Last year I was invited to visit Dubai, a place I’d been longing to see for some time. I loved it even more than I had expected. From exploring the old spice souks to seriously over indulging in the fabulous food there, I had a superb time. It was my first visit to the United Arab Emirates and having sampled this tasty morsel for myself it had left me hungry for more.
Before that initial visit to UAE, Abu Dhabi had been completely off my radar but, having stumbled across a couple fo blog posts about it while researching Dubai, it has ever since been high on my wish list.
If reading my top ten reasons for wanting to visit Abu Dhabi fills you with wanderlust, then check out the giveaway at the end of this post as it could help you on your way.
Top 10 Things to Do in Abu Dhabi
1. Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque
This vast and stunningly beautiful mosque is big enough to hold 40,000 worshippers. Semi-precious stones adorn the marble panels on the columns and it boasts the world’s largest chandelier. I’d dearly love to see it for myself one.
2. Adrenaline inducing Yas Island
As well as Abu Dhabi’s Formula 1 track (which you can run or cycle around every Tuesday for free) and a Ferrari theme park, Yas Island is home to Waterworld, the biggest water park in the world with a huge choice of raft rides, ravines, slides and wave machines.
3. Take a stroll along the Corniche
This epic 4 mile long promenade is the perfect place for a walk, jog or even a bike ride dotted with picnic spots, interesting sights, including the Capital Gate (purposely built to have an 18º tilt) and numerous places to eat that will take you around the world and back again.
4. Al Ain, the garden City
About an hour and a half or so’s drive from the centre of Abu Dhabi lies the city of Al Ain rich in forts, museums and Unesco World Heritage Sites plus the not to be missed central date-palm oasis fed by natural springs.
5. Emariti Cuisine
Much like Dubai, in Abu Dhabi you’ll find an almost bewildering variety of cuisines from around the world. What I most long to try again is the Emirati cuisine infused with spices and ingredients from throughout Asia and Arabia. Think nuts and limes, cinnamon and saffron, slow-cooked meat dishes and the freshest of fish.
6. Emirates Palace
This plush hotel is well worth a visit to admire the stunning architecture and beautiful gardens alone but I’d also love to try their cappuccino made with 24 carat gold as is their camel burger. The latter I tried (without the gold) in Dubai and it was surprisingly good. Extravagant, yes. Tasty, you bet.
7. Dune Bashing
Sliding sideways down massive sand dunes in the breathtaking beauty of the UAE desserts is a thrill not to miss as you can see in my video from my last visit to the Emirates.
8. Saadiyat Beach
I love swimming, especially in the sea, and here you’ll find the crystal clear warm waters of the Arabian Gulf gently lapping a 4 mile stretch of the soft white sands of Saadiyat Beac. Its reputedly the best beach in Abu Dhabi and a wonderful way to combine a city break with a beach escape.
9. Louvre Abu Dhabi
There will soon be yet another reason to visit this dynamic city when the Louvre Abu Dhabi opens its doors. The museum will present major objects from the fields of archaeology, fine arts and decorative arts. It will also represent all regions, periods, including contemporary art and the narrative of art history. Described as an unprecedented alliance of an intergovernmental agreement between the emirate of Abu Dhabi and France, it is intended to be a place of discovery, exchange and education.
10. Masdar City, a city of the future
Masdar City, next to Abu Dhabi’s airport, is a pioneering zero-carbon development powered entirely by the sun and the winds. No cars allowed. Instead you can move around the city in one of their four-seater driver-less pods which runs on guided rails. In years to come who knows what technological developments made here will be seen in towns and cities around the world. This place fascinates me and I’m determined to visit it one day.
Travel Trolley Giveaway
Thanks to Travel Trolley I have one £150 voucher to giveaway. It can be used towards booking any holiday on the Travel Trolley website from London to Abu Dhabi, Belfast to the Congo.
How to Enter
If you are a giveaway fan you can subscirbe to my Giveaway mailing list here and I’ll let you know whenever I have a new giveaway on my blog.
Travel Trolley Giveaway Terms and Conditions
1. The prize promotion is open to all aged 18 years or over except employees (and their families) of Travel Trolley and any affiliates or subsidiary companies, as well as representatives or agents of Travel Trolley and anyone else who may be involved or connected with the prize promotion. Any entries submitted by agents or third parties will be invalid and will not be accepted.
2. You may enter this prize promotion by completing the online entry form.
3. Any entries submitted by agents or third parties will be invalid and will not be.
4. There will be only one winner.
5. The prize(s) will consist of a holiday voucher worth £150 only, courtesy of Southall Travel Group. The winner can purchase any holiday package from Travel Trolley and they will be able to use the voucher for £150 discount.
6. The holiday voucher will be valid for 3 month from the date of issue. The travel dates has to be within 1 year from the date of issue of the voucher, i.e. the booking/purchase needs to be done within 3 months of the issue of the voucher, however the travel dates can be within 1 year from the date of issue.
7. The prize promotion closing date is 12 am, 30th April 2016, London GMT (the “Closing Date”) and any entries received after the Closing Date will not be accepted.
8. The winning entry will be selected at random on 2nd May 2016 and the winner(s) will be notified by email within 7 days. To contact you we will use your Twitter Handler by which you used to enter the competition.
9. If you are notified of a winning entry, you must confirm acceptance by email to claim your prize. If you do not reply to confirm acceptance within 5 days of being notified as a winner, we may offer your prize to someone else.
10. Entrants can tweet only once in a day.
11. By entering to the giveaway you agree that you may be added to the mailing list of Travel Trolley but you may unsubcribe at any time.
12. Submission of entries will not constitute proof of receipt and no responsibility will be accepted by Travel Trolley for entries or acceptances which Travel Trolley does not receive. Travel Trolley shall not be liable for any loss or corruption of data in transit. No responsibility will be accepted for entries or acceptances which are lost, Illegible, incomplete, late or defaced entries will be disqualified.
13. The prize(s) must be taken as offered. No cash equivalent or other alternative prize(s) are available in whole or in part except as provided for in these terms and conditions.
14. The winner(s) agree to participate in any publicity or other such promotional activities which the Southall Travel may reasonably require in connection with the prize promotion and Southall Travel shall have the right to use each winner’s name, likeness, image, voice and biographical information for advertising and promotional purposes in connection with the prize promotion in all media without further notice and without the need to make any payment to any winner for such use.
15. All prize(s) are non-transferable and where prize(s) consist of tickets/voucher, all such tickets/vouchers are non-refundable. Travel Trolley reserves the right to substitute prize(s) of an equivalent value should the prize(s) become unavailable for any reason. If any winner is not able, for whatever reason, to accept the prize(s), then Travel Trolley reserves the right to award the prize(s) to another participant.
16. The decision of the Travel Trolley is final and binding and no correspondence will be entered into regarding the outcome of the prize promotion.
17. No purchase is necessary to enter this competition.
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