Arabian adventures in Abu Dhabi
You won’t need to travel far to discover the traditional flavours of Arabia. Just a seven hours’ flight north will get you to Abu Dhabi; the capital of the United Arab Emirates; and the gateway to the world’s biggest uninterrupted desert, exquisite beaches and fascinating culture.
Whether you choose to stop-over for a few days on route to exotic places; or wish to spend your entire holiday on the shores of the Arabian Gulf; Abu Dhabi promises an enchanting escape for South Africans of all ages and interests.
This is a place where you can do as much or as little as you wish. Relax at the pool in the morning and go 4x4ing in the desert in time for sundowners. See the intricate floral motifs of the magnificent Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque; then board the Yellow Boats for a race past the city’s spectacular skyline or kick back on a sunset catamaran cruise.
The prospect of whizzing through Yas Island’s epic Ferrari World and splashing in Yas Waterworld’s 45 spectacular rides will keep the whole family entertained; while sun worshippers will delight in the resorts that line powdery-white beaches overlooking the azure waters of the gulf.
With so much to do and see in Abu Dhabi, iGo brings you its top picks for a sizzling holiday in the vibrant UAE capital.
Say yes to Yas
Yas Island is Abu Dhabi’s island of all things fun. From Ferrari World and Yas Waterworld, to Yas Beach, Yas Mall and Yas Links Golf Course; there’s shopping for mom, golf for dad and a variety of fun activities for the young, and young at heart. Enjoy kayaking through the mangroves, golf karting at Yas Marina Circuit and soon, a visit to Warner Bros. World Abu Dhabi, scheduled to open in 2018.
Experience the best of Arabian culture and hospitality in Abu Dhabi. No visit to the destination would be complete without seeing the beautiful white-marble Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque which shimmers in the distance as you drive towards the city. Journey into the desert and visit the Arabian Nights Village for an encounter with Emirati flavours and belly dancing; or spend some time exploring the Heritage Village; the reconstruction of a traditional oasis village. The Louvre Abu Dhabi; with its incredible rain of light ceiling is due to open this year and will be a must-visit destination for culture enthusiasts. Also worth visiting on Saadiyat island is Manarat al Saadiyat which provides insight into how this island is being developed culturally; with the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi and Zayed National Museum also being planned.
Ditch all thoughts of desert dunes, dates and camels. A little-known fact is that Abu Dhabi comprises over 200 islands so it’s certainly worth getting wet behind your ears on any visit. From beautiful Blue Flag beaches to laid back cruises; adrenalin-busting motorboats to kayaking through the mangroves; there are a myriad of ways to get in touch with the calm waters of the Arabian Gulf.
Important for South Africans to note is that you require a visa to visit Abu Dhabi; but one can apply for this online with great ease. The best months to travel to Abu Dhabi are between October and April so the time is ripe to don your flip-flops and head north for a little Arabian adventure.
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