Get the most out of your 24-hour layover in Abu Dhabi.
From the moment we stepped out of the airport and into the sticky heat, we were in awe of the sparse landscape dotted with palm trees, glowing street lights, and quarter of a million dollar cars speeding past our taxi at 250 kilometres per hour. And that was all at 1AM in the morning. In Abu Dhabi, the word luxury is taken to a whole new level and only the biggest and the best survives. So without further a do, here is our tried and tested 24-hour guide to Abu Dhabi. Safe travels x.
Stay | Jumeirah at Etihad Towers
Staying at the Jumeirah at Etihad Towers will ensure that you wakeup with the Indian Ocean as your stunning backdrop, in a suite sized hotel room fit for royalty. The perfect way to experience all the luxury Abu Dhabi has to offer in a hotel. Within walking distance of the Emirates Palace and the Corniche, the Jumeirah at Etihad Towers is the perfect choice for a busy 24-hour layover .
8AM | Rosewater breakfast
Enjoy a sumptuous buffet breakfast, featuring local and international cuisine, in the comfort of your hotel, at Rosewater Restaurant in the Jumeirah at Etihad Towers. Make sure to ask for a table on the balcony to watch the sun bathing the gulf as you devour your hearty breakfast.
9AM | Shopping at The Souk at Central Market
With a quick layover, you won’t have time to go searching for more traditional Souks, which are usually on the city outskirts. So a quick trip to The Souk at Central Market will give you a taste of the traditional markets in an airconditioned and modern environment. It’s best to shop for trinkets here, such as, cute shoes and homewares with an Arabic flair. Be sure to also head upstairs for some quick and fun henna tattoos.
11AM | The Corniche
After your shopping session, hit the beach for a quick swim or hire a bicycle and explore one of Abu Dhabi’s favourite leisure areas. This beachside walkway is the perfect place to escape from the desert heat or to enjoy some fun in the sun.
12PM | Emirates Palace
Have a taxi deliver you to the famous Emirates Palace after getting the blood pumping at The Corniche. Explore the palace to admire its beautiful architecture and to get a sneak peek at the luxurious lives of the locals and guests. And, if you have the cash to splash, find the world’s first gold bullion vending machine inside the hotel, and buy yourself a 5g or 10g gold bar as a souvenir. End your explorations with a light lunch at Le Café to refuel for the rest of the day’s activities.
1PM | Heritage Village
Get a glimpse into the traditional desert lifestyle at this re-creation of a desert village oasis. Complete with potters, leather makers, camel rides, and a killer view of the Indian Ocean and skyline above the Corniche, it’s worth a visit to learn more about the desert culture.
4PM | Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque
Visit this stunning landmark just before sunset to get a glimpse of the mosque in the daylight and as the sun bathes it in a beautiful glow during sunset. Make sure to cover up, and use a scarf to cover your head and arms, to enter inside the mosque. You will be thanked with a stunning view of the glowing interior by night. The perfect way to end your day.
6PM | Li Beirut
End your day with an unforgettable traditional meal at Li Beirut. Featuring a modern take on Lebanese food, the exquisite restaurant is the perfect fine dining experience to end your 24 hour exploration. Sit for awhile and enjoy the atmosphere before retiring for the day.
More than 24 hours?
Head over to Yas Island to visit Ferrari World to test drive some of the world’s fastest and most expensive.
Or hire a driver to drive you in a luxury car to the world’s new modern playground, Dubai, which is only a 1 and half hour drive away.