The capital of the United Arab Emirates and its second-largest city, Abu Dhabi sits on the Persian Gulf, about an hour south by car from Dubai. Where the larger and glitzier Dubai impresses with attractions — home to the world’s tallest building and region’s first indoor ski park — Abu Dhabi stands as the nation’s cultural epicenter, according to local tour guide Georgette Farrugia.
She recommends hiring a guide like herself to visit Abu Dhabi’s top site, Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque (currently closed, but remote live cultural tours are available). A guide for the mosque can advise on appropriate attire, help navigate the large complex and point out highlights like the 24-karat gold leaf accents, Swarovski crystal chandeliers and world’s largest carpet.
You may also want to hire a guide for Qasr Al Watan, the Palace of the People, which receives foreign diplomats on state visits and houses the nation’s treasures, or if you have a special interest such as local crafts. Otherwise, you can explore on your own using taxis, cheaper in Abu Dhabi than rideshare options.
Qasr Al Hosn makes a good place to start a self-guided tour of Abu Dhabi (book tickets in advance online). The ancestral home of Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, father of the nation, it is the city’s oldest standing structure. To experience a traditional Bait Al Gahwa coffee ceremony, check in at Qasr Al Hosn’s cultural center when you arrive.
Since the Louvre Abu Dhabi provides audio guides, you can easily tour the museum’s 600 pieces — 300 owned by the royal family and 300 on loan from the Louvre in Paris — on your own. Book tickets online. Although accessible only on a scheduled tour, the Abu Dhabi Falcon Hospital educates visitors about one of the nation’s favorite pastimes, falconry.
Companies like Kurban Tours and Desert Gate Tourism can provide guided tours of Emirates Palace and other attractions as well as desert safaris for off-roading on sand dunes and dhow dinner cruises. Most also offer trips to Al Ain, a city on the Oman border known for its camel souk (market), and will offer transportation to Expo 2020, the world exhibition held halfway between Abu Dhabi and Dubai. The world expo’s opening has been postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic; it will run Oct. 1, 2021, to March 31, 2022, and showcase the cultures, cuisines and innovations of roughly 200 nations.
Step right up to the greatest show on Earth as FXExpress Publications, Global Traveler, trazeetravel.com and whereverfamily.com celebrate their 2020 award winners! Join the big top on Dec. 14 as we virtually award the winners of the 17th annual GT Tested Reader Survey awards, including the Airline and Hotel of the Year; the 17th annual Wines on the Wing Airline Wine Survey; the eighth annual Leisure Lifestyle Awards; the sixth annual The Trazees; and the third annual Wherever Awards.
The Airline Passenger Experience Association and SimpliFlying recognized United Airlines for providing a hospital-grade standard of cleanliness and safety during travel. Among the four largest U.S. carriers, United is the first to receive Diamond Certification, the highest in the new APEX Health Safety audit powered by SimpiliFlying.
Are you looking for a truly unique travel experience and considering a new vehicle? The Volvo Overseas Delivery Program is the perfect solution to create your own refined adventure of a lifetime. You can custom order your new Volvo, tailored to fit your needs and desires. They will fly you to Sweden to pick up your Volvo so you can drive and explore Scandinavia and Europe on your terms for up to two weeks.
A couple of my friends and I decided to rent a house in the Camelback Mountain area of Pennsylvania’s Pocono Mountains for New Year’s Eve. To find the perfect place, we used Vrbo.com; there were a bunch of properties to choose from, but, in the end, we decided to rent a place in The Village at Camelback.
The International Air Transport Association and Etihad Airways partnered to launch the IATA Travel Pass for passengers on the Gulf carrier. The IATA Travel Pass is a mobile app that helps passengers manage travel in line with government requirements for COVID-19 tests or vaccines. It will be initially offered on select Etihad flights from Abu Dhabi in early 2021, with plans to extend the offer if successful.
IHG® Business Edge provides small- to midsized enterprises with benefits and confidence to navigate the evolving business travel environment.
Madeline Hotel & Residences, Auberge Resorts Collection recently debuted a complete redesign, now standing as a luxurious, modern mountain resort in Telluride, Colorado. At 10,540 feet, the ski-in/ski-out retreat boasts new social spaces, a refreshed lobby, a new boutique, a collection of new guest experiences and amenities, and wellness offerings. Additionally, Madeline features a collaboration with Olympian Gus Kenworthy, who helped create the hotel’s Recovery Ski Lounge.