A couple weeks ago we spent the weekend in Abu Dhabi and had a grand time! I’ve been a couple times prior but this time had a chance to play tour guide to my sisters who were visiting so yay! If you know me you’ll also know that playing tour guide is one of my favorite things to do so I was obviously over the moon!
Sharing what our weekend consisted of in the event you’re ever in Dubai and fancy heading over for a little more than just Sheikh Zayed Mosque!
We drove from Dubai to Abu Dhabi Thursday afternoon in wanting to catch the sunset at Sheikh Zayed and the transition from day to night with the lights. The drive was about an hour and a half, and if you don’t drive taking a Careem is always an option or a public bus (25 Dhs-one way) from a few locations, Ibn Battuta Metro being one of them. There are also tours that head over almost daily solely for the purpose of the Mosque and other attractions (Emirates Palace) so Groupon would be a great place to check for that!
We stayed at the gorgeous Bab al Qasr situated on the Corniche which was unbelievably stunning and right across from Emirates Palace and Marina Mall so #primelocation.
First off, it smells divine as soon as you walk in – they wouldn’t tell what scent they use, but Tom Ford was name dropped lol (if anyone knows please let your girl know). The architecture and Arabesque interiors perfectly compliment a modern-day Bedouin feel which is consistent throughout the hotel and ugh. Just so so beautiful!
(sidenote: Bab Al Qasr means ‘gateway to the palace’ which kinda sorta sums it up exactly!)
Once we settled in, got over the prettiness, selfies taken etc. we headed over to the Grand Mosque. The Mosque is open to tourists on the daily except Fridays during prayer time (midday) so definitely don’t plan to go then (unless your Muslim and intending to pray because then yes, I’d definitely suggest it!) Prior to entering everyone has to cover; women are provided with a hooded abaya (long dress with a hood) to cover their hair which is standard procedure for most places of worship. Arms and legs for both need to be covered and bottoms need to be at least ankle length, nothing above. The mosque is always my favorite in terms to its beauty and just the serenity it brings to my heart and soul. Definitely not to be missed!
Spent the evening at Yas Mall for some shopping and munch which was lovely and worth checking out. I believe Warner Brothers Studio is also close by if that tickles your fancy and/or if you’ve got kiddies who need some entertaining!
Afternoon was spent at Sheikh Zayed again for juma (Friday prayers), which again I will forever recommend.
We were booked in for high tea at Observation Deck at 300 by Jumeirah later that day which was also perfect timing to catch the sunset from up above. The observation deck is located on the 74th floor of Jumeirah at Etihad Towers and is the highest vantage point in Abu Dhabi where you’ve got a 360-degree view of the skyline. Another place not to be missed!
Reluctantly checked out in the morning and crossed the street over to Emirates Palace. In actuality Emirates Palace is a 5 star hotel in AD but feels completely palace-like from the moment you step through the doors.
You’re free to walk around inside and dine at any of the 14 restaurants inside. It’s also where you can grab a coffee with 24k gold dusted on top because why not lol
Heritage Village is just up the road if you’re interested in a bit of traditional Emirati history. Entry to the park is free and it’s another touristy place to hit up.
The Louvre was next and I was super excited for the sisters to see the beautiful dome on the outside bit. Another favorite of mine which would be a shame to miss!
Apparently the ceiling was designed to reflect light into the museum like palm trees do; you don’t necessarily get the palm frond, but the reflective light is spot on and so beautiful [the museum itself is grand as well!]
We stumbled upon a place called Manarat Al Saadiyat as we were looking for places to eat nearby. Such a neat creative space used for exhibits and the arts which was nice to have a look at. There’s a restaurant inside called L’Arte which had good munch, wasn’t busy at all, and quite the Instagram location, so worth checking out in my opinion!
Evening was spent at the St. Regis back by the Corniche for the launch of a new Afternoon Tea held at the Azura Panoramic Lounge . Unbelievable views and would recommend the lounge for sunset views yet again!
Regardless of only being a couple hours away, our time in AD genuinely felt like a holiday and my sisters actually preferred it to the hustle-bustle of Dubai. It’s smaller, quieter, and less touristy, but not to be overlooked if you’re ever in town, moreso now that you’ve got a bit of an itinerary made xo.
Special thanks to Bab al Qasr for hosting me during my stay in Abu Dhabi. Thank you also to Jumeirah at Etihad Towers for hosting us for afternoon tea. All opinions and views expressed are my own.