Opportunity Abu Dhabi - Visit Abu Dhabi

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Opportunity Abu Dhabi - Visit Abu Dhabi

Opportunity Abu Dhabi

- The Travel Trade’s Guide to a Great New Destination


Our Diverse Destination of Distinction

Abu Dhabi is one of the most diverse

destinations anywhere. Here you will find

the vibrancy of a cosmopolitan capital,

the serenity of an ancient UNESCO World

Heritage oasis settlement, the tranquility

of dramatic desertscapes, inviting warm

waters, secluded island getaways, a

myriad of attractions – ancient and new –

and an all-embracing traditional welcome

that permeates them all.

The emirate basks in virtual year-round

sunshine with little rainfall and superb

winter (October-May) temperatures which

average around 24°C (75°F) during the day

falling to 13°C (56°F) during the night.

Summer (June-September) daytime

temperatures can rise to 42°C (118°F) and

there is high humidity; however, there are

a number of world-class indoor attractions

to keep visitors cool, most notably Ferrari

World Abu Dhabi - the world’s largest

indoor theme park - and Wadi Adventure,

a man-made whitewater rafting, kayaking

and surfing facility at the base of Jebel

Hafeet, the city’s tallest heights.

The destination is one of the safest in the

world with an incredibly low crime rate

and visitors benefit from the availability of

a Tourism Police service trained to assist

travellers.

The destination is served by an increasing

number of international and regional

carriers, a first-class international airport,

expanding accommodation options which

are governed by a reliable and trustworthy

classification system, tour guides trained

to international standards and growing

and maturing ground handling and

attractions segments.

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

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CONTENTS

OVERVIEW

Abu Dhabi City

Al Ain

Al Gharbia

Getting to Abu Dhabi

Visas

Transport from the Airport

Hotels & Resorts

ATTRACTIONS AND TOURS

Abu Dhabi

Al Ain

Al Gharbia

SPECIAL PRODUCTS

SHOPPING / DINING

Retail Therapy Abu Dhabi Style

Eating Out

LEISURE

Golf in Abu Dhabi

Spas in Abu Dhabi

For an Eventful Stay

ITINERARIES

Abu Dhabi

Al Ain

Al Gharbia

USEFUL INFORMATION

Traveller's Welcome Tips

Tools to Assist You

Partners

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THE CORNICHE

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ABU DHABI CITY

The capital of the United Arab Emirates

(UAE) is an intriguing mix of the past, the

present and an exciting future. The sweeping

Corniche, which is a community hub on this

island city, is the place for joggers, cyclists,

walkers, sun worshippers, bathers or for

those who wish to sip a fragrant coffee and

watch the world go by. The beauty of the

Corniche, home to the opulent Emirates

Palace hotel, particularly at sunset, has an

almost mystical ‘pull’. Visitors can take

advantage of a clean, well-managed, Blue

Flag public beach complete with lifeguards

which edges clear, safe waters.

Along the Corniche, architecturally inspiring

high-rise corporate headquarters create a

Manhattan-like backdrop to a public space

which is dotted with immaculately kept

gardens and fountains.

The city is linked to Abu Dhabi mainland by

four main bridges giving easy access to a

host of attractions and signature destinations

including Yas Island and Saadiyat Island. Yas

Island, home to the iconic Yas Viceroy, the

only hotel in the world straddling an F1

race track, hosts the annual F1 Etihad

Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on the

magnificent Yas Marina Circuit. It is also

home to the stunning Yas Links golf course

and Ferrari World Abu Dhabi - the world’s

largest indoor theme park.

Saadiyat Island is home to the stunning

Monte Carlo Beach Club, Saadiyat (www.

montecarlobeachclub.ae), the Manarat Al

Saadiyat arts and culture exhibition centre

and the Saadiyat Beach Golf Club with an

inspiring 18-hole championship-ready

‘ocean’ course designed by golfing legend

Gary Player. There are also two magnificent,

beachfront resorts - Park Hyatt Abu Dhabi

and The St. Regis Saadiyat Island Resort.

The UAE capital also boasts the Abu Dhabi

Golf Club which, each January, hosts the

PGA European Tour - backed Abu Dhabi

HSBC Golf Championship. An increasing

number of operators are offering golfing

holidays to the emirate.

Key visitor attractions in Abu Dhabi are the

awe-inspiring Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque,

which has complimentary daily ‘walk

guided tours every day as well as shopping

in the city’s ultramodern malls and

traditional souks.

There are popular city tours, excursions to

key attractions, water-bound tours around

Abu Dhabi’s coastline, fishing, sailing,

kayaking and diving trips and day and night

safaris into the desert for camel trekking,

dune driving, dune dinners and sand skiing.

Overnight desert stays are possible in

traditional-style camps.

Business Tourism is an Abu Dhabi forté and

largely centres around the expansive and

ultra-modern Abu Dhabi National

Exhibition Centre (ADNEC). State-of-theart,

fully air-conditioned exhibition halls

are backed by a full range of services,

restaurants and coffee shops, ample car

parking and the complex also includes ICC

Abu Dhabi - the international convention

centre, which can seat up to6,000. Adjacent

is the iconic Capital Gate Tower - the world’s

farthest leaning tower - which houses the

five-star Hyatt Capital Gate hotel. The

complex is also linked to the four-star Aloft

Abu Dhabi -the trendy brand’s only hotel in

the UAE. Visitors seeking active breaks are

well catered to by the Al Forsan

International Sports Resort - a huge

complex offering a variety of sporting

activities on the motor track, on water or on

horseback.

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AL JAHILI FORT

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AL AIN

This is Abu Dhabi’s heritage heartland where visitors can immediately connect with

the rich traditions of the emirate. The second largest city in the emirate, Al Ain, which

means ‘Spring’ in Arabic, is built around seven oases, where date farming is still

practised and which were cited in UNESCO’s denotation of Al Ain as a World Heritage

site. A stroll through the restored Al Ain Oasis is to be at one with nature.

Museums, ancient forts and archaeological deposits unearth an intriguing past. The

old souks (markets) and camel market – the last remaining of its kind in the United

Arab Emirates – make great photographic memories.

Al Ain is wrapped by a backdrop of dramatic rocky heights, which provide panoramic

views of the sweeping, multi-hued desert which leads up to the city and which visitors

can enjoy through organised safaris and 4x4 adventure trips.

This ‘Oasis City’ is a destination for those wanting a distinct ‘feel’ of Arabia in a

relaxing environment where hotels cater to discerning vacationers, business groups

and families. Modern-day entertainment is to be found in the hotels, at Al Ain

Raceway’s state-of-the-art go-karting facility and the Al Ain Equestrian, Shooting

and Golf Club, which boasts world-class equestrian facilities and an 18-hole, all-grass

golf course in a stunning setting in the shadow of Jebel Hafeet – the emirate’s highest

peak. The city’s malls are modern, expansive and have a mix of more traditional

stores and high-end brands.

Family entertainment highlights are provided by: Hili Fun City – the Gulf’s oldest

theme park which has now been renovated and offers the most cost-effective family

day out; the Al Ain Wildlife Park & Resort, which again delivers incredible value-formoney

and Wadi Adventure, a man-made whitewater rafting, kayaking and surfing

playground at the base of Jebel Hafeet. (www.tamouh.com).

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ARABIAN WILDLIFE PARK

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AL GHARBIA

This western region of Abu Dhabi - Al Gharbia - is the emirate’s most expansive and

is for the adventurous. It opened up to international tourism with the Desert Islands

Resort & Spa by Anantara on Sir Bani Yas Island - a former royal nature reserve which

is now home to the Arabian Wildlife Park and its herds of free roaming animals,

including one of the world’s largest herds of Arabian Oryx (gazelles). Guests can opt

for a range of adventure activities including kayaking through mangroves, snorkelling

in marine life-rich waters, hiking across ancient salt domes, archery, mountainbiking,

4x4 guided tours of the Arabian Wildlife Park and sun-set sailing.

The iconic Qasr al Sarab (Mirage Palace) Desert Resort by Anantara nestles in the

towering dunes of the Liwa Desert, which sits at the entry to the Rub Al Khali (Empty

Quarter) made famous by the expeditions of British explorer Wilfred Thesiger. This

superb resort is built in traditional style and gives guests memorable views of sunrises

and sunsets over the spectacular desert surroundings. Guests can take part in

numerous desert pursuits including early morning camel treks before adjourning for

a traditional hammam bath in the luxurious spa.

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Manchester

Dublin

London

Paris

Geneva

Casablanca

Brussels

Frankfurt

Munich

Milan

Alexandria

Minsk

Khartoum

Istanbul

Athens

Larnaca

Moscow

Peshawar

Islamabad

Astana

Almaty

Lahore

Delhi

Karachi

ABU DHABI Mumbai

Bangalore Hyderabad

B

Kathmandu

Dhaka

Johannesburg

Cape Town

Beirut

Amman

Dammam

Bahrain

Riyadh

Jeddah

Tehran

Baghdad

Kuwait

Doha

Muscat

ABU DHABI

Middle East Network


GETTING TO ABU DHABI

Most international visitors arrive at Abu

Dhabi International Airport – the Gateway

to Abu Dhabi. This award-winning facility

is half an hour’s drive from downtown Abu

Dhabi and only a 40-minute drive from

Dubai. An increasing number of national

and international carriers now fly to Abu

Dhabi International Airport. They include

- Air France, British Airways, Cathay

Pacific, Czech Airlines, KLM, Lufthansa,

Singapore Airlines, Turkish Airlines,

Ukraine International Airlines and V

Australia. Regional carriers serving Abu

Dhabi International Airport include:

Bahrain Air, Egypt Air, Gulf Air, Kuwait

Airways, Middle East Airlines, Oman Air,

Qatar Airways, Royal Jordanian, Royal

Falcon, Saudi Arabian Airlines, Syrian

Arab Airlines and Jazeera Airways. Etihad

Airways, the multi-award-winning

national airline of the UAE flies from more

than 60 destinations throughout the

Middle East, Europe, North America,

Africa, Asia and Australia to Abu Dhabi.

The airport has a new, state-of-the-art

Terminal 3 which is dedicated to Etihad,

and Terminal 1 has been upgraded to the

same standard.

There are Arrivals Duty Free facilities and

allowances are:






AED3,000 (max.)

Some regional carriers do operate into Al

Ain International Airport which is about

30 minutes outside the Oasis City and an

hour’s drive from Abu Dhabi city.

VISAS

Citizens of 33 countries are issued with a

free-of-charge VISIT VISA on entry to the

UAE - UK, France, Italy, Germany, the

Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg,

Switzerland, Austria, Sweden, Norway,

Denmark, Portugal, Ireland, Greece,

Finland, Malta, Spain, Monaco, Vatican,

Iceland, Andorra, San Marino,

Liechtenstein, United States, Australia,

New Zealand, Japan, Brunei, Singapore,

Malaysia and Hong Kong. Citizens of other

countries should apply to their nearest

UAE embassy.

Information concerning visa requirements

is subject to change and visitors should

always check with their travel agent or

nearest UAE embassy before travelling.

Eye scan is required for everyone except

GCC citizens and the 33 visa-exempt

nationalities.

TRANSPORT FROM

THE AIRPORT

There is an air-conditioned bus service

running every 40 minutes from AbuDhabi

International Airport to the city’s


Car rental firms operate at the airport as

do limousine and standard taxis. The

average taxi fare into Abu Dhabi city is US



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EMIRATES PALACE


OUR HOTELS -

NOW RANKING AMONG

THE WORLD’S BEST

Hotels, hotel apartments and resorts

throughout Abu Dhabi emirate are

classified according to a stringent system

operated by Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture

Authority. The system was introduced to

better meet our visitor expectations and to

give the travel trade greater confidence in

product recommendation. The emirate

now has more than 120 hotels, resorts and

hotel apartments – and more are about to

open or under construction. Hotels are

ranked from one-star to five-star with

hotel apartments being superior, deluxe or

standard. The choice of properties is

extensive, from family-centric hotel

apartments and alcohol-free city centre

resorts to super trendy properties with

popular night spots; from stunning

beachfront to stylish downtown business

hotels; from breathtaking desert retreats,

to mountain getaways; from island havens

to the überluxurious Emirates Palace. This

expanding accommodation stock is now

collaborating on the world’s first statutory

green hotel design and rating scheme in

an emirate-wide commitment to

environmental sustainability. Abu Dhabi

Tourism & Culture Authority can provide

full details through its ‘Where To Stay

Guide’ available from any Abu Dhabi

Tourism & Culture Authority office or by

request from partners@adta.ae.

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ATTRACTIONS & TOURS ABU DHABI

Abu Dhabi’s leisure offering is expanding all the time. In the capital the most popular

attractions are:

Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque

One of the world’s largest and a magnificent

architectural statement. There are daily

complimentary ´walk-in´ guided tours by

trained UAE nationals which tell the story

of the building of this masterpiece of

worship and give visitors an insight into

local heritage and traditions.

City Tours

The Big Bus Company offers a hop-on,

hop-off service around the city which

takes in most of its landmarks.

The Corniche

You can stroll it, roller-blade it, hire

bicycles, bask on the Blue Flag public

beach which has lifeguards and has a


free-to-enter wakeboard training park

and lots of coffee shops to people watch.

Zayed Centre

In the city’s Al Bateen District, this

centre provides a fascinating peek into

the life of the late Sheikh Zayed,

affectionately known as ´The Father of

The Nation´.

The Heritage Village

By the Corniche Breakwater this is a

reconstruction of a desert village with a

small traditional souk.

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Emirates Palace

Among the world’s most opulent hotels.

Take in the free-to-enter Saadiyat

Island Exhibition which charts the

plans for the destination’s Cultural

District with its fantastic museums.


Camel Races

Cheer on the camels as they thunder

round a purpose-built track. Races are

on weekends with an early morning

start and are held on the outskirts of

Abu Dhabi and Al Ain.

Mina Carpet Market

Again at the Mina area. Don’t forget to

bargain.

Falcon Hospital

Tour this state-of-the-art facility to

learn more about these noble birds of

prey and try your hand at the ancient

Arabian sport of falconry.

Ferrari World Abu Dhabi

The world’s largest indoor theme park

with the world’s fastest roller-coaster

the Formula Rossa. Sure to thrill.

Fish Market

Visit this bustling market at the Mina

(Port) area – fantastic photo opportunities.

Wadi Adventure

The Middle East’s first, man-made

whitewater rafting, kayaking and

surfing facility.

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AL AIN WILDLIFE PARK

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ATTRACTIONS & TOURS AL AIN

Al Ain Oasis

Take a stroll through this centuries old preserved oasis and feel the pace of life slip away.

Sheikh Zayed Palace Museum

Find out more about Abu Dhabi’s ruling family.

Jebel Hafeet

Drive to the top of this, Abu Dhabi’s highest peak, for spectacular views over the Oasis City

and desert.

Al Ain Wildlife Park

Visit this expansive park which is home to over 4,000 animals including two White Lions

– amongst the rarest in the world.

Al Ain Museum

A showcase of the UAE’s heritage. Displays date back to the first millennium BC and come

right up to date.

Camel Souk

The country’s last remaining – remember to take the camera!

Wadi Adventure

The Middle East’s first, man-made whitewater rafting, kayaking and surfing facility.

ATTRACTIONS & TOURS AL GHARBIA

Motor Museum

For those with a passion for automobiles.

Contact a tour operator for trips into the stunning Liwa desert. Get out onto the water

with boat and kayaking tours in Al Mirfa with the Western Marine Sports Club.

AL GHARBIA

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DESERT SAFARI

SPECIAL PRODUCTS

Cruise Abu Dhabi’s Corniche While

Dining

See the Corniche at night from a converted

dhow while enjoying an Arabian-style dinner.

Bird’s Eye View

Take a sightseeing helicopter trip of the

UAE capital and its coastline.

www.falconaviation.ae

Get into Top Gear

In the home of the F1 Etihad Airways

Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, the Yas Racing

School offers expert tuition, in a variety of

cars, such as Aston Martin GT4 racers,

from specialised instructors for those who

have never driven a racing car before.

Enthusiasts who would rather be in the

capable hands of a professional racing

driver can opt to be a passenger in a

powerful open-top Yas SuperSport SSX or

enjoy the ultimate thrill of a ride in a twoseater

Formula 1 car. Other programmes

include a one-day racing licence

assessment course in association with the

Automobile Touring Club of the UAE, the

official licensing body.

Speedboat Coastline Tours

The Yellow Boat trips are a thrilling way to

see Abu Dhabi’s expansive coastline and

its evolving skyline.

www.theyellowboats.com

Fishing, Diving, Cruising Trips

Try SeaCruiser or Butina Cruising and

have a passionate Emirati guide who’ll

bring you at one with the sea.

www.seacruiser.ae

Desert Safari and Dune Bashing

Contact a tour operator to spend a morning/

afternoon or evening in an intriguing

desert camp and try your hand at a range of

activities including sand skiing. You can

camp overnight in the silence of the desert

under amazing star-lit skies.

Jet Skiing

Jet ski and boat charter are available from

Empros.

www.empros.ae

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Kayaking Through Mangroves

Takes you through the lush mangrove

reserves on the island city’s east coast.

Noukhada Adventures.

www.noukhada.ae

Circuit Tours

Escorted tours of Yas Marina Circuit in an

air-conditioned coach with a trained tour

guide provide an inside view of the pits,

team garages and the working

environments of the F1 teams in the

Paddock Club’s team villas.

Al Ain Raceway

A world-class go-karting circuit, where

budding speed freaks can test out their

skills.

www.alainraceway.com

Catamaran Cruise

Every Friday & Saturday get onboard the

largest 74 foot catamaran in the UAE

capital. Discover the art of sailing, enjoy a

light lunch on a four-hour cruise departing

from the exclusive Emirates Palace Marina.

www.belevari.com

RETAIL THERAPY ABU

DHABI STYLE

In Abu Dhabi city and Al Ain there are

numerous ultra-modern malls which

house a range of stores selling everything

from the latest beauty products and

watches from the world’s top brands, to

locally-made souvenirs. In the Souk at

Qaryat Al Beri and the new Central Market,

you’ll find shops selling all the perfumes of

Arabia sitting happily side-by-side the

latest in beauty stores.

Down at the Mina area of Abu Dhabi you’ll

find the Carpet Souk (market) where you

can pick up a souvenir to last forever –

don’t forget to bargain!

Top buys in Abu Dhabi are gold and ethnic

jewellery, carpets, perfumes, a whole array

of date produce and intriguing souvenirs.

In Al Ain, visit Souq Al Zaafarana round

the corner from Al Jimi Mall. This is a jewel

of a find which reflects true Emirati culture

and tradition while being new. Whether

you’re looking for abayas (ladies outer

garment) or kandouras (men’s white

flowing garment), incense or spices, henna

or ouds, dallah (Arabian coffee pots) this is

the marketplace for you. This is the new

home of Al Ain’s old souk and features

Mubdia Village, a section exclusively for

women that is staffed by female

shopkeepers. The place to get traditional

souvenirs and watch the Emiratis bargain.

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MEZLAI

EATING OUT

Dining options in Abu Dhabi are nothing

short of breath-taking. Every possible

taste is seemingly catered to. Options

range from fine-dining emirati-style, to al

fresco dinner in exquisite shore-side

settings to pub grub.

For a taste of the local cuisine, head to

Mezlai at Emirates Palace - the

destination’s only five-star outlet given

over to Emirati fare and with an Emirati

chef at the helm.

For a wider Middle Eastern experience try

one of the Lebanese supper club

restaurants which come alive in the late

hours with entertainment, the authentic

Agadir Moroccan restaurant in the Westin

Abu Dhabi Golf Resort & Spa or Agadir in

the iconic surroundings of the Yas Viceroy

Abu Dhabi.

There are plenty of waterfront dining

experiences with trendy harbourside

outlets at the InterContinental and superb

MPW STEAKHOUSE

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AL FANAR

sea views at the Beach House, Park Hyatt

Abu Dhabi. Seafood is a speciality and one

of the most popular restaurants to try it is

Finz at the Beach Rotana. There are two

revolving restaurants - one in Marina

Mall, the other in Le Royal Meridien which

offer superb views and great 360 degree

vistas also await diners at the Quest Level

63 signature Pan Asian restaurant of

Jumeirah At Etihad Towers.

The emirate is increasingly becoming

something of a gourmet destination

attracting top name brands including

Ciprianis at the Yacht Club at Yas Marina,

Frankie’s and the Marco Pierre White

Steakhouse at the Fairmont Bab Al Bahr,

Hakkasan in Emirates Palace and

Spaccanapoli in the Crowne Plaza. Fine

dining also awaits at Oro at the Rocco

Forte Abu Dhabi, Kennedy’s at the Armed

FRANKIE’S

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Forces Officers Club & Hotel or you can

join the chef’s table at 55&5th The Grill at

The St. Regis Saadiyat Island Resort. Take

a trip out to The Souk, Qary’at Al Beri for a

dazzling array of restaurant and bar

choices.Over on Saadiyat Island, there are

a myriad of choices including the elite

Monte Carlo Beach Club, For dining

options in detail, contact Abu Dhabi

Tourism & Culture Authority for its ‘Where

To Eat’ guide on partners@adta.ae.

GOLF IN ABU DHABI

With three championship- ready courses

within a 25 – kilometer radius and six

clubs within a 90- minute drive, Abu

Dhabi has a wealth of offerings – from

parkland to beach and links courses – for

all types of players. Seasoned veterans

and beginners can take their pick of sea,

dune, oasis or mountain backdrops and

are welcome at all clubs.

ABU DHABI GOLF CLUB

Diversity hallmarks Abu Dhabi’s golf

offering with three, championship-ready

courses within a 25 kilometre radius of

each other. Each offers a different

experience - one being parkland, another

the region’s only ‘ocean’ course and a third

a links course. These are complemented

by a city course, an intriguing sand course

and an 18-hole, all-grass countrry course

under the shadow of the Jebel Hafeet

heights of Al Ain. All combined to take the

International Association of Golf Tour

Operators: ‘Golf Destination Of The Year

Africa & Gulf States 2012’ award.

Ten minutes from Abu Dhabi International

Airport and 20 minutes from down-town

and most beach hotels, this is home to the

annual PGA European Tour - backed Abu

Dhabi HSBC Golf Tournament. This

magnificent course features 27 holes –

including 18 championship holes – that

weave through breathtaking terrain and

seven saltwater lakes. The par 72, 7,334-

yard course throws up a tough challenge

with lush fairways, 90 challenging bunkers

and generous greens. The 3,299 yard, par

36 nine holes are more forgiving.

www.adgolfclub.com

Saadiyat Beach Golf Club

The region’s first ocean course with several

beachfront holes, this Gary Playerdesigned

masterpiece harnesses the

natural beauty of Saadiyat Island. The

championship-ready par 72 beach course

has three lakes and 60 bunkers.

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The course starts at 5,290 yards and

extends to 7,784 yards. The club is 20

minutes from Abu Dhabi International

Airport and 15 minutes from downtown.

www.sbgolfclub.ae

Yas Links Abu Dhabi

The Middle East’s only links course, this is a

championship ready facility on the western

shores of Yas Island where every hole has a

coastline view. This 18 hole, par 72 course

spans 7,450 yards and is complemented by

a luxurious clubhouse, floodlit practice

ranges and a nine-hole, par 3 academy

course. It is a 15-minute drive from Abu

Dhabi International Airport and 20 minutes

from the city centre.

www.yaslinks.com

Al Ain Equestrian, Shooting and

Golf Club

An 18-hole grass course and nine-hole

academy in the shadow of the Jebel Hafeet

heights. Certified PGA professionals

provide a variety of instruction

programmes and packages as well as

private day-time lessons and evening

sessions on the floodlit driving range.

www.palmsportsresort.com

Al Ghazal Golf Club

Providing a challenge few destinations

can offer on a championship, 18-hole, par

71 ‘sand’ course. The club has a 30-bay

driving range and state-of-the-art

teaching academy. Just minutes from Abu

Dhabi International Airport.

www.alghazalgolf.ae

Abu Dhabi City Golf Club

The city’s first nine-hole course features

newly-laid greens, a double-tiered driving

range, and affordable green fees. Golf

professionals are available for coaching.

Open to members and visitors.

www.adcitygolf.ae

SPAS IN ABU DHABI

Spas and beauty houses abound in Abu

Dhabi – many offering the traditional

Hammam experience which will leave you

squeaky clean. Spas range from the

überluxurious and brand-named usually

found in the five-star hotels, to individual,

offerings in independent villas and more

affordable spas in shopping malls. tments

are highly diverse and satisfy a demanding

local clientele while providing memorable

visitor experiences.

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GOURMET ABU DHABI

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FOR AN EVENTFUL STAY

Abu Dhabi makes for an eventful stay.

With a packed, year-round programme

of world-class sporting, gourmet,

cultural events and entertainment,

visitors can plan their trip to coincide

with a host of spectator opportunities.

Whatever your clients’ interests, the

chances are they’ll find something to

satisfy them in Abu Dhabi.

Here are some of our headline events,

many more are held throughout the

year and you can check them all out on

www.abudhabievents.ae

www.abudhabievents.ae

January

Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship.

www.abudhabihsbcgolfchampionship.com

February

Gourmet Abu Dhabi.

www.gourmetabudhabi.ae

March

Abu Dhabi International Triathlon

www.abudhabitriathlon.com

Gulf Incentive, Business Tourism and

Meetings Exhibition

www.gibtm.com

March/April

Abu Dhabi Festival

www.abudhabifestival.ae

Abu Dhabi International Book Fair

www,adbookfair.com

September:

Abu Dhabi Hunting & Equestrian

Exhibition

www.adihex.net

November

Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi

Grand Prix

www.formula1.com

Art Abu Dhabi

www.abudhabiartfair.ae

December

National Day Celebrations.

Al Ain Aerobatic Show.

www.alainaerobaticshow.com

ABU DHABI INTERNATIONAL TRIATHLON

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EMIRATES PALACE HOTEL

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RECOMMENDED DAYS OUT

ABU DHABI CITY

ITINERARY 1

A dose of culture and cruising through dinner

Morning

Learn all about Islam and some UAE traditions with a visit to one of the world’s most

impressive mosques – the stunning Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque. This architectural marvel

features 80 domes, 1,000 columns, gold-plated chandeliers, the world’s largest hand-made

carpet and space for 40,000 worshippers. Take a one-hour, complimentary guided tour

from 10am every Saturday-Thursday.

Afternoon

Visit the Saadiyat Island Cultural District exhibition at the opulent Emirates Palace hotel

and get an insight into what will be the world’s largest single concentration of premier

cultural institutions, including the Sheikh Zayed National Museum, Louvre Abu Dhabi and

Guggenheim Abu Dhabi. It’s free-of-charge and open from 10am-10pm daily.

From 4pm partake in the ultimate luxury tradition of afternoon tea at Emirates Palace with

platters of dainty sandwiches, petit fours and fluffy scones and a pot of expertly brewed tea.

Catch a cab up to the Heritage Village on the Corniche Breakwater and step back in time to

a traditional desert lifestyle. Bargain with souvenir sellers and watch craftsmen at work

producing pottery, weaving and metal work.

Evening

Enjoy an Arabian feast whilst cruising along the Corniche on a traditional dhow (sailing

boat) converted into a restaurant. Be mesmerised by the glittering lights of Abu Dhabi’s

Manhattan-style skyline.

29


FISHMARKET, INTERCONTINENTAL HOTEL

30


ITINERARY 2

Fishy tales of Arabia.

Morning

Rise early to catch the action at the Fish Market in the Mina Area. Be astounded at the

astonishing array of fish, including shark, and be ready to snap up photographs. If you’re

self-catering, choose your favourite seafood and get it cleaned on site ready for a lunch or

evening barbecue. The hustle and bustle of the market brings you wide awake.

Afternoon

Head off for a day’s fishing and you should easily be able to recognise your catch. Take a

fishing tour with Sea Cruisers or Butina Cruising and get to know all about Abu Dhabi’s

rich maritime heritage whilst taking in its stunning coastline.

Evening

Head to one of the city’s fabulous seafood restaurants for a gourmet experience that you

will savour long after the meal is over.

31


ITINERARY 3

Islands in the sun

Morning

Set sail with the Noukhada Adventure

Company (www.noukhada.ae, tel: +971 50

721 8928) for a bright and early eco-tour,

kayaking through Abu Dhabi natural

eastern mangrove forests dotted around

the plethora of islands in view of the rising

city skyline. You’ll spend one and a half

hours with an experienced guide who can

share details on natural wildlife habitats

and point out some of the iconic buildings

transforming the horizon, stopping for

refreshments on one of the pristine islands.

Arrange for Sea Cruiser Boat Tours (www.

seacruiser.ae, tel: +971 50 800 9495) to

Experience one of the world’s most

technologically advanced motorsports

circuits by taking the official Yas

Marina Circuit Venue Tour (www.

yasmarinacircuit.ae, tel: +971 800 927).

Escorted track tours in an airconditioned

coach with a trained tour

guide provide an inside view of the pits,

team garages and the working

environments of the F1 teams in the

Paddock Club’s team villas. The tour

ends with a photo finish opportunity on

the Main Straight podium!

THE YAS HOTEL

THE YAS HOTEL

pick you up from an agreed destination on

the water, and transfer you to Abu Dhabi’s

signature entertainment destination, Yas

Island (www.yasisland.ae). You’ll arrive in

style, and air-conditioned comfort, to the

143-berth Yas Marina which overlooks the

Yas Marina F1 Circuit.

Lunch

Delight in the art of cuisine at one of the

fine restaurants at Yas Marina Yacht

Club or any of the Yas Island hotels.

32


Afternoon

Transfer from Yas Island along the

incredible Sheikh Khalifa Highway,

connecting to Saadiyat Island (www.

saadiyat.ae) which is undergoing a

remarkable transformation into a

world-class leisure, business and

cultural hub. Saadiyat Island will

eventually house the world’s largest

single concentration of premier cultural

assets, including the Zayed National

MuseumLouvre Abu Dhabi and

Guggenheim Abu Dhabi.

Saadiyat to life. Stop for coffee at the

adjoining Al Fanr restaurant, or take in

a round at the fabulous beachfront

Saadiyat Beach Golf Course.

Evening

Finish your perfect island day with a

visit to the spectacular Monte Carlo

Beach Club, Saadiyat.

ATAYEB

SAADIYAT BEACH GOLF CLUB

Visit the permanent interactive display

‘The Saadiyat Story’ at the island’s

dedicated exhibition centre Manarat Al

Saadiyat (www.saadiyat.ae or email

manaratalsaadiyat@tdic.ae) which

brings the history and cultural vision of

33


AL AIN OASIS

34


AL AIN

ITINERARY 1

Excite, relax and take a walk on the wild

side.

Morning

Wake up at around 5.30am to catch the

action at the Maqam camel racetrack

outside Al Ain. Catch the excitement as

owners follow their prize animals in 4x4s

from the safety of the inner enclosure. Feel

the pride as the trophies are awarded.

Head back for breakfast and pool at the

hotel.

Afternoon

Wander through the ancient Al Ain Oasis

and feel the cares of the world drain away.

Be cooled by the wafting palms and see

the traditional falaj irrigation system in

action. Let your imagination take you back

to the days when this was one of the most

welcome sights on the Silk Route.

Evening

Take a night-time guided tour through the

Al Ain Wildlife Park & Resort with its night

safari. Since many of its animals are

nocturnal you get to see species that are

hidden from you during the day.

ITINERARY 2

History & new horizon views.

Morning

Become immersed in Al Ain’s history by

visiting its many forts. First, head to the

impressive Al Jahili Fort – birthplace of the

late Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan –

and see the permanent display of the work

of British explorer Wilfred Thesiger. Next

head to the landscaped gardens of Al Ain’s

oldest fort – Muraijib Fort, built in 1816.

The more adventurous may cross the

Omani border into Buraimi to explore Hili

Fort.

Afternoon

Al Ain National Museum is varied enough

to take up a full afternoon. Start your tour

with a look through the archaeology

section, which contains several artefacts

from the nearby forts that you will have

visited in the morning. Next head to the

museum’s gifts section to see a collection

of gifts given to the late Sheikh Zayed. End

with the ethnography section which has a

huge collection of Bedouin jewellery,

musical instruments, weapons and

areconstruction of a traditional majlis..

Round the day off with a visit to the

restored Al Qattara Fort - now home to a

brilliant arts centre and gallery. The centre

is open daily, except Fridays, from 9am-

1pm and 4-8pm.

Evening

Set out late afternoon and head towards

the towering Jebel Hafeet. If you time it

well, you can enjoy the sunset while

driving up one of the world’s most

incredible roads. Before you reach the top,

turn off for a break at the Mercure Hotel.

ITINERARY 3

Hot souvenirs, Wadi Adventure, cool golf

and a chilled out dinner.

Morning

Wake up early to catch traders at the

country’s last remaining camel market

near the base of Jebel Hafeet and get up

close to the desert way of life. Although

you won’t buy a camel, take your wallet to

buy some hand-made camel accessories

as they make great souvenir gifts. Later

35


travel to the other side of Jebel Hafeet to

experience the thrills of Wadi Adventure.

Afternoon

Enjoy 18 holes of golf on Al Ain Equestrian,

Shooting and Golf Club’s all-grass course.

Evening

The live entertainment and great food at

Min Zaman in Al Ain Rotana attracts a

large crowd, so reserve a table beforehand.

AL GHARBIA

Guests at the growing number of hotels in

AL Gharbia have a host of adventure

activities to keep them occupied:

ITINERARY 1

Sunbathe, swim and dine.

Morning

Head off to the public beach at the

picturesque harbour town of Mirfa. The

water is practically untouched, perfect for

a morning in the sun and for swimming.

Book in for some watersports with the

Western Marine Sports Club (ceo@wmsc.

ae).

Afternoon

Take in lunch at the renovated four-star

Mirfa Hotel before taking a leisurely drive

up to Jebel Dhanna.

Evening

Make a reservation at the Zaitoun

restaurant at the Danat Resort Jebel

Dhanna for a masterful menu of Middle

Eastern and North African dishes.

prepare for one of the most incredible

landscapes you’ll ever witness. Once you

reach the crescent-shaped Liwa oasis, take

some time to drive between the small

towns that populate this fertile area. This

will be your last stop for supplies before

heading into the massive dunes, so make

sure you are prepared, and that there is

more than one vehicle – never venture into

the desert alone. Once past the Liwa oasis,

you’ll quickly be blown away by the sheer

size of the dunes. Find yourselves an area

to camp and pitch your tents.

Afternoon

Fire up barbecues, cook yourselves a meal

and get ready to blast through the dunes.

If you’re camping with a guided tour, hold

on tight while the experienced driver take

you on a ride you’ll never forget. You

should also try your hand at sand

boarding, the desert equivalent of snow

boarding.

Evening

There’s nothing like sitting around a

campfire with good friends and great

food. Start preparing your evening feast,

heat up the barbecue and put some

wood in the fire pit. As you wait for the

coals to heat up, climb the highest sand

dune you can and watch what might be

the most majestic sunset of your life –

the long shadows cast by the dunes only

magnify their incredible size. Head back

ITINERARY 2

Desert driving, dune barbecues and

moonlit campfires.

Morning

Head towards the Liwa oasis at dawn and

36


QASR AL SARAB DESERT RESORT BY ANANTARA

37


TRAVELLERS WELCOME TIPS

to camp, feast like a king, then sit back

and enjoy the company of good friends

and endless stars.

Alcohol is sold and served in hotel

bars, nightclubs and restaurants.

In winter you may need a cardigan

or light jacket at night when it can

feel a little chilly.

Visitors should dress modestly when

in the city or public places. Leave

the bikinis and shorts for the beach.

Displays of affection are best left to

privacy. Commonsense is the

guideline.

Driving in Abu Dhabi is on the right.

To hire a car, visitors will need to

present their passports and an

domestic/international driving

licence. The roads are governed by

radar and fines are steep so stick to

the speed limits.

Electricity supply is 240 volts AC at

50 Hz. The standard socket type is a

square, three-pin plug and yes, you

can drink the water though most

opt for the bottled variety.


Healthcare in Abu Dhabi is excellent

and there are no special

immunisation requirements to enter

but good insurance cover is

recommended.

You’ll find English is widely spoken

to varying degrees.

The local currency is the UAE

Dirham which is freely convertible


can change money easily at

exchange houses in malls and ATMs

are at petrol stations, malls and

supermarkets. Credit cards are

widely accepted.

Shops open around 10am and many

now stay open right through until

around 10pm.

Hotel restaurants add a 10% service

charge to the bill and there’s a 6%

tourism fee.


ninth month of the Islamic calendar

year (Al Hijri), in 2012 it is likely to

be the month of July. This is when

visitors should, out of respect, not

drink, eat or smoke in public from

dawn to dusk. Special conditions

will apply throughout

accommodation options and it is

best to check first with your supplier

and ensure yourclients are well

aware of restrictions – and the

advantages!

Tipping is discretionary – usually

10%.

Abu Dhabi is GMT + 4 hours and

there is no daylight saving. When

it’s mid-day in Abu Dhabi, it is 3am

in New York, 8am in London; 10am

in Johannesburg; 1.30pm in New

Delhi and 6pm in Sydney (not

allowing for any summer time

saving in those destinations).

Normal tourist photography

is allowed but please do not

photograph locals, particularly the

38


women, without their permission. It

is best not to photograph

government buildings or military

installations and their surroundings.

TOOLS TO ASSIST YOU

Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority

has a range of collaterals, in a variety of

languages, which will help you better

sell this diverse destination of

distinction.

These include:












These collaterals are available to you at

any Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture

Authority office or by request on

partners@adta.ae The authority also

produces a quarterly trade magazine

Seyaha, which will update you on all

the destination’s latest developments.

To ensure you are on the mailing list

please contact partners@adta.ae or

view it online at www.adta.ae.

39


Organisation

Tel No.

Abu Dhabi Travel Bureau + 971 2 633 8700

Al Badeyah Eyes Tourism + 971 2 5596155

Al Masaood Holidays + 971 2 621 1797

Al Rais Travel Ltd LLC + 971 2645 4050

Al Reyami Travels + 971 2

Alpha Tours LLC +971 4 2949888

Arabian Adventures +971 2 691 1711

Arabian Nights for Travel & Tourism +9712 6779988

Arabian Odyssey +971 2 6210101

Atlas Holidays +971 26314700

BCD Travel +971 2 671 5197

Darwish bin Ahmed Sons Travel & Tours +971 2 6272999

Desert Adventures Tourism LLC +971 2 556 6155

Desert Rose Tourism +971 2 446 6346

Emirates Tours and Safari LLC +971 2 4912929

Global Holidays +971 2 6334700

Gulf Dunes +9714 2714506

40


Email

Product/ Service

atbtour@emirates.net.ae

info@abet-uae.com

svetlana@almasaoodtravel.com

rafique@alraisauh.ae

Justus.b@alreyamitravel.com

info@alphatoursdubai.com

Noshir.daruwalla@emirates.com

admin@arabiannights.ae

peterm@salemtravelagency.net

Tours@atlastravel.ae

Raymond.fernandes@bcdtravel.ae

lubbna.ali@dbasons.com

Association management, congresses and exhibition, meetings,

events, incentives and performance improvement programmes.

Desert safari, adventure tours, Abu Dhabi city tour, dhow cruise

dinner.

Travel management, air tickets, holiday packages, city tours,

desert safari, travel insurance , hotel reservations, car rentals,

international driving license, MICE events, exhibitions.

Travel services

Corporate travel, retail.

Airport meet & greet services, visa, ground transportation, tours &

safaris, hotel reservation and cruise ship handling.

Airport meet and greet, visa processing, inbound operations, tours

and excursions, events, incentives and hotel reservations.

Corporate travel solutions, flights & hotel bookings. Tour

packages, visa services, transportation.

Tour operator offering 22 fully inclusive holidays to Abu Dhabi.

Travel solutions, tours.

Tourism services.

Event management, hotel management, meet and greet services,

transport logistics, visa processing, entertainment.

abudhabi@desertadventures.ae

Airport meet & greet, visa processing, transportation, inbound

operations, hotel reservation.

uae@desertrosetourism.com

Tourism services.

info@eatours.ae

Inbound tours, incentive travel, conferences, hotel reservations,

safaris, visas, special interest groups.

info@holiday.ae

Zaki.badawi@gulfdunes.com

Air Tickets, transfers, safaris, UAE visas, excursions, airport meet

& greet, travel insurance, hotels, medical packages, tailored fit

holidays, car rental and limousine service.

Meetings, incentives, excursions, accommodation.

41


ADTA OFFICES CONTACTS

ABU DHABI

PO Box 94000 Abu Dhabi

United Arab Emirates

Tel: +971 2 444 0444

Fax: +9712 444 0400

info@adta.ae

AL AIN

Ali Bin Abi Taleb Street

PO Box 59333 Al Ain

United Arab Emirates

Tel: +971 3 764 2000

Fax: +971 3 764 456

info@adta.ae

UNITED KINGDOM & IRELAND

1 Knightsbridge

London SW1X 7LY, UK

Tel: +44 207 201 6400

Fax: +44 207 210 6426

uk@adta.ae

GERMANY

Goethestrasse 27

60313 Frankfurt, Germany

Tel: +49 69 299 253 920

Fax: +49 69 299 253 911

germany@adta.ae

FRANCE

11 Bis, Rue Blanche

75009 Paris, France

Tel: +33 1 53 25 03 52

Fax: +33 1 53 25 11 12

france@adta.ae

ITALY

Via Pietrasanta 14

20141 Milan, Italy

Tel: +39 02 573 78315

Fax: +39 02 573 78572

italy@adta.ae

CHINA

Guohua Investment Building

Level 1, Room 01

No. 3 Dongzhimen South Street

Beijing, 100007

People’s Republic of China

Tel: +86 21 6355 8033

Fax: +86 21 6375 6255

china@adta.ae

AUSTRALIA

Level 13, 338 Pitt Street

Sydney NSW 2000, Australia

Tel: +61 2 826 85533

Fax: +61 2 926 80243

australia@adta.ae

RUSSIA

Prospekt Mira, 39 / 2 Olympic Plaza

– 2129110, Moscow, Russia

Tel: +7 495 937 5950

Fax: +7 495 937 5951

ashirgaliev@adta.ae

USA

Myriad Marketing / Abu Dhabi

Tourism Authority

501 Fifth Avenue, Suite 1101

New York, NY 10017

www.myriadmarketing.com

CONTACT CENTRE

From inside the UAE call: 800 555

From outside the UAE call:

+971 2 666 4442

www.visitabudhabi.ae

42


United Arab Emir

ates

43


www.visitabudhabi.ae

Contact Centre From Inside UAE 800 555

From Outside UAE +971 2 666 4442

44

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