VISIT ABU DHABI WITH ME // WHAT TO DO IN ABU DHABI
Now where do I begin with this one?…
You may or may not be aware of the fact that I ended 2016 with a christmas trip to Abu Dhabi and what a way to end an incredible year it was! Honestly, an unforgettable trip!
I’ll talk you through all the things I got up to over there and give you some great ideas of what to do if you ever visit Abu Dhabi (or should I say “when”) because you will want to go and I promise you, you won’t want to leave.
So, I have to begin with what was the best flight of my life! I flew business class with Etihad Airways and I’ve never experienced anything like it, If you ever get the chance to fly business class with Etihad then you have you to do it! The only thing is now after a luxury flight with 3 course meals, champagne on tap and your own booth with everything you could ever need on a plane I don’t want to fly any other way ever again. And time literally flys when you’re in business class and 7 and a half hours later I had landed in the UAE and was picked up by my chauffeur to take me to the Yas Viceroy Hotel where I would stay during my time in Abu Dhabi. Now I have to give a quick little shout out to my driver as he literally took me everywhere and waited for me hours on end during my stay, so thank you!
When I arrived at The Viceroy I had a few hours to kill before I was being picked up to go to my first activity so I went to check out all of the hotel and ended up going for a swim in the roof top pool and made the most of this world class hotel, a hotel that hosts the formula 1 grand prix every year and hosts the most spectacular events.
Then it was time! Time to head down to the YAS Marina Circuit and race an ASTON MARTIN around THE grand prix track I was just talking about, an experience I will never forget! When I got down to the the circuit I had the brief by the guys down there then waited my turn whilst taking in the insane views of the stands, blue skies and beautiful cars that were parked waiting for a spin. After a short wait I slipped my helmet on, climbed in the Aston, got strapped in and was ready to go. My heart was pounding at this point at the thought of what I was about to do, A couple laps later and I was flying around the track at almost 200mph feeling like Lewis Hamilton.
Racing Aston Martins is actually hungry work let me tell you, so once I had my fun I headed back to The ViceRoy for lunch at the Orgins restaurant that offer an international buffet lunch and boy did I eat. The beautifully designed main restaurant with views of the race track I was feeling right at home.
After eating a range of different types of food for lunch and a special mocktail made by the lovely waitress who looked after me I got freshened up and headed for Ferrari world.
Ferrari World made me feel like a big kid from the moment I arrived! This HUGE place filled with Ferrari cars, rides and cool stores and as it was christmas it was extra special with all the decorations and christmas trees throughout the place. There is so much to do and would be an amazing day out for a family. Give the kids a race on the go karts, hit the rollercoasters or just admire all the beautiful cars planted around the place.
That evening it was time to experience more of The ViceRoy and with a range of different restaurants that were leaving me spoilt for choice I eventually decided on the Japanese spot to enjoy my evening. You can sit inside or outside but outside was something special as you have the F1 track down below and the impressive night time view of the hotel that lights up in different colours. The japanese food was AMAZING! Infact I spent 2 evenings at the same restaurant the food was that good, the best Japanese food my taste buds ever did meet!
After I had eventually got bored of playing with my chop sticks I took a quick trip to the sky line bar and then headed back that incredible to bed.
After an incredible nights sleep in my suite, waking up to the view of the harbour day 2 was underway. Breakfast was done and I was back in the Mercedes Benz to the Saadiyat Beach Club for a golf lesson (lesson as I have never actually played golf in my life haha) I didn’t know what to expect as I had obviously never played before but it has now made me want to get into golf back home in the UK. The Saadiyat Beach club had VIEWS! Standing on the golf course with the sun on my face, blue skies and beach just a stone throw away I couldn’t think of a better place to learn how to play golf.
Once I had managed to get the hang of my swing and hit a few balls I stopped for lunch to refuel and I was I definielty about to need it as my next stop was the Abu Dhabi desert with Arabian Nights!
My pizza feast ended and my jeep arrived to take me to the desert and as we got further away from the golf course, further away from the city and further into the desert I was looking out the window thinking how lucky I am being able to experience this and share it with you all. After turning off the road and now driving through the desert with the dunes either side of me we eventually arrived at the Arabian Nights Village. I arrived with a smile on my face at the sight of the camels and buggys waiting outside the entrance I knew I was about to have an unforgettable time.
I was shown around the village where you can actually stay in little apartments which I thought was super cool that you can experience the desert all through the night. After my quick tour and a drink we hopped into the jeep and headed for the dunes! Im not going to lie I actually felt slightly sick at this point because the way they drive in the dunes feels like the craziest rollercoaster you have ever been on! Such an incredible feeling as we smashed through the dunes we eventually made it to a spot where you are allowed to get out of the jeep, take in the INSANE desert view, capture photos and enjoy yourself.
After another crazy ride back from the dunes we made it back to the village were we had a bbq buffet under the stars as belly dancers performed, it really is quite something and a moment to remember for the rest of your life.
The next day, after another amazing nights sleep and feeling sand free we were heading for the Grand mosque and I have honestly never seen a building like it! Its absolutely stunning! I mean you can see in the photos but to really undertand how incredible the Mosque is you need to be there and see it in person. You get to tour around it, see all of its beautiful architecture and really feel what this place means to the people here. The exterior is incredible but when you get inside you’re immediately blown away again, the interior you will of honesty never seen anything like it!
After the stunning tour of the Grand Mosque I was taken to The Galleria which is the biggest and best shopping mall in Abu Dhabi. Everything about Abu Dhani is luxurious and you really feel that at The Galleria with its high end shops and modern feel. I stopped for food at a beautiful morracon restaurant and learnt more about the culture from my tour guides.
Sadly my Abu Dhabi experience was coming to an end and the final part of this trip was to head over by boat to a luxury 5 star private island in the name of Zaya Nuria Island. The sun was starting to set and the boat ride over was increicblely relaxing and a time to again take in just how lucky I am right now.
After a short 10 minite boat ride I had made it to the Island and was taken straight to my room. Now I have stayed in some amazing places but this is right up there as I walked in and saw the lay out of the room it felt like I should of been on a honeymoon haha! The bed was set right in front of the sliding doors that lead straight to your heated pool and private section of beach. Even the likes of Sir Richard Branson has stayed here, I mean come on!! I felt like a king in this place and as the sun was on its way down I slipped into my shorts and got myself in the pool with a glass of wine and took in more insane views before dinner.
Dinner was spent at a lovely Mexican restaurant on the island where I sat outside and listened to a mixture of waves crashing and music playing. It really was a beautiful way to end the most phenomenal trip to date.
A huge thank you to the Abu Dhabi tourism board for allowing me to experience Abu Dhabi and bringing my 2016 to a very special end.
Below I have listed a whole bunch of other cool things you can do in Abu Dhabi along with places to stay and eat.
PLACES TO STAY IN ABU DHABI
PLACES TO EAT IN ABU DHABI
Mezlai at Emirates Palace- Fine dining Emirati cuisine
Asia De Cuba- Latin flavors with views of the Arabian Gulf
Al Fanar restaurant – Local Emirati cuisine in Abu Dhabi & Al Ain
Palace Cappuccino – Sprinkled in real 24 carat gold flakes at Emirates Palace
Pearls by Michael Caines – Two Michelin starred chef
P&C by Sergi Arola –Celebrity Chef, Two Michelin starred
Hakkasan Abu Dhabi, Award- winning Cantonese restaurant
Li Jiang, A modern Southeast Asian restaurant
Signature by Sanjeev Kapur, Indian cuisine by very popular Indian chef
Zuma, Contemporary Japanese cuisine
Boa, Modern steakhouse
Tamba, Indian inspired cuisine
Li Beirut, Classic Lebanese cuisine presented in modern twist
Cipriani Yas Marina, Elegant Italian restaurant
PLACES TO EXPERIENCE IN ABU DHABI