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MARCH 2014 | issue 88

M A G A Z I N E V I S I T O R F I V E - S T A R l u x u r y T H E

ABU DHABI edition MARCH 2014 | issue 88

T H E

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THE ULTIMATE LEISURE, BUSINESS AND ENTERTAINMENT DESTINATION FERRARI WORLD ABU DHABI 2

1

The world’s first indoor Ferrari branded theme park, featuring its record breaking roller coaster, Formula Rossa which speeds up to 240 kmph.

4 21

20

3 23

5

24

6

ATTRACTIONS

UNIQUE WATER ADVENTURES AT YAS WATERWORLD 2

1

9

1 FERRARI WORLD

3 YAS LINKS GOLF

Dock – dine – discover, at yas marina with an array of seamless waterfront terrace of restaurants where every meal is served with an iconic view.

19

22

ABU DHABI 2 YAS WATERWORLD

WITH THE LAUNCH OF THE REDEVELOPED YAS MARINA, IT IS NOW TWICE THE FUN! 7

8 17

10

18

COURSE 4 YAS PLAZA HOTELS

Experience the largest Emirati themed waterpark in the UAE and the world’s first aqua park with a rollercoaster ride.

13

HOME TO THE FORMULA 1™ ETIHAD AIRWAYS ABU DHABI GRAND PRIX 8 Imagine driving a Formula Yas 3000 or Aston Martin GT4 on the same circuit as the pros. – You can.

11

5 YAS BEACH 6 du FORUM 7 YAS MARINA 8 YAS MARINA

12

7

CIRCUIT

9 du ARENA

15

YAS LINKS GOLF COURSE

10 YAS CENTRAL

14

11 YAS KARTZONE 12 YAS DRAG

RACING ACADEMY

16

13 YAS MALL *

3

An award winning golf course, designed by Kyle Phillips (a world leading golf course designer).

ONE-OFF VENUE FOR WORLD CLASS LIVE CONCERTS 6 9 Staged by the du Forum and du Arena.

14 IKEA 15 ACE

OPENING SOON! 13

16 SEAWINGS 17 O1NE YAS ISLAND

Yas Mall will be the UAE’s second largest shopping Centre to Dubai Mall when it opens in 2014. The mall will include a cinema of at least 16 screens, and stores from the world’s top retailers as well as two separate department stores.

* UNDER CONSTRUCTION

HOTELS

TRANSPORT STOPS

18 YAS VICEROY ABU DHABI

21 CROWNE PLAZA ABU DHABI YAS ISLAND

23 CENTRO YAS ISLAND

YAS EXPRESS BUS STOPS

19 PARK INN BY RADISSON YAS ISLAND

22 STAYBRIDGE SUITES ABU DHABI YAS ISLAND

24 YAS ISLAND ROTANA

AN ALL-INCLUSIVE 25 KM 2 ISLAND WITH A FREE SHUTTLE CONNECTING ALL MEGA ATTRACTIONS

20 RADISSON BLU YAS ISLAND

ROOMS WITH ISLAND VIEW

O1NE YAS ISLAND 17

4

Yas Island offers six hotels (from affordable to luxury) on Yas Plaza, all hosting gourmet restaurants, entertainment, fitness and wellness venues.

Some people make world history and some places are so notorious they too become milestones in the history of time. In the nightlife scene, this place is O1NE.

UAE’S HAPPENING ISLAND FEATURING MULTIPLE ATTRACTIONS LOCATED ONLY 7 MINUTES FROM ABU DHABI INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT; 25 MINUTES FROM THE HEART OF ABU DHABI CITY, AND 45 MINUTES FROM THE CITY OF DUBAI, GUESTS WILL DISCOVER WORLDS WITHIN WORLDS AS THEY EXPLORE THE VARIOUS ACTIVITIES YAS ISLAND HAS TO OFFER.

PURE RELAXATION – YAS BEACH

5

Let your soul wander, swim, paddle board, or kayak away. on the shores of yas island’s only beach.

YAS VICEROY, YAS ISLAND’S SIGNATURE HOTEL 18 The world’s only hotel with a Formula 1 track running through it.

FIND US AT FACEBOOK.COM/YASISLAND

Untitled-11 2-3

@YASISLAND

YASISLANDAE

2/19/14 11:16 AM


THE ULTIMATE LEISURE, BUSINESS AND ENTERTAINMENT DESTINATION FERRARI WORLD ABU DHABI 2

1

The world’s first indoor Ferrari branded theme park, featuring its record breaking roller coaster, Formula Rossa which speeds up to 240 kmph.

4 21

20

3 23

5

24

6

ATTRACTIONS

UNIQUE WATER ADVENTURES AT YAS WATERWORLD 2

1

9

1 FERRARI WORLD

3 YAS LINKS GOLF

Dock – dine – discover, at yas marina with an array of seamless waterfront terrace of restaurants where every meal is served with an iconic view.

19

22

ABU DHABI 2 YAS WATERWORLD

WITH THE LAUNCH OF THE REDEVELOPED YAS MARINA, IT IS NOW TWICE THE FUN! 7

8 17

10

18

COURSE 4 YAS PLAZA HOTELS

Experience the largest Emirati themed waterpark in the UAE and the world’s first aqua park with a rollercoaster ride.

13

HOME TO THE FORMULA 1™ ETIHAD AIRWAYS ABU DHABI GRAND PRIX 8 Imagine driving a Formula Yas 3000 or Aston Martin GT4 on the same circuit as the pros. – You can.

11

5 YAS BEACH 6 du FORUM 7 YAS MARINA 8 YAS MARINA

12

7

CIRCUIT

9 du ARENA

15

YAS LINKS GOLF COURSE

10 YAS CENTRAL

14

11 YAS KARTZONE 12 YAS DRAG

RACING ACADEMY

16

13 YAS MALL *

3

An award winning golf course, designed by Kyle Phillips (a world leading golf course designer).

ONE-OFF VENUE FOR WORLD CLASS LIVE CONCERTS 6 9 Staged by the du Forum and du Arena.

14 IKEA 15 ACE

OPENING SOON! 13

16 SEAWINGS 17 O1NE YAS ISLAND

Yas Mall will be the UAE’s second largest shopping Centre to Dubai Mall when it opens in 2014. The mall will include a cinema of at least 16 screens, and stores from the world’s top retailers as well as two separate department stores.

* UNDER CONSTRUCTION

HOTELS

TRANSPORT STOPS

18 YAS VICEROY ABU DHABI

21 CROWNE PLAZA ABU DHABI YAS ISLAND

23 CENTRO YAS ISLAND

YAS EXPRESS BUS STOPS

19 PARK INN BY RADISSON YAS ISLAND

22 STAYBRIDGE SUITES ABU DHABI YAS ISLAND

24 YAS ISLAND ROTANA

AN ALL-INCLUSIVE 25 KM 2 ISLAND WITH A FREE SHUTTLE CONNECTING ALL MEGA ATTRACTIONS

20 RADISSON BLU YAS ISLAND

ROOMS WITH ISLAND VIEW

O1NE YAS ISLAND 17

4

Yas Island offers six hotels (from affordable to luxury) on Yas Plaza, all hosting gourmet restaurants, entertainment, fitness and wellness venues.

Some people make world history and some places are so notorious they too become milestones in the history of time. In the nightlife scene, this place is O1NE.

UAE’S HAPPENING ISLAND FEATURING MULTIPLE ATTRACTIONS LOCATED ONLY 7 MINUTES FROM ABU DHABI INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT; 25 MINUTES FROM THE HEART OF ABU DHABI CITY, AND 45 MINUTES FROM THE CITY OF DUBAI, GUESTS WILL DISCOVER WORLDS WITHIN WORLDS AS THEY EXPLORE THE VARIOUS ACTIVITIES YAS ISLAND HAS TO OFFER.

PURE RELAXATION – YAS BEACH

5

Let your soul wander, swim, paddle board, or kayak away. on the shores of yas island’s only beach.

YAS VICEROY, YAS ISLAND’S SIGNATURE HOTEL 18 The world’s only hotel with a Formula 1 track running through it.

FIND US AT FACEBOOK.COM/YASISLAND

Untitled-11 2-3

@YASISLAND

YASISLANDAE

2/19/14 11:16 AM


Ronald Codrai Š TCA Abu Dhabi

This exhibition tells the story of Abu Dhabi and its people through its most historic building: Qasr al Hosn.

Qasr al Hosn Centre, Abu Dhabi qasralhosnfestival.ae visitabudhabi.ae

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MARCH 2014 / Issue 88 / abu Dhabi Edition

Pu bl isher Rob Nichol a s

edi tor i a l Grou p Edi tor fay e Bart l e SEN IOR Edi tor JACQUEL I NE C A STELLUCCI A Edi tor ol i v ia cu t hbe rt produc t ion edi tor de bra fr e e ma n-t hor pe F EATURES Edi tor R ACHEL I NGR A M con t r ibu tor s MEL ISSA SLE IM A N

Welcome

st u dio Se n ior A rt Dir ec tor A n dr e a T e m pesta ART EDITOR Ton y Sa n t iago Design ers K ar e n a l ma z a n R i tz Gu t ie rr ez Photogr a pher A dham Sn e e h Produc t ion coor dinator Sohail K ha n

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CIRCULATION & MAR K ETI NG

As a visitor and guest in Abu Dhabi you are staying in a destination of distinction, which I hope you will find so engaging and exciting that you return time and time again. We in the UAE capital believe our homeland is something of a welcome contradiction for travellers. It is a place where deep-rooted Arabian heritage is deftly woven into a rich destination tapestry complete with luxury accommodation and world-class leisure attractions. Abu Dhabi is blessed with a diverse landscape. We have 400 kilometres of pristine coastline, over 200 natural islands, vast tracts of serene desert, tranquil oasis towns and a vibrant, cosmopolitan capital city. I hope during your stay you are able to experience as much of this variety as possible. In many ways, this emirate is several destinations in one, from the rustic charm of Al Ain, the birthplace of the country’s founding father, Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, and the breathtaking vastness of the Liwa Desert in Al Gharbia, with its mountainous dunes, to the energizing pace and brightness of our capital city. We all share a desire to make you feel as welcome as possible and hope you leave with a positive, lasting impression of our homeland, traditions and people. In the pages of this magazine, you will get an overview of the emirate’s widespread appeal and I’m sure you will find much to inspire and entertain you. I wish you a relaxing, enjoyable and memorable stay in Abu Dhabi.

carol mil a n Christ in e H amada Concierge magazine is published monthly and copies ar e dist ri bu t e d f r e e of charge i n f i v e -star a n d se l ec t fou r-star hot e ls. A lt hough e v e ry e f fort is made to e nsu r e t h e acc u rac y of i n format ion con tai n e d i n Conci e rge maga zi n e , t h e pu bl ish e r ca n n o t b e h e l d r e s p o n s i b l e f o r a n y e rro r s o r inaccuracies. Articles contained within Concierge maga zi n e ar e u n de r cop y righ t to t h e pu bl ish e r a nd ca nnot be r eproduced or tra nsmit ted in a n y form, without first obtaining written permission.

Mubarak Al Muhairi Director General Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority

Nicholas Publishing International FZ LLC P.O. Box 500573, Executive Heights (Damac Building), Dubai, UAE Tel: 04 4243600 Fax: 04 4327505 Email: concierge@npimedia.com Web: www.conciergedubai.com

In focus Photography: Dean Forbes, Corbis images

Concierge’s circulation is independently audited by BPA Worldwide www.bpaww.com

Concierge magazine is also available in Russian, Arabic and Mandarin languages. Please request a copy from the concierge desk in the hotel lobby.

Жу рна л «Конс ьерж» та к же и з дае т с я на русском, арабском и китайском языках. Вы можете попросить экземп ляр ж у рна ла у консьерж-службы в вестибюле гостиницы.

‫ أطلب نسخه‬.‫مجلة كونسيرج متوفرة باللغة العربية كذلك‬ .‫من مكتب االستقبال في بهو الفندق‬ <<Concierge>> 杂志也以俄语﹑中文﹑阿拉伯语出 版,请联系 您所下榻的酒店 前台索取。

_WELCOME_AUH MAR14.indd 9

“In the desert I had found a freedom unattainable in civilisation... It was very still with the silence which we have driven from our world.” So says Wilfred Thesiger in his classic travel book, Arabian Sands, where the late explorer chronicles his experiences in the Empty Quarter in the 1940s. In contrast to Thesiger’s silent desertscape, sound artist Bill Fontana has created a work inspired by the noise of the dunes for his piece, Desert Soundings, unveiled as part of the Abu Dhabi Festival this month.

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Contents MARCH 2014 / Issue 88

14/Essentials

Top attractions and events in the UAE capital

18

Discover 20/Cultural connections

Abu Dhabi Festival brings world-class music, dance and theatre to the capital alongside a busy programme of community events

26/Sounds of the sands

Acclaimed sound artist Bill Fontana has captured the essence of the desert in his intriguing new piece

28/Labour of love

Dhow-building is a time-honoured tradition in the UAE, underpinned by centuries of expertise

31

Experience 32/Gold cup

38/Island nation Concierge explores the jewels in the Abu Dhabi archipelagoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s crown

_CONTENTS_AUH MAR14.indd 11

american ballet theatre

One of the most glamorous events of the year, The Dubai World Cup is a spectacle well worth witnessing

18/02/2014 15:42


Contents MARCH 2014 / Issue 88

42

Shop 44/Family values

Yousef Mohammed Rasool Khoory charts the development of his family business into one of the countryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s leading, home-grown watch and jewellery distributors

48/Art to treasure

A glimpse inside French high-jewellery Maison Van Cleef & Arpels

56

Taste 58/Fit for a king

Chefs at Abu Dhabiâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s five-star restaurants discuss the art of fine food

62/Local largesse

Hospitality in this region is traditionally shown by sharing food and lots of it with friends and strangers

van cleef & arpels

65 The guide

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80/My life in Abu Dhabi

Omar Nour discusses life in the UAE capital as he prepares for the Abu Dhabi International Triathlon this month

19/02/2014 15:40


Essentials

MARCH

E X PER I E NCE

Abu Dhabi International Triathlon It takes serious stamina to compete in the Abu Dhabi International Triathlon, a challenge that attracts more than 2,000 athletes from around the world. Over the course of the day, participants in the gruelling long-distance course must complete a 200-kilometre bike ride, a 20-kilometre run and a three-kilometre swim. There is also a short course and a sprint distance. When: March 15. Visit: abudhabitriathlon.com

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D I S C OV E R

UPCOMING EVENTS

Dedicated to reviving the classical music of Arabia with a contemporary take on traditional sounds, the Asil Ensemble bridges old and new in a fresh and interesting way. This month the Lebanon-based group, which has performed in Morocco, Armenia and Switzerland since its launch in 2003, will be making its debut appearance in Abu Dhabi. Where: Abu Dhabi Theatre. When: March 17. Contact: virginmegastore.me

A b u d h a b i f e s t i va l

Bayt Al Farabi: Asil Ensemble

March 2 to March 31 Jazz star Herbie Hancock, American soprano Renée Fleming and the American Ballet Company (pictured) will be among the major international acts performing at this year’s Abu Dhabi Festival – the city’s annual dance, music, arts and culture extravaganza. Visit: abudhabifestival.ae

Eric Clapton Live March 6 Witness rock legend Eric Clapton’s only concert in the Middle East on his 2014 tour at Dubai Media City amphitheatre this month. Visit: doneevents.com

D I S C OV E R Art beyond boundaries

Artists from around the world arrived in the capital last month to take up a short-term residency at Abu Dhabi Art Hub’s new centre in Liwa. Run in collaboration with TellusArt, the programme includes joint workshops and cultural sessions exploring themes of friendship and understanding between different cultures. Thirty artists are taking part, including Nisha Sandhu whose works reflect her abstract interpretation of nature in all its guises. When: Runs Until March 9. Contact: 02 5515005 or visit: adah.ae

I n t e r n at i o n a l J e w e l l e r y a n d Wat c h S h o w March 13 to 17 Discover the latest fine jewellery designs and most innovative watch collections of 140 exhibiting companies from 19 countries in the 22nd edition of this international exhibition. Visit: jws.ae

A b u D h a b i I n t e r n at i o n a l B o o k Fa i r

TA S T E Afternoon tea

Abu Dhabi’s five-star hotels have afternoon tea down to a fine art. At The St. Regis Abu Dhabi (02 6944444), a dedicated tea sommelier designs a bespoke blend for each guest to enjoy with their sandwiches and cakes. Emirates Palace (02 6909000) offers a local spin on the tradition of high tea with an Arabian-themed selection of tasty treats while at Sofitel Abu Dhabi Corniche (02 8137777) diners can choose between an opulent, French-style feast (pictured) or the slightly less gastronomic Chilled High Tea.

April 30 to May 5 The capital is a key hub of the Middle East’s book trade and the annual Abu Dhabi International Book Fair encourages literary aficionados to take part in a series of workshops and seminars and explore over 500,000 titles on display. Visit: adbookfair.com

Justin timberlake live May 23 The American artist is expected to draw huge crowds when he returns to Abu Dhabi for his second performance in the city following a show at Emirates Palace in 2007. This time he will take the stage at du Arena on Yas Island. Visit: thinkflash.ae

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SHO P

Ask the concierge

The Mall at World Trade Centre

Mi c h a e l M agpa n tay, C ONCIE RGE AT T he Ri t zC a rlt on A bu Dh a bi, Gr a nd C a n a l S HA RE S HI S T OP TIP S F OR V I S IT OR S IN ABU DHABI

Abu Dhabi allows guests to experience its cultural diversity while expertly merging centuries-old traditions with cutting-edge modernity. There are many mustsee destinations to choose from that showcase the emirate’s heritage, including a visit to Qasr Al Hosn Palace, Heritage Village and Manarat Al Saadiyat. The most dramatic backdrop for a memorable photograph that best captures the spirit of Abu Dhabi is the majestic Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque. At sunset, when the sky is coloured in shades of red and orange and the mosque’s 80 domes are lit up, the view is absolutely breathtaking. Abu Dhabi is fast becoming a fine culinary hub with a variety of cuisines on offer throughout the city. When visiting the Middle East, experiencing a taste of Arabic cuisine is a must. Mijana, a traditional Lebanese restaurant located at The Ritz-Carlton Abu Dhabi, Grand Canal, is one of the best places to experience the famed Arabic hospitality while indulging in an array of hot and cold mezze dishes, chargrilled seafood, meats and traditional desserts. When a visitor wants to try some athletic activities I recommend the Al Forsan sports complex which boasts a wide range of indoor and outdoor activities such as motor sports, wake boarding, shooting and horse riding. One of the most unique experiences Abu Dhabi has to offer is racecar driving at Yas Marina Circuit. Here, visitors are offered a once-in-alifetime opportunity to feel like a professional Formula 1™ driver and get behind the wheel of one of the driving school’s many sports cars. In addition to the current attractions that have put Abu Dhabi on the world tourist map, future plans promise even more reasons to visit the emirate with a host of exciting developments unfolding over the coming years .

A new hot spot in the heart of the city, this mall stands in place of the old Central Market, where traders once gathered in their thousands to exchange goods during the 1970s boom period. Since then, Abu Dhabi has developed into a modern capital with state-of-the-art retail destinations that house brands from all over the world. The Mall at World Trade Centre is one of the newest and boasts the Middle East’s first House of Fraser alongside a host of other global brands that represent a mix of high-street and luxury fashion. When: Open Sat to Wed 10am to 10pm, Thu and Fri 10am to 11pm. Contact: 02 5082400

E X P ERIENCE Dubai World Cup

The world’s richest race day returns for another exciting instalment of horse-racing action at the impressive Meydan Racecouse. Watch from the stands as the world’s thoroughbreds storm down the track in a thrilling competition for the day’s overall prize purse of US$10million. There is also a selection of gourmet food and beverage options as well as a variety of VIP packages while a fashion contest adds an entertaining touch to ensure ticket holders enjoy the day in style. When: March 29. Entrance: General Admission, AED25 per person. Contact: 04 3272110

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D I S C OV E R Emirates Airline Festival of Literature

Leading authors from all corners of the globe will arrive in neighbouring Dubai this month to participate in this five-day celebration of the written and spoken word. William Sitwell, Kate Adie and Joanne Harris are among the well-known literary personages confirmed for this year’s event alongside a host of international and local writers and poets. Entrance: Tickets priced from AED60 per person. When: March 4 to 8. Contact: emirateslitfest.com

E X PER I E NCE Beach clubs

SHOP Bulgari

Soak up the sun at Monte-Carlo Beach Club, Saadiyat (02 6563500) where the young and trendy pose on yellow-and-white-striped sunbeds or head over to Emirates Palace (02 6909000) where visitors can purchase a day pass to enjoy the five-star facilities.

For spring, Bulgari has gone back to its roots with a collection inspired by Southern Europe’s most desirable destinations, drawing on the exclusivity of Capri and the romance of Rome to create a line that captures the essence of La Dolce Vita. There are lots of stars in this collection but, for those looking to make a style statement this season, the new Monete bag (pictured) is the pièce de résistance. Each hand-painted, glanced-python piece is oneof-a-kind while another version is available in luxurious full-grain calfskin. Where: Avenue at Etihad Towers. Contact: 02 6818828

TA S T E Finz

Floor-to-ceiling windows in this rustic eatery allow diners to enjoy views of the water as they browse the menu, which makes an extensive study of seafood and the many different ways it can be prepared and enjoyed. Whether a simple serving of tuna tartar or the more complex pomfret fillet served with eggplant caviar mousseline and passion fruit salsa. Perhaps the pride of the menu, if favourites must be picked, is the lobster thermidor, a delectable feast of creamy crustacean mixed with cheese and shallots presented in two large lobster shells accompanied by chunky fries and vegetables. Non-fish eaters won’t go hungry either with a choice selection of meat and vegetarian dishes. Where: Beach Rotana Abu Dhabi. When: Open 12.30 to 3.30pm and 7 to 11.30pm. Contact: 02 6979000 or visit: rotana.com

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Discover Floral f inish

Intricate, carved flowers adorn every surface of the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque. The work of British designer, Kevin Dean, this beautiful stonework feeds into the universal ethos of the mosque, which welcomes visitors of all creeds, with flowers from the southern hemisphere at the south entrance of the building and northern-hemisphere flowers adorning the north face. Visit: szgmc.ae

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Dresden Philharmonic Orchestra

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ab u d ha bi fe s t i v a l / dis cove r

Cultural connections Concierge finds out what’s in store at Abu Dhabi Festival’s biggest and most diverse edition yet Words by

Melissa Sleiman

The Abu Dhabi Festival is back and this year the cultural jamboree is set to make more noise than ever before. Now in its 11th edition, the annual event brings an extravaganza of music, dance and theatre to the capital, raising the city’s status as a major hub for arts and culture in the region. As ever, the programme features a high-profile line-up of widely respected international performers alongside local acts that display emerging talent from the UAE and beyond. And it’s not just for show. Sure, this spectacle is partly about putting on a celebrated performance and packing the crowds in but deep down and permeating every aspect of its programming strategy, there’s a burning desire to make a connection, capture hearts and engage minds for the long haul. Few would now argue that the festival is anything less than worldclass in both scope and scale. “By bringing the world to Abu Dhabi and sharing Abu Dhabi with the world through outstanding artistic experiences and initiatives, we are contributing to the growth of a new capital of culture – a place where the genius of mankind can be celebrated and nurtured,” says HE Mrs Hoda Al Khamis-Kanoo, founder and artistic director of the Abu Dhabi Festival. Running under the theme Creative Innovation, 2014’s Abu Dhabi Festival features 117 events including a vivid galaxy of performances, exhibitions, discussions, workshops and outreach initiatives. All are specifically designed for audiences to explore the unique relationship between the arts and technology, the impact of youth empowerment and the benefits of cultural diplomacy.

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For 2014, the main programme pays special homage to acts from the US, the country of honour in this year’s edition. “The Abu Dhabi Music and Arts Foundation (ADMAF) is a leader in the UAE when it comes to supporting arts, music awareness and education,” says Michael Corbin, US ambassador to the UAE. “Nowhere is this more apparent than in ADMF’s annual organisation of the Abu Dhabi Festival, an impressive display of local and international artistic talent as well as community outreach programming that addresses tens of thousands of people in the UAE. I am proud to partner with ADMAF to promote the exchange of cultural values, traditions and ideas and to support a greater mutual understanding between our two countries.” Complementing all the big acts, the festival’s extensive education and community programmes are set to embrace and span the seven emirates, upholding the spirit of ‘bilad al khayr’ (the land of blessings).

Making a big noise While the bar was set high for musical acts on January 27 when Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra (conducted by Gustavo Dudamel) held the event’s opening concert, there’s little danger the follow-up acts will disappoint.

1

2

In particular, there’s a significant buzz building for the Arab World debut of sonic jazz adventurer Herbie Hancock on March 21. A former member of the Miles Davis Quintet, the 14-times Grammy Awardwinning piano and keyboard virtuoso went on to form the highly influential Headhunters, which melded electric jazz, funk and rock into new shapes. More than most, Hancock appears to epitomise the inclusive, perception-altering ethos of the Abu Dhabi Festival in both artistic reach and philosophical vibes. “Music and jazz in particular is an international language that represents freedom

1 HE Mrs Hoda Al Khamis-Kanoo 2 Renée Fleming in Capriccio 3 Conductor Gustovo Dudamel 4 Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra

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because of its origin – growing out of slavery,” he recently told UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization), for whom he has acted as goodwill ambassador since 2011. “Jazz is ‘in the moment’ and it’s non-judgmental. When you’re playing on the stage you’re not judging what the other musician plays. It’s not about liking or disliking other people’s sound because as soon as you have that judgmental attitude, it actually stops the flow of the music. With jazz there’s a sense of mutual co-operation. Those are not only wonderful values to have for the creation of music but also for daily life.” Hancock is followed on March 23 by soprano Renée Fleming accompanied by the Dresden Philharmonic. Known as the ‘people’s diva’, Fleming is in a league of her own. At a White House ceremony in July 2013, President Obama awarded her the National Medal of Arts, America’s highest

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honour for an individual artist. In addition, she gave a spectacular performance on the balcony of Buckingham Palace for Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee Concert. What’s more, in 2008 she became the first woman in the 125-year history of the Metropolitan Opera to solo headline an opening night gala. Fleming won her fourth Grammy Award in 2013 for Best Classical Vocal Solo for Poèmes, a collection of 20 th -century French masterpieces. Her latest album, Guilty Pleasures, was released last September. The festival’s musical palette is further expanded on March 24 with the Arab World premiere of the European Union Youth Orchestra. Featuring celebrated French cellist Gautier Capuçon and conducted by Grammy Award-winning Vladimir Askhenazy, the orchestra is a haven for Europe’s most talented young musicians intent on transcending cultural, social and economic boundaries. Classical guitarist Miloš Karadaglic’s is another Arab World first (March 26). The international best-selling Montenegrin – and Gramophone’s Young Artist of the Year in 2011 – will perform pieces from his latest album, Latino Gold.

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The orchestra is a haven for Europe’s most talented young musicians intent on transcending cultural, social and economic boundaries

5 & 6 American Ballet Theatre

Closing the festival’s main programme with his UAE concert debut is award-winning Lebanese pianist and arranger, Michel Fadel (March 31). Expect traditional songs of the Levant with an electro fusion twist. Fadel is accompanied by renowned flautist and duduk master, Pedro Eustache.

Giant steps

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There’s plenty for dance connoisseurs to look forward to as well. The American Ballet Theatre (ABT) will be limbering up for its regional premiere with two performances of the magi-comical masterpiece Coppelia on March 28 and 29. Musical accompaniment comes from the Dresden Philharmonic. Founded in 1940, the theatre performs for over 400,000 people annually. ABT has previously commissioned works by such choreographic legends as George Balanchine, Antony Tudor, Jerome Robbins, Agnes de Mille and Twyla Tharp and is today forever evolving under the progressive artistic direction of former principal dancer Kevin McKenzie.

Desert soundings Few will have a busier festival than legendary sound sculpturist and composer Bill Fontana (see interview on page 26). A specially commissioned work inspired by Abu Dhabi entitled Desert Soundings will be a sensorial festival centrepiece, giving audiences an unprecedented aural document of the UAE’s living landscape. The work will be complemented by a retrospective of some of Fontana’s most memorable pieces from the past four decades, including some never seen before in public (from March 21 to April 20). Fontana has also worked closely with students through the Abu Dhabi Festival Visual Arts Awards, where the winners display their pieces alongside his exhibition. “By allowing students to work directly with Fontana on the unique form of artistic expression known as sound sculpturing, they will not only gain rare access to one of the world’s most renowned artists, but will further extend their understanding of the unique relationship between technology and art for which Fontana is greatly recognised,” says Al Khamis-Kanoo.

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dis c o ver/ a b u dha b i f estiv a l

Education and community outreach While the headline acts tend to catch the eye and dominate the column inches, the Abu Dhabi Festival remains, at its core, an educational and socially responsible initiative. It is a tradition Al Khamis-Kanoo is extremely proud of and one she is determined to continually improve for the benefit of the region. “The festival supports the education and development of the UAE’s young minds as well as tomorrow’s leaders and enhances their appreciation for the arts and music,” she explains. “By teaching our children to play, perform, take a chance and create, we will nurture their capacity to innovate. When their passion for physics equals their love for music and when their interest in engineering complements their fascination for art, then we will truly become the entrepreneurial nation we seek to be.” “That is why the festival’s education and community programmes are so vital for the continuing development of arts in the region,” she says.

7 Vladimir Ashkenazy 8 Herbie Hancock 9 Emirates Youth Symphony Orchestra

This year, there’s a dizzying array of outlets for curious minds and creative types to experience and interact with, from music, art and literature to theatre, debate and beyond. The Oily Cart Tube (March 2 to March 5) is a unique opportunity to catch the UK’s leading theatre company for special needs children in action. Expert teachers will also pass on their knowledge of care and education. Treasuring Traditions (March 3 to March 6), meanwhile, is a grass roots project by UAE Red Crescent micro-finance initiative Al Ghadeer to empower underprivileged women by encouraging traditional arts and craft techniques through a series of inspirational workshops. Elsewhere, the Space Sessions will cover a wide spectrum of artistic expression, from experimental music to cartoon animation, filmmaking and storytelling.

There’s a dizzying array of outlets for curious minds and creative types to experience and interact with, from music, art and literature to theatre, debate and beyond

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There is also the usual line-up of engaging panel discussions under the Riwaq Al Fikr banner. Panel sessions include ‘Innovation and Renewal in the Traditional Arts’ (March 18) and the artistic practice, ‘Creativity and Technology’ (March 19), starring Bill Fontana. “The Abu Dhabi Festival has always demonstrated creative innovation,” adds Al KhamisKanoo. Every year, we share core ideas with our audience, who in turn become part of the experience, are inspired and add something of their own. This is the spirit of the Abu Dhabi Festival.”

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Surf n Turf

10 - 29 March

This March, two stars of the kitchen, great on the grill together, come to life! Your palate will enjoy the most premium produce of the land and the sea. Abu Dhabi’s first American steakhouse, Rodeo Grill, will offer a truly superb selection of lobster, crayfish and marron served alongside 100% Angus beef from USA and Australia. The award-winning Prego’s will offer classic Italian dishes with lobster and crayfish while Abu Dhabi’s best seafood restaurant, Finz, will serve fresh crustaceans as the highlight of its menu this month. For reservation or for more information, please contact us on +971 (0)2 697 9011 or via email to fb.beach@rotana.com.

Tourist Club Area, P. O. Box: 45200, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates T: +971 (0)2 697 9000, F: +971 (0)2 644 2111, beach.hotel@rotana.com

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Sounds of the sands

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Concierge talks to pioneering sound artist and composer Bill Fontana about his new piece inspired by the not-so-silent Abu Dhabi desert Words by

Melissa Sleiman

If you’ve ever wondered what the desert really sounds like, this year’s Abu Dhabi Festival has the answer. Desert Soundings is a unique audio and video installation piece by pioneering sound sculpturist, composer and artist Bill Fontana, who is bringing his work to the Middle East for the first time. The composition was commissioned after Fontana delivered a lecture at last year’s festival on the subject of technology and creativity and offered to transpose his theories into reality in the region. Festival organisers wasted no time in accepting and Fontana soon headed to the desert armed with excelometers – devices

traditionally used by structural engineers to record vibrations in buildings or engines – for exploratory recording sessions. Out in the desert, Fontana was astonished by what he found. “The sounds I discovered resembled the noise made by the ocean – it was like the noise of breaking waves,” he says. Desert Soundings was assembled after taking recordings with eight excelometers spread out

across a wide area, which were then combined with projected video art featuring close-ups of sand particles. The experience, Fontana explains, is very immersive. “I’m imagining that most people entering the space will be very surprised to hear the desert producing sounds like this. I wanted to make something that has a kind of timeless quality to it. There is much rapid and

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amazing development in the UAE but I wanted to find a topic that was evocative of the beginning of time. The piece is all about the desert’s hidden voice.” Fontana – who is presenting Desert Soundings as a part of a full exhibition of his works from the past 40 years entitled Acoustical Visions – is a big coup for the Abu Dhabi Festival and bold reiteration of the event’s cutting-edge educative and artistic credentials. After studying under legendary composer John Cage and spending formative years composing and travelling across the US, Australia, Germany and Japan, Fontana moved to establish himself as one of the most influential and celebrated artists of his kind. His work has been exhibited at esteemed venues around the world, including the Whitney Museum of American Art, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Museum Ludwig, Cologne, the Post Museum in Frankfurt, the Art History and Natural History Museums in Vienna, both the Tate Modern and Tate Britain in London, the 48th Venice Biennale, the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne, the Art Gallery of NSE in Sydney and the new Kolumba Museum in Cologne. One of his best known works is Harmonic Bridge (2006), displayed at the Tate Modern, which explores the musicality of sounds hidden within the structure of the London Millennium

Foot Bridge. Other iconic structures incorporated into his work include the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco and Big Ben in London. Fontana has also produced major radio sound art projects for the BBC, the European Broadcast Union and the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, National Public Radio, among others. Indicative of his eternally questing and groundbreaking sensibilities, Fontana recently won the Prix Ars Electronica Collide@CERN Prize and has taken on the post as the organisation’s artist in residency. He is currently exploring the world’s largest and highest-energy particle accelerator, along with other aspects of the CERN site as part of a project entitled Acoustic Time Travel, which will be realised in September 2014 for the organisation’s 60th anniversary. “I started out as a composer and musician and in the ’60s I became interested in how real situations in the world generate musical patterns and processes,” he says. “The more I explored this, the more unexplored it seemed to be. I’ve been very lucky in my career. When I was in my 20s in Australia, I had the most amazing job in the world – I had to record what Australia sounded like, much the way a photographer might photograph and document places. It really fuelled my ambition to embrace this way of working and composing.”

“There is much rapid and amazing development in the UAE but I wanted to find a topic that was evocative of the beginning of time. The piece is all about the desert’s hidden voice”

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1 Bill Fontana 2 & 3 Fontana taking recordings in the desert 4 UAE desert

In addition to Desert Soundings, Fontana will present eight distinct pieces of work, spanning his entire career, at the Abu Dhabi Festival. These include recordings from a beach in England where “visitors will be able to move from Desert Soundings where the desert sounds like the sea, to a piece where the sea sounds like the desert” and a 2008 sound-and-video piece from Kyoto, Japan, which records the sounds that bells at Buddhist temples make when not in use. Another piece, which has never been presented in public before, dates from 1967 when Fontana documented the effect a total eclipse of the sun had on an Australian rainforest’s bird population. “This is a very important piece for me,” he recalls. “One of the things it taught me was the uniqueness of time and the uniqueness of a moment. To me there is something that is very powerful about experiencing and documenting an event that probably won’t be repeated for 5,000 years. I have made thousands of recordings in my career and I’m always struck by the fact that many of these moments are never going to happen again.”

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Labour of love Dhow building is a time-honoured tradition in the UAE, underpinned by centuries of skill and expertise handed down from father to son

A dedicated craftsman crouches beneath the great hull of a wooden ship, shaping and smoothing each plank until it takes on exactly the right form. No plans have been drawn: instead the dhow is realised through a combination of inherent skill and expert knowledge handed down the generations. Slowly months of hard work and diligent attention to detail begin to pay off as the dhow takes shape. Much of the endeavour is conducted with traditional tools and method, meaning the entire exercise requires a great deal of patience and a steady hand. Finally, the labour of love is ready to take to the waves, shaped by the hands of

many skilled artisans who have painstakingly hammered and honed every rivet and wooden plank into place. For most, the majestic sight of dhows plying glittering waterways such as Dubai Creek and the capital’s Mina Zayed Port is a welcome reminder of days gone by and deep-rooted traditions that reaffirm the country’s longlasting connection to the sea. For centuries, the traditional wooden boats were relied upon to keep the bustling ports of Dubai and Abu Dhabi afloat as they serviced busy markets and facilitated the export and import of a wide range of produce. The boats not only carried local wares for sale across oceans to India, China and East Africa, they also returned to port laden with fish to eat. During the summer months, these versatile vessels also played a central role in the pearl diving trade which was at the time the mainstay of the country’s economy. The boats sailed out to the Gulf’s oyster banks where brave divers plunged into the waters to retrieve the precious pearls. These extraordinary boats, once the lifeblood of the nation, are still used today to ferry produce by a new generation of

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D HOW S / DIS COVE R

“I was raised by watching my father and grandfather working on dhows, it became part of my life. Dhows are still so important to trading in the UAE”

dhow builders. “I was raised by watching my father and grandfather working on dhows and it became part of my life. Dhows are still so important to trading in the UAE. When I was old enough, I started building dhows alongside my brother,” says local dhow builder Huraiz bin Touq. Materials for these grand vessels were originally imported from surrounding countries. Teak for the keel and masts was brought from India, rope came from Zanzibar while sail canvas was sourced

from Bahrain and Kuwait. Nowadays wood comes from Malaysia , India, or Pakistan while iron and pins are available in Dubai. Traditional tools of the dhow-building trade were simple aids, such as a hammer, saw, chisel and plane. Modern dhows are now driven by engines instead of sails, but their heritage still shines through in the shape of hulls and distinctive triangular sails called lateens. In an effort to protect the traditions of the past, dhowbuilding is still carried out in a manner

faithful to early techniques. “You should have good experience in this industry. From five to seven years, depending on the size of the dhow. We do not work from drawings at all. Instead we start the dhow with temporary wood cuts and then substitute them with permanent wood pieces. This procedure works better because it gives you an idea of how the dhow will look rather than trying to imagine it from drawings. We have around 20 workers in our dhow-building teams. One group works on cutting the wood, another on the design templates and the rest work on melting the iron to join with the wood,” says Huraiz who is currently working on a dhow he believes will be the UAE’s largest. Dhows continue to ply regular trade routes to and from the UAE and take centre stage at a host of dhow-racing events held across the country each year. The skills of both dhow builders and sailors are showcased at prestigious competitions such as the Al Gaffal Long Distance Race held in Dubai in May. Pristine sails billow in the wind as hundreds of majestic dhows slice through the waves in the stunning spectacle watched by thousands. Just like his father and grandfather, Huraiz has dedicated his life to the art of dhow building. Many months of tireless toil pay off when the magnificent boats finally take to the waves and the satisfied boat builders look on with a sense of pride that is shared by the generations before them.

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Experience Leading t he way

Powered by renewable energies, structured around eco-friendly buildings and run by clean technologies, Masdar City (pictured) is a global model for sustainable urban development. As the UAE Green Festival gets underway on March 16, visitors will have the chance to play a part in Abu Dhabiâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s environmental endeavour with eco-themed menus, tours and hotel packages available until April 16. For more information visit: uaegreenfestival.com

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Gold cup Join racing royalty for an exhilarating day out at the Dubai World Cup, the richest day of horse racing on the planet

An elite group of horses thunder down the track in an impressive display of strength, speed and stamina. Among the packed terraces at Meydan Racecourse, the excitement is palpable as the finely tuned thoroughbreds race to the finish line. An almighty cheer rises from the spectator stands as the majestic animals strive for excellence in an event which marks the culmination of many months of preparation. The Dubai World Cup is one of the most important events on the international horseracing calendar and as such, offers not only a stellar showcase of the sportâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s stars but also a fantastic selection of experiences for visitors to enjoy. From family fun to gourmet dining and packages for VIPs to fashion competitions, there is plenty to entertain. Now in its 19th edition, the Dubai World Cup attracts thousands of visitors from around the globe. The glittering event is the richest day in horse racing, offering a total prize purse of US$27.25 million across a nine-race card. The day features three of the most valuable contests in the sport: the US$5million Dubai Sheema Classic presented by Longines; the US$5million Dubai Duty Free race sponsored by Dubai Duty Free; and the US$10million Dubai World Cup, sponsored by Emirates airline. The Dubai World Cup is a thoroughbred flat race on an all-weather surface which sees the horses run over a distance of 2,000 metres. Organised by Dubai Racing Club, the day has gathered a host of premier international sponsors, including Jaguar, Emirates airline and Longines. More than 60,000 ticket holders are expected to attend the annual meet for its winning combination of the best in racing action, entertainment, five-star hotel luxury and fine dining. Concierge presents a selection of the experiences visitors to the Dubai World Cup can look forward to.

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DUBAI SHEEMA CLASSIC, DUBAI WORLD CUP

D UB AI W ORL D CUP/ E XP E R IE NCE

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sho p/ wa tches

For horse-racing enthusiasts The Dubai World Cup presents a masterclass in all aspects of horse racing, from the finely tuned thoroughbreds and their trainers to the jockeys and hundreds of behind-the-scenes staff whose expertise ensures an incredible event. A major draw for racing enthusiasts, the busy day presents a full programme of non-stop action on the racetrack. Countries represented include the UAE, US, South Africa, Japan and the UK across a full race card. In addition to the three main race events, The Dubai Golden Shaheen, Al Quoz Sprint and Dubai Kahayla Classic for Purebred Arabians add to the sporting display. The day also includes the Group 2 UAE Derby and Godolphin Mile. In 2012 the Group 3 Dubai Gold Cup, sponsored by Al Tayer Motors, joined the programme with prize money of US$1 million. The Dubai World Cup is of course the day’s highlight as teams from stables all over the world vie for honours. Last year, Joel Rosario rode Animal Kingdom to a

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sensational win for American stable owner Graham Motion. This year, thoroughbred nominations heading up the field include a roster fresh from victory at international competitions. Winners of the Japan Cup, Epsom Derby and the Hong Kong Cup will line up alongside the Durban July victor and a previous Melbourne Cup winner. The impressive list also includes Godolphin’s 2014 Group 2 Cape Verdi winner, Certify. Godolphin Stables is owned by UAE Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. Established in 1992, Godolphin was quick to emerge as a force within the sport and has won the Dubai World Cup six times, including 2012 when Monterosso stormed home to take the competition’s crown. The stables takes its name from the Godolphin Arabian, one of the three foundation stallions imported into England nearly 300 years ago to which all thoroughbred racehorses trace their roots.

1 Saeed bin Suroor, Godolphin trainer, by Andrew Watkins 2 Golden Shaheen

Dubai World Cup presents a masterclass in all aspects of horse racing, from the finely tuned thoroughbreds and their trainers to the jockeys and hundreds of behind-the-scenes staff

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D UB AI W ORL D CUP/ E XP E R IE NCE

For equestrian aficionados, the Dubai World Cup also presents the opportunity to glean a fresh understanding of the UAE’s long association with horses. Dating back to early Bedouin traditions, horses are central to the region’s history. The earliest tamed horses are believed to have existed in Bedouin desert settlements where they were used in battle and for daily tasks, as tribes forged an existence from the arid desert conditions. In 1992, the racing of horses formally began in the UAE and since then, the country has occupied an enviable place on the sport’s international scene. The Dubai World Cup was inaugurated in 1996, a testament to the nation’s love of both breeding and racing horses.

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3 Meydan Racecourse 4 Dubai Duty Free 5 Parade Ring, photography by Nadine Al Koudsi

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For gourmands As well as world-class racing action, there is a selection of some of the finest food and drinks options to ensure the day is enjoyed in style. Tailored hospitality packages are available to create a truly bespoke experience at top-class restaurants, private suites and lounges all offering exceptional racetrack views. Meydan Racecourse has 72 hospitality suites capable of catering for between 10 and 500 people. Some suites offer private terraced seating, balcony areas and dedicated staff serving fine food and refreshments for those looking to host a special gathering. Among the suites available, the First Class Lounge

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is the perfect choice boasting an exclusive lounge area, outside terrace and track-facing balcony on the third floor of the magnificent grandstand. The Falcon Suite is another exceptional option with a private entrance and spread across two sections. There is an outdoor seating area on level one while the upper level has a balcony perfect for cocktails. Beyond the option of a private suite, there are plenty of fine-dining venues to select. For a delicious meal in a restaurant with racetrack views, Silks international buffet restaurant serves gourmet dishes alongside fantastic views, which can be enjoyed through floorto-ceiling windows. Tiered Restaurant also presents stunning vistas through a glassfronted dining area with racetrack panoramas and views onto the winner’s circle. Aside from dedicated suites and the restaurant options, there is a selection of entrance packages to choose from. The Parade Ring Lounge spans two levels and enjoys sensational views of the horses in the Parade Ring. Guests can also watch the racing action from f lat-screen televisions while sipping on a choice of refreshing drinks and enjoying à la carte dishes. The Premium Seating area is situated opposite the finish line and offers great views of the track. Guests can soak up the atmosphere in this al fresco area where food and beverage kiosks serve a selection of treats.Meanwhile, General Admission allows guests access to the vast apron area, between the racetrack and grandstand where a variety of food and beverage options are available.

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EXPE R IENCE/ DUB A I WO RL D CU P

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6 & 8 World Cup Carnival 7 Dubai World Cup race-goers, photography by Sam D’Agostino

Meydan Racecourse is itself an incredible attraction for visitors to enjoy as a world-class horse-racing venue. The state-of-the-art structure spans 1.5 kilometres and boasts a spectacular crescent-shaped roof For fun seekers A host of amusement is on offer across entertainment venues set up for the day on the sprawling apron space. The Bubble Lounge is the place to mingle with the race day’s social elite while sipping Champagne. As an alternative, the Irish Village bar is a lively spot to socialise and soak up the atmosphere. The party continues into the night and ends with a stunning fireworks display. Meydan Racecourse is itself an incredible attraction for visitors to enjoy. The state-of-theart structure spans 1.5 kilometres and boasts a

spectacular crescent-shaped roof. Other facilities include receiving barns, stables and all-weather training tracks. A visit to Meydan Museum and Gallery reveals the extraordinary story behind the racetrack as well as the fascinating history of horse-racing in the UAE. Meanwhile, the sprawling Meydan complex is also home to a marina, IMAX cinema and five-star luxury trackside property The Meydan Hotel, which offers the chance to relax in complete comfort after a busy race day and indulge in a choice of fine-dining restaurants or luxurious spa.

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For the fashionista The tense battle between horses thundering down the racecourse isn’t the only fierce competition to be had on the day. Dubai’s most stylish spectators vie for a series of coveted ‘best dressed’ crowns. The Jaguar Style Stakes sees fashion-conscious race-goers dress in designer finery and specially made hats for the day. Categories include Best Dressed Lady, Best Dressed Couple and Most Creative Hat. The stylish spectacle continues as a veritable catwalk of ticket holders dress to impress ensuring a day to remember. Where: Meydan Racecourse, Nad Al Sheba. When: March 29 / Entrance: Parade Ring Lounge AED100 per person, Premium Seating AED50 per person, General Admission AED25 per person. 8

Contact: 04 3272110 or visit dubairacingclub.com

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Island nation From leisure hubs and cultural districts to wildlife parks and retail destinations, each of Abu Dhabi’s islands has its own distinct appeal

Few people think of Abu Dhabi as an archipelago but the UAE capital actually comprises several hundred islands dotted along the coast. Many of these are protected and off-limits to visitors but some, such as Dalma Island, are inhabited and offer a fascinating insight into different communities around the capital. Others, such as Sir Bani Yas Island, target the visitor market and are set up to provide exclusive getaways in an exotic, desert-island location. Then there are those under development just off the mainland, where many of the future plans for the capital are taking shape. The cultural district on Saadiyat Island will house Guggenheim Abu Dhabi and Louvre Abu Dhabi while the entertainment hub on Yas Island is where the city’s top leisure attractions are concentrated. More recently, Al Maryah Island has begun to draw attention. The destination will be the new centre of commerce in the capital with state-of-the-art business, leisure and residential facilities, including Abu Dhabi’s latest luxury retail venue – The Galleria.

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Abu Dhabi coast

i s l a n d l i fe / e xp e r ie nce

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sho p/ wa tches

Al Maryah Island When completed, Al Maryah Island will become the centre of business in Abu Dhabi, housing the new stock exchange and a number of office towers in the mixed-use Sowwah Square development. While Yas Island and Saadiyat Island cover entertainment and culture, respectively, Al Maryah Island represents everyday life in Abu Dhabi with its combination of commercial, residential and retail facilities. One of the main attractions for visitors here is The Galleria – Abu Dhabi’s newest luxury shopping centre. Set along the waterfront, this is no ordinary mall. The Galleria has been carefully designed to showcase the capital’s sophisticated shopping scene with its elegant interiors, flamboyant shop fronts and, crucially, the highest concentration of luxury retailers in the Middle East. Visit: thegalleria.ae for more information.

K e y at t r a c t i o n s :

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• Dine on gourmet

Japanese cuisine at trendy eaterie, Zuma, which has opened its first Abu Dhabi outlet here

• R osewood Abu Dhabi

hotel is easily accessible from the mall by a covered walkway and offers a selection of excellent bars and restaurants, including the atmospheric Glo Lounge

• A mong the 130

boutiques at The Galleria is a number of newcomers to the capital, including Aspinal of London, Diane Von Furstenberg, Jimmy Choo, Marc Jacobs and Tory Burch 1 Al Maryah Island 2 Sir Bani Yas Island 3 Giraffe at Arabian Wildlife Park 4 Arabian Oryx at Arabian Wildlife Park

Visitors flying in to the tiny landing strip will spot herds of African giraffe grazing on the same plain as Arabian gazelle while, in the rocky hills, striped hyena, Barbary sheep and Ethiopian hedgehog exist side by side

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Sir Bani Yas Island

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K e y at t r a c t i o n s : • F or the ultimate

alternative dining experience book a barbecue in the middle of the safari park at the dead of night with the light of the stars overhead and the sounds of the animals all around

• E njoy a horse-ride

on the beach and take in the untouched scenery as you gallop over the sands and splash through the surf

• H ave a late-

afternoon snack of tasty tapas dishes by the beach at Amwaj restaurant and watch the sun as it dips below the horizon

Part of the same Desert Islands group as neighbouring Dalma Island, Sir Bani Yas has a strong claim as the capital’s most intriguing destination. Living together on this remote desert island is an eclectic menagerie of wild creatures that hail from all over the world. Visitors f lying in to the tiny landing strip will spot herds of African giraffe grazing on the same plain as Arabian gazelle while, in the rocky hills, striped hyena, Barbary sheep and Ethiopian hedgehog exist side by side. Few people live here as the island is almost entirely given over to providing for the 10,000plus resident animals. The desert sanctuary was first set up to provide a place to keep and care for HH Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan’s private collection of exotic species. Now, the Arabian Wildlife Park is a major conservation and rehabilitation centre, responsible, among other achievements, for the co-ordination of the Arabian oryx conservation programme which has reintroduced the species to the wild after it was declared extinct in its natural habitat in 1972. Visitors can explore this animal kingdom with safari guides from Desert Islands Resort & Spa by Anantara. The five-star property is

the only hotel on the island and offers a range of ways to experience the park, including treks, mountain-bike tours, horse-back excursions and jeep safaris. A host of other activities makes this an ideal action-adventure destination but there is also ample opportunity for guests to relax and enjoy the serene and beautiful setting with a large swimming pool in front of the golden beach, several excellent restaurants and a first-rate spa with a couples’ treatment room that overlooks the ocean. Visit: desertislands.anantara.com for more information.

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i s l a n d l i fe / e xp e r ie nce

Saadiyat Island Easily one of the most desirable places to live in Abu Dhabi, Saadiyat Island has an impressive list of attributes to recommend it. Beautiful swathes of protected beach, azure waters, fertile wetlands and lush mangroves rich in animal life tally up an impressive score for nature and scenery. A number of five-star hotels completes the picture with firstrate facilities, securing the island’s appeal as an all-round, luxury destination. At the Monte-Carlo Beach Club, Saadiyat, visitors relax and soak up the sun in an environment entirely given over to style and opulence. Nearby, golfers enjoy a round on the championship-standard course at Saadiyat Beach Golf Club and, not far from here, guests at the luxurious Park Hyatt Abu Dhabi Hotel & Villas and The St.Regis Saadiyat Island Resort take advantage of the five-star facilities.

K e y at t r a c t i o n s :

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• T he Saadiyat Story

exhibition at Manarat Al Saadiyat reveals future plans for the island through a series of interactive displays

• S ontaya at The St.

Regis Saadiyat Island Resort serves delectable Southeast Asian cuisine while Beach House at The Park Hyatt Abu Dhabi Hotel & Villas is an excellent spot for lunch with a view

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K e y at t r a c t i o n s :

Dalma Island

• T he Pearl Museum

Life, for Dalma’s small community, could not be further removed from the luxury existence led by many residents of the main city. To start with, there is just one hotel – the simple Dalma Motel, which offers basic accommodation to the few visitors who explore this far offshore. The only mall is an unassuming shopping arcade with a handful of unbranded shops that focus on the basics – clothes, toys and household goods. Dining out on Dalma, meanwhile, is an uncomplicated affair with a small number of local restaurants that offer a modest range of Arabic dishes. Rural though it is, those who do make the effort to explore this remote outpost, where everyone knows everyone and the way of life has followed a similar pattern for decades, will be rewarded with a fresh insight into Abu Dhabi history and an understanding of the local culture that underpins modern UAE society.

describes the pearling industry that thrived here for centuries

• A ncient settlements

dating back more than 6,000 years have been found on Dalma Island

• T hree beautiful

mosques, each around 100 years old, can be explored

5 Dalma Island 6 Artist rendition of Louvre Abu Dhabi 7 Yas Island 8 Yas Viceroy Abu Dhabi

Yas Island Yas Island really began to attract the world’s attention in 2009, the year Yas Marina Circuit hosted the UAE’s first Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Since then the destination has developed into a world-class entertainment hub that boasts some of the region’s most

impressive attractions, including the largest indoor theme park on the planet, Ferrari World Abu Dhabi; the only links golf course in the Middle East, Yas Links; Yas Waterworld; and the iconic Yas Viceroy Abu Dhabi hotel. Visit: yasisland.ae for more information. 7

K e y at t r a c t i o n s : • Slip behind the

wheel and put your driving skills to the test at Yas Marina Circuit’s race track

• Take an aerial tour

with local seaplane operator, Seawings, for a bird’s-eye view of the island

• Ride Formula Rossa,

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the fastest roller coaster in the world and hit speeds of up to 240 kilometres per hour

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Shop Coach

Shot against the background of Manhattan’s urban landscape, Coach’s Spring 2014 campaign is a nod to the brand’s New York roots. Elegant bags, shoes and accessories are contrasted with the city streetscape, showcased by fashion icons Liu Wen, Karlie Kloss and Will Chalker alongside newcomer Freja Beha Erichsen. Where: Available from The Galleria, Al Maryah Island. Contact: 02 6351776

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Mohammed Rasool Khoory & Sons boutique

sho p/ wa tches

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M o h a mm e d R as ool Khoo r y & S on s / S HOP

Family values Luxury retailer Mohammed Rasool Khoory & Sons has a rich history that’s steeped in Emirati culture and local history Words by

Zeina Eid

Luxury retail is flourishing in Abu Dhabi like never before as countless international brands vie for prime position in the capital’s high-end malls and boutiques. At the heart of this is local retailer Mohammed Rasool Khoory & Sons, a name synonymous with luxury. Over the years the company has built up an association with a slew of world-renowned names in the fields of watchmaking, jewellery and exclusive accessories, catering to the demands of its discerning clientele by bringing together a number of top-tier brands under one roof. Rolex, Tudor, Parmigiani, Frederique Constant, Candame, Al Khoory jewellery and Rue du Lac are among the well-known names in the Rasool Khoory & Sons portfolio. Established six decades ago by Mohammed Rasool Khoory as a small, one-stop shop on Abu Dhabi’s peninsula, the eponymous Mohammed Rasool Khoory & Sons has witnessed phenomenal growth since its inception. Now, the familyowned business continues to expand under the leadership of its chairman and the founder’s eldest grandson, Ahmed Mohammed Rasool Khoory and his youngest brother, Yousef Mohammed Rasool Khoory, the company’s general manager. Yousef talks to Concierge about the family business’ early days and its plans for the future.

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In the beginning When Yousef’s grandfather set up the family enterprise in the 1950s, there were no plans for it to become the luxury retailer it is today. Yousef recalls: “It all started with the trade of food products and other items essential to the livelihood of Abu Dhabi’s inhabitants. Later, my father started developing relationships with watches and jewellery brands and my eldest brother Ahmed told me that, back then, watches, bicycles and foodstuffs were displayed in the store side by side.” Yousef f irst started working with the company in 1996, helping his brother Ahmed to expand the business. Running the company as managing director for the 17 years to date,

Yousef is driven by a belief that the continuity and success of the business can only be guaranteed by a family member who is able to watch over it and dedicate his entire time to it. “My main objective was to create a household name that would be a big player in the market,” he said.

1 Yousef Mohammed Rasool Khoory 2 Ferre timepiece and bracelet 3 Emirates Palace boutique

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Road to success Under Yousef’s watchful eye, the company has witnessed considerable growth. In the past 15 years, the brand has opened 13 new stores in Dubai and Abu Dhabi and the last three months have seen Rasool Khoory & Sons further expand its network to include 2

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four additional outlets in the capital. This year will also see the company inaugurate its largest shop to date. Spanning more than 150 square metres, the super store will make its home in Yas Mall – a mega mall set to be the second largest in the UAE when it’s completed later this year. Further Rasool Khoory branches are also on the cards for Saadiyat Island in the future. Talking about the company’s expansion strategy, Yousef says: “Development has mirrored the growth pattern of the city of Abu Dhabi. When the family store opened 60 years ago, before the discovery of oil, the market was embryonic. The Corniche area wasn’t inhabited back then as it was considered far from the city centre and well-known retail landmarks such as the Marina Mall didn’t even exist. Then, after the economic boom, the city became too small for its increasing number of inhabitants and started growing outwards. Rasool Khoory’s growth has followed a similar path to fully cover Abu Dhabi’s central area first before spreading to the outskirts, as well as to the Northern Emirates and Al Ain.”

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M o h a mm e d R as ool Khoo r y & S on s / S HOP

Market boom Following the boom, demographic, urban and economic development in the city had a huge impact on the retail sector and Mohammed Rasool Khoory & Sons was one of many local companies to benefit. Yousef says: “The higher local income per capita led to a tremendous growth in the market. The UAE in general has also become a major tourism destination, with Abu Dhabi in particular attracting visitors of high purchasing power, not only from the Gulf but from all over the world, many of whom like to come back time and again. The capital also represents an important investment hub, with more companies opening their regional headquarters here. In addition, the greater number of arrivals at Abu Dhabi International Airport and higher occupancy rates at the city’s hotels translates into a greater footfall at the capital’s biggest shopping malls where we are present.” With Abu Dhabi’s status now firmly established on the international tourist map, Rasool Khoory had little trouble convincing big-name

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brands to become partners. Yousef explains how one of the partners, renowned French house Hermès, has only one outlet in its city of origin, Paris, but has three boutiques here in the UAE. He adds: “During his latest visit to the UAE the regional director of Rolex, our partner of 50 years, said to me: ‘Yousef, here is the future!’”

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Staying ahead However, the huge potential of the UAE market leaves little room to rest on one’s laurels. Yousef admits: “The Abu Dhabi Vision 2020, aimed at developing the city’s islands and expanding the airport and other amenities, will lead to further growth in the capital’s retail sector. A company looking to survive in this changing environment, should

4 & 6 Ferre timepieces 5 Emirates Palace boutique

“The UAE in general has also become a major tourism destination, with Abu Dhabi in particular attracting visitors of high purchasing power, not only from the Gulf but from all over the world”

lay out a solid five-year plan to cope with the capital’s development and the opportunities this creates.” Despite this daunting challenge, Yousef remains confident about his company’s future. “We face competition from some of the largest Dubai-based retail groups but we meet this challenge with a larger presence in the market and a wider spectrum of products for better prices,” he says. To satisfy consumers’ changing tastes, the company has recently expanded its portfolio of mid-range and fashion timepieces. The managing director explains: “Having attended several international exhibitions in the retail sector, we noticed that the majority of consumers today tend to collect fashion watches of different shapes and colours, so we worked on attracting brand names that fall under this category.” They started with Hermès to fulfill the higher end of the spectrum, followed by the launch of the Ferre and most recently Roberto Cavalli watches. He adds: “We do believe that these brands will be a great success in the local market, satisfying the different tastes of our clients.”

The addition of extra outlets and new brands has solidified the company’s status in the capital’s retail sector. Sharing the latest results, Yousef says: “Looking at Abu Dhabi, I can honestly say that Rasool Khoory is number one in the market as it is five times more widely represented than its competitors. Combined with a wider range of products, this gives us a big lead over them in terms of market share. Thanks to all of these factors our turnover increased by 30 percent in 2013 and has grown eightfold over the past 10 years.” Yousef stresses the value of underpinning the work that went into this success. He said: “These accomplishments didn’t come out of the blue. They are the fruits of hard labour, integrity and wise investments. One must have a vision and the ability to foresee change in the future. Unlike other companies we had a vision that the market will reach this level of growth and we were fortunate enough to have unity and alignment of vision between the family members involved in the company’s management. We hope to develop the family business even further so that our sons and grandsons can enjoy it in the future.”

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PHOT O E S S A Y / s hop

Art to treasure

Zip necklace

Enter the enchanting world of Van Cleef & Arpels, following master craftsmen known as Mains d'Or. A new exhibition, In Praise of Hands, celebrates their artistry

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Papillon necklace with detachable clip

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Long established as the jeweller of choice to society’s elite, Van Cleef & Arpels boasts a proud legacy. At the heart of that illustrious history is a commitment to the very highest standards in design. It is that artistry which is celebrated in a beautiful new exhibition, In Praise of Hands. It offers a unique insight into the work of the Maison's artisans. Inside the atelier, hidden from view behind the Van Cleef & Arpels boutique at Place Vendôme in Paris, master craftsmen, or Mains d'Or, have for generations poured passion and dedication into each high-jewellery creation

The Designer

Each extraordinary piece begins life with the designer and the sharing of ideas. The creative workshop is given themes to consider and from there, inspiration flows. Taking into account the exquisite materials at the jeweller's disposal, the designer sketches his vision, drawing on Van Cleef & Arpels' extraordinary past and present as beautiful designs begin to take shape

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Flying Butterfly necklace

T h e M o c k- u p M a k e r

One of the most important tasks at the Maison is the creation of mock-up pieces. This marks the first moment when the jewellery takes shape and the designer's vision is realised. As one of the first in the Maison to be shown the designer's sketches, the mock-up maker has the initial responsibility for transforming early ideas into a finished prototype. Crafted from rhinestones, paints and tin, the mock-up maker solders and sculpts actual-size models. The designers and master craftsmen then cast an expert eye over the mock-ups to consider any technical issues. Once amendments are made and the designs have been redrawn, the jeweller then sets to work bringing the finished pieces to life. Archived mock-ups are not only a valuable record of jewellery-making excellence at Van Cleef & Arpels, but a lasting legacy that can be revisited time and again by the jeweller

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M y s t e ry S e t t i n g

Van Cleef & Arpels has pioneered a host of world firsts. Patented in 1934, the groundbreaking gem-setting procedure Mystery Setting gives stones the impression they are free standing. The task is reserved for only the most accomplished stone cutters who use specialist techniques handed down the generations. A steady hand and keen eye are required as each setting takes many hours to complete. Wires just two-tenths of a millimetre thick form a delicate casing which holds the stone as though suspended in air. The artisan crafts the setting to disguise all traces of his own hand as the stone makes its own striking statement

CONC_DXB_PHOTOESSAY_VanCleef_MAR14.indd 53

Fuchsia clip

Some of the most iconic creations over the decades have hailed from Maison Van Cleef & Arpels. For this, the invaluable skills of setters, stone cutters and diamond cutters are essential. The setter is responsible for the stability of stones within a piece. The stone cutter enhances the natural beauty of each gem, smoothing the edges to bring out brilliance, colour and purity while the diamond cutter carefully shapes each facet of the stones

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T h e S c u l p t o r E n g r av e r

Sculptors and engravers at Maison Van Cleef & Arpels work for many hours on each piece in an endeavour that requires a great deal of dedication and patience. It can take up to two months to sculpt the intricate elements in a complex work. The engraver sketches the design he is working to and then follows it using cutting and finishing tools, which are characteristically accurate, rugged and sharp. Metal is removed using a burin, a tool that not only cuts but also enables material to be taken away. For jewellery and gold, the cut is always very fine as considerations such as the interplay of light reflections on each surface are taken into account. In this way, a combination of precision skills and patience gives simply stunning results

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Ballerine Pulcinella clip

Whether a stone-set timepiece or a unique jewel, each Van Cleef & Arpels creation tells a story that goes far beyond the beautiful aesthetic presented. Behind mesmerising gems synonymous with the French High Jewellery Maison, there lies a tradition that is as intricate as the beautiful pieces it creates. To further explore the world of Van Cleef & Arpels, this monthâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s exhibition at Design Days Dubai pays tribute to the Maison's incredible legacy. Based on the book In Praise of Hands by Franco Cologni, chairman of the Haute Horlogerie Foundation, the exhibition takes place from March 17 to 21 at Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Boulevard, Downtown Dubai

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Taste Gour met street food

Miang Kham is a traditional dish that hails from Bangkok, where the tasty parcels of chopped chilli, lime, shallots, peanuts, dried shrimps and toasted coconut wrapped in betel leaves are readily available from street-side stalls. At Pachaylen, the high-end Thai eaterie in the Eastern Mangroves Hotel & Spa by Anantara, visitors can sample this moreish snack in five-star format. Contact: 02 6561000

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Fit for a king Abu Dhabi has earned its epicurean stripes thanks to a flourishing five-star dining scene packed with gourmet eateries

In the kitchen at Sayad, executive chef Sandro Gamba adds the finishing touches to his signature ceviche and tartar platter. Throughout the evening, chefs at the seafood brasserie in Emirates Palace will prepare the dish numerous times as orders flood in for the restaurant’s speciality starter. Presented on an elegant glass tray, the colourful trio of tartar portions, arranged in neat circles along the platter and accompanied by a rectangle of vivid green avocado, looks as spectacular as it tastes leaving diners in no doubt that this is fivestar cuisine at its very best. Interestingly though, the gourmet dish, which according to Gamba is a favourite among diners at the luxury hotel, hails from a tiny fishing village in one of the poorest parts of São Paolo. “In my last position, I travelled widely and this exposed me to a lot of new culinary ideas and techniques. One that really stood out was the method for preparing ceviche used by chefs at a simple Brazilian fisherman’s restaurant. They would haul the fish from the ocean and prepare it straight away, first removing the good fillets, which were kept for the wealthy, before chopping up the scraps to make a tartar for themselves. The result was delicious so, when we relaunched Sayad, I decided to recreate it, though obviously using the best cuts for a more Emirates Palace-friendly version.”

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SAYAD CEVICHE AND TARTAR PLATTER

L UX URY D I N I N G/ T A S T E

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Top-quality ingredients are, of course, a prerequisite for five-star fare, alongside presentation, flavour and texture, but to get there, a chef needs to employ more than skill in the kitchen. The very best dishes are formed by the experiences of their creators and capture the colours, aromas, sights, sounds and flavours of the countries they have visited and the people they have met, explains chef Stefano Viola. “A good chef will pour these influences into his or her cuisine, creating food that captures the essence of those experiences in a masterful and original way, taking the best traditional cooking techniques and layering new ideas on top,” he adds.

1 Breakfast at Tiffany’s dessert, Quest, Jumeirah at Etihad Towers 2 Seafood platter, Sayad, Emirates Palace 3 Angar, Yas Viceroy 4 Tiger prawns miri miri, Angar, Yas Viceroy

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“The very best dishes are formed by the experiences of their creators and capture the colours, aromas, sights, sounds and flavours of the countries they have visited and the people they have met”

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For Benjamin Whatt, chef de cuisine at Jumeirah at Etihad Towers, fine dining is all about creating an engaging experience for his guests. “At the end of the meal, I want people to feel just as they might at the close of a great play, film, concert or exhibition,” he says. His dishes, which include a California Maki (presented as a wafer-thin card featuring a picture of a maki roll) and Breakfast at Tiffany’s (a dessert designed to resemble a typical breakfast of muesli, croissant and coffee) are, he says, a composition of drama, intrigue, comedy and fantasy on a plate. Viola also places the emphasis on providing diners with an all-encompassing experience. As chef de cuisine at The St. Regis Abu Dhabi, he is responsible for a number of new high-end eateries, including Villa Toscana, the hotel’s fine-dining venue where traditional Tuscan cuisine is served in a regal setting and Rhodes 44 which offers a menu of traditional British delights created by celebrity chef Gary Rhodes.

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“At Villa Toscana we take pride in serving hand-crafted specialities that respect the culinary traditions of the Italian provinces but also display a touch of creative f lair. Our fish pie, for instance, is a recipe that has been passed down for generations but we have given it a twist by adding the baked pasta-bread cover – a surprise that our guests thoroughly enjoy. We like being creative with our dishes while still respecting the traditions that underpin Tuscan cooking.”

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L UX URY D I N I N G/ T A S T E

Personal touches such as Viola’s pastabread pie cover or Whatt’s quirky California Maki, are one way to keep diners on their toes and stay ahead in Abu Dhabi’s increasingly competitive dining scene. In a city so heavily populated with five-star eateries, a ‘wow’ factor, over and above excellent food, service and setting is needed to make a venue stand out from the ever-expanding crowd. Pradeep Kumar, head chef at Angar, which was awarded Best Indian at the Time Out Best Restaurant Awards 2013, achieves this by incorporating contemporary influences into traditional recipes to produce unconventional combinations. One example is his Brownie samosa and saffron tiramisu, which weaves Italian inf luences into Indian cuisine, fusing the flavours of two countries with very different culinary histories into a vibrant and delicious dessert. Eclectic dishes like this work especially well in a cosmopolitan city such as Abu Dhabi, says Kumar, where the mix of cultures and nationalities has given rise to a diverse dining scene. “The UAE capital is a fast-growing market and five-star hotels here must not only have a broad selection of food and beverage outlets to cater to guests from across the world but also ensure that each venue offers the highest possible standards. In this respect, Abu Dhabi is rapidly catching up with the world’s major culinary capitals and diners here

C o n ta c t d e ta i l s Book a table at one of these gourmet eateries to sample some of the best food available in Abu Dhabi Sayad: Caviar, lobster,

monkfish and more take on delightful new forms and flavours in chef Sandro Gamba’s capable hands Where: Emirates Palace Contact: 02 6909000 Quest: Chef Benjamin Whatt presides over mouthwatering pan-Asian fare in this stylish restaurant situated up on the 63rd floor affording sweeping views of the city below Where: Jumeirah at Etihad Towers Contact: 02 8115666  

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Villa Toscana:

Take a seat on the terrace and indulge in exquisite Tuscan fare surrounded by cherub statues in an Italian garden-style setting Where: The St. Regis Abu Dhabi Contact: 02 6944444

Angar: Indian fine

dining at its best in one of Abu Dhabi’s most distinctive destinations Where: Yas Viceroy Contact: 02 6560000

La Mer: French-style décor sets the tone at this sophisticated seafood restaurant Where: Sofitel Abu Dhabi Corniche Contact: 02 8137777

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5 Chargrilled seafood platter, La Mer, Sofitel Abu Dhabi Corniche 6 La Mer, Sofitel Abu Dhabi Corniche 7 Executive chef Paul Franz 8 Fish pie, Villa Toscana, The St. Regis Abu Dhabi

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are presented with an abundance of excellent eateries, particularly in the fine-dining category,” he explains. To some extent, it is the diners themselves that are fuelling this growth with the constant demand for new high-end venues that can hold their own next to the world’s best restaurants. This is complemented by the emirate’s own plan to position itself as a global luxury lifestyle destination. “It tends to be the case that cities geared towards culture and the arts also place a big emphasis on gourmet and fine dining. This is certainly true of Abu Dhabi, which is pouring huge resources into developing these sectors and, at the same time, creating a sophisticated environment for discerning diners,” says Paul Franz, executive chef at Sofitel Abu Dhabi Corniche.

Franz compares Abu Dhabi to the epicurean capital of the Far East. “In a few years time, Abu Dhabi will have a similar culinary landscape to Hong Kong. It has the same vibrant mix of old and new, east meets west and attracts a similar crowd of well-travelled visitors with a thorough understanding of fine cuisine,” he explains. It’s not just in the dining and cultural sectors. The evolution taking place on the capital’s culinary landscape is representative of the changes taking place across the city as a whole. As Viola points out: “Abu Dhabi has blossomed into a destination for those who have mastered the art of high-end living and continues to attract a cosmopolitan population that is passionate about the best things in life.”

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Local largesse

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Hospitality is a cornerstone of Arabian culture and nowhere is it more apparent than in the traditions surrounding food in the UAE

The Arab world is renowned for the hospitality of its people who consider it a duty to extend the hand of welcome to strangers. To Arabs, the level of courtesy and generosity shown towards a guest is a direct reflection of a person’s character and it has long been customary to shelter weary travellers and provide them with a night’s rest and food. It’s a tradition that dates back to the days of the Bedouin, when it was not out of the ordinary for people to undertake great journeys across the desert and throw themselves on the mercy of local tribes if their supplies ran dry.

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Today, the nomadic way of life has largely died out, but many of the customs and traditions that derive from those times still carry weight in modern UAE society. Notable among these is the tendency for Arabian hosts to serve more food than the average diner could possibly eat. Even at Arabic restaurants, visitors are far more likely to find the portions over-generous than insubstantial. This is nothing to do with a local preference for enormous portions – the reason lies in a general belief that showering a guest with food is an important part of making them welcome and displaying your largesse as a host.

As a result, family meals in Arabic households are usually large-scale affairs, particularly lunch, which has traditionally been the most important meal of the day in this region and is generally the preferred time to entertain. On a Friday, the Islamic day of rest, the whole family will usually gather round the table following afternoon prayers to share a meal of meat, vegetables and salads. This will normally be accompanied by Arabic bread, dips, including hummous and moutabel and other mezze dishes such as sambousek (pastry stuffed with meat and pine kernels) or kalmata olives and halloumi cheese.

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L OCA L FL A V OUR/ t a s t e

Historically, however, people of the Arabian Peninsula were limited to foods they could source and grow in the desert and relied heavily on a diet of dates, wheat, barley, rice and what little meat they could find or raise. Today, of course, the UAE has diversified its culinary traditions and is now know for its rich and varied dining scene, with no end of gourmet restaurants offering cuisines from the far corners of the world. Within the category of Arabic food alone, there is a huge range of national cuisines to choose from, including Moroccan, Persian, Omani and, most popularly, Lebanese. There is also a specific category of food unique to this country, though it’s harder to find restaurants that serve it. In Abu Dhabi, visitors can book a table at Mezlai in Emirates Palace, the country’s first dedicated Emirati restaurant and try some of the dishes native to the UAE, including Harees and Bezar. Generally speaking, though, most Arabic restaurants here offer a mix of Lebanese and Persian cuisine, the vast majority of which stays true to the age-old tradition of serving incredibly generous portions and making every effort to ensure that their guests feel full and happy.

Historically, people of the Arabian Peninsula were limited to foods they could source and grow in the desert and relied heavily on a diet of dates, wheat, barley, rice and what little meat they could find or raise

E m i r at i d i s h e s

3

Madroubat al-dijaj – the national dish of the UAE, this is a rich dip made with boiled chicken, Emirati spices and crushed wheat served with Arabic bread Harees – a popular local recipe, this hearty dish contains chunks of tender lamb, served in a thick, white stew Biryani samak – an Emirati variation on the popular Indian rice dish cooked with kingfish and spices Saloona badawiah – a wholesome stew made from root vegetables, tomatoes and lamb. This dish was traditionally served to guests visiting the Bedouin camp Rigag – similar to a French crêpe, this wafer-thin bread is often served with meat or white cheese

1 Arabic mezze 2 Cultural breakfast at Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding 3 Desert camp fire 4 Arabic buffet at InterContinental Abu Dhabi 4

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pr o moti on/ ya s is land

The whole package

1

2

Yas Island presents corporate groups with an enticing selection of business and leisure facilities Enhancing profitability and fostering growth involves more than just meetings around the boardroom table – it requires a solid foundation of personal connections supported by an understanding of mutual goals and benefits. Recognising the demand for results-driven corporate events, Yas Island presents a winning combination of world-class facilities paired with unrivalled attractions to business leaders from across the globe. Yas Island is home to seven leading hotels and a variety of high-profile sport and leisure attractions, including the 192-berth Yas Marina, the world-famous Yas Marina Circuit, Ferrari World Abu Dhabi, the largest indoor theme park on the planet and Yas Waterworld, the UAE’s newest aqua park. Unrivalled incentive opportunities are complemented by state-of-the-art business facilities that range from small meeting rooms to grand spaces for large-scale conferences and events. Functions of all sizes can be overseen by experienced event management teams at Yas Island’s many destinations, where a variety of corporate functions, from workshops and conferences to gala dinners and team-building sessions, can be arranged on the client’s behalf.

Yas Island is situated between Abu Dhabi Island and the mainland, offering easy access to a thriving modern city that has become one of the region’s most important economic and business hubs

This also includes incentive activities, which could be a round on Yas Island’s championshipstandard golf course, Yas Links, or a session on the track at Yas Marina Circuit’s Kartzone. In November, the Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix offers a unique opportunity to reward top achievers with tickets to watch the world’s elite drivers compete on the famous race track, where a busy racing schedule keeps the circuit buzzing throughout the year. Another key draw card is the location. Yas Island’s close proximity to Abu Dhabi offers easy access to a thriving modern city that has become one of the region’s most important economic and business hubs. The island’s prime

position also offers visitors easy access to some of the capital’s other headline attractions and cultural treasures, including the impressive Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque and the emerging art hub on neighbouring Saadiyat Island. For those here on a short or long stay, Yas Island’s proximity to the airport is another advantage. Teams can exit Abu Dhabi International Airport – a global aviation hub with connections to more than 100 destinations worldwide – and be at their hotel on Yas Island in less than 10 minutes, making it the ideal meeting place for global teams or regional companies looking for somewhere special close to home. For more information visit: yasisland.ae

1 Meeting at Ferrari World Abu Dhabi 2 Crowne Plaza Abu Dhabi, Yas Island 3 View of Yas Viceroy hotel and Yas Marina 3

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The guide discover / experience / shop / taste

art galleries / museums and cultural sites tours / family activities / adventure golf / sports / malls / souks hotel outlets and promotions

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Discover

1

Proud of its culture and history, Abu Dhabi has focused efforts on preserving its identity through galleries and museums

art galleries

Manarat Al Saadiyat

02 4061400, saadiyat.ae

The interactive exhibition offers an insight into future developments on Saadiyat Island, including the culture hub taking shape here.

Timings: Daily 10am to 8pm N2N Gallery

02 6908929, n2n-gallery.com

Abu Dhabi ETIHAD GALLERY

02 6444366

On one side of this converted villa is an antiques emporium, crammed with historic treasures and on the other is a sleek modern art gallery featuring works by regional and international artists.

Timings: Sat to Thu

10am to 1.30pm and 5pm to 10.30pm FOLKLORE GALLERY

02 6660361

Browse and buy paintings, sculptures and prints from established artists at this small gallery where there is a particular emphasis on the European school with works displaying influences that range from impressionism and classical realism to modern contemporary styles.

Al Ain AL QATTARA ARTS CENTER

03 7618080

Housed in a historic fort in Al Ainâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Al Qattara Oasis, this centre specialises in local and Arab art as well as UAE heritage and culture.

Timings: Sat to Thu 9am to 8pm

Museums and cultural sites

2

Timings: Sun to Thu 10am to 2pm and 5 to 9pm, Sat 11am to 2pm and 5 to 9pm SALWA ZEIDAN GALLERY

02 6669656, salwazeidangallery. com/connect Aims to be the main address for international and Middle Eastern contemporary and emerging artists.

Abu Dhabi EMIRATES NATIONAL AUTO MUSEUM

02 6676999, 050 8293952, enam.ae

Offers art, craft and gift items from the Arab world along with prints and paintings inspired by the UAE landscape.

Timings: Sun to Thu 10am to 7pm. To set up a private viewing contact: 02 6669656

Timings: Sat to Thu 9am to 10pm

A community venue where emerging and established artists can stay, work, interact and exhibit in a purposely designed space.

Timings: Daily 9am to 6pm (closed for lunch) Guide price: AED50

Timings: Sat to Wed

This tourist site on the Breakwater near Marina Mall is a recreation of Bedouin life with a museum of original artefacts and photographs and a small souk for souvenirs.

GHAF ART GALLERY

02 6655332

Ghaf is the oldest art gallery in the capital and features work by artists in Abu Dhabi and around the world.

Abu dhabi art hub

02 5515005, adah.ae

9am to 8p, Thu 9am to 2pm

Timings: Sat to Thu 10am to 9pm

3

A diverse collection of more than 200 classic vehicles owned by Abu Dhabiâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Sheikh Hamad bin Hamdan Al Nahyan.

HERITAGE VILLAGE

02 6814455

Timings: Sat to Thu 9am to 5pm, Fri 3.30 to 9pm Guide price: Free

1. Arabian Nights Village 2. Sir Bani Yas Stables 3. Qasr al Hosn 4. Etihad Gallery 5. Al Qattara Arts Center 6. Sowwah Square

MANARAT AL SAADIYAT

02 6575800, saadiyat.ae

This visitor centre on Saadiyat Island houses international exhibitions with four galleries, a theatre, events' space and Fanr restaurant.

Timings: Daily 10am to 8pm ZAYED CENTRE

02 665 9555

For a fascinating sneak peek into the life of the late Sheikh Zayed visit the Zayed Centre in Abu Dhabi's Al Bateen district. This museum, housed in an Emirati heritage village is an incredible homage to the man who shaped the nation.

HISTORIC hunters Falcons played a vital role in the lives of the region's early Bedouin tribes when the birds of prey caught and supplied the settlers with meat. To this day, they are still celebrated as the national bird of the UAE. While hunting falcons has been banned, the birds can still be viewed taking part in sports and displays or visited at the Abu Dhabi Falcon Hospital.

Timings: Open Sun to Thu. Bookings must be made a week in advance.

Al Ain AL JAHILI FORT

03 7843996

One of the largest forts in the UAE, Al Jahili Fort was built by Sheikh Zayed the First between 1891 and 1898 and used as a royal summer residence.

Timings: Daily 9am to 5pm, Fri 3 to 5pm. Closed Mondays Guide price: Free

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T HE GUI D E / Dis cove r

AL AIN NATIONAL MUSEUM

03 7641595

This museum illustrates the UAE's distant past as well as recent history through archaeological and ethnographical sections.

HERITAGE SITES

Timings: Sat to Thu 8.30am to 7.30pm, Fri 3 to 7.30pm. Closed Mondays Guide price: AED3 adults, AED1 children under 10 years

ARABIAN Nights

02 6779988

The corporate travel company organises excursions around the capital. Visitors can also book an overnight stay at the Arabian Nights Village, a luxurious Bedouin camp in the desert.

Guide price: Accommodation at the village ranges from AED1,250 for a bayt al bahr heritage room to AED3,750 for a luxurious wind tower suite.

SHEIKH ZAYED PALACE MUSEUM

03 7517755

Originally a palace for the Al Nahyan family, it is now a museum that chronicles the lifestyle of the ruling family.

BIG BUS COMPANY

800 244287

See Abu Dhabi's major attractions on an open-top double-decker bus at your own pace, hopping on and off where you like. Commentary is available in eight languages.

Timings: Sat to Thu

8.30am to 7.30pm, Fri 3 to 7pm. Closed Mondays Guide price: Free

Al Gharbia 4

Timings: 9am to 5pm. Ticket valid 24 hours Guide price: Adults AED200, children AED100, family (two adults, two children) AED500

CHRISTIAN MONASTERY

02 8015400

Explore the remains of a Christian monastery which is believed to have been founded in the late 6th century CE on Sir Bani Yas Island. The guided tour takes one hour.

Emirates Adventures

02 6445117

Experience Abu Dhabi's unique culture by visiting Heritage Village, the dates market, Gold Centre and Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque on the half-day city tour.

Timings: Daily at 7, 9

and 11am, 2 and 4pm Guide price: AED250

tours

Air 5 FALCON AVIATION SERVICES

02 4440007

For a completely different view of Abu Dhabi, board a helicopter and see the city's major landmarks from above.

Guide price: AED1,250 per

person for a 30-minute city tour

Land AL MASAOOD TRAVEL

02 6211797

Explore Abu Dhabi’s rich Arabic culture and modern architecture on this five-hour city tour that takes in all the major sites.

Guide price: From AED150 for adults and AED100 for children ARABIAN ADVENTURES

02 6911711

Take in the Grand Mosque, Cultural Foundation, souks, Corniche and Heritage Village before driving past the presidential palace area and Emirates Palace.

Timings: Monday and Wednesday mornings Guide price: Adults AED160, children AED80

Timings: Daily 9am to 1pm Guide price: AED180,

Heritage Village A must-see destination for traditional Emirati handicrafts, the Heritage Village features reconstructions of Bedouin tents, old fishing villages and traditional markets. Al Ain National Museum The oldest museum in the UAE, Al Ain National Museum has displays dating from the Stone Age to the country’s preoil era with photography exhibits as well as jewellery, tools, pottery and other artefacts.

children AED120 NET TOURS

02 6794656

Haggle over carpets, admire the Corniche, learn about local culture and visit the Grand Mosque.

Timings: Daily 9am to 1.30pm Guide price: Adults AED150, children AED100 SHEIKH ZAYED GRAND MOSQUE

800 555 or szgmc.ae

One of the largest mosques in the world, this place of worship runs tours that offer an insight into Islamic culture and religion.

A city in the making Abu Dhabi is undergoing a rapid transformation as brand new mega-developments emerge that take the city's credentials as a destination 'par excellence' to new heights. Regular visitors to the city cannot fail to notice the speed with which the capital is transforming. A host of upcoming projects under the govenment's Vision 2030 plan, such as Saadiyat Cultural District, Louvre Abu Dhabi, Guggenheim Abu Dhabi and the sustainable Masdar City, are set to diversify the city even further.

CAPT. TONY'S

02 6507175

Abu Dhabi's first ecoconscious boat tour operators runs island-hopping excursions, coastal cruises, mangrove trips and more.

Guide price: Sunset cruise AED250 for adults and AED150 for children. Island Beach Tour, AED350 for adults and AED250 for children. Private charter AED2,800 HILTONIA BEACH CLUB

02 6811900

Take a sightseeing cruise along the Corniche, around Abu Dhabi island or enjoy a dinner cruise.

Guide price: Sightseeing cruise along Corniche from AED250 for half an hour (five people or less). Cruise around Abu Dhabi AED750 for two hours(five people or less). Dinner cruise AED300 Pearl Journey

02 6419914

(except Friday mornings). See boxout at right for free tour times Guide price: Free

Learn more about the pearl diving industry that once underpinned the local economy on this fascinting cruise, where guests have the chance to find their own pearl.

Cultural Foundation Located in the grounds of the Old Fort, the Cultural Foundation hosts year-round exhibitions of painting, sculpture, photography, pottery and Arabic calligraphy.

SUNSHINE TOURS

Guide price: AED500 for adults,

Sheikh Zayed Palace Museum Built in 1937, the palace of the late Sheikh Zayed was converted to a museum and opened in 2001. Visitors won’t find a large collection of photographs or exhibits because Sheikh Zayed wanted the royal palace and residence to be a true reflection of his country’s culture prior to the discovery of oil.

Water

Timings: Open 9am to 10pm

02 4449914

Tours are available in different destinations around the UAE, including Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Liwa and Al Ain.

Guide price: Abu Dhabi city tour AED190. Dubai or Al Ain city tours cost AED390 and include lunch.

AL DHAFRA

02 6732266

Al Dhafra’s dhows can take up to 60 people. Sail to nearby islands or simply cruise along the Corniche.

Timings: Boarding 8.30pm, cruise from 9 to 11pm Guide price: AED180 per hour for large dhows, AED150 per hour for small dhow, private hire starting at AED600 per hour

children (under 12) AED400. SEA CRUISER

050 8009495 or seacruiser.ae

Cruise along the Abu Dhabi Corniche before stopping for diving, snorkelling, fishing and other water activities.

Guide price: Adults AED120, children AED75 Yellow boats

800 8044

Skim through the waves in these bright yellow boats on a high-speed tour of Abu Dhabi.

Guide price: Adults AED200, children AED150 SHERATON ABU DHABI

02 6773333

See the city from the water along the Corniche on a private boat for up to six people.

Timings: On demand Guide price: Corniche cruise

AED 200 for 30 minutes. Sunset cruise AED200

Al Ain AL MASAOOD TRAVEL

02 6911711

Visit Al Ain’s attractions, including oases, souks, the Al Ain Museum, camel market, palaces and archaeological sites.

Guide price: From AED250 for adults and AED180 for children Emirates Adventures

02 6445117

Discover the heritage heart of the emirate with a full-day tour of Al Ain. Learn the history of the region at the city's museums, see how Al Ain earned its reputation as the 'garden city' and go shopping for camels at the Camel Market.

Timings: Saturday to Thursday (except Monday) 8.30am to 6pm Guide price: AED380 including lunch. Minimum of four people

Al Gharbia ARABIAN ADVENTURES

02 6911711

Visit the edge of the Rub Al Khali (also known as the Empty Quarter), stopping in Liwa to see Bedouin camps and enjoy lunch. Then take in an old fort before the journey back.

Timings: On request Guide price: On request Emirates Adventures

02 6445117

Join a safari into Al Gharbia and the Rub Al Khali, see the Liwa Oasis and enjoy lunch at a local guest house.

Timings: Daily 8.30am to 6pm Guide price: AED550 including lunch. Minimum of four people NET TOURS

02 6794656 or info@netgroupauh.com

Enjoy a thrilling 4x4 bash over the sand dunes and visit the Rub Al Khali, the world’s largest sand desert, before lunch at a local hotel.

Timings: 8am to 6pm Guide price: Adults AED290 children AED235

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Experience

1

With a vast desert, spectacular coastline and world-class sporting facilities, Abu Dhabi is made for action and adventure

ABU DHABI

Murjan Splash Park

050 8781009

This mini water park at Khalifa Park is ideal for youngsters with seven water-based activities. Chill out on the 257-metre lazy river or battle it out in a water balloon fight.

Amusements CHILDREN’S VILLAGE

02 4415900

This village at the Armed Forces Officers’ Club & Hotel has a Jungle Garden play area for the under-eights, electronic games and a bowling centre.

Timings: Sat to Sun 2 to 6pm and 7 to 11pm. Ladies' day on Tuesdays is from 10am to 7pm. Guide price: AED40 for guests above 75cm tall and free for guests under 75cm SPARKY’S

02 6354316

Branches at Khalidiya Mall, Al Raha Mall, Mazyad Mall and Mushrif Mall with a modest ice rink, bowling alley and soft play area.

Timings: Sat to Sun 9am to

Timings: Sat to Wed 9am to 8pm, Thu and Fri 9am to 10pm Guide price: Varies. Bowling AED15 per game

midnight, Fri 1pm to midnight. Guide price: AED36 for ice rink, AED15 for bowling

FERRARI WORLD ABU DHABI

02 4437654

02 4968001 or ferrariworldabudhabi.com

Ride roller coasters at top speed, race in an F1 simulator around a virtual Yas Marina Circuit and be propelled 62 metres into the air. Then feast on fine Italian cuisine before stopping in the world's largest Ferrari store.

Timings: Open daily,

11am to 8pm

Guide price: AED235 for visitors over 1.3m tall, AED195 for visitors below 1.3m. Premium tickets available FUN CITY

02 6815527

Hi-tech amusement centre in Marina Mall with an impressive line-up of rides, including a roller coaster, bumper cars and an area for under fives.

Timings: Sun to Thu 10am to 10pm, Fri and Sat 10am to midnight. Guide price: Varies by ride. Rollercoaster AED10 per ride. FUN WORLD

02 6322255

Fun World at Al Muhairy Centre caters to youngsters up to eight years old with soft play areas, bumper cars and a bouncy castle.

Timings: Sun to Thu 10am to 1.30pm, 4 to 10pm; Fri 3.30 to 11pm; Sat 10am to 10pm Guide price: From AED3.50 for arcade games, AED10 for bouncy castle and AED15 for soft play area KIDOOS

02 6459070

Kidoos at Abu Dhabi Mall offers arcade games, a climbing wall and a play area for younger children.

Timings: Sat to Wed 10am to 10pm, Thu 10am to 11pm, Fri 2 to 11pm Guide price: AED17 for climbing wall, AED35 weekdays, AED 45 weekends for play area

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WANASA LAND Wanasa Land at Al Wahda Mall boasts Strike Zone, a six-lane bowling alley and soft play area.

Timings: Sun to Thu 10am to

midnight, Fri to Sat 10am to 1am. Guide price: AED40 for Strike Zone, AED35 for play area, AED15 for bowling YAS WATERWORLD

02 4142000, yaswaterworld.com

Bowling ARMED FORCES OFFICERS’ CLUB

02 4415900

This huge sports complex is an active family's paradise. Test your aim at the bowling centre which has four alleys.

Timings: Daily 10am to 10pm Guide price: Members

and guests AED10 per game including shoe hire. Non-members AED15 per game

02 4034200

A state-of-the-art centre at Zayed Sports City with 40 international-standard lanes.

Timings: Daily 9am to 1am Guide price: AED12 per game

Camel racing 02 5839200 or 50 6147007 Call the UAE Camel Race Association for directions to the camel race track.

Timings: Fri and Sat 7 to 9am and 2.30 to 4pm Guide price: Free

Cruising & sailing

Guide price:Standard admission AED225 for adults, AED185 for children.

Al Bandar sailing school

ABU DHABI FALCON HOSPITAL

02 5755155 or 050 6660739

050 6606428

Brush up on your sailing skills with professional lessons then charter a boat and take to the seas in one of Al Bandar's dinghys, keelboats or powerboats.

Timings:Daily, 9am to 5pm

Get up close to the national bird of the UAE and see it in full flight. Educational and informative tours are available in a number of languages.

ABU DHABI CHARTERS

Timings: Sun to Thu 10am

Guide price: From

and 2pm. All tours must be booked in advance. Guide price: AED220 for adults and AED80 for children with a meal, or AED170 for adults and AED60 for children without a meal NOUKHADA ADVENTURE COMPANY

050 7218928 or noukhada.ae

Take the two-and-a-half-hour Twitcher's Tour, paddling past the mangroves and see a variety of birds, including herons.

Timings: Check website for details Guide price: AED200

1. Drag Racing Academy, Yas Marina Circuit 2. Coutts Polo at the Palace 3. Al Ain Wildlife Park and Resort 4. Shooting, Al Forsan International Sports Resort

AL WATHBA

Choose between 40 rides, slides and attractions at this new water park which is the latest addition to the Yas Island entertainment hub.

Birdwatching

2

KHALIFA INTERNATIONAL BOWLING CENTRE

02 6424222

Take a three-hour cruise and experience sunset over the Arabian Gulf.

3

AED750 per person ARABIAN DIVERS & SPORTFISHING CHARTERS

050 6146931

Charter a boat for cruises along the Corniche, around Abu Dhabi island or to visit the outlying desert islands.

Guide price: Call for details ART MARINE

04 3388955 or yas.charter@artmarine.net Take a cruise along Abu Dhabi's coastline and explore the islands, or charter a yacht for a fishing adventure.

Guide price: From AED750 per hour

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T HE GUI D E / e xpe r ie nce

capt. tony's

ARABIAN ADVENTURES

Fishing

THE VILLAGE CLUB

The Yas Island-based boat tour company offers a range of cruises around the Abu Dhabi waters which can be tailored to suit guest preferences. Other aquatic activites include a stand-up paddle boarding island-hopping tour.

Take a four-wheel drive journey over the rolling dunes of the desert, visit camel camps, watch the stunning Arabian sunset and enjoy a traditional barbecue feast.

Individual hotels without marinas can also arrange fishing trips on request

Enjoy fishing off the coast of Abu Dhabi or venture out to the deep sea to try your luck.

Timings: Daily Guide price: Adults AED315, children AED290

050 6146931

02 6507175

Guide price: Call for details HILTONIA BEACH CLUB

02 6811900

Charter the 31-foot, twin-engine Barracuda and enjoy sightseeing along the Corniche, island trips and snorkelling. Timings: 8am to 8pm.Guide price:Weekdays AED150, weekends AED185. NOUKHADA ADVENTURE COMPANY

02 6503600 or noukhada.ae

Learn to sail or just enjoy the sailing experience on Hobie 18 and Hobie 16 catamarans.

Guide price: Three-hour

island tour AED250 for adults and AED200 for children. SHERATON ABU DHABI

02 6773333

Enjoy a sunset cruise along the Corniche to Emirates Palace, watching dolphins at play.

Guide price: AED50 per

02 6911711

Diving

Guide price: Call for details

FALCON AVIATION SERVICES

Part of the British Club, offers BSAC-certified courses.

Hotel boat available for charter for fishing trips or sea cruises. Equipment, bait and beverages are included in the price.

Charter a helicopter for business or pleasure and see the capital from a whole new perspective in air-conditioned comfort.

Guide price: AED1,250 per person for 30-minute city tour

Guide price: AED750 for three hours, AED1,300 for six hours

02 5568555

02 6731111 or 050 5409041

Guide price: Call for details AL MAHARA DIVING CENTRE

02 6437377 or divemahara.com

Offers a full range of PADI courses as well as diving trips and watersports.

Guide price: Call for details ARABIAN DIVERS & SPORTFISHING CHARTERS

050 6146931

PADI dive resort with equipment sales/services, private instruction and daily dive charters.

THE VILLAGE CLUB

OCEAN DIVE CENTRE

Take a relaxing one-hour cruise along the Corniche or a four-hour cruise to nearby Bahraini Island.

Full range of courses available. Located at Beach Rotana Abu Dhabi.

02 6441696

Guide price: Call for details

02 6443000

HILTONIA BEACH CLUB

02 6811900

Charter a 31-foot, twinengine boat for a fishing trip for up to six people.

Guide price: AED750 including equipment, soft drinks and water NOUKHADA ADVENTURE COMPA

02 6503600 or noukhada.ae

Paddle out into the Arabian Sea and enjoy four hours of fishing.

Guide price: AED400, including fishing equipment. AED50 for each additional hour

AED180, island cruise AED300 THE YELLOW BOATS

800 4044 or theyellowboats.com

Get the adrenaline pumping on an ultimate thrill ride, or take a more relaxed cruise and enjoy the scenery at a leisurely pace.

The corporate travel company organises excursions around the capital. Visitors can also book an overnight stay at the Arabian Nights Village, a luxurious Bedouin camp in the desert.

Guide price: Accommodation

at The Village ranges from AED1,250 for a heritage room to AED3,750 for a wind tower suite AL MASAOOD TRAVEL

02 6212100

Go deep into the Arabian Desert, driving over the towering dunes, before heading to a camp for camel riding, belly dancing, shisha and a barbecue.

Timings: Daily 4 to 9.30pm Guide price: Adults

AED300, children AED240

FAST AND FURIOUS Fun for all the family, Ferrari World Abu Dhabi is one of the most thrilling attractions in the city. As the world's largest indoor theme park, it features a host of rides and attractions including the world’s fastest rollercoaster Formula Rosso, which accelerates up to 240kmh. Passengers wear safety goggles for the duration of the ride, just like every other racer that takes on Grand Prix-style speeds. For younger visitors there is a range of tamer rides and experiences, including theatrical shows and a state-of-the-art flume ride that takes guests on a journey through the heart of a 12-cylinder Ferrari 599 engine. For more information, contact: ferrariworldabudhabi.com

The region's first links-style golf course with views of the coast from every hole.

Green fees: Sun to Thu

AED550, twilight rate (after 3pm) AED450. Fri and Sat AED850, twilight rate AED650

Horse racing

to 2pm and 3 to 7pm, Fri 2 to 7pm. Closed Tue Guide price: From AED350 for one hour

Racing season is November to March. For more information visit adec-web.com

Golf

ABU DHABI EQUESTRIAN CLUB

02 4455500

ABU DHABI CITY GOLF CLUB

02 4459600 (Nine holes, 6,350 yards, par 70)

Set in the middle of a racecourse with the city skyline in the background this course was the first nine-hole facility to open in Abu Dhabi. The 27-year old club has a golf academy and a floodlit driving range in addition to a new pavilion with views of the greens where players can relax with a drink after their game.

Home to the annual Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship this challenging course offers tough, but fair, play with a nine-hole putting green, floodlit driving range and golf institute. Also offers night golf on the floodlit course.

02 6779988

YAS LINKS

Timings: Sat to Thu 10am

ABU DHABI GOLF CLUB

ARABIAN Nights

Designed by golfing legend Gary Player, this beachfront course offers spectacular views of the Gulf waters and golfers may even spot dolphins.

02 8107777 (18 holes, 7,450 yards, par 72)

Slip into the pilot's seat of a life-size Boeing 747-400 simulator and take flight.

02 5588990 National Course (27 holes, 7,334 yards, par 72)

Desert safari

02 5578000 or sbgolfclub.ae (18 holes, 7,784 yards, par 72)

AED525, twilight rate (after 2pm) AED275. Thu to Sat AED675, twilight rate AED350. Includes use of golf cart, water and practice facilities

Mutahida Flight Simulator

Sun to Thu AED145, Fri and Sat AED195. Rates for 18 holes on request. Includes golf cart, water and towel

adults, AED100 for children or AED450 for a family of four

SAADIYAT BEACH GOLF CLUB

Green fees: Sun to Wed

02 4448866

Green fees: Nine holes

Guide price: From AED150 for

Sky-high sights

Flying

BEACH ROTANA ABU DHABI

Guide price: Call for details

Guide price: Coastline cruise

Big game sport-fishing adventures. Twin diesel sports-fishing boats, tournament tackle and IGFA-certified captains.

Guide price: Four-hour angler cruise costs AED400, six-hour deep-sea fishing cruise costs AED650

ABU DHABI SUB AQUA CLUB

person for one hour

02 4952000

ARABIAN DIVERS & SPORTFISHING CHARTERS

02 4952000

Green fees: National Course,

18 holes Sun to Thu AED525, Fri and Sat AED675. AED275. Night golf AED275. Includes golf cart and unlimited use of practice facilities AL GHAZAL GOLF CLUB

02 5758040 (18 holes, 6,450 yards, par 71)

Sand course near Abu Dhabi International Airport that provides free transit visas and complimentary transport for those passing through.

Brown fees: 18 holes Sun

to Thu AED140, Fri and Sat AED190. AED60 for club hire and AED50 for buggy hire

For a bird’s-eye view of the emirate try one of these aerial activities… Hot air ballooning Take to the skies in a hot air balloon and watch the sun rise over the desert. This serene, yet exhilarating experience is a wonderful way to see the emirate. Seaplane flight Fly from Yas Island to Dubai Creek on a seaplane and see some of the UAE’s most famous sights, including Ferrari World Abu Dhabi, Yas Marina Circuit, Palm Jumeirah, Burj Al Arab and Burj Khalifa. Helicopter tours Enjoy unrivalled views of the capital from the comfort of a helicopter and see the city’s latest developments such as Saadiyat and Sowwah islands, as well as the emirate’s coastal and desert beauty. Flight simulator Ever wondered what it’s like to fly a plane? Mutahida at Al Forsan International Sports Resort offers visitors the chance to fly a Boeing 747-400 simulator and choose the destination too.

The Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club offers a riding club and show jumping arena with a stable of 100 horses. There are also horse races held on Sunday evenings during the racing season.

Timings: Private lessons 6 to 10am, group lessons 4.30 to 8pm Guide price: Group lessons AED300, 20-minute pony riding AED50

Hot air ballooning BALLOON ADVENTURES EMIRATES

04 2854949

Marvel at the changing colours of the desert landscape at sunrise from above the dunes with a peaceful hot air balloon ride.

Guide price: AED995 for adults, AED850 for 5- to 12-year-olds

Ice skating ABU DHABI ICE RINK

02 4034200

Located at Zayed Sports City, the rink can accommodate up to 400 skaters. Ice skating and hockey lessons are available.

Timings: 9am to 10pm daily. Thu ladies only Guide price: AED25 per hour. MARINA MALL ICE RINK

02 681 5806

This ice-skating rink at the heart of the mall is ideal for ice skaters of all skill levels. Lessons are available.

Timings: Sat to Thu 10am to 10pm, Fri 11am to 11pm Guide price: AED40 for one hour. Includes skate hire, socks and protective pads

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ARMED FORCES OFFICERS’ CLUB & HOTEL

02 4415900

Test your commando skills, take aim and let off a bit of steam.

Timings: 1 to 10pm Guide price: AED 150 per

person per game including gear and 100 balls

Parks & gardens WATER WONDERLAND Abu Dhabi made global yachting history when it became the first Middle Eastern port ever to host the gruelling Volvo Ocean Race last year. Now, the city is preparing to host a second stop-over in at the end of 2014 and will once again field its own team, Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing. The UAE capital is not new to water-based racing. The country has become a major force in powerboat racing and regularly unveils a top-class team to compete in the UIM Formula 1 World Championship which climaxes in front of thousands of spectators at the Abu Dhabi International Marine Sports Club by the Breakwater.

Island trips AL FUTAISI GOLF & COUNTRY CLUB

02 6666601

Futaisi island has 40 chalets and two villas, as well as other facilities such as a swimming pool, cycling, nature walks and horse riding.

Guide price: Day trips

from 9.30am to 6pm cost AED250 per person HILTONIA BEACH CLUB

02 6811900

Up to six people can spend the day relaxing at Bahraini and Futaisi islands with pick-ups, drop-offs, drinks and umbrellas included.

Guide price: AED830

per person

NOUKHADA ADVENTURE COMPANY

YAS MARINA CIRCUIT

OFF-ROAD BUGGIES

This new go-karting centre has 40 karts for both adults and children.

Race buggies around the circuit with machines for all levels of experience.

800 YAS (927) or yasmarinacircuit.ae

Timings: Tue to Sun 3 to 11pm Guide price: Adults

AED120, children under 13 AED100 for 10 minutes

Kayaking NOUKHADA ADVENTURE COMPANY

050 7218928 or noukhada.ae

Venture into the mangroves on this one-and-a-half-hour kayak tour that is suitable for all levels.

Guide price: AED450 per person

Motor sports

050 7218928 or noukhada.ae

DRAG RACING

Guide price: Two-hour

Hit 250kmh in five seconds in a drag car driven by a world champion at the Yas Drag Racing Centre, or race your friends in the Chevrolet Camaro SS

Paddle to nearby islands on this three-hour trip, stopping off to enjoy the quiet life and take photos at areas only accessible by boat. eco tour AED220, 1.5-hour mangrove tour AED150, threehour island tour AED250

Karting AL FORSAN INTERNATIONAL SPORTS RESORT

02 5568555 or alforsan.com

Experience motorsport on a smaller scale racing around a circuit in karts for cadets, senior racers and advanced racers. Arrive and drive sessions are available.

Timings: Daily 3 to 11pm Guide price: From

AED120 for 15 minutes

800 YAS (927) or yasmarinacircuit.ae

Timings: See website

for availability Guide price: Three-seat dragster passenger experience from AED500. Formula Yas 3000 experience AED1,200. Off-road buggies AED200 adults and AED150 children. FORMULA ONE

800 YAS (927) or yasmarinacircuit.ae

Experience the thrill of Formula One, screeching around Yas Marina Circuit at top speed as a passenger in an F1 two-seater. Alternatively, get behind the wheel of the Formula Yas 3000.

Timings: See website for availability Guide price: AED11,500. Formula Yas 3000 experience AED1,200

02 5568555 or alforsan.com

Timings: Daily 3 to 11pm Guide price: From AED200

for 10km session

YAS Racing School

800 YAS (927) or yasmarinacircuit.ae

Drive race cars and sports cars or take a hot lap with a professional driver.

Timings: See website

for availability

Guide price: AED950

to drive, AED350 for hot lap with a driver. Private tuition starts at AED1,500

SHEIKH KHALIFA PARK Situated in Al Matar near Al Bateen Airport, the park features gardens that reflect Arabic and Islamic architecture with lakes, fountains and canals.

Timings: 10am to 11pm Guide price: AED1 THE CORNICHE Hire a bicycle or buggy and pedal along the wide open paths. Visit the family beach and spend the day on a sunlounger, or enjoy a coffee or meal at one of the cafés and restaurants.

Timings: 7am to 10pm Guide price: Entry to family beach AED10, sunlounger AED25, buggy hire AED20 for 30 minutes, bicycle hire AED20 per hour

Quad Biking Tilal Liwa

02 8946111

Race over the dunes on a quad bike for an exhilarating way to explore the UAE desert.

Guide price: AED200 for 60 minutes, AED100 for 30 minutes

NOUKHADA ADVENTURE COMPANY

02 6503600 or noukhada.ae

Take an all-terrain bike ride into the desert. See camels feeding, people riding horses, an Arabian sunset and a star-filled sky.

Guide price: AED250 per person

Paintball AL FORSAN INTERNATIONAL SPORTS RESORT

02 5568555 or alforsan.com

Stage a shootout in the wild west or a Pacific warzone with special effects and air-conditioning.

Timings: Weekdays 3 to 10pm,

weekends 10.30am to 10pm Guide price: From AED120 for 200 balls

02 6577601

Experience the thrill of a free fall without the fear of jumping from a plane at this wind tunnel located at the Abu Dhabi Country Club.

Guide price: Introductory ticket AED180, family package AED720

Camel racing

Water sports

AL MAQAM CAMEL RACE TRACK

Hotels can organise watersports on request, while some have their own facilities.

Get up early in the winter months for a unique and authentic Emirati cultural experience.

Guide price:

Jetskiing AED180 for 30 minutes Wake boarding AED150 for 20 minutes Water skiing AED75 for 20 minutes Wind surfing from AED160 per hour AL FORSAN INTERNATIONAL SPORTS RESORT

02 5568555 or alforsan.com

Learn how to water ski, kneeboard and wake board, or perfect your technique on the obstacle course in a safe, confined environment.

Timings: Weekdays 3 to 10pm, weekends 10.30am to 10pm Guide price: AED125 for one hour or AED280 for a full day DANAT JEBEL DHANNA RESORT

02 8012222

A huge array of watersports and aquatic activities is available here, including banana boat and tube rides, windsurfing, waterskiing, knee boarding, kayaking, fishing trips, snorkelling and boat cruises

Guide price: Ask at reception

for details

CARACAL SHOOTING CLUB

050 6144024 or wrsmuts@emirates.net.ae

Choose from a variety of pistols and rifles then take aim at the 25m target shooting range. Located at the Armed Forces Officers' Club & Hotel, there is also a 10m simulation shooting range, retail outlet and a coffee shop.

Timings: Sat to Thu noon to 10pm, Fri 2 to 10pm Guide price: 22lr AED180 and 9mm AED205. AL FORSAN INTERNATIONAL SPORTS RESORT

02 5568555 or alforsan.com

Catering for all skill levels, this expansive sports resort offers Olympic disciplines and sporting clays along with handgun and rifle ranges.

Timings: Weekdays 3 to 10pm,

weekends 10.30am to 10pm Guide price: From AED150

AL AIN

SPACE WALK INDOOR SKYDIVING

Shooting 02 4416404

Mountain biking

Skydiving

ABU DHABI WILDLIFE CENTRE

See cheetahs, tigers, leopards and other endangered species at this rescue and rehabilitation centre on the outskirts of the city.

02 5839200

Timings: Fri to Sat 7 to 9am approximately Guide price: Free of charge

Family amusements BAWADI MALL ENTERTAINMENT

03 7840000

Spanning 10,000 square metres, this family entertainment centre includes a 12-lane bowling alley and Fun Ski Village.

Timings: SUN to Wed 10am to midnight, Thu and Fri 10am to 1am. Guide price: Call for details HILI FUN CITY & ARCHAEOLOGICAL PARK

03 7845542

A family-friendly destination with landscaped gardens and a fun park, with nine new rides. There are cafés and restaurants as well. The adjacent archaeological park dates to the third millennium BCE and makes an interesting day out.

Timings: Mon to Thu 4 to 10pm , Fri 10am to 10pm, Sat noon to midnight. Wed ladies only. Closed Sunday Guide price: Mon and Tue AED35, Wed to Sat AED40, including rides

Timings: Sat to Wed 9am to 5pm Guide price: One-hour guided tour AED45 for adults, AED35 for children under 12 years

Golf

Emirates PARK Zoo

03 7026400

02 5633100 or kidsparkuae.com

Meet, touch and help feed a variety of creatures including camels, emus, raccoons, boa constrictor and the park's newest attractions, five fur seals, which can be seen during daily shows.

Timings: Sun to Wed 9.30am to 8pm; Thu to Sat and public holidays 9.30am to 9pm Guide price: AED20 for adults, AED15 for children, AED60 family ticket (two adults and three children). Extra AED5 for the Ocean Park

AL AIN EQUESTRIAN, SHOOTING & GOLF CLUB (18 holes, 6,584 yards, par 71) Enjoy a round of golf and test out the newly opened back nine holes with lighting and 42-bay driving range, or get some tips from the professionals at the golf academy.

Green fees: Nine holes AED215 on weekdays, or AED245 on weekend; 18 holes AED300 on weekdays or AED390 on weekends. Includes use of driving range and golf cart. Ninehole academy course AED100 AL AIN GOLF CLUB

03 7686808

(Nine holes, Par 3) Sand course with a clubhouse and practice putting green. Clubs can be hired.

Green fees: Nine holes AED50

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T HE GUI D E / e xpe r ie nce

HILTON AL AIN GOLF CLUB

03 7686666

(Nine holes, par 3) Golf resort with facilities including a health club, two swimming pools and four floodlit tennis courts.

Green fees: Nine holes AED23

Hot air ballooning

Parks & gardens

04 2854949

Enjoy a two-hour horse ride along sandy beaches or take a lesson to improve your skills and confidence. Wildlife rides will be introduced soon.

Camel trekking

Guide price: Free

Shooting

Take to the skies in a hot air balloon and marvel at the changing colours of the desert landscape at sunrise.

AL AIN EQUESTRIAN, SHOOTING & GOLF CLUB

TILAL LIWA HOTEL

02 8946111

Experience the beauty of the UAE in true Bedouin style â&#x20AC;&#x201C; aboard a camel.

5

Guide price: AED30 for every

03 7026500

Guide price: AED950 for adults, AED800 for 5- to 12-year-olds

Try your hand at skeet and trap shooting as well as range shooting from 10 to 50 metres with rifles and pistols.

10 minutes of camel trekking

Ice skating

Timings: Mon to Sat 2 to 10pm Guide price: From

Explore the Rub Al Khali, trekking through vast sand valleys.

AL FORSAN INTERNATIONAL SPORTS RESORT

Enjoy an ice skating session with family and friends at this Olympic-size ice rink, which also offers ladiesand children-only days. It is located next door to Hili Fun City amusement park.

The Resort is the first in the Gulf to offer both Olympic disciplines and sporting clays combined with handgun and rifle ranges.

03 7845542

Timings: Mon to Thu 4 to 10pm, Fri 10am to 10pm, Sat noon to 10pm Guide price: Sun to Tue AED35, Wed to Sat AED35 AL AIN MALL ICE RINK

03 7660333

The ice rink hosts regular skating sessions, monthly family ice shows and hockey tournaments.

Timings: Sat to Wed 10am to 10pm, Thu and Fri 10am to midnight Guide price: AED25 for 1.5 hours BAWADI MALL SKATING RINK

03 7840000

This artificial skating rink is suitable for metal blade and roller shoes. There is also a 12-lane bowling alley nearby.

Timings: Sat to Wed 10am to 10pm, Thu 10am to midnight, Fri noon to midnight Guide price: AED25 for two hours, includes skate hire

Karting AL AIN RACEWAY

03 7686662

QASR AL SARAB DESERT RESORT

02 8862088

AED90 for 50 rounds

AL AIN ICE RINK, HILI FUN CITY

Timings: 6am and 8am (40 minutes), 4.45pm (25 minutes), 5.45pm (50 minutes) Guide price: AED135 for 40 minutes, AED60 for 25 minutes, AED195 for 50 minutes

02 5568555 or alforsan.com

Skiing BAWADI MALL SKI VILLAGE

03 7840000

Polish your snow plough technique on the artificial ski slope or slide downhill on a big rubber ring.

Cruising & sailing 6

DESERT ISLANDS RESORT & SPA

02 8015400

Enjoy a relaxing sunset cruise around Sir Bani Yas Island, spotting dolphins and dugongs.

Timings: Sun to Wed 10am

to 10pm, Thu 10am to midnight, Fri 2pm to midnight, Sat 10am to midnight Guide price: Skiing AED60 for two hours, includes equipment

Water park

Guide price: Sunset cruise AED250

Snorkelling

5. Quad biking in the desert 6. Monte-Carlo Beach Club, Saadiyat 7. Walidia Yachts

DESERT ISLANDS RESORT & SPA

02 8015400

Wadi Adventure

Explore the rich underwater world near Sir Bani Yas Island on a snorkelling tour.

03 7818422

Go kayaking, white water rafting and surfing or test your skills on the adventure course.

Guide price: AED200

Desert safari

Timings: Sun, Tue, Wed noon to 11pm; Thu noon to midnight; Fri 9am to midnight; Sat 9am to 11pm Guide price: Entry adults AED100, children under 1.2m AED50. Surf pool, kayaking and whitewater rafting AED100

QASR AL SARAB DESERT RESORT

02 8862088

Explore the desert by four-wheel drive, either through the sand dunes or along a flat track.

Wildlife park

State-of-the-art floodlit facility suitable for drivers aged eight years and upwards. Offers 'arrive and drive' sessions for individuals and small groups.

AL AIN Zoo

Timings: Mon to Wed 2.30 to 10pm, Thu and Fri 2.30 to 11pm, Sat 10.30am to 6pm. Closed Sunday Guide price: AED150 for 15 minutes, AED250 for 30 minutes, AED400 for one hour

to 7pm; Fri 10am to 8pm Guide price: Adults AED15, children AED5, free for children under three years

03 7828188

A desert-themed zoo with animals from the local area and African savannahs.

Kayaking DESERT ISLANDS RESORT & SPA

02 8015400

Explore the quiet waters of Sir Bani Yas Island and discover rare birds, fish and wild gazelle.

Guide price: AED60

Mountain biking DESERT ISLANDS RESORT & SPA

02 8015400

Explore the rugged landscape of Sir Bani Yas Island with two trails suitable for all levels.

Guide price: AED60 QASR AL SARAB DESERT RESORT

02 8862088

Start the day with an energising cycle across the desert while the sun rises from behind the dunes.

Timings: 6am Guide price: AED60

Wildlife park ARABIAN WILDLIFE PARK

02 8015400

Taking up much of Sir Bani Yas Island, this nature reserve is home to free-roaming cheetahs, Arabian oryx, gazelles, giraffes and much more.

Guide price: Nature and wildlife drive AED100, nature walk AED60

Know the law Consumption of alcohol must be within licensed restaurants, pubs, clubs or private venues. Do not consume alcohol if driving.

TILAL LIWA HOTEL

Dancing is only allowed in the privacy of your hotel room or at licensed clubs.

Discover the desert by 4x4 or quad bike and pause to try the exhilarating local sport of sandboarding down the dunes

Timings: Sat to Thu 10am

Guide price: AED250 for two-hour Royal Bay Ride, lessons from AED200

Timings: Dunes 6am, 8.30am, 5.45pm. Flat sand 10.30am, 3.30pm Guide price: AED175 02 8946111

Guide price:AED400 for adults and AED200 for children

Avoid addressing Muslim women in public or taking photographs without their permission. Offensive language, spitting and hand gestures must be avoided. Married couples may hold hands in public, but not kiss or hug.

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Horse riding Sir Bani Yas Stables

GREEN MUBAZZARAH HOT SPRINGS At the foot of Jebel Hafeet, Green Mubazzarah is a park of rolling grassy hills with streams, hot springs and waterfalls. It is a popular location for weekend picnics.

BALLOON ADVENTURES EMIRATES

04 2854949

AL GHARBIA

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Shop

From haute couture to traditional souvenirs, Abu Dhabi is a shopping haven with spacious malls and atmospheric souks

Malls

The Galleria

MUSHRIF MALL

Abu Dhabi's latest luxury mall features a wide selection of shopping and dining options in a waterfront setting.

Abu Dhabi’s newest mall with more than 200 outlets stocking fashion, accessories, jewellery, cosmetics, beauty and electronics, as well as dining and entertainment facilities.

02 6166999

Timings: Sat to Wed 10am to 10pm Thu 10am to 12 midnight, Fri 12 noon to 12 midnight HAMDAN CENTRE

Abu Dhabi ABU DHABI MALL

02 6454858

02 6904422

Timings: Sun to Wed 10am to 10pm, Thu to Sat 10am to 11pm

02 6328555

Houses fashion, sports equipment, jewellery and souvenirs at reasonable prices in addition to a cinema complex.

AL AIN MALL

Abu Dhabi Mall is one of the main attractions on the shopping scene with over 220 retail outlets, plus entertainment options.

Timings: Daily 10am to 1.30pm and 5 to 10.30pm

Timings: Sat to Wed 10am to 10pm, Thu 10am to 11pm, Fri 3.30 to 11pm

Spread over three levels with distinctive Islamic architecture, this mall has everything from fashion to furnishings.

Timings: Sun to Thu 10am to 10pm, Fri to Sat 10am to 11pm

Timings: Sun to Wed 10am to 10pm, Thu to Sat 10am to 11pm

03 7638883

AL RAHA MALL

02 5562229

Close to Abu Dhabi International Airport and Yas Island, this mall has an array of fashion outlets plus a cinema and food court.

Timings: Sat to Thu 10am to 11pm, Fri 2 to 11pm AL WAHDA MALL

02 4437000, 02 4437070

With over 150 shops covering three floors, Al Wahda Mall houses fashion, jewellery and beauty stores as well as entertainment and restaurants.

Timings: Sun to Wed 10am to 10pm, Thu to Sat 10am to 11pm Avenue at etihad towers

800 3844238

This newly opened exclusive boulevard is home to almost 40 luxury shops, showcasing designer labels and high-end brands, spread across two levels.

Timings: Call for store timings

KHALIDIYAH MALL

02 6354000

MADINAT ZAYED SHOPPING CENTRE & GOLD CENTRE

02 6333311

The 400 outlets sell just about everything, while the adjacent Gold Centre is the ideal place to browse for gold, diamond and pearl jewellery.

Timings: Sat to Fri 9am to 11pm. Gold Centre Sat to Thu 9am to 2pm and 4 to 11pm, Fri 4 to 11pm MARINA MALL

02 6818300

A retail haven with a waterfront setting, Marina Mall has over 300 stores, a 100-metre-high viewing platform and an ice skating rink.

2

Al Ain 03 7660333

Offers over 100,000 square metres of retail and entertainment space spread over three floors, with cinemas, an ice skating rink and a bowling alley.

1. A. Lange & Söhne, available at Avenue at Etihad Towers 2. Spice souk 3. Lanvin, The Galleria 4. Aigner S/S 2014, available at Marina Mall 5. Marina Mall

AL JIMI MALL More than 110 shops to choose from offering a wide variety of products from fashion and jewellery to health and beauty.

Timings: Sat to Thu 10am to 10pm, Fri 2 to 10pm 3

BAWADI MALL

03 7840000

Al Ain’s newest and largest mall offers an indoor ski slope, cinema, bowling alley, skating rink, family entertainment centre and almost 400 shops.

Timings: Sat to Wed 10am to 11pm, Thu and Fri 10am to midnight

Souks

Timings: Sat to Wed 10am to 10pm, Thu and Fri 10am to 11pm 4

Abu Dhabi the Souk at World trade centre

02 8107810

Shop for traditional souvenirs, spices, jewellery, perfumes, sunglasses and electronics at this modern souk.

Timings: Sun to Thu 10am to 10pm, Fri and Sat 10am to 11pm

magic carpet The art of carpet making has historical roots in this part of the world. Persian carpets are particularly sought-after and at the Carpet Souk in Abu Dhabi's Mina Port district shoppers will uncover a plethora of carpets and rugs from across Asia, alongside Arabianstyle cushions, Yemeni mattresses and much more.

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THE SOUK AT QARYAT AL BERI

02 5581670

Located next to the Shangri-La hotel is this classy, Arabian-themed souk with Venetian canals and a variety of shops and restaurants.

Timings: Sat to Wed 10am to 10pm, Thu 10am to 11pm, Fri 3 to 10pm

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09/02/2014 10:14


1

2

Taste

Superb restaurants and glamorous cocktail bars make Abu Dhabi a stylish and sophisticated choice for fine food and drink

Hotel outlets & promotions

Al Maha Arjaan

02 6106666

Al Markaziyah City Café offers Mexican on Mondays, pasta on Tuesdays and Indian on Wednesdays for AED95. An à la carte menu with salad, soup, main and dessert is available on Thursdays and Saturdays for AED75 and Sunday features a seafood buffet for AED130. City Café – International

Aloft Abu Dhabi

02 6545013

Al Safarat

For international fare and lounge pods for two complemented by an eclectic mix of laid-back tunes, don’t miss the evening brunch at Mai Café every Thursday from 6.30pm. On Tuesdays ladies enjoy freeflowing cocktails at Club So-Hi while Thursday is Global Fusion night with international pop, rock and house music by resident DJ Jose RC from 9pm to 3am. Dine – International Mai Café – International Relax@12 – International WXYZ Bar - Bar

Al Raha Beach Hotel

02 5080555

Al Raha Beach Sevilla Restaurant serves tasty international fare while Wanasah is a great venue for those seeking an introduction to authentic Arabian cuisine. Al Manzil – International Azur Restaurant – Mediterranean Black Pearl – Piano bar Enigma – Nightclub Sevilla Restaurant – International Wanasah – Arabic

Al Rawda Arjaan Abu Dhabi

02 4035000

Al Wahda

Choose international cuisine from the à la carte menu at Al Dar or the international buffet for speciality dishes. Enjoy light snacks, coffee and cakes at Moka Café. Al Dar – International Moka Café – International

Armed Forces Officers’ Club & Hotel

02 4415900

Al Maqtaa

Head to Taverna for lively barbecue buffet nights every Wednesday with two house beverages included for AED120. Al Bathna – International Kennedy – European Taverna – Tex-Mex

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Beach Rotana Abu Dhabi

02 6979000

Tourist Club Area Take the whole family for dinner at Italian eaterie Prego's and delicious dishes that capture the essence of Italian cuisine. Bay View – Beach restaurant Benihana – American/Japanese Brauhaus – German Essence – International Finz – Seafood Indigo – Indian Prego’s – Italian Rodeo Grill – American steakhouse Trader Vic’s – French Polynesian

Centro CAPITAL CENTRE

02 4096666

Al Safarat

Contemporary cuisine is served throughout the day at C.Taste while drinks and light bites are available from C.Mondo. C.Mondo – Lounge bar C.Taste – International buffet

Centro Yas Island

02 6564444

Yas Island

C.Taste has introduced theme evenings for AED89. Enjoy roasts on Mondays, burgers on Tuesdays, pasta on Wednesdays and barbecue on Thursdays for AED99 per person. C.Deli – Deli C.Mondo – Lounge bar C.Taste – International buffet

Crowne Plaza Abu Dhabi Yas Island

02 6563000

Yas Island

Enjoy all-you-can-eat mussels for AED160 per person at Stills every Monday. Barouk – Lebanese Jing Asia – Asian buffet Stills Bar & Brasserie – European bar and restaurant

DUSIT THANI ABU DHABI

02 6988888

Al Mushrif

Urban Kitchen is a contemporary Arabian eatery with live cooking stations and a buffet set-up, while Benjarong specialises in the hotel's signature Thai cuisine. Urban Kitchen – Arabic Benjarong – Thai Dusit Gourmet – Lounge The Capital Grill – Steakhouse Breeze – Bar

Eastern Mangroves Hotel & Spa

02 6561000

Eastern Mangroves Pachaylen serves classic Thai cuisine with a modern twist in a contemporary setting. On Tuesdays, Ingredients hosts The Big Brunch, where five open kitchens team up to deliver a huge spread of delicious and creative cuisine.

Cristal Hotel Abu Dhabi

Ingredients – All-day international Pachaylen – Thai restaurant Impressions – Rooftop lounge

Madinat Zayed

Emirates Palace

A special offer on mocktails at Gems Restaurant features refreshing, fruity beverages for AED20 this month.

Ras Al Akhdar

02 6520000

Gems Restaurant – International

Cristal Salam Hotel

02 6597666

Tourist Club Area Visit Vertical bar during happy hour from 5 to 8pm when drinks are half price or swing by on a Wednesday for Spanish night with tasty tapas for AED99 per person. Champagne and strawberries with a chocolate or cream dip can be enjoyed for just AED325. 2.35 – International & Middle Eastern Vertical – Wine bar

Crowne Plaza Abu Dhabi

02 6166122

Al Markaziyah Enjoy Vietnamese specialities at Cho Gao or treat yourself to Italian delicacies at Spaccanapoli where chef Carmelo has created a series of classic winter dishes featuring wild mushrooms and game. Cho Gao – Asian Heroes Bar – Sports bar Level Lounge – Rooftop bar Spaccanapoli – Italian The Garden – International Vincent’s – Cocktail bar

1. Mezlai, Emirates Palace 2. Bord Eau, Shangri-La Hotel, Qaryat al Beri 3 Rhodes 44, The St. Regis Abu Dhabi 4 The Pool Deck, Eastern Mangroves Hotel & Spa by Anantara

02 6909000

For March Mezzaluna puts a special focus on cuisine from the Italian island of Sardegna, serving regional dishes such as soup with fregola and clams. At BBQ Al Qasr from March 1 to 7 indulge in sharing platters of sausages from across the globe for AED150 per person.

3

BBQ Al Qasr – Al fresco BBQ Breeze Lounge – Spanish bar Cascades – International Diwan L’Auberge – Lebanese Etoiles – European restaurant and nightclub Hakkasan – Chinese Havana Club – Wine and cigar lounge Las Brisas – International Le Café & Caviar Bar – Caviar bar Le Vendôme – International buffet Mezlai – Emirati Mezzaluna – Italian Sayad – Seafood

Fairmont Bab Al Bahr

02 6543000

Bain Al Jessrain Cedar Lounge serves delicious Arabian fare while Frankie's is one of the capital's top Italian eateries. Cedar Lounge – Lebanese Chameleon – Champagne bar CuiScene – International buffet Marco Pierre White Steakhouse & Grill – Steakhouse Frankie's Italian Restaurant & Bar – Italian The Chocolate Gallery - patisserie

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18/02/2014 12:05


T HE GUI D E / T A S T E

Grand Millennium Al Wahda

02 4439999

Al Wahda

Tuck into Friday brunch at Porto Bello where a feast of beautifully prepared food awaits for AED195 per person. At Toshi, Monday is noodle night, Tuesday and Thursday are dedicated to sushi and teppanyaki while the rest of the week is given over to a mouthwatering sushi buffet.

Yas Island Eateries

Al Wahda – International buffet Porto Bello – Italian Porters – Pub Toshi – Asian

Hala Arjaan by Rotana

02 4180000

Tourist Club Area

The Gallery – International

Hilton Abu Dhabi

02 6811900

Al Khubeirah

02 5961234

Al Safarat

Watch the sun set over the terrace and soak up the atmosphere at 18°where diners can enjoy a culinary journey around the Mediterranean. Indulge in the classic brunch from AED250 per person or upgrade to the sky brunch from AED300 with bubbly. Elsewhere, every Wednesday evening Privé is hosting a wine and cheese night for AED150, while Monday is Italian night and guests can enjoy limitless food and beverages for the same price. 18° – Eastern Mediterranean Lounge – Tea lounge and bar Profiterole – Pastries Privé – Bar

InterContinental Abu Dhabi

800 423463

Al Bateen

With so many excellent restaurants to choose from at this hotel it can be difficult to select just one to dine at. The Friday Marina Brunch features the best picks from Chamas, Boccaccio, The Yacht Club and Belgian Café from AED216 per person. Belgian Café – Belgian bar and restaurant Boccaccio – Italian Chamas Churrascaria & Bar – Brazilian restaurant and bar Piano Lounge – Piano bar Selections – International Fishmarket – Seafood The Yacht Club – Asian restaurant and bar

Ras Al Akhdar Sea bream is the ingredient of the month at Tori No Su throughout March. Join the Chef's table on March 17 for the ultimate Japanese culinary experience. This month Ray's Bar is launching mixology classes and on March 1 and 29 Brasserie Angélique is hosting live jazz evenings for AED230 with free flowing grape beverages and a gourmet cheese selection. If you can't choose one restaurant, experience all of them in one night with the Epicurean Escapades dining package from AED850 per person.

Khalidiya Palace Rayhaan by Rotana

Italian restaurant Bocca serves contemporary cuisine in a stylish setting while Mawai offers excellent Lebanese fare for those seeking an athentic taste of Arabia.

HYATT CAPITAL GATE

02 8115555

Brasserie Angélique – French Li Beirut – Lebanese Nahaam – International Observation Deck – High tea Quest – Asian fusion Ray’s Bar – Bar Rosewater - International Scott’s – Seafood Tori No Su – Japanese Bice – Italian

The Gallery all-day dining restaurant offers international flavours served with flair.

Arabic Cafe – Arabic Bocca – Italian Cinnabar – Nightclub Escape Restaurant – Beachfront restaurant Hemingway’s – American bar and restaurant Jazz Bar & Dining – Jazz bar La Terrazza – Mediterranean Mawal – Lebanese Royal Orchid – Asian Toki – Japanese Vasco’s – International

Jumeirah At Etihad Towers

02 6570000

Ras Al Akdar

Best for authentic Italian: Filini - Radisson Blu Hotel, Abu Dhabi Yas Island Savour simple Italian dishes from the seasonal menu in a contemporary setting. Contact 02 6562000. Best for stunning views: Nautilus – Yas Viceroy Abu Dhabi hotel Overlooking the Yas Marina, this Abu Dhabi seafood restaurant is one of the city's most alluring dining destinations. Contact 02 6560600. Best for 'steak lovers': Blue Grill Steakhouse Yas Island Rotana Hearty steaks from the US and Australian Prime Angus Beef are the star dishes of this trendy restaurant, with choice cuts chargrilled to order. Contact 02 6564000. Best for a taste of the exotic: Jing Asia – Crowne Plaza Abu Dhabi Yas Island Chefs prepare pan-Asian food to order from live cooking stations, creating a fun and interactive atmosphere. Contact 02 6563053. Best for a lively atmosphere: Amerigos Mexican Bar and Restauant – Park Inn by Radisson Abu Dhabi, Yas Island For creative dishes including prawn ceviche, quesadillas, fajitas and enchiladas. Contact 02 6562222.

Contemporary seafood restaurant The Beach has a choice of indoor or al fresco dining options overlooking the pool or beach. Horizon – International buffet The Beach – Seafood Sunset Bar – Beach restaurant

Le Méridien Abu Dhabi

02 6446666

Tourist Club Area Indulge in a three-course Italian lunch at Pappagallo for a very reasonable AED75 per person or feast on excellent Thai cuisine just next door at Talay. Al Birkeh – Lebanese Captain’s Arms – English pub Chi Chi’s – Tex-Mex G-Club – Nightclub La Brasserie – International Le Bistrot – French/sustainable NRG Sports Bar – Sports bar Opus Bar – Bar Pappagallo – Italian Talay – Thai Wakataua Terrace – Polynesian outdoor lounge

Le Royal Méridien Abu Dhabi

800 101101

Al Markaziyah whEAT is a chic, artisan bakery, ideal for grabbing lunch on the run, while all-day dining restaurant Café Palmier features a menu based on fresh, seasonal produce. whEAT - Bistro Café Palmier – All-day dining Illusions – Nightclub P.J. O’Reilly’s – Irish pub Imago - Bar and restaurant Sax Restaurant Club – International restaurant and bar The Piano Lounge – Cocktail lounge

Mercure Centre Hotel

02 6333555

Al Markaziyah From March 14 to 28 Mercure Centre Hotel is hosting a Foie Gras Festival lead by Chef Robert Chaffanjon from France. Le Beaujolais – Bistro Le Jardin – International buffet Le Privé – French Mood Indigo – Lounge bar Pergola – Sports bar China Restaurant – Chinese

DINE BY CUISINE ARABIC Wanasah – Al Raha Beach Hotel Barouk – Crowne Plaza Abu Dhabi Yas Island Diwan L’Auberge – Emirates Palace Hakkasan – Emirates Palace Mezlai – Emirates Palace Arabic Café – Hilton Abu Dhabi Mawal – Hilton Abu Dhabi Li Beirut – Jumeirah at Etihad Towers Al Birkeh – Le Méridien Abu Dhabi Marakesh – Millenium Hotel Abu Dhabi Pearls & Caviar – Shangri-La Hotel Qaryat Al Beri Al Hawara – The Royal Hotel Abu Dhabi ArganaVert – The Royal Hotel Abu Dhabi Agadir – The Westin Abu Dhabi Golf Resort & Spa Atayeb - Yas Viceroy Hotel Min Zaman – Al Ain Rotana Hotel Makani Café – Hilton Al Ain Eden Rock – Mercure Grand Hotel Jebel Hafeet Al Waha – Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort by Anantara

ASIAN Benihana – Beach Rotana Abu Dhabi Cho Gao – Crowne Plaza Abu Dhabi Jing Asia - Crowne Plaza Abu Dhabi Yas Island Pachaylen - Eastern Mangroves Hotel & Spa Royal Orchid – Hilton Abu Dhabi Toki - Hilton Abu Dhabi The Yacht Club Intercontinental Abu Dhabi Quest - Jumeirah at Etihad Towers Tori No Su - Jumeirah at Etihad Towers Talay - Le Méridien Abu Dhabi Soba - Le Royal Méridien Abu Dhabi China Restaurant Mercure Centre Hotel Wokcano - One to One Hotel, The Village Rouge - Rocco Forte Hotel Abu Dhabi Hoi Ann - Shangri-La Hotel Qaryat Al Beri Silk and Spice - Sofitel Abu Dhabi Corniche Shang Palace – Shangri-La Hotel Qaryat Al Beri Sontaya - St. Regis Saadiyat Island Resort Kazu - Yas Viceroy Hotel Noodle Box – Yas Viceroy Hotel The Wok – Danat Al Ain Resort Orient Café – Mercure Grand Hotel Jebel Hafeet

INDIAN Indigo – Beach Rotana Abu Dhabi Rangoli – Yas Island Rotana Angar – Yas Viceroy Hotel Tanjore – Danat Al Ain Resort

INTERNATIONAL Dine – Aloft Abu Dhabi Al Manzil – Al Raha Beach Hotel

Sevilla Restaurant – Al Raha Beach Hotel Al Dar – Al Rawda Arjaan Abu Dhabi Al Bathna – Armed Forces Officers’ Club & Hotel Essence – Beach Rotana Abu Dhabi C.Taste – Centro Yas Island Gems Restaurant – Cristal Hotel Abu Dhabi 2.35 – Cristal Salam Hotel The Garden – Crowne Plaza Abu Dhabi Ingredients – Eastern Mangroves Hotel & Spa BBQ Al Qasr – Emirates Palace Cascades – Emirates Palace Las Brisas – Emirates Palace Le Vendôme – Emirates Palace CuiScene – Fairmont Bab Al Bahr Al Wahda – Grand Millenium Al Wahda The Gallery – Hala Arjaan by Rotana Vasco’s – Hilton Abu Dhabi Selections – Intercontinental Abu Dhabi Chamas Churrascaria & Bar – Intercontinental Abu Dhabi Nahaam – Jumeirah at Etihad Towers Rosewater – Jumeirah at Etihad Towers Horizon – Khalidiya Palace Rayhaan by Rotana La Brasserie – Le Méridien Abu Dhabi L’Opera Brasserie – Le Royal Méridien Abu Dhabi Le Jardin – Mercure Centre Hotel Citrus – Millenium Hotel Abu Dhabi Resto – One to One Hotel, The Village The Village Club – One to One Hotel, The Village Horizon Restaurant – Oryx Hotel West Side – Oryx Hotel The Café – Park Hyatt Abu Dhabi Hotel & Villas Amerigos Mexican Bar & Restaurant – Park Inn Yas Island, Abu Dhabi Mint – Park Inn Yas Island, Abu Dhabi Ginger All-Day Dining – Park Rotana Teatro – Park Rotana Assymetri – Radisson Blu Hotel Abu Dhabi Yas Island Oceana Grill – Rocco Forte Hotel Abu Dhabi Noche – Rocco Forte Hotel Abu Dhabi Sofra Bld – Shangri-La Hotel Qaryat Al Beri Cloud Nine – Sheraton Abu Dhabi Hotel & Resort El Sombrero Mexican Restaurant – Sheraton Abu Dhabi Hotel & Resort Flavours – Sheraton Abu Dhabi Hotel & Resort Downtown – Sheraton Khalidiya Hotel La Veranda – Sheraton Khalidiya Hotel Corniche All Day Dining – Sofitel Abu Dhabi Corniche Optimist – The Royal Hotel Abu Dhabi Fairways – The Westin Abu Dhabi Golf Resort & Spa Afya – Traders Hotel, Qaryat Al Beri Afya Beach Lounge – Traders Hotel, Qaryat Al Beri Choices – Yas Island Rotana Origins – Yas Viceroy Hotel Zest – Al Ain Rotana Hotel Ayla Restaurant – Ayla Hotel

Arabesque – Danat Al Ain Resort Flavours – Hilton Al Ain Paco’s – Hilton Al Ain Tides – Danat Jebel Dhanna Resort The Palm – Desert Islands Resort & Spa Al Badiya – Tilal Liwa Hotel

MEDITERRANEAN Azur Restaurant – Al Raha Beach Hotel Prego’s – Beach Rotana Abu Dhabi Breeze Lounge – Emirates Palace Mezzaluna – Emirates Palace Frankie’s – Fairmont Bab Al Bahr Porto Bello – Grand Millenium Al Wahda Bocca – Hilton Abu Dhabi La Terrazza – Hilton Abu Dhabi 18° – Hyatt Capital Gate Boccaccio – Intercontinental Abu Dhabi Bice – Jumeirah at Etihad Towers Pappagallo – Le Méridien Abu Dhabi Amalfi – Le Royal Méridien Abu Dhabi Sevilo’s – Millenium Hotel Abu Dhabi Beach House – Park Hyatt Abu Dhabi Hotel & Villas Filini – Radisson Blu Hotel Abu Dhabi Yas Island Oro – Rocco Forte Hotel Abu Dhabi La Mamma – Sheraton Abu Dhabi Hotel & Resort Olea – St. Regis Saadiyat Island Resort Amici – Yas Viceroy Hotel Luce – Danat Al Ain Resort Casa Romana Restaurant – Hilton Al Ain Zaitoun – Danat Jebel Dhanna Resort Ghadeer – Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort by Anantara

SEAFOOD Finz – Beach Rotana Abu Dhabi Le Café & Caviar Bar – Emirates Palace Sayad – Emirates Palace Cedar Lounge – Fairmont Bab Al Bahr Fishmarket – Intercontinental Abu Dhabi Scott’s – Jumeirah at Etihad Towers The Beach – Khalidiya Palace Rayhaan by Rotana Oceans Seafood Kitchen & Lounge – Le Royal Méridien Abu Dhabi Sennara – One to One Hotel, The Village La Mer – Sofitel Abu Dhabi Corniche Turquoiz – St. Regis Saadiyat Island Resort Nautilus – Yas Viceroy Hotel

STEAKHOUSES Rodeo Grill - Beach Rotana Abu Dhabi Marco Pierre White Steakhouse & Grill 18 OZ – One to One Hotel, The Village Park Bar & Grill - Park Hyatt Abu Dhabi Hotel & Villas 55 & 5th, The Grill – St. Regis Saadiyat Island Resort Blue Grill – Yas Island Rotana Suhail - Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort by Anantara

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Millennium Hotel Abu Dhabi

02 6262700

Al Markaziyah

Citrus – International Cristal Cigar & Champagne Bar – Champagne bar Marakesh – Moroccan Sevilo’s – Italian

Ginger All-Day Dining – International buffet Cooper's Bar & Restaurant – British gastro pub Teatro – International

Novotel Abu DHABI GATE

Radisson Blu Hotel, Abu Dhabi Yas Island

A wide selection of cuisines from around the world is served in the daily buffet at Horizon for lunch and dinner. Restaurant – International Al Gabbiano - Italian Al Nassim Pool bar – Snacks

One to One Hotel The Village

02 4952000

Al Nahyan

Pile your plate high with freshly caught seafood for AED85 per person at the Sennara luncheon every Saturday. Over at Wokcano the emphasis is on Filippino dishes this month with an open buffet for AED90 per person. The Village Club serves up tasty barbecues in an alcohol-free environment. 18 OZ – Steakhouse Resto! – International buffet Sennara – Lebanese seafood The Village Club – International Wokcano – Asian

Oryx Hotel

02 6810001

Al Khalidiyah Choose steak, salad and seafood from the à la carte menu and enjoy a dazzling view of the city as you dine at Horizon before heading to Blueline Bar for a nightcap. Blueline Bar – Bar Horizon Restaurant – International West Side – International

Park Hyatt Abu Dhabi Hotel & Villas

02 4071234

Saadiyat Island 6

7

Al Matar

Sevilo's runs a Mamma Mia Serata promotion every Thursday offering guests an Italian feast of antipasti dishes, two mains and dessert for AED160.

Bain Al Jessrain

5 Li Jiang, The Ritz-Carlton, Abu Dhabi Grand Canal 6. Nautilus – Yas Viceroy Abu Dhabi hotel 7. Li Beirut, Jumeirah at Etihad Towers 8. The Library, Park Hyatt, Abu Dhabi Hotel & Villas

02 6573333

Soak up the creative atmosphere at Teatro and take your pick from the mouthwatering selection of fushion dishes on the menu which hail from Thailand, Japan, Italy, India, China and beyond.

02 5089999

5

Park Rotana

For some of the best steak in town, book a table in the evenings at Park Bar & Grill, where grade A cuts of beef are complemented by premium vintages from the venue's extensive wine cellar. Beach House – Mediterranean Park Bar & Grill – Steak and seafood/bar The Café – International The Library – Tea lounge The Park Bar – Cocktail bar

Park Inn Yas Island, Abu Dhabi

02 6562222

Yas Island

Every Tuesday Ameringo's Mexican Bar & Restaurant honours the humble taco. A perfect venue for a get-together with friends, tuck into a special menu of delicious tacos and margaritas as you catch up. Also enjoy an extended happy hour with half price beverages from 6 to 8pm every night. Amerigos Mexican Bar & Restaurant – Mexican Mint – International buffet

02 6562000

Yas Island

Help to raise awareness for the planet by celebrating Earth Hour on March 19 with a moonlit barbecue dinner around the pool from AED145. Get glammed up for ladies' night every Wednesday at Filini where tables of four or more women receive a free bottle of Prosecco with their meal. Also at Filini, every day from Sunday to Thursday, mums with kids get free hotel pool access when they spend AED100 on lunch. Assymetri – International buffet Fast Track Lobby Bar – Cocktail lounge Filini – Italian restaurant and bar

The Ritz-carlton abu dhabi, grand canal

02 8188888

Bain Al Jessrain Celebrate Mother's Day with afternoon tea at Alba for AED160 for two guests including a surprise bouqet of flowers for the mother or enjoy a Mediterranean brunch at Giornotte from AED240 each. Book a table of four or more and the mother dines for free. Giornotte – International The Forge – Steak house Li Jiang – Asian Mijana – Lebanese Sorso – Bar Dolce – Italian Café Al Fresco – Pool bar Alba – lobby lounge

ROSEWOOD ABU DHABI

02 8135550

Al Maryah Island Sambusek launches not only a new limited edition dinner menu but also a permanent shisha service. From now until April, enjoy the special ouzi set menu featuring a huge selection of hot and cold mezzeh dishes, soup, main courses and desserts. The offer is available from Wednesday to Friday for AED250 per person. Guests can also enjoy the Mezzeh at Smoke experience and order their favourite shisha flavours while indulging in chef’s Emad delicious dishes. Catalan – Spanish La Cava – Wine cellar Hidden Bar – Lounge bar Aqua – Italian Sambusek – Lebanese

Shangri-La Hotel, Qaryat Al Beri

02 5098555

Bain Al Jessrain At gourmet eaterie Bord Eau diners can whet their appetite on French-themed set menus while over at Hoi An, tasty Vietnamese fare is served in a colonial-style setting. Al Hanah – Wine bar Bord Eau – French Hoi An – Vietnamese Pearls & Caviar – Mediterranean restaurant and bar Shang Palace – Chinese Sofra bld – International

Sheraton Abu Dhabi Hotel & Resort

02 6773333

Al Markaziyah Bravo Tapas Bar & Restaurant is a popular choice for tasty Spanish tapas while La Mamma is known for serving homely Italian food in a rustic setting and launches an excellent new menu this month. A perfect place to celebrate St Patrick's Day, indulge in a four-course dinner prepared by chef Enrico at La Mamma and pair the meal with Irish lagers. B-Lounge by Beachcomber – Outdoor lounge Bravo Tapas Bar & Restaurant – Spanish Cloud Nine – International El Sombrero Mexican Restaurant – Mexican Flavours – International La Mamma – Italian The Tavern – English pub The Beachcomber – Tapas

Sheraton Khalidiya Hotel

02 6666220

Al Khalidiyah Downtown restaurant has a three-course set dinner menu every night starting from AED99, which includes soup, main course and dessert. During the day there is a business lunch from noon to 4pm for AED85. Downtown – International La Veranda – International buffet The 3rd Avenue – Bar

Sofitel Abu Dhabi Corniche

02 8137777

Al Markaziyah La Mer serves gourmet seafood dishes while Silk and Spice specialises in the best of Thai cuisine. Jazz 'N Fizz is a popular watering hole with an excellent choice of wines. Corniche All Day Dining – International Jazz ’N Fizz Bar – Bar La Mer – French seafood Silk and Spice – Thai

THE ST.REGIS ABU DHABI

02 6944444

Al Khubeirah Celebrity chef Gary Rhodes' restaurant Rhodes 44 has launched a its Friday brunch featuring a menu of new creations and British favourites that are served family-style at the table with indoor ond al fresco seating available to choose from. Those with a taste for Italian cuisine can head to Villa Toscana where main courses begin at AED120 and include a delectable lobster ravioli and a mouthwatering fish pie alongside Tuscan-inspired meat and vegetarian options. Rhodes 44 – International Villa Toscana – Italian Café 44 – Patisserie Azura - Lounge Crystal Lounge - Bar The St. Regis Bar - light snacks

The St. Regis Saadiyat Island Resort

02 4988888

Saadiyat Island The Friday brunch at Oléa features a feast of Mediterranean cuisine complemented by freshly mixed cocktails, including the resort's signature Bloody Mary - the Red Snapper. 55th&5th, The Grill – Steakhouse Oléa – Mediterranean Sontaya – Southeast Asian Turquoiz – Seafood

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T HE GUI D E / T A S T E

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ARABIC TASTE

Al Ain

The Royal Hotel Abu Dhabi

Al Markaziyah Al Hawara offers Lebanese cuisine on the rooftop with stunning views of the sea, while Basil serves tasty Indian fare, including some very spicy curries. Al Hawara – Lebanese Basil – Indian Optimist – International

Al Ain Rotana Hotel

The Westin Abu Dhabi Golf Resort & Spa

03 7545111

Al Muwaiji

02 6169999

Sas Al Nakhl

Agadir – Moroccan Fairways – International Lemon & Lime – Bar The Retreat – Bar

Traders Hotel, Qaryat Al Beri

02 5108888

Bain Al Jessrain Italian Tuesdays at Afyä make the most of the Mediterranean's classic stone-baked pizza and fresh pastas complemented by large salad and dessert bars.

02 6564000

Yas Island

Moutabel: A delicious and spicy smoked aubergine dip that is popular in Syria, Lebanon and Palestine. Fattoush: This Levantine salad is made from toasted or fried pieces of pita bread and mixed with lettuce, cucumber, onion and other vegetables. Sambusek: Small, triangular pastry pies filled with cheese, meat or spinach. Ouzi: This popular baked lamb and spiced rice dish is a favourite during Ramadan, the Islamic holy month. Umm Ali: Similar to bread and butter pudding served in the west, this favourite Arabic dessert contains milk, pastry and nuts, and is a staple dish in many buffets.

10

Danat Al Ain Resort

03 7046000

Al Nyadat East The Wok hosts a seafood night every Tuesday for AED99. Alternatively, visit Arabesque on Thursdays for a full buffet of lobster, shrimps, oysters and mussels, for AED140.

Blue Grill – Steakhouse Choices – International buffet Rangoli – Indian Y Bar – Bar

Yas Viceroy ABU DHABI

Al Nawafeer Terrace – Arabic snacks and shisha Arabesque – International Horse & Jockey Pub – English pub Luce – Italian restaurant and nightclub Shooters – Sports bar Tanjore – Indian The Wok – Asian

02 6560600

Yas Island

Feast on cakes and pastries accompanied by a glass of bubbly at afternoon tea every Saturday for AED225 per person. At Angar, diners can tuck into gourmet Indian fare complemented by a range of Indian beers and refreshing Lassi yoghurt drinks. Amici specialises in tasty Italian cuisine in a sophisticated setting. Amici – Italian Angar – Indian Atayeb – Arabic Kazu – Japanese Nautilus – Seafood Noodle Box – Asian Origins – International buffet Rush – Cocktail bar Skylite – Cabana lounge

Bill please

As a general rule, all hotels will add a 10 percent charge to restaurant bills in addition to the six percent fee levied by the government. Most menus state whether these taxes have already been incorporated or not but check with the waiter if it is unclear.

Sir Bani Yas Island

Ayla Restaurant – International Tamra Cafe – Tea lounge

Some of the best steaks in town are accompanied by a selection of fine wines from Argentina, America and Australia at Blue Grill. A wide selection of cuisines from across the world is available at the Choices buffet.

Mercure Grand Hotel Jebel Hafeet

03 7838888

Jebel Hafeet 11

C-View – Lobby lounge Gazebo – Shisha café L’Attitude – Cocktail bar and lounge Tides – International Zaitoun – Italian

Ayla Hotel

Ayla Restaurant hosts themed buffet meals throughout the week. Highlights include the seafood lovers’ night on Thursdays, which costs AED130 per person, or AED159 if you'd like to include a small bottle of Champagne. Add to this half a kilogram of giant lobster for AED108, or a full kilogram for AED200.

Yas Island Rotana

Tides international restaurant serves Asian and Continental dishes while Zaitoun offers Italian fine dining. Relax at Gazebo with a shisha in the evening.

Desert Islands Resort & Spa

Al Mutaredh

Afyä – International buffet Afyä Beach Lounge – Barbecue

Ruwais

Min Zaman – Lebanese Moodz – Lounge bar and club Trader Vic’s – French Polynesian restaurant and bar Zest – International

03 7610111 9. Agadir, The Westin Abu Dhabi Golf Resort & Spa 10. Hoi An, Shangri-La Hotel, Qaryat Al Beri 11. Villa Toscana, The St. Regis Abu Dhabi

Danat Jebel Dhanna Resort

02 8012222

At Zest, there’s steak ‘n’ barbecue night every Monday from 6.30 to 10.30pm where guests can select their favourite cuts to be grilled before their eyes for AED168 per person. Seafood night at Zest takes place every Wednesday from 6.30 to 10.30pm and costs AED185 per person.

Celebrate St Patrick's Day on 14 March with an Irishlicious brunch at Fairways from AED290 per person and enjoy authentic Irish dishes such as steak and kidney pie and oxtail stew.

Hummous: Wellknown and loved even beyond the Middle East, this Arabic dip or spread is made from cooked and mashed chickpeas blended with ground sesame seeds, olive oil, lemon juice, salt and garlic.

al Gharbia

02 8152222

Eden Rock restaurant serves tasty Arabian fare while, at Lawrence’s Lounge bar, ladies receive a complimentary cocktail on Thursday nights. Eden Rock – Arabic Le Belvedere – French-Mediterranean Lawrence's Lounge – Bar Orient Café – Oriental

02 8015400

Book a table on the terrace at Amwaj restaurant and enjoy a selection of dishes from the tapas-style menu in a waterfront setting before indulging in homemade ice cream. Alternatively, dine on delectable seafood at Samak, where the resident salt guru can advise you on the best condiments to complement your dish. Samak – Seafood The Lounge – Lounge bar Amwaj - Tapas The Palm – International

Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort by Anantara

02 8862088

Liwa Desert Treat the taste buds to an eclectic feast at the Al Waha international and Emirati buffet, which features food from countries around the world. Prices range from AED130 per person for breakfast to AED175 for lunch and AED200 for dinner. Al Liwan – Lobby lounge and bar Al Waha – International/Emirati Ghadeer – Mediterranean Suhail – Steakhouse

Tilal Liwa Hotel

02 8946111

Madinat Zayed Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day from March 13 to 15 with an overnight stay, breakfast and a hearty Irish dinner with drinks from AED699 for two people. For the same price, treat your mother to two nights away from March 20 to 22 complete with a gift hamper and a bouquet of flowers. Al Badiya – International Al Liwan – Snacks Layali – Bar

WINING AND DINING Although the UAE is a Muslim country, alcohol is permitted in several emirates including Abu Dhabi and Dubai. Wine, Champagne and spirits are available in most five-star hotels, but be warned, there is zero tolerance to drink-driving and being drunk in public is a crime, both punishable with a fine and, in more serious cases, imprisonment.

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HERITAGE VILLAGE Designed to resemble a traditional oasis village, this quaint attraction provides an interesting glimpse into the emirate’s past. There’s a Bedouin tent, reconstructions of original date palm houses, an example of the ancient falaj irrigation system and a small spice shop selling dried herbs and other trinkets.

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saadiyat island al mina

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EMIRATES PALACE The iconic palace stands in pride of place at the tip of the Abu Dhabi Corniche and embodies the luxury lifestyle the capital has cultivated. Until recently the most expensive hotel ever to be built, the impressive structure is richly adorned with precious materials. 12 different shades of marble can be spotted in the cavernous atrium, while the central dome holds dual records as both the largest in the world and the greatest gilded expanse ever created in one building.

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Abu Dhabi VISITOR MAP HOTELS Al Maha Arjaan by Rotana C3 Aloft Abu Dhabi F7 Al Raha Beach Hotel M5 Al Rawda Arjaan by Rotana D4 Armed Forces Officers’ Club and Hotel G8 6 Beach Rotana Abu Dhabi D3 7 Centro Capital Centre by Rotana F7 8 Centro Yas Island M4 9 Cristal Hotel Abu Dhabi C3 10 Cristal Salam Hotel D3 11 Crowne Plaza Abu Dhabi C3 1 2 3 4 5

12 Crowne Plaza, Abu Dhabi

Yas Island

M4

13 Dusit Thani Abu Dhabi E5 14 Eastern Mangroves Hotel & Spa

by Anantara G6 15 Emirates Palace A5 16 Fairmont Bab Al Bahr H7 17 Grand Millennium Al Wahda D4 18 Hala Arjaan D2 19 Hilton Abu Dhabi B4 20 Hilton Abu Dhabi Capital Grand G7 21 Hyatt Capital Gate Hotel F7 22 InterContinental Abu Dhabi B5 23 Jumeirah at Etihad Towers B5

MAP ABU DHABI_MAR2014 - edited V2.indd 78

24 Khalidiya Palace Rayhaan

by Rotana B5

25 Le Méridien Abu Dhabi D3 26 Le Royal Méridien Abu Dhabi C3 27 Mercure Centre Hotel C3 28 Millennium Hotel Abu Dhabi C3 29 Novotel Abu Dhabi Gate I8 30 One to One Hotels - The Village D4 31 Oryx Hotel B4 32 Park Inn, Abu Dhabi Yas Island M4 33 Park Arjaan by Rotana H6 34 Park Hyatt Abu Dhabi Hotel

& Villas

F1

35 Park Rotana H6

36 Radisson Blu Hotel, Abu Dhabi

Yas Island

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37 Rosewood Abu Dhabi D3 38 Shangri-La Hotel, Qaryat Al Beri H7 39 Sheraton Abu Dhabi

Hotel & Resort C2 40 Sheraton Khalidiya C3 41 Sofitel, Abu Dhabi Corniche C3 42 Staybridge Suites, Abu Dhabi Yas Island M4 43 St. Regis Abu Dhabi B4 44 St. Regis Saadiyat Island Resort F1 45 The Ritz-Carlton Abu Dhabi, H7 Grand Canal

46 The Royal Hotel Abu Dhabi 47 The Westin Abu Dhabi Golf

Resort & Spa

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48 Traders Hotel, Qaryat Al Beri H7 49 Yas Island Rotana M4 50 Yas Viceroy M4

SHOPPING 1 2 3 4 5

Abu Dhabi Mall D3 Al Muhairy Centre C4 Al Raha Mall M5 Al Wahda Mall D4 Avenue at Eithad Towers B5

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YAS WATERWORLD Yas Waterworld is the newest addition to the islandâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s impressive portfolio of sport and leisure attractions. Included among the 43 rides, slides and attractions here is the first hydromagnetic-powered six-person Tornado waterslide and the largest FlowBarrel 10 Double sheet-wave ride in the world.

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FERRARI WORLD ABU DHABI The first ever Ferrari theme park is home to Formula Rossa, the fastest roller coaster on the planet, which reaches speeds of up to 240 kilometres per hour. Other rides include G-Force, which climbs up through the open roof, affording spectacular views of Yas Island, before hurtling 62 metres back to earth and the Fiorano GT Challenge, which offers an exhilarating simulated racing experience. There are rides for all the family here, from fast-paced coasters to leisurely tours and interactive games.

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SHEIKH ZAYED GRAND MOSQUE Built by the late Sheikh Zayed to help build a bridge between faiths and create greater cross-cultural understanding, the Grand Mosque is a must-see for any visitor to Abu Dhabi. The third-largest mosque in the world, this majestic structure is wrought from over 1,000 columns and 82 domes embellished with semi-precious stones, gold and marble. Inside, the spectacle is equally impressive with glittering chandeliers, spectacular floral motifs adorning the walls and a vast hand-woven Persian carpet in the main prayer hall.

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MAP ABU DHABI_MAR2014 - edited V2.inddHERITAGE/CULTURE 79

Ask the concierge desk for a copy of the Concierge Abu Dhabi foldout map with tips on what to see and do in the city

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ABU DHABI T H E

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HERITAGE/CULTURE Al Hosn Palace C4 Cultural Foundation C4 Falcon Hospital N5 Gallery One A5 Ghaf Art Gallery C5 Heritage Village B4 Manarat Al Saadiyat E1 Salwa Zeidan Gallery F1 Zayed Centre B5

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YAS MARINA CIRCUIT Home to the annual Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Yas Marina Circuit is one of the capitalâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s most famous sporting attractions. Visitors can experience it all year round at one of the many events on the annual calendar or on a tour that takes in its state of the art facilities, from the drag strip and karting centre to the track itself, which boasts the longest straight in Formula 1.

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6 Boutik Mall E3 7 Carpet Souk D2 8 The Souk at World Trade Centre C3 9 Dalma Mall J8 10 Fotouh Al Khair Centre C3 11 Hamdan Centre C3 12 Iranian Souk C1 13 Khalidiya Mall C4 14 Liwa Centre C3 15 Madinat Zayed Shopping C4 16 Marina Mall 17 Paris Gallery 18 The Galleria 19 The Souk at Qaryat Al Beri

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Abu Dhabi City Golf Club Abu Dhabi Golf Club Al Ghazal Golf Club Saadiyat Beach Golf Club Yas Links

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LANDMARKS

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Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre Al Bateen Dhow Yard Al Maqtaa Bridge Breakwater

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5 Bus & Taxi Terminal 6 Emirates Palace 7 Ittihad Square 8 Khalifa Mosque 9 Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque 10 Sheikh Zayed the

Second Mosque 11 Volcano Fountain

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SPORTS AND ACTIVITIES Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club Abu Dhabi Sailing & Sub Aqua Club 1 2

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Al Forsan International Sports Resort Art Marine yacht charters Falcon Aviation Services (helipad base) 6 Ferrari World Abu Dhabi 7 International Marine Sports Club 8 Monte Carlo Beach Club 9 Shooting (Caracal Shooting Club) 10 Yas Marina Circuit 11 Yas Waterworld 12 Zayed Sports City

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My life in Abu Dhabi Professional triathlete Omar Nour discusses life and training in the capital as he prepares for the Abu Dhabi International Triathlon this month

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1 Yas Marina Circuit 2 Dune bashing in the desert

Anyone who visits Abu Dhabi can see right away why this is an amazing city to live in. The gourmet restaurants, opulent hotels and world-class sport and entertainment facilities are complemented by beautiful beaches and stunning natural scenery, all underpinned by a rich cultural heritage. It didn’t take me long to decide, when I made my first trip here in 2011, that this would become my winter home. These days I split my time between Washington DC, Boulder, Colorado and, of course, Abu Dhabi, where the moderate winter climate and excellent fitness facilities provide the ideal environment for me to train. The Abu Dhabi International Triathlon this month provides an opportunity for me to push myself to the limit and compete against some of the world’s best triathletes over a brutally demanding course. The highlight for me is the Yas Marina circuit loop on the cycle leg – that truly is in a class of its own. This city is also a great place to wind down. A big part of training is recovery and part of that in turn is mental relaxation. Abu Dhabi provides no end of opportunities to take a step back and enjoy life. Fun has a way of finding you here whether it’s dune bashing

in the desert, attending one of the city’s top sporting events such as the Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in November and the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship in January or simply browsing a local art gallery and attending a music concert. The possibilities are endless. I tend to take just one day off a month from my training schedule and will generally begin with breakfast at Jones the Grocer or Café Bateel before heading to the beach on Yas Island for a spot of kite surfing followed by a session on the go-karts at Yas Marina Circuit. In the afternoon I might do a desert picnic with friends then, in an ideal world, take in a concert at du Arena (if there happens to be one on) before finishing up with a snack on the rooftop at Yas Viceroy Abu Dhabi hotel. My life today is a far cry from six years ago when, aged 29, I weighed 105 kilos. Now, I’m a professional triathelete and in training for the highest accolade in the sport – the Olympic Games. It’s a story that motivates people to get active so, on top of training, I spend a lot of my time sharing my tale of ‘fat to fit’. It reminds people that it is never too late to make a big change and embrace a healthy lifestyle.

It didn’t take me long to decide, when I made my first trip here in 2011, that Abu Dhabi would become my winter home

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It’s more than just a city. It’s intriguing Abu Dhabi.

SHEIKH ZAYED GRAND MOSQUE

EMIRATES PALACE

EXPLORE OUR WATERS

ARABIAN NIGHTS VILLAGE

FERRARI WORLD ABU DHABI

TripAdvisor has named our iconic mosque ‘one of the world’s most talked about attractions.’ Have you visited yet?

We’re home to some of the world’s most luxurious hotels.

Explore our clear, warm Arabian Gulf waters and discover exciting watersports, marine life and tranquil seas home to schools of beautiful dolphins.

A desert experience like no other awaits at this one-of-a-kind village where the past is recreated for the present.

Feel the 240kph adrenaline rush of the world’s fastest roller coaster.

GOLF IN ABU DHABI

ABU DHABI FALCON HOSPITAL

OPEN-TOP BUS TOUR

ABU DHABI BEACHES

YAS WATERWORLD

With a diverse golf offering you can play a different course every day of the week.

Learn more about the UAE’s national bird and try your hand at the traditional sport of falconry at this state-of-the-art facility.

All aboard for a tour of our ancient and modern marvels – with commentary in eight languages!

Enjoy the Blue-flagged beaches of our waterfront capital.

Futuristic waterpark with 43 rides and attractions. Splash into fun with the world’s largest tornado waterslide and the 3 metre waves of Bubbles Barrel.

Explore a city built on tradition and inspired by innovation. Where you can lose yourself in age-old hospitality and marvel at the wonder that is Abu Dhabi. Abu Dhabi. Travellers welcome.

Discover more. www.visitabudhabi.ae

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Concierge Abu Dhabi March 2014