Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Photo: Fountains at the Etihad Towers © Patryk Kosmider | Dreamstime.com
Find unmatched luxury and desert charm on the banks of the Persian Gulf in Abu Dhabi, boasting more than 250 miles of coastline and more than 200 natural islands. The capital of the United Arab Emirates is the place to discover local culture at world-renowned museums and in the narrow lanes of lively souks. Enjoy as well unique desert recreation opportunities and unparalleled dining and entertainment options.
Visitors from the United States and several other countries receive a free-of-charge entry visa upon arrival at Abu Dhabi International Airport, located approximately 24 miles southeast of central Abu Dhabi. For taxi service, fares start from $30. Public bus transportation is also available. The green and white A1 buses leave every 40 minutes 24 hours a day; a one-way ticket costs about $1. Etihad Airways offers complimentary door-to-door luxury limousine service from the airport for first- or business-class guests.
Hail a cab or opt to travel around town via Abu Dhabi’s far-reaching, modern fleet of air-conditioned buses. From 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. metered taxis charge a starting fee of about 95 cents and adding about 55 cents per each additional half-mile. From 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. the starting fee is about $1.09 with subsequent miles a few cents higher. Buses operate around the clock, costing about 50 cents for a single trip.
Frankie’s Italian Restaurant & Bar
For lunch in a pinch, visit Frankie’s Italian Restaurant & Bar in the Fairmont Bab Al Bahr, Abu Dhabi, offering authentic Italian cuisine from Michelin-starred chef Marco Pierre White in a lively indoor venue or at the outdoor courtyard. The restaurant’s business lunch specialty provides a two- or three-course set menu in less than an hour Saturday through Thursday.
Jones the Grocer
Abu Dhabi’s hot spot for the power meal from breakfast onward, Jones the Grocer fills daily with the movers and shakers of the emirate at its several locations across Abu Dhabi. Choices at the café for the most important meal of the day range from healthy options like porridge and fruit salad to heartier items like bacon-wrapped sausages and garlic-fried mushrooms.
A powerhouse for Abu Dhabi’s business elite is Shang Palace inside Shangri-La Hotel, Qaryat Al Beri, Abu Dhabi. Broker a deal at this award-winning, traditionally decorated restaurant over authentic Cantonese cuisine and superb dim sum for lunch or dinner while enjoying the classy, opulent interior. Choices are substantial and include set menus for larger groups.
Named for the intricate process of forging or shaping a high-quality steak-knife blade, the signature steakhouse of The Ritz-Carlton Abu Dhabi, Grand Canal pairs perfectly grilled cuts of delectable meat and seafood with the world’s finest wines. Diners can choose from a variety of seating options, such as private dining rooms with high ceilings, for the ultimate dining experience and dig into choices like Australian Master Kobe Beef with custom-made knives.
The high point of any night out in Abu Dhabi is a visit to Ray’s Bar, a trendy bar with a cosmopolitan atmosphere set on Level 62 of the impressive Jumeirah at Etihad Towers. Gorgeous cocktails, top tunes from popular DJs, incredible views and an Asian-influenced tapas menu are offered daily until 3 a.m.
Venture over to Abu Dhabi’s high-tech Yas Island for a world-class shopping and entertainment experience. You’ll find more than 370 stores representing popular luxury brands at Yas Mall, open until 10 p.m. on weekdays and midnight on weekends, as well as prime entertainment options like O1NE, an exclusive nightclub with state-of-the-art technology and amazing DJs attracting celebrities from around the world until the early morning hours.
For more information, visit visitabudhabi.ae