al Gharbia Getting to Abu Dhabi Visas Transport from the Airport Hotels & Resorts

5 7 9 11 11 11 13

ATTRACTIONS AND TOURS Abu Dhabi Al Ain Al Gharbia

14 16 17

SPECIAL PRODUCTS

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SHOPPING / DINING Retail Therapy Abu Dhabi Style Eating Out

19 20

LEISURE Golf in Abu Dhabi Spas in Abu Dhabi For an Eventful Stay

22 23 25

ITINERARIES Abu Dhabi Al Ain Al Gharbia

27 33 34

USEFUL INFORMATION Traveller's Welcome Tips Tools to Assist You Partners

36 37 38


THE CORNICHE


ABU DHABI CITY The capital of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is an intriguing mix of the past, the present and an exciting future. The sweeping Corniche, which is a community hub on this island city, is the place for joggers, cyclists, walkers, sun worshippers, bathers or for those who wish to sip a fragrant coffee and watch the world go by. The beauty of the Corniche, home to the opulent Emirates Palace hotel, particularly at sunset, has an almost mystical ‘pull’. Visitors can take advantage of a clean, wellmanaged, Blue Flag public beach complete with lifeguards which edges clear, safe waters. Along the Corniche, architecturally inspiring high-rise corporate headquarters create a Manhattan-like backdrop to a public space which is dotted with immaculately kept gardens and fountains. The city is linked to Abu Dhabi mainland by four main bridges giving easy access to a host of attractions and signature destinations including Yas Island and Saadiyat Island. Yas Island, home to the iconic Yas Viceroy, the only hotel in the world straddling an F1™ race track, hosts the annual F1™ Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on the magnificent Yas Marina Circuit. It is also home to the stunning Yas Links golf course, the Yas Waterworld waterpark and Ferrari World Abu Dhabi the world’s largest indoor theme park. Saadiyat Island is home to the stunning Monte Carlo Beach Club, Saadiyat (www.montecarlobeachclub.ae), the Manarat Al Saadiyat arts and culture exhibition centre and the Saadiyat Beach Golf Club with an inspiring 18-hole championship-ready ‘ocean’ course designed by golfing legend Gary Player. There are also two magnificent, beachfront

resorts - Park Hyatt Abu Dhabi and The St. Regis Saadiyat Island Resort. The UAE capital also boasts the Abu Dhabi Golf Club which, each January, hosts the PGA European Tour-backed Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship. An increasing number of operators are offering golfing holidays to the emirate. Key Abu Dhabi visitor attractions are the awe-inspiring Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, which has complimentary daily guided tours as well as shopping in the city’s ultramodern malls and traditional souks. There are popular city tours, excursions to key attractions, water-bound tours around Abu Dhabi’s coastline, fishing, sailing, kayaking and diving trips and day and night safaris into the desert for camel trekking, dune driving, dune dinners and sand skiing. Overnight desert stays are possible in sustainable and traditional-style camps. Business Tourism is an Abu Dhabi forté and largely centres around the expansive and ultra-modern Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC). State-of-theart, fully air-conditioned exhibition halls are backed by a full range of services, restaurants and coffee shops, ample car parking and the complex also includes ICC Abu Dhabi - the international convention centre, which can seat up to 6,000. Adjacent is the iconic Capital Gate Tower - the world’s farthest leaning tower - which houses the five-star Hyatt Capital Gate hotel. The complex is also linked to the four-star Aloft Abu Dhabi - the trendy brand’s only hotel in the UAE. Visitors seeking active breaks are well catered to by the Al Forsan International Sports Resort - a huge complex offering a variety of sporting activities on the motor track, on water or on horseback. 5


AL JAHILI FORT


AL AIN This is Abu Dhabi’s heritage heartland where visitors can immediately connect with the rich traditions of the emirate. The second largest city in the emirate, Al Ain, which means ‘Spring’ in Arabic, is built around seven oases, where date farming is still practised and which were cited in UNESCO’s denotation of Al Ain as a World Heritage site. A stroll through the restored Al Ain Oasis is to be at one with nature. Museums, ancient forts and archaeological deposits unearth an intriguing past. The old souks (markets) and camel market – the last remaining of its kind in the United Arab Emirates – make great photographic memories. Al Ain is wrapped by a backdrop of dramatic rocky heights, which provide panoramic views of the sweeping, multi-hued desert which leads up to the city and which visitors can enjoy through organised safaris and 4x4 adventure trips. This ‘Oasis City’ is a destination for those wanting a distinct ‘feel’ of Arabia in a relaxing environment where hotels cater to discerning vacationers, business groups and families. Modern-day entertainment is to be found in the hotels, at Al Ain Raceway’s state-of-the-art go-karting facility and the Al Ain Equestrian, Shooting & Golf Club, which boasts world-class equestrian facilities and an 18-hole, all-grass golf

course in a stunning setting in the shadow of Jebel Hafeet – the emirate’s highest peak. The city’s malls are modern, expansive and have a mix of more traditional stores and high-end brands. Family entertainment highlights are provided by: Hili Fun City – the Gulf’s oldest theme park which has now been renovated and offers the most cost-effective family day out; the Al Ain Zoo, which again delivers incredible value-for-money and Wadi Adventure, a man-made whitewater rafting, kayaking and surfing playground at the base of Jebel Hafeet. ( www.wadiadventure.ae).

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ARABIAN WILDLIFE PARK


AL GHARBIA Abu Dhabi’s western region - Al Gharbia - is the emirate’s most expansive and is for the adventurous. It opened up to international tourism with the Desert Islands Resort & Spa by Anantara on Sir Bani Yas Island - a former royal nature reserve which is home to the Arabian Wildlife Park and its herds of free roaming animals, including one of the world’s largest herds of Arabian Oryx (gazelles). Guests can opt for a range of adventure activities including kayaking through mangroves, snorkelling in marine life-rich waters, hiking across ancient salt domes, archery, mountain-biking, 4x4 guided tours of the Arabian Wildlife Park and horse riding.

The iconic Qasr al Sarab (Mirage Palace) Desert Resort by Anantara nestles in the towering dunes of the Liwa Desert, which sits at the entry to the Rub Al Khali (Empty Quarter) made famous by the expeditions of British explorer Wilfred Thesiger. This superb resort is built in traditional style and gives guests memorable sunrise and sunset desert views. Guests can join in numerous desert pursuits including early morning camel treks before adjourning for a traditional hammam bath in the luxurious spa.

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Manchester Minsk Dublin Brussels Frankfurt London Paris Munich Geneva Milan

Moscow Astana Almaty

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Alexandria

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Peshawar Islamabad

Lahore Delhi Kathmandu Karachi Dhaka ABU DHABI Mumbai Bangalore Hyderabad

Khartoum

Johannesburg Cape Town

Tehran Baghdad Kuwait Amman Dammam Doha Bahrain Muscat Riyadh Beirut

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Middle East Network

ABU DHABI


GETTING TO ABU DHABI

VISAS

Most international visitors arrive at Abu Dhabi International Airport – the Gateway to Abu Dhabi. This award-winning facility is half an hour’s drive from downtown Abu Dhabi and only a 40-minute drive from Dubai. An increasing number of national and international carriers now y to Abu Dhabi International Airport. They include – Air Astana, Air Berlin, Air France, Alitalia, Air Seychelles, Biman, British Airways, Cathay PaciďŹ c, Czech Airlines, Egypt Air, Etihad Airways, Garuda Indonesia, Gulf Air, Hainan Airlines, Jet Airways, KLM, Kuwait Airways, Lufthansa, Singapore Airlines, Turkish Airlines, and V Australia. Regional carriers serving Abu Dhabi International Airport include: Bahrain Air, Egypt Air, Gulf Air, Kuwait Airways, Middle East Airlines, Oman Air, Pakistan International Airlines, Qatar Airways, Royal Jordanian, Royal Falcon, Saudi Arabian Airlines and Turkish Airlines. Etihad Airways, the multi-awardwinning national airline of the UAE, ies from more than 60 destinations throughout the Middle East, Europe, North America, Africa, Asia and Australia to Abu Dhabi. The airport has a new, stateof-the-art Terminal 3 which is dedicated to Etihad, and a fully-upgraded Terminal 1.

Citizens of 32 countries are issued with a free-of-charge VISIT VISA on entry to the UAE - UK, France, Italy, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Austria, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Portugal, Ireland, Greece, Finland, Malta, Spain, Monaco, Vatican, Iceland, Andorra, San Marino, Liechtenstein, United States, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Brunei, Singapore, Malaysia and Hong Kong. Citizens of other countries should apply to their nearest UAE embassy.

There are Arrivals Duty Free facilities and allowances are: – 3^UaZa^,&^[fdWeada`WUSdfa` – 5[YSdWffWe,GE'&'ad$j$""USdfa`e

Information concerning visa requirements is subject to change and visitors should always check with their travel agent or nearest UAE embassy before travelling. Eye scan is required for everyone except GCC citizens and the 33 visa-exempt nationalities.

TRANSPORT FROM THE AIRPORT There is an air-conditioned bus service running every 40 minutes from Abu Dhabi International Airport to the city’s downtown which costs less than GE #  5Sd dW`fS^ �d_e abWdSfW Sf fZW airport as do limousine and standard taxis. The average taxi fare into Abu Dhabi U[fk [e GE $" ad fa KSe ;e^S`V [e GE #'  Average fare to both Dubai and Al Ain is GE(*

– 5[YSde,GE*#)_Sj  – FaTSUUaafZWd,$]Y_Sj  – 9[Xf [fW_e [`U  bWdXg_W, GE *#) ! AED 3,000 (max.) Some regional carriers operate into Al Ain International Airport which is about 30 minutes outside the Oasis City and an hour’s drive from Abu Dhabi city.

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EMIRATES PALACE


OUR HOTELS NOW RANKING AMONG THE WORLD’S BEST Hotels, hotel apartments and resorts throughout Abu Dhabi emirate are classified according to a stringent system operated by Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority. The system was introduced to better meet visitor expectations and to give the travel trade greater confidence in product recommendation. The emirate now has almost 140 hotels, resorts and hotel apartments. Hotels are ranked from one-star to five-star with hotel apartments being superior, deluxe or standard. The choice of properties is extensive, from family-centric hotel apartments and alcohol-free city centre resorts to super trendy properties with popular night spots; from stunning beachfront to stylish downtown business hotels; from breathtaking desert retreats, to mountain getaways; from island havens to the überluxurious Emirates Palace. This expanding accommodation stock is now collaborating on the world’s first statutory green hotel design and rating scheme in an emiratewide commitment to environmental sustainability. Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority can provide full details through its ‘Where To Stay Guide’ available from any of its offices or by request from partners@tcaabudhabi.ae.

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ATTRACTIONS & TOURS ABU DHABI Abu Dhabi’s leisure offering is constantly expanding. In the capital the most popular attractions are:

Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque One of the world’s largest and a magnificent architectural statement. There are daily complimentary ´walk-in´ guided tours by trained UAE nationals which tell the story of the building of this masterpiece of worship and give visitors an insight into local heritage and traditions. www.szgmc.ae

The Corniche You can stroll it, roller-blade it, hire bicycles, bask on the Blue Flag public beach which has lifeguards and has a _[`[_S^ GE # ' W`fdk XWW  FZWdWÆe S free-to-enter wakeboard training park and lots of coffee shops to people watch. www.visitabudhabi.ae

The Heritage Village By the Corniche Breakwater this is a reconstruction of a desert village with a small traditional souk. www.visitabudhabi.ae

City Tours The Big Bus Company offers a hop-on, hop-off service around the city which takes in most of its landmarks. www.bigbustours.com

Zayed Centre for Studies and Research In the city’s Al Bateen District, this centre provides a fascinating peek into the life of the late Sheikh Zayed, affectionately known as ´The Father of The Nation. www.visitabudhabi.ae 14


Emirates Palace Among the world’s most opulent hotels. A popular pastime is taking High Tea in Le Café. www.emiratespalace.com

The Observation Deck at 300 On Level 74 of Tower 2 at Jumeirah at Etihad Towers, this highest vantage of Abu Dhabi’s cityscape is where guests can enjoy delicious refreshments against a spectacular backdrop. www.jumeirah.com

Camel Races Cheer on the camels as they thunder round a purpose-built track. Races are on weekends with an early morning start and are held on the outskirts of Abu Dhabi and Al Ain. www.visitabudhabi.ae

Falcon Hospital Tour this state-of-the-art facility to learn more about these noble birds of prey and try your hand at the ancient Arabian sport of falconry. www.falconhospital.com

Fish Market Visit this bustling market at the Mina (Port) area – fantastic photo opportunities. www.visitabudhabi.ae

Mina Carpet Market Again at the Mina area. Don’t forget to bargain. www.visitabudhabi.ae

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ATTRACTIONS & TOURS AL AIN Al Ain Oasis Take a stroll through this centuries old preserved oasis and feel the pace of life slip away. www.visitabudhabi.ae

Yas Waterworld This expansive waterpark has 43 rides, slides & attractions – five of which are one-of-a-kind. Visitors follow the story of a young Emirati girl on a quest to find a legendary pearl as they make their way around the attractions, which include a souk and pearl-diving exhibits. www.yaswaterworld.com

Ferrari World Abu Dhabi The world’s largest indoor theme park with the world’s fastest roller-coaster the Formula Rossa. Sure to thrill. www.ferrariworldabudhabi.com

Sheikh Zayed Palace Museum Find out more about Abu Dhabi’s ruling family. www.visitabudhabi.ae Jebel Hafeet Drive to the top of this, Abu Dhabi’s highest peak, for spectacular views over the Oasis City and desert. www.visitabudhabi.ae Al Ain Zoo Visit this expansive park which is home to over 4,000 animals including two White Lions – amongst the rarest in the world. www.awpr.ae Al Ain Museum A showcase of the UAE’s heritage. Displays date back to the first millennium BC and come right up to date. www.aam.gov.ae Camel Souk The country’s last remaining – remember to take the camera! www.visitabudhabi.ae

Wadi Adventure The Middle East’s first, man-made whitewater rafting, kayaking and surfing facility. www.wadiadventure.ae 16


AL AIN ZOO

ATTRACTIONS & TOURS AL GHARBIA Motor Museum For those with a passion for automobiles.

www.enam.ae Contact a tour operator for trips into the stunning Liwa desert. Get out onto the water with the Western Marine Sports Club’s boat and kayaking tours in Al Mirfa.

AL GHARBIA

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DESERT SAFARI

SPECIAL PRODUCTS Cruise Abu Dhabi’s Corniche While Dining See the Corniche at night from a converted dhow while enjoying an Arabian-style dinner. www.aldhafra.net Bird’s Eye View Take a sightseeing helicopter trip of the UAE capital and its coastline. www.falconaviation.ae Get into Top Gear In the home of the F1™ Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, the Yas Racing School offers expert tuition, in a variety of cars, such as Aston Martin GT4 racers, from specialised instructors for those who have never driven a racing car before. Enthusiasts who would rather be in the capable hands of a professional racing driver can opt to be a passenger in a powerful open-top Yas SuperSport SSX or enjoy the ultimate thrill of a ride in a twoseater Formula 1™ car. Other programmes include a one-day racing licence assessment course in association with the Automobile Touring Club of the UAE, the official licensing body. www.yasmarinacircuit.com 18

Abu Dhabi Pearl Journey Reviving the emirate’s ancient pearling culture this is a unique cultural and tourism experience which enriches knowledge of the Arabian Gulf’s pearling history. The tour takes guests on a journey into the Arabian Gulf on a traditional dhow, allows them to open oysters and to keep any pearls they find. Traditional snacks are served onboard. www.adpearljourney.com Speedboat Coastline Tours Yellow Boat trips are a thrilling way to see Abu Dhabi’s expansive coastline and its evolving skyline. www.theyellowboats.com Fishing, Diving, Cruising Trips Try SeaCruiser or Butinah Cruising and have a passionate Emirati guide who’ll bring you at one with the sea. www.seacruiser.ae Desert Safari and Dune Bashing Contact a tour operator to spend a morning/ afternoon or evening in an intriguing desert camp and try your hand at a range of activities including sand skiing. You can camp overnight in the silence of the desert under amazing star-lit skies. www.abet-uae.com


Overnight in the Desert The Arabian Nights Village harnesses the soul and essence of old Arabia. It’s not a hotel, but by no means a rustic camp. There are three room types Beit Al Barr, traditional mud houses of the desert, Beit Al Bahr, the original houses of Emirati sea-dwellers which are made from palm fronds, and Beit Shaar, or woven tents. There’s also an idyllic swimming pool to cool down in after a spot of dune bashing, quad biking, sand surfing or falconry. www.arabiannights.ae Jet Skiing Jet ski and boat charter are available from Empros. www.empros.ae Kayaking Through Mangroves Takes you through the lush mangrove reserves on the island city’s east coast. Noukhada Adventures. www.noukhada.ae Circuit Tours Escorted tours of Yas Marina Circuit in an air-conditioned coach with a trained tour guide provide an inside view of the pits, team garages and the working environments of the F1™ teams in the Paddock Club’s team villas. www.yasmarinacircuit.com Al Ain Raceway A world-class go-karting circuit, where budding speed freaks can test out their skills. www.alainraceway.com

RETAIL THERAPY ABU DHABI STYLE In Abu Dhabi city and Al Ain there are numerous ultra-modern malls which house a range of stores selling everything from the latest beauty products and watches from the world’s top brands, to locally-made souvenirs. In the Souk at Qaryat Al Beri and the new Central Market, you’ll find shops selling all the perfumes of Arabia sitting happily side-by-side the latest in beauty stores. Down at the Mina area of Abu Dhabi you’ll find the Carpet Souk (market) where you can pick up a souvenir to last forever – don’t forget to bargain! Top buys in Abu Dhabi are gold and ethnic jewellery, carpets, perfumes, a whole array of date produce and intriguing souvenirs. In Al Ain, visit Souq Al Zaafarana round the corner from Al Jimi Mall. This is a jewel of a find which reflects true Emirati culture and tradition while being new. Whether you’re looking for abayas (ladies outer garment) or kandouras (men’s white flowing garment), incense or spices, henna or ouds, dallah (Arabian coffee pots) this is the marketplace for you. This is the new home of Al Ain’s old souk and features Mubdia Village, a section exclusively for women that is staffed by female shopkeepers. The place to get traditional souvenirs and watch the Emiratis bargain.

Catamaran Cruise Every Friday & Saturday get onboard the largest 74 foot catamaran in the UAE capital. Discover the art of sailing, enjoy a light lunch on a four-hour cruise departing from the exclusive Emirates Palace Marina. www.belevari.com

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MEZLAI

EATING OUT Dining options in Abu Dhabi are nothing short of breath-taking. Every possible taste is seemingly catered to. Options range from fine-dining Emirati-style, to al fresco dinner in exquisite shore-side settings to pub grub. For a taste of the local cuisine, head to Mezlai at Emirates Palace - the destination’s only five-star outlet given over to Emirati fare and with an Emirati

MPW STEAKHOUSE 20

chef at the helm. For a wider Middle Eastern experience try one of the Lebanese supper club restaurants which come alive in the late hours with entertainment, the authentic Agadir Moroccan restaurant in The Westin Abu Dhabi Golf Resort & Spa or Atayeb in the iconic Yas Viceroy Abu Dhabi. There are plenty of waterfront dining experiences with trendy harbourside


AL FANAR

outlets at the InterContinental and superb sea views at the Beach House, Park Hyatt Abu Dhabi. Seafood is a speciality and one of the most popular restaurants to try it is Finz at the Beach Rotana. There are two revolving restaurants - one in Marina Mall and Al Fanar in Le Royal Meridien which offer superb views, and great 360 degree vistas also await diners at the Quest Level

63 signature Pan Asian restaurant of Jumeirah At Etihad Towers. The emirate is increasingly becoming a gourmet destination attracting top name brands including Cipriani at the Yacht Club at Yas Marina, Frankie’s and the Marco Pierre White Steakhouse at the Fairmont Bab Al Bahr, Hakkasan in Emirates Palace and Spaccanapoli in the

FRANKIE’S 21


Crowne Plaza. Fine dining also awaits at Oro at the Rocco Forte Abu Dhabi, Kennedy’s at the Armed Forces Officers Club & Hotel or you can join the chef’s table at 55&5th The Grill at The St. Regis Saadiyat Island Resort. Take a trip out to The Souk, Qaryat Al Beri for a dazzling array of restaurant and bar choices. Over on Saadiyat Island, there are a myriad of choices including the elite Monte Carlo Beach Club. For dining options in detail, contact Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority for its ‘Where To Eat’ guide on partners@tcaabudhabi.ae.

GOLF IN ABU DHABI With three championship-ready courses within a 25 kilometre radius and six clubs within a 90-minute drive, Abu Dhabi has a wealth of offerings – from parkland to beach and links courses – for all types of players. Seasoned veterans and beginners can take their pick of sea, dune, oasis or mountain backdrops and are welcome at all clubs. Each of Abu Dhabi’s three championship courses offers a different experience - one being parkland, another the region’s only ‘ocean’ course and a third a links course. These are complemented by a city course,

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an intriguing sand course and an 18-hole, all-grass country course under the shadow of the Jebel Hafeet heights of Al Ain.

Abu Dhabi Golf Club Ten minutes from Abu Dhabi International Airport and 20 minutes from down-town and most beach hotels, this is home to the annual PGA European Tour-backed Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship. This magnificent course features 27 holes – including 18 championship holes – that weave through breathtaking terrain and seven saltwater lakes. The par 72, 7,334yard course throws up a tough challenge with lush fairways, 90 challenging bunkers and generous greens. The 3,299 yard, par 36 nine holes are more forgiving.

www.adgolfclub.com Saadiyat Beach Golf Club The region’s first ocean course with several beachfront holes, this Gary Player-designed masterpiece harnesses the natural beauty of Saadiyat Island. The championship-ready par 72 beach course has three lakes and 60 bunkers.


The course starts at 5,290 yards and extends to 7,784 yards. The club is 20 minutes from Abu Dhabi International Airport and 15 minutes from downtown.

www.sbgolfclub.ae Yas Links Abu Dhabi The Middle East’s only links course, this is a championship ready facility on the western shores of Yas Island where every hole has a coastline view. This 18 hole, par 72 course spans 7,450 yards and is complemented by a luxurious clubhouse, floodlit practice ranges and a nine-hole, par 3 academy course. It is a 15-minute drive from Abu Dhabi International Airport and 20 minutes from the city centre. www.yaslinks.com Al Ain Equestrian, Shooting & Golf Club An 18-hole grass course and nine-hole academy in the shadow of the Jebel Hafeet heights. Certified PGA professionals provide a variety of instruction programmes and packages as well as private day-time lessons and evening sessions on the floodlit driving range..

www.aesgc.ae

Al Ghazal Golf Club Providing a challenge few destinations can offer on a championship, 18-hole, par 71 ‘sand’ course. The club has a 30-bay driving range and state-of-the-art teaching academy. Just minutes from Abu Dhabi International Airport.

www.alghazalgolf.ae Abu Dhabi City Golf Club The city’s first nine-hole course features newly-laid greens, a double-tiered driving range, and affordable green fees. Golf professionals are available for coaching. Open to members and visitors. www.adcitygolf.ae

SPAS IN ABU DHABI Spas and beauty houses abound in Abu Dhabi – many offering the traditional Hammam experience which will leave you squeaky clean. Spas range from the überluxurious and brand-named usually found in the five-star hotels, to individual offerings in independent villas and more affordable spas in shopping malls. Treatments are highly diverse and satisfy a demanding local clientele while providing memorable visitor experiences.

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GOURMET ABU DHABI


FOR AN EVENTFUL STAY Abu Dhabi makes for an eventful stay. With a packed, year-round programme of worldclass sporting, gourmet, cultural events and entertainment, visitors can plan their trip to coincide with a host of spectator opportunities. Whatever your clients’ interests, the chances are they’ll find something to satisfy them in Abu Dhabi. Here are some of our headline events, many more are held throughout the year and you can check them all out on

www.abudhabievents.ae January Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship. www.abudhabigolfchampionship.com February Gourmet Abu Dhabi. www.gourmetabudhabi.ae March Abu Dhabi International Triathlon. www.abudhabitriathlon.com

Gulf Incentive, Business Tourism and Meetings Exhibition. www.gibtm.com March/Aprill Abu Dhabi Festival. www.abudhabifestival.ae Abu Dhabi International Book Fair. www.adbookfair.com September Abu Dhabi Hunting & Equestrian Exhibition. www.adihex.net November Formula 1™ Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. www.formula1.com Abu Dhabi Art. www.abudhabiartfair.ae December National Day Celebrations.

www.alainaerobaticshow.com

ABU DHABI INTERNATIONAL TRIATHLON

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EMIRATES PALACE HOTEL


RECOMMENDED DAYS OUT ABU DHABI CITY ITINERARY 1 A dose of culture and cruising through dinner. Morning Learn all about Islam and some UAE traditions with a visit to one of the world’s most impressive mosques – the stunning Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque. This architectural marvel features 80 domes, 1,000 columns, gold-plated chandeliers, the world’s largest hand-made carpet and space for 41,000 worshippers. Take a one-hour, complimentary guided tour from 10am every Saturday-Thursday.

www.visitabudhabi.ae Afternoon Visit the opulent Emirates Palace hotel from 4pm and partake in the ultimate luxury tradition of afternoon tea with platters of dainty sandwiches, petit fours and fluffy scones and a pot of expertly brewed tea. Catch a cab up to the Heritage Village on the Corniche Breakwater and step back in time to a traditional desert lifestyle. Bargain with souvenir sellers and watch craftsmen at work producing pottery, weaving and metal work. Evening Enjoy an Arabian feast whilst cruising along the Corniche on a traditional dhow (sailing boat) converted into a restaurant. Be mesmerised by the glittering lights of Abu Dhabi’s Manhattan-style skyline.

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FISHMARKET, INTERCONTINENTAL HOTEL


ITINERARY 2 Fishy tales of Arabia. Morning Rise early to catch the action at the Fish Market in the Mina area. Be astounded at the astonishing array of fish, including shark, and be ready to snap up photographs. If you’re self-catering, choose your favourite seafood and get it cleaned on site ready for a lunch or evening barbecue. The hustle and bustle of the market brings you wide awake. Afternoon En route pour la pêche où vous n’aurez aucun mal à reconnaître votre prise. Faites une excursion de pêche avec Sea Cruiser ou Butina Cruising et apprenez tout ce qu’il y à savoir sur la faune et le patrimoine maritime d’Abou Dhabi tout en admirant son éblouissant rivage. Evening Head to one of the city’s fabulous seafood restaurants for a gourmet experience that you will savour long after the meal is over.

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ITINERARY 3 Islands in the sun.. Morning Set sail with Noukhada Adventure Company (www.noukhada.ae, tel: +971 50 721 8928) for a bright and early eco-tour, kayaking through Abu Dhabi’s natural eastern mangrove forests dotted around the plethora of islands in view of the rising city skyline. You’ll spend one and a half hours with an experienced guide who can share details on natural wildlife habitats and point out some of the iconic buildings transforming the horizon, stopping for refreshments on one of the pristine islands. Arrange for Sea Cruiser Boat Tours (www.

143-berth Yas Marina which overlooks the Yas Marina F1™ Circuit. Experience one of the world’s most technologically advanced motorsports circuits by taking the official Yas Marina Circuit Venue Tour (www. yasmarinacircuit.ae, tel: +971 800 927). Escorted track tours in an air-conditioned coach with a trained tour guide provide an inside view of the pits, team garages and the working environments of the F1™ teams in the Paddock Club’s team villas. The tour ends with a photo finish opportunity on the Main Straight podium!

THE YAS HOTEL

YAS VICEROY ABU DHABI HOTEL

seacruiser.ae, tel: +971 50 800 9495) to pick you up from an agreed destination on the water, and transfer you to Abu Dhabi’s signature entertainment destination, Yas Island (www.yasisland.ae). You’ll arrive in style, and air conditioned comfort, to the

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Lunch Delight in the art of cuisine at one of the fine restaurants at Yas Marina Yacht Club or any of the Yas Island hotels.


Afternoon Transfer from Yas Island along the incredible Sheikh Khalifa Highway, connecting to Saadiyat Island (www.saadiyat.ae) which is undergoing a remarkable transformation into a world-class leisure, business and cultural hub. Saadiyat Island will eventually house the world’s largest single concentration of premier cultural assets, including the Zayed National Museum, Louvre Abu Dhabi and Guggenheim Abu Dhabi.

ATAYEB

Visit the permanent interactive display ‘The Saadiyat Story’ at the island’s dedicated exhibition centre Manarat Al Saadiyat (www.saadiyat.ae or email manaratalsaadiyat@tdic.ae) which brings the history and cultural vision of Saadiyat to life. Stop for coffee at the adjoining Fanr restaurant, or take in a round at the fabulous beachfront Saadiyat Beach Golf Course.

SAADIYAT BEACH GOLF CLUB

Evening Finish your perfect island day with a visit to the spectacular Monte Carlo Beach Club, Saadiyat.

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AL AIN OASIS


AL AIN ITINERARY 1 Excite, relax and take a walk on the wild side. Morning Wake up at around 5.30am to catch the action at the Maqam camel racetrack outside Al Ain. Catch the excitement as owners follow their prize animals in 4x4s from the safety of the inner enclosure. Feel the pride as the trophies are awarded. Head back for breakfast and pool at the hotel. Afternoon Wander through the ancient Al Ain Oasis and feel the cares of the world drain away. Be cooled by the wafting palms and see the traditional falaj irrigation system in action. Let your imagination take you back to the days when this was one of the most welcome sights on the Silk Route. Evening Take a night-time guided tour through the Al Ain Zoo with its night safari. Since many of its animals are nocturnal you get to see species that are hidden from you during the day.

ITINERARY 2

Afternoon Al Ain National Museum is varied enough to take up a full afternoon. Start your tour with a look through the archaeology section, which contains several artefacts from the nearby forts that you will have visited in the morning. Next head to the museum’s gifts section to see a collection of gifts given to the late Sheikh Zayed. End with the ethnography section which has a huge collection of Bedouin jewellery, musical instruments, weapons and a reconstruction of a traditional majlis. Round the day off with a visit to the restored Al Qattara Fort - now home to a brilliant arts centre and gallery. The centre is open daily, except Fridays, from 9am-1pm and 4-8pm. Evening Set out late afternoon and head towards the towering Jebel Hafeet. If you time it well, you can enjoy the sunset while driving up one of the world’s most incredible roads. Before you reach the top, turn off for a break at the Mercure Hotel.

ITINERARY 3

History & new horizon views.

Hot souvenirs, Wadi Adventure, cool golf and a chilled out dinner.

Morning Become immersed in Al Ain’s history by visiting its many forts. First, head to the impressive Al Jahili Fort and see the permanent display of the work of British explorer Wilfred Thesiger. Next head to the landscaped gardens of Al Ain’s oldest fort – Muraijib Fort, built in 1816. The more adventurous may cross the Omani border into Buraimi to explore Hili Fort.

Morning Wake up early to catch traders at the country’s last remaining camel market near the base of Jebel Hafeet and get up close to the desert way of life. Although you won’t buy a camel, take your wallet to buy some hand-made camel accessories as they make great souvenir gifts. Later travel to the other side of Jebel Hafeet to experience the thrills of Wadi Adventure. 33


Afternoon Enjoy 18 holes of golf on Al Ain Equestrian, Shooting & Golf Club’s all-grass course. Evening The live entertainment and great food at Min Zaman in Al Ain Rotana attracts a large crowd so reserve a table beforehand!

AL GHARBIA Guests at the growing number of hotels in Al Gharbia have a host of adventure activities to keep them occupied:

ITINERARY 1 Sunbathe, swim and dine Morning Head off to the public beach at the picturesque harbour town of Mirfa. The water is practically untouched, perfect for a morning in the sun and for swimming. Book in for some watersports with the Western Marine Sports Club (www.wmsc.ae). www.wmsc.ae Afternoon Take in lunch at the renovated four-star Mirfa Hotel before taking a leisurely drive up to Jebel Dhanna. Evening Make a reservation at the Zaitoun restaurant at the Danat Resort Jebel Dhanna for a masterful menu of Middle Eastern and North African dishes.

ITINERARY 2 Desert driving, dune barbecues and moonlit campfires. Morning Head towards the Liwa oasis at dawn and prepare for one of the most incredible landscapes you’ll ever witness. Once you 34

reach the crescent-shaped Liwa oasis, take some time to drive between the small towns that populate this fertile area. This will be your last stop for supplies before heading into the massive dunes, so make sure you are prepared, and that there is more than one vehicle – never venture into the desert alone. Once past the Liwa oasis, you’ll quickly be blown away by the sheer size of the dunes. Find yourselves an area to camp and pitch your tents. Afternoon Fire up barbecues, cook yourselves a meal and get ready to blast through the dunes. If you’re camping with a guided tour, hold on tight while the experienced driver takes you on a ride you’ll never forget. You should also try your hand at sand boarding, the desert equivalent of snow-boarding. Evening There’s nothing like sitting around a campfire with good friends and great food. Start preparing your evening feast, heat up the barbecue and put some wood in the fire pit. As you wait for the coals to heat up, climb the highest sand dune you can and watch what might be the most majestic sunset of your life – the long shadows cast by the dunes only magnify their incredible size. Head back to camp, feast like a king, then sit back and enjoy the company of good friends and endless stars.


QASR AL SARAB DESERT RESORT BY ANANTARA


TRAVELLERS WELCOME TIPS – 3^UaZa^[eea^VS`VeWdhWV[`ZafW^TSde nightclubs and restaurants. – ;` i[`fWd kag _Sk `WWV S USdV[YS` ad light jacket at night when it can feel a little chilly. – H[e[fadeeZag^VVdWee_aVWef^kiZW`[` the city or public places. Leave the bikinis and shorts for the beach. Displays of affection are best left to privacy. Common sense is the guideline. – 6d[h[`Y[`3Tg6ZST[[ea`fZWd[YZf Fa hire a car, visitors will need to present their passports and an domestic/ international driving licence. The roads are governed by radar and fines are steep so stick to the speed limits. – 7^WUfd[U[fk egbb^k [e $&" ha^fe 35 Sf '" Hz. The standard socket type is a square, three-pin plug and yes, you can drink the water though most opt for the bottled variety. – :WS^fZUSdW [` 3Tg 6ZST[ [e WjUW^^W`f and there are no special immunisation requirements to enter but good insurance cover is recommended. – KagÆ^^ Ï`V 7`Y^[eZ [e i[VW^k eba]W` fa varying degrees. – FZW ^aUS^ UgddW`Uk [e fZW G37 6[dZS_ which is freely convertible and AED 3.67 WcgSfWefaGE# KagUS`UZS`YW_a`Wk easily at exchange houses in malls and ATMs are at petrol stations, malls and supermarkets. Credit cards are widely accepted. – EZabe abW` Sdag`V #"S_ S`V _S`k now stay open right through until around 10pm. 36

– :afW^ dWefSgdS`fe SVV S #" eWdh[UW UZSdYW fa fZW T[^^ S`V fZWdWÆe S ( tourism fee. – DS_SVS` YW`WdS^^k XS^^e a` fZW `[`fZ month of the Islamic calendar year (Al Hijri), in 2013 it is likely to be the month of July. This is when visitors should, out of respect, not drink, eat or smoke in public from dawn to dusk. Special conditions will apply throughout accommodation options and it is best to check first with your supplier and ensure your clients are well aware of restrictions – and the advantages! – F[bb[`Y[eV[eUdWf[a`SdkÁgegS^^k#" – 3Tg6ZST[[e9?F&ZagdeS`VfZWdW is no daylight saving. When it’s midday in Abu Dhabi, it is 3am in New York, 8am in London; 10am in Johannesburg; 1.30pm in New Delhi and 6pm in Sydney (not allowing for any summer time saving in those destinations). – @ad_S^fagd[efbZafaYdSbZk[eS^^aiWV but please do not photograph locals, particularly the women, without their permission. It is best not to photograph government buildings or military installations and their surroundings


TOOLS TO ASSIST YOU Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority has a range of collateral, in a variety of languages, which will help you better sell this diverse destination of distinction. These include: – 3?af[hSf[a`S^4daUZgdW – 3YW`UkBaefWde – 9a^X[`3Tg6ZST[4daUZgdW – IZSfFaEWW6a – IZWdWFaEfSk – IZWdWFa7Sf – 3Tg6ZST[?Sb – 3^3[`?Sb – 6Wef[`Sf[a`bdWeW`fSf[a`6H6 – 4ge[`WeeB^S``WdeÆ9g[VW56Da_ This collateral is available at any Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority office or by request on partners@tcaabudhabi.ae The authority also produces a quarterly trade magazine Seyaha, which will update you on all the destination’s latest developments. To ensure you are on the mailing list please contact partners@tceabudhabi.ae or view it online at www.adtavisitabudhabi.ae

37


38

Organisation

Tel No.

Email

Abu Dhabi Travel Bureau

+ 971 2 622 1100

atb@emirates.net.ae

Advanced Travel & Tourism

+971 2 634 7900

info@advancedtravels.net

Al Badeyah Eyes Tourism

+ 971 2 559 6155

rudith@abet-uae.com

Al Masaood Holidays

+ 971 2 621 1797

svetlana@almasaoodtravel.com

Arabian Adventures

+971 2 691 1711

Noshir.daruwalla@emirates.com

Arabian Nights for Travel & Tourism

+971 2 677 9988

info@arabiannights.ae

Arabian Odyssey

+971 2 621 0101

info@salemtravelagency.com

Cyclone Tours

+971 2 627 6275

booking@cyclonetours.com

Darwish bin Ahmed Sons Travel & Tours

+971 2 627 2999

lubbna.ali@dbasons.com

Desert Adventures Tourism LLC

+971 2 556 6155

abudhabi@desertadventures.ae

Desert Rose Tourism

+971 2 446 6346

uae@desertrosetourism.com

Emirates Tours and Safari LLC

+971 2 491 2929

info@eatours.ae

Global Holidays

+971 2 633 4700

info@holiday.ae

Hala Abu Dhabi

+971 2 617 7810

halaabudhabi@etihad.ae

Kurban Tours

+971 2 555 0566

info@kurbantours.ae

Lama Tours

+971 2 677 0877

info@lama.ae

Safer Travel & Tourism

+971 2 418 0888

info@safer.ae

SNTTA

+971 2 643 6525

abudhabi@snttatravel.com

Travco

+971 2 643 2970

abudhabi@travcotravel.com


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39


ABU DHABI TOURISM & CULTURE AUTHORITY OFFICES Abu Dhabi PO Box 94000 Abu Dhabi United Arab Emirates Tel: +971 2 444 0444 Fax: +9712 444 0400 info@tcaabudhabi.ae

Russia Prospekt Mira, 39 / 2 Olympic Plaza 2129110, Moscow, Russia Tel: +7 495 937 5950 Fax: +7 495 937 5951 russia@tcaabudhabi.ae

Al Ain Ali Bin Abi Taleb Street PO Box 59333, Al Ain United Arab Emirates Tel: +971 3 764 2000 Fax: +971 3 764 4456 info@tcaabudhabi.ae

Saudi Arabia Boungainvillea Center-Malik Road, P.O Box 116117, Jeddah, 21391 KSA Tel: +966 56 767 9941 ksa-office@tcaabudhabi.ae

Australia Level 13, 338 Pitt Street Sydney NSW 2000, Australia Tel: +61 2 826 85533 Fax: +61 2 926 80243 australia@tcaabudhabi.ae

United Kingdom & Ireland 1 Knightsbridge London SW1X 7LY, UK Tel: +44 207 201 6400 Fax: +44 207 210 6426 uk@tcaabudhabi.ae

China Guohua Investment Building Level 1, Room 01, No. 3 Dongzhimen South Street Beijing, 100007, People’s Republic of China Tel: +86 21 6355 8033 Fax: +86 21 6375 6255 china@tcaabudhabi.ae

India M-2, Mezzanine Floor Kanchenjunga Building 18, Barakhamba Road New Delhi - 110001, India Tel: +91 11 23737348 Fax : +91 11 2335027 india@tcaabudhabi.ae

France 11 Bis, Rue Blanche 75009 Paris, France Tel: +33 1 53 25 03 52 Fax: +33 1 53 25 11 12 france@tcaabudhabi.ae Germany Goethestrasse 27 60313 Frankfurt, Germany Tel: +49 69 299 253 920 Fax: +49 69 299 253 911 germany@tcaabudhabi.ae

Italy Via Pietrasanta 14 20141 Milan, Italy Tel: +39 02 573 78315 Fax: +39 02 573 78572 italy@tcaabudhabi.ae USA Trump Tower, 22nd Floor 725 Fifth Avenue New York, NY 10022 Tel: +1 212 338 0101 usa@tcaabudhabi.ae


The United Arab Emirates is on the Arabian Peninsula

Feb 2013

Abu Dhabi is the largest of the seven emirates that make up the United Arab Emirates, with ahWd*"aX[fe^S`V_See ;f[eS^eaZa_WfafZW country’s capital city, Abu Dhabi


Contact Centre from inside U.A.E. 800 555 From outside U.A.E. +971 2 666 4442 www.visitabudhabi.ae


Opportunity Abu Dhabi