LIKE THE NAME “NEW YORK,” the moniker “Abu Dhabi” applies to both a geographical region and the principal city within it. And like NYC, the city of Abu Dhabi, capital of the United Arab Emirates, sprawls across the mainland and interconnected islands. During the last half-century, like its glitzier neighboring emirate, Dubai, Abu Dhabi exploded from a sandy village into a gleaming modern metropolis of towering high-rises, mammoth luxury shopping centers and prestigious museums, offering a range of venues for hotel stays and entertaining.
The original commercial center developed on the namesake core island in a district just below its waterfront Corniche, crowned at one end by the Sheikh’s Presidential Palace and the nearby Emirates Palace Hotel. Locals maintain the Emirates Palace, its Moorish-style architecture decorated with flourishes of white marble and gold, is still the desirable location to propose holding a meeting with the Crown Prince. But the business center has moved.
About 10 years ago, Sowwah Island was designated the country’s new financial epicenter. Today renamed Al Maryah, it boasts the stock exchange; the free-zone Abu Dhabi Global Market; the headquarters of dozens of international banks and blue chip companies; the Cleveland Clinic, touted as the Middle East’s finest hospital; and a range of upscale support facilities, including the glitzy Galleria luxury mall.
“When you come to do business, you go straight to Al Maryah and check into the Four Seasons or Rosewood Hotel,” claims a lawyer who frequently flies in from the United States for meetings. With its vertical exterior inspired by traditional textiles, the Four Seasons offers a meeting place for fellow travelers and stylish locals. Outfitted with sofas and armchairs, its Al Meylas lounge emerged as the emirate’s “living room” for meetings, tea and socializing. Five function rooms, four with floor-to-ceiling windows, come equipped with up-to-date technology.
In the nearby Rosewood, guests gather in the airy Majlis Lobby Lounge for an early breakfast or quick business lunch. Its newest restaurant, Dai Pai Dong, decorated with Chinese art and artifacts and a live-show kitchen, offers an all-you-can-eat dim sum lunch.
For dining out, visitors declare the emirate has “every restaurant known to man.” Notable on Al Maryah are the signature Italian venue Roberto and La Petite Maison featuring cuisine Niçoise. Sushi, maki rolls and seaweed salad are served Izakaya-style for table sharing at Zuma, and the porterhouse and onion flower at Nusr Et Steakhouse earn acclaim.
Business visitors should be aware Abu Dhabi residents on their home turf are apt to reverse invitations and invite guests to meet at their homes. Accept graciously if invited; flowers or chocolates are appropriate to bring along as a gift.
While the total emirate encompasses 375 square miles, the metropolitan area is fairly compact, and some visitors prefer the comparatively old-world flavor around Qaryat al Beri. It lies midway between the airport and downtown near the Souk, the vast Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre and the gleaming Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque. In the lush, winding waterways of the Shangri- La Hotel, Qaryat al Beri complex, boats float guests past shores lined with arabesque arches to their rooms, spa facilities and the traditional Arabian market. A golf course lies nearby, and the hotel’s five meeting and function rooms feature state-of-the-art audiovisual equipment. Middle Eastern cuisine served all day in its restaurant Sofra bld is prepared at multiple live cooking stations to allow interaction with the chefs.
Adjacent to the Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Centre, the Hyatt Capital Gate hotel provides direct access to the Middle East’s largest convention facilities. A convenient retreat from the 12 overwhelming exhibition halls, the hotel’s comfortable library/lounge overlooks the city skyline. Named for the 18-degree incline of its dramatically sloped exterior, the Hyatt’s 18 Degrees has been voted the emirate’s best Mediterranean restaurant.
To get away from it all, the chic, modern Museum Café in the newly opened branch of The Louvre on cultural Saadiyat Island serves international dishes from sea bass to camel burgers. Luncheon cruises on a picturesque double-decker wooden dhow depart from the Marina Mall and serve a 5-star international buffet catered by the Hilton Abu Dhabi. Tee times can be booked at four nearby golf courses.
Metered cabs serve Abu Dhabi International Airport, about 20 miles from downtown, and charge around $25–30 to Al Maryah. Arriving passengers can pre-book Golden Class hospitality services which greet arrivals, assist with baggage collection and escort clients to ground transportation. Remote check-in is available at the downtown City Terminal, or departures can be aided with fast-track check-in, immigration, passport control and guidance escort to gates at the airport. VIP gold lounges can be booked for layovers and delayed flights.
Mazatlán, Mexico, has long been an attractive home destination for Canadian and American retirees, but, in recent years, young, digital nomads have also discovered the charms of this coastal city, finding inexpensive accommodations, beautiful weather and plenty of bandwidth for working remotely. The laid-back beach scene definitely eases the transition of relocating to Mexico’s West Coast.
The Islands of Tahiti are among the most beautiful and sought-after vacation destinations in the world. The endless images of overwater bungalows with Bora Bora’s majestic peak towering over waters of every shade of blue have an intrinsic pull. But with 118 islands and atolls to explore, there is so much more to this spectacular region of the Pacific.
Global Traveler Announces the Winners of the 2023 Outstanding Diversity & Inclusion in Travel Awards
For its third year, Global Traveler awards the airline, cruise line and hotel brand best representing diversity, equity and inclusion within the travel industry. Over the past year Global Traveler analyzed many airlines, cruise lines and hotel brands to determine which companies prove most committed to changing the world through diversity and inclusion.
The highly anticipated GT Tested Reader Survey has more reason to celebrate in 2024 than ever before. This year marks the 20th anniversary of our GT Tested Reader Survey awards, with many of the winning brands earning milestone accolades for years of dedicated and consistent service.
Reconnecting the World: GBTA Convention 2023 Spotlights the Vital Role of Business Travel and In-Person Connection
In an increasingly digital and interconnected world, the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) Convention remains an indispensable platform for business travel industry professionals seeking to make the most of the power of face-to-face connections. Taking place August 13–15 in Dallas, the 2023 GBTA Convention provides the unique opportunity for professionals and companies to join visionaries, thought leaders and industry experts for meaningful networking, cutting-edge insights and inspiring innovation.
As another phenomenal year of travel comes to an end, it’s time, as always, for Global Traveler to celebrate and award those who do it best as we announce the 2023 winners of the GT Tested Reader Survey awards. But that's not the only cause for celebration here: We've hit another major milestone, as this marks our 20th year honoring the best of the best inn world of travel!
Next summer, Denver, Colorado, becomes home to the country’s first carbon-positive hotel. The 13-story Populus features 265 modern guestrooms, a ground-floor restaurant, café, flexible meeting spaces, and signature rooftop restaurant and bar. Architecture is designed by Studio Gang, with interiors envisioned by Wildman Chalmers Design.
The Islands of Tahiti offer a range of captivating activities for travelers with diverse interests, from hiking to breathtaking waterfalls, riding horses on secluded beaches; swimming with sharks; or immersing in Polynesian culture through traditional dance, music and art. For watersports enthusiasts, the crystal-clear lagoons offer exhilarating experiences like surfing, kiteboarding and paddleboarding. And if you’re looking to relax, the pristine beaches, overwater bungalows and tropical sun offer the perfect setting. With 118 islands and atolls to explore, island hopping is an excellent way to experience the full diversity of The Islands of Tahiti. With its blend of adventure, culture and relaxation, The Islands of Tahiti offer a truly unique travel experience.
Private jet charter service Jettly recently conducted an extensive study to find the most and least reliable U.S. airports in 2023. Analyzing the total number of delays, cancellations and diversions from more than 390 U.S. airports provided by the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, the results saw the least reliable airports span all corners of the country.