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

Jumeirah at Etihad Towers Hotel

★★★★★

-54%

292134

View Hotel

Rosewood Abu Dhabi

★★★★★

-35%

252165

View Hotel

Shangri-La Hotel, Qaryat Al Beri

★★★★★

-45%

279154

View Hotel

Southern Sun Hotel Abu Dhabi

★★★★

-51%

13366

View Hotel

Dusit Thani Abu Dhabi

★★★★★

-39%

175106

View Hotel

Grand Millennium Al Wahda Abu Dhabi

★★★★★

-54%

16073

View Hotel

Sofitel Abu Dhabi Corniche

★★★★★

-46%

210113

View Hotel

Novotel Abu Dhabi Al Bustan

★★★★

-57%

10947

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

Kuwait City

08/02/2019

15/02/2019

Tickets from 155

Kozhikode

14/02/2019

14/03/2019

Tickets from 205

Kochi

14/02/2019

14/03/2019

Tickets from 207

Chennai

20/02/2019

28/02/2019

Tickets from 228

Amman

13/02/2019

27/02/2019

Tickets from 232

Bahrain

24/01/2019

26/01/2019

Tickets from 233

Moscow

16/03/2019

26/03/2019

Tickets from 235

Cairo

12/03/2019

24/04/2019

Tickets from 243

Karachi

11/02/2019

12/03/2019

Tickets from 244

Jeddah

19/08/2019

26/08/2019

Tickets from 252

Alexandria

06/03/2019

12/03/2019

Tickets from 258

Riyadh

13/02/2019

17/02/2019

Tickets from 259

Hyderabad

06/02/2019

06/04/2019

Tickets from 261

Beirut

01/02/2019

04/02/2019

Tickets from 269

Goa

31/01/2019

11/02/2019

Tickets from 274

Khartoum

19/03/2019

17/06/2019

Tickets from 286

Muscat

31/01/2019

02/02/2019

Tickets from 287

Saint Petersburg

30/01/2019

05/02/2019

Tickets from 297

Riga

15/11/2019

26/11/2019

Tickets from 298

Islamabad

11/02/2019

25/02/2019

Tickets from 298

Astana

06/02/2019

20/02/2019

Tickets from 312

Helsinki

25/02/2019

05/03/2019

Tickets from 327

Naberevnye Chelny

01/02/2019

04/02/2019

Tickets from 329

Istanbul

06/02/2019

12/02/2019

Tickets from 330

BAK

13/02/2019

21/02/2019

Tickets from 331

Tbilisi

29/01/2019

04/02/2019

Tickets from 340

Vilnius

06/02/2019

13/02/2019

Tickets from 344

London

22/01/2019

30/01/2019

Tickets from 346

Vienna

09/03/2019

16/03/2019

Tickets from 368

Johannesburg

10/04/2019

02/05/2019

Tickets from 374

Paris

17/03/2019

28/03/2019

Tickets from 378

Budapest

16/05/2019

25/05/2019

Tickets from 379

Dublin

19/03/2019

26/03/2019

Tickets from 385

Brussels

01/02/2019

10/02/2019

Tickets from 389

Rostov

12/08/2019

19/08/2019

Tickets from 400

Mineralnye Vody

31/01/2019

01/03/2019

Tickets from 401

Minsk

22/04/2019

28/04/2019

Tickets from 403

Hong Kong

18/03/2019

22/03/2019

Tickets from 406

Kiev

12/02/2019

19/02/2019

Tickets from 410

Bangkok

20/02/2019

20/03/2019

Tickets from 412

Manchester

26/01/2019

07/02/2019

Tickets from 412

Ufa

14/03/2019

27/03/2019

Tickets from 417

Frankfurt

10/03/2019

18/03/2019

Tickets from 418

Geneva

02/02/2019

18/02/2019

Tickets from 419

Perm

09/04/2019

23/04/2019

Tickets from 420

Prague

20/05/2019

23/05/2019

Tickets from 434

Marseille

23/03/2019

30/03/2019

Tickets from 435

Samara

01/04/2019

08/04/2019

Tickets from 440

Almaty

26/02/2019

12/03/2019

Tickets from 441

Warsaw

11/11/2019

22/11/2019

Tickets from 442

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