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By Chris | October 21 2007
Abu Dhabi’s top concierges share their personal suggestions for the perfect day
Operations Manager, Quintess Entially Abu Dhabi
+971 2 622 4545
Beat the heat and start your day early with an elegant silverservice breakfast in the Emirates Palace hotel. Don’t miss a tour of the palace where you can see the 205-foot-high central atrium and 1,002 shimmering Swarovski chandeliers. Then drop by the permanent display of visionary plans for the Abu Dhabi cultural center.
Take a guided tour of the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, where you can see the world’s largest hand-woven carpet and a massive 24K gold-plated chandelier. Keep in mind that on Fridays, the mosque is only open to Muslims.
Choose from an array of restaurants serving delicious international eats. Enjoy Brazilian cuisine at Chamas Churrascaria in the InterContinental Abu Dhabi hotel, seafood at Finz in the Beach Rotana hotel or Italian at Bice in the Hilton Abu Dhabi.
Visit Masdar, a planned city built by the Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company, a subsidiary of Mubadala Development Company. The city has been designed to rely entirely on solar energy and to emit zero carbon waste.
Take a break at Colombiano Coffee House in Burj Al Marina where you can enjoy a cup of coffee while admiring the panoramic view of the Abu Dhabi Corniche and the sea.
Experience a mix of adventure and rustic, Bedouin camp comfort on a sun-downer tour of the desert. Take a dune drive, go camel trekking, enjoy a sunset barbecue and then relax beneath the stars.
Toast the day with a visit to The Yas Hotel. Enjoy a premium specialty cocktail at one of the three rooftop venues with stunning views of the Yas Marina.
Spend the night at the Cedar Lounge in Fairmont Bab Al Bahr, sampling their authentic Lebanese cuisine. Inside, you’ll delight in the pure, refined atmosphere. Step outside and access a charming open lounge, where you can relax to DJ beats and enjoy your shisha surrounded by water and greenery.
Chief Concierge, Emirates Palace
+971 2 690 7150
Enjoy an exotic breakfast treat from Le Vendôme Brasserie, followed by a pick-up at Emirates Palace by Emirates Adventures Tours, who will share a brief history of Abu Dhabi.
Start with the Heritage Village, offering full insight into Abu Dhabi’s past, and next, visit the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, a testament to the city’s religious traditions. Learn more about the falcon, the UAE’s traditional bird, at the Falcon Hospital, where you’ll lunch. Round off the day with a spectacular desert safari, which includes a visit to a camel farm. Gear up for a dune bashing experience in 4×4 vehicles, whose drivers will guide you across the iconic red dunes of Abu Dhabi. Unwind with a relaxing barbecue dinner in the peace and tranquility of the desert.
We recommend the Marina Mall for the most modern boutiques and a huge variety of luxury stores. You should also try the Abu Dhabi Mall, the largest in Abu Dhabi, and then Madinat Zayed for traditional attire.
Take in an aerial view of Abu Dhabi by helicopter. Enjoy a day trip to the garden city Al Ain, home to the palace of Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the founding father of the UAE. Built by Sheikh Zayed the First between 1891 and 1898, Al Jahili Fort was used both as a fort and a royal summer residence.
Director of Public Relations
Sheraton Abu Dhabi Hotel & Resort
+971 2 697 0257
Have a lavish buffet breakfast at Flavours restaurant, overlooking the green resort and pool area, before getting ready and heading towards Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, where you can go on a complimentary guided tour at 11am.
After this, enjoy a bit of shopping around noon time when the shops are uncrowded and all yours. Try either Marina Mall with the Breakwater viewpoint (best skyline view) or head over to Abu Dhabi Mall for shops that are slightly different to the usual.
When it’s time for a coffee break, go to the Heritage Village (around the corner from Marina Mall) and have a coffee at one of their Breakwater restaurants. You’ll sit just by the pristine beach and overlook the whole Abu Dhabi skyline. Since you’re already there, stroll around the Heritage Village to see how life used to be before the oil boom in Abu Dhabi.
Head back to the Sheraton Abu Dhabi Hotel & Resort and reward yourself with a relaxing aromatherapy massage (50 minutes) in the award-winning Health Club. After a short nap in your room, make sure you’ve reserved your table at La Mamma, the award-winning Italian restaurant downstairs, to enjoy authentic Mediterranean delights. Then choose between Yarnya’s live piano tunes in the Cloud Nine cigar bar or sitting by the resort’s lagoon with a shisha at The Beachcomber bar.
Sheraton Abu Dhabi Hotel & Resort, Corniche Road
Le Méridien Abu Dhabi,Tourist Club Area
Sheraton Abu Dhabi Hotel & Resort, Corniche Road
Marina Mall is Abu Dhabi’s premium shopping mall and has everything from luxury shopping to small boutiques, unbeatable entertainment and leisure activities.
Take a kayak tour through the Abu Dhabi mangroves with Noukhada Adventure Company.
Assistant Chief Concierge,Shangri-La hotel, Qaryat Al Beri
+971 2 509 8888
Breakfast at Sofra bld, Shangri-La’s all-day dining restaurant, offering an extensive (and delicious)buffet selection of Asian, intercontinental and Western dishes.
Begin with a tour of the city of Abu Dhabi for a selection of carefully chosen highlights of the UAE’s capital. From its remarkable buildings featuring some of the most stunning architecture to be found anywhere, to glimpses into the past, you’ll trace a city transformed. Be sure to sample Abu Dhabi’s unique blend of culture and traditional arts and crafts in the oriental markets and handicraft centers.
Enter a world where Islamic designs and elements feature in modern architecture, blending the new with ancient traditions of the East and the West, in this city where the gorgeous greens of its gardens vie with the blues of the sea and sky. Places to visit include the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque and Heritage Village, the gold souk and date market.
Have lunch at Shangri-La’s signature Chinese restaurant, Shang Palace, for an array of dim sum, rice, noodles and traditional favorites. Chill out by the hotel’s infinity pool and bask in the warm sunshine. Alternatively, book a rejuvenating signature body massage in the renowned CHI, The Spa at Shangri-La, for an afternoon of pure bliss.
End the day with a decadent dinner in Bord Eau.
An hour of dune bashing, followed by watching the sun set over the vast desert and dinner in the dunes with local food and dance.
For an array of traditional shops selling local souvenirs and food, go to the Madinat Zayed Shopping Centre.
InterContinental Abu Dhabi
Cuisine: South African Steakhouse
Shop 5, Souk Qaryat Al B