United Arab Emirates

A short trip to Abu Dhabi – How many days and where to stay

Having lived in Abu Dhabi for a number of years – many people often ask me why they should visit Abu Dhabi?

Well the reasons, I could write a book! So let’s start with a short two-day trip and make sure we make the most of it shall we!

From water parks to gold souks, Abu Dhabi truly has something for everyone. The question is, how do you fit it all into a short trip?

Whether you’ve just popped in because of a stop-over flight or you’re hanging around for a couple of days on a business trip, I’ve planned out the best way of spending two days in Abu Dhabi so you don’t have to! You can easily stretch this to 4 days in Abu Dhabi if you want to. Maybe a long weekend or mid-week trip.

So here we go…

Where to stay in Abu Dhabi

First things first…after your long flight you will most likely want to check straight into your hotel to freshen up and relax for a bit.

Problem is, there are so many to choose from because Abu Dhabi is home to so many fantastic hotels, accommodating every budget! Here are a few of the best to make things easier for you…

If your requirement is one of ultimate relaxation, look no further than the Shangri-La Residence Qaryat Al Beri. Self-described as an ‘Arabian Oasis,’ the Shangri-la entails nothing but breathtaking views, beautiful architecture, spas and private beaches.

It also has an amazing view of the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque that must be enjoyed at night!

If it’s elegance and luxury you’re after, the Yas Viceroy is the place for you. It’s intricate design, exquisite food, large range of bars and even its own art gallery makes it one of the most stylish and sought after hotels in Abu Dhabi.

For me it’s the fact that it lights up and changes colour at night that makes it that little bit more appealing, that and of course the fact it sits directly on top of the Abu Dhabi F1 track.

How long to stay in Abu Dhabi

Set in a convenient location, close to beaches, a golf course and the Yas Marina Circuit (aka the F1 track – if you’re a petrol head check it out). The Park Inn is one of the busiest hotels in Abu Dhabi and draws in a very interesting crowd, so it’s also a great place to meet a range of different people. In short – if it’s adventure you want, the Park Inn is probably the perfect place for you!

If it is business that has brought you to Abu Dhabi, The Nehal hotel may be exactly what you’re looking for. It’s comfortable, affordable and located in the heart of Abu Dhabi, (unlike the Yas Island hotels above) – it couldn’t be more convenient!

The latest Abu Dhabi hotel discounts

HotelStarsDiscountPrice per night, fromChoose dates

Southern Sun Hotel Abu Dhabi

★★★★

-8%

4946

View Hotel

Jumeirah at Etihad Towers Hotel

★★★★★

-43%

327185

View Hotel

Rosewood Abu Dhabi

★★★★★

-34%

234155

View Hotel

Shangri-La Hotel, Qaryat Al Beri

★★★★★

-7%

150140

View Hotel

Dusit Thani Abu Dhabi

★★★★★

-49%

15680

View Hotel

Grand Millennium Al Wahda Abu Dhabi

★★★★★

-6%

6662

View Hotel

The St. Regis Abu Dhabi

★★★★★

-12%

183161

View Hotel

Sofitel Abu Dhabi Corniche

★★★★★

-9%

8880

View Hotel

What to see in Abu Dhabi

Now that you’re unpacked and settled in, it’s time to start exploring…

what to see in Abu DhabiThe breath taking Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque should be first on your list and once visited will surely never be forgotten. Not only is it one of the world’s largest mosques but its breathtakingly beautiful and has become famous around the world! I won’t ruin the tour but there are a few world records broken in the Grand Mosque.

After being truly amazed by the beauty of the Grand Mosque, you might fancy having a rest and getting some coffee and cake. How about doing exactly that but in a palace?

The Emirate’s Palace no less! Enjoy a cappuccino with a real difference – you can choose camels milk and every cup comes with gold leaf (real edible golf leaf). If that’s not enough – you can even pick up a gold bar from the vending machine on your way out.

Of course I must add that if budgets permit you might want to consider staying the night – but if not the coffee, cake, afternoon tea and spa are all unbelievable and worth experiencing.

There is certainly no shortage of shopping opportunities in Abu Dhabi (whilst I am writing this I imagine a new mall is being opened) each with its own vast array of café’s and restaurants. The Marina Mall is particularly picturesque in its setting close to the corniche and with some impressive water features inside. The shops aren’t too bad either (but of course I would know less about that).

Check out this awesome video for a guide to things worth seeing in Abu Dhabi

More adventures in Abu Dhabi

For the more adventurous of you, Abu Dhabi has some fantastic experiences to offer…

Fancy a dip? How about a big one…Abu Dhabi is home to Yas Waterworld, which is sure to be an experience you wont forget! Just make sure you have enough sunscreen on, remember where you are.

things to see in UAEBut if water rides aren’t really your thing there’s always the world’s largest indoor theme park, Ferrari World, instead… Yes, you read right a Ferrari themed theme park – home to the fastest roller coaster in the world.

You’re definitely going to want to take a trip into the desert. A desert safari offers a fantastic opportunity to do exactly that…even on the back of a camel if you choose!

There are a wide variety to chose from and having experienced most of them the only thing I would highly recommend is – a) if you have a sensitive stomach

I suggest some travel sickness pills in advance and b) make sure you go on one where you can enjoy dinner and evening entertainment, it’s amazing.

Where to eat in Abu Dhabi

After all of this you’re going to pretty hungry. Not to worry, Abu Dhabi is definitely not lacking in places to eat! If you wanted to venture further afield than the food courts in the malls, you will not be disappointed (but I am not knocking the food courts – my favourite is at Yas Mall)!

where to eat in Abu DhabiSontaya, a South East Asian restaurant located at the St. Regis Sadiyaat Island Resort is the ideal place to go for ambience, views and exquisite food. It is a great place to go with a large group of friends and when you step inside it literally feels like you have ventured to another country. I recommend everything on the menu…

This boutique café has a completely unique and mysterious feel to it, with décor unlike anything else in Abu Dhabi. As you only have two days you could just go here for coffee and cake – it really shouldn’t be missed.

For award-winning food, embroidered furniture and caviar, Hakkasan promises a night you won’t forget! It’s a completely different experience to Hakkasan London and well worth the visit.

For the ultimate family dining experience with food from all over the world – Vasco’s is a must visit. Situated on the corniche with an amazing outdoor space it’s fun all round. And let’s be honest, who doesn’t like a course from 3 different continents.

You HAVE TO watch this amazing video showing you the kinds of cuisine you’ll find in Abu Dhabi.

Finally – one that’s a bit more off the beaten track is Mirage Marine. It sounds like I really like eating around the Marina Mall and the corniche, but seriously this place delivers the most exquisite Lebanese food. I strongly recommend not eating for a few hours before and after – everything is prepared to perfection and you will get a true sense of local culture.

So, I didn’t say you would have time to sleep!

Whatever the reason you’re flying from London to Abu Dhabi, one thing is for sure – you won’t have time to be bored!

Flights to Abu Dhabi

I found some great flight deals going to Abu Dhabi from all over the world. Take a look through the pages to find one from your country.

OriginDeparture dateReturn dateFind Ticket

Kochi

17/01/2019

24/01/2019

Tickets from 194

New Delhi

16/11/2018

20/11/2018

Tickets from 203

BAK

16/01/2019

23/01/2019

Tickets from 206

Khartoum

26/10/2018

01/11/2018

Tickets from 222

Bahrain

01/11/2018

03/11/2018

Tickets from 230

Dammam

01/11/2018

03/11/2018

Tickets from 230

Amman

23/10/2018

15/01/2019

Tickets from 237

Mumbai

05/11/2018

12/11/2018

Tickets from 241

Cairo

01/11/2018

04/11/2018

Tickets from 252

Jeddah

23/10/2018

23/10/2018

Tickets from 261

Moscow

25/01/2019

01/02/2019

Tickets from 264

Mangalore

25/12/2018

08/01/2019

Tickets from 273

Muscat

20/10/2018

25/10/2018

Tickets from 275

Lahore

06/11/2018

07/01/2019

Tickets from 278

Bangalore

03/11/2018

06/11/2018

Tickets from 279

Thiruvananthapuram

28/10/2018

28/10/2018

Tickets from 280

Kozhikode

31/10/2018

31/10/2018

Tickets from 280

Beirut

15/11/2018

23/11/2018

Tickets from 281

Pune

02/11/2018

25/11/2018

Tickets from 283

Sakaka Al Jouf

15/11/2018

21/11/2018

Tickets from 288

Saint Petersburg

12/11/2018

22/11/2018

Tickets from 300

Astana

13/02/2019

20/02/2019

Tickets from 313

Kiev

02/11/2018

05/11/2018

Tickets from 352

Athens

10/02/2019

17/02/2019

Tickets from 352

Dubai

29/11/2018

08/12/2018

Tickets from 366

Frankfurt

27/01/2019

10/02/2019

Tickets from 367

Krasnodar

13/11/2018

18/11/2018

Tickets from 379

Manchester

20/01/2019

03/02/2019

Tickets from 379

Voronezh

23/03/2019

29/03/2019

Tickets from 403

London

03/12/2018

04/06/2019

Tickets from 405

Riga

06/11/2018

12/11/2018

Tickets from 407

Prague

09/04/2019

18/04/2019

Tickets from 408

Kuala Lumpur

09/11/2018

28/11/2018

Tickets from 410

Samara

11/03/2019

17/03/2019

Tickets from 417

Kazan

24/11/2018

30/11/2018

Tickets from 419

Bucharest

24/01/2019

29/01/2019

Tickets from 433

Vilnius

19/12/2018

27/12/2018

Tickets from 436

Tallinn

25/11/2018

02/12/2018

Tickets from 436

Penza

11/03/2019

17/03/2019

Tickets from 442

Madrid

13/11/2018

11/01/2019

Tickets from 443

Minsk

22/01/2019

05/02/2019

Tickets from 444

Ekaterinburg

01/02/2019

12/02/2019

Tickets from 446

Warsaw

02/03/2019

09/03/2019

Tickets from 446

Berlin

01/11/2018

02/11/2018

Tickets from 450

Ufa

07/12/2018

17/12/2018

Tickets from 452

Nizhniy Novgorod

01/11/2018

10/11/2018

Tickets from 455

Volgograd

14/11/2018

19/11/2018

Tickets from 457

Zurich

22/10/2018

25/10/2018

Tickets from 463

Odessa

31/01/2019

14/02/2019

Tickets from 464

Naberevnye Chelny

29/10/2018

08/11/2018

Tickets from 470

Abu Dhabi Map

I’ve pinpointed a few of my favourite restaurants worth checking out.

Load More In United Arab Emirates

Check Also

A Dubai cruise itinerary

If you’re looking for something a little different, ...