While Abu Dhabi used to be considered to be the tamer, more toned down version of Dubai, in recent years the city has begun to stand on its own. With a rich cultural heritage, a delicious local cuisine, and unique activities, the city definitely has enough to make it a destination in its own right. Like with any city, Abu Dhabi has popular tourist hot spots, but in order to fully experience all that the city has to offer, take a look at the OROGOLD Insider Guide to Abu Dhabi.
Best Luxury Hotels
Abu Dhabi has its fair share of glitzy hotels, many of which are favorites amongst international A-listers, as well as local royalty. If you want to really splurge on your trip, OROGOLD recommends the Emirates Palace, one of the most expensive hotels ever to be built. Built on 250 acres of land, with a private beach over a mile long, the hotel boasts dazzling amounts of gold leaf, as well more than a thousand Swarovski crystal chandeliers. Another OROGOLD favorite is the St. Regis, located on the cultural Saadiyat Island. With on-call pool butlers personal spa therapists, this is definitely a great hotel if you want to indulge.
Best Cultural Activity
With 82 impressive domes, the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is the third largest in the world, and is definitely worth visiting when you are in Abu Dhabi. The mosque can accommodate 41,000 people, and is one of the only mosques in the area to be open to visitors. OROGOLD reminds you to be aware of mosque etiquette when visiting any mosques, especially when it comes to the clothes that you wear.
Best Shisha Cafe
Trying a shisha pipe is a must when you are in the Middle East, and Abu Dhabi has some great shisha cafes, both indoor and outdoor. The Columbiano Cafe is consistently good, with delicious and unique shisha mixes, as well as tasty milkshakes and fresh fruit juices.
Abu Dhabi is paradise for foodies, as the city boasts a wide variety of regional cuisine. For some of the best shawarma, falafels and grilled meats in town, OROGOLD recommends heading to the Lebanese Flower, where the atmosphere may be slightly hectic, but the food always impeccable. For something more high end, OROGOLD suggests Agadir, an authentic Moroccan restaurant that will instantly make you feel as though you have been transported into a Marrakesh backstreet. The restaurant offers up themed regional specialties, with the Berber and Essaouira dishes being some of OROGOLD’s favorites. Another must-try dish, which will be available at almost every local eatery around Abu Dhabi, is Fattoush, a classic Middle Eastern salad that is full of flavor while still being instantly refreshing – a delight when the heat has been beating down on you!
Whether you are there for one night or for five, Abu Dhabi is a fantastic city to visit. The world-class restaurants and glitzy hotels intermingled with traditional architecture and cultural delights make it a place that is simply like no other.