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You guys know that I was in Abu Dhabi just last year. We stayed at the Jumeirah Etihad Towers which was right next to the beach, and even visited Observation Deck there, which was at the 74th floor, and the highest viewpoint of the city! And you know how excited I was when we went to the Galleria Mall, where we visited so many unique shops, and yes, shopped. A. Lot! The Islands and the view was breathtaking, and as you know, somewhere in between we also found our dream home! (Still can’t forget that place.)
So when Abu Dhabi tourism reached out to us for another visit, we were only too happy to be back, and ready for our Persian adventure…reloaded!
This time around, we stayed at the St. Regis Hotel at Saadiyat Island. And let me just tell you, the second the doors to this hotel are opened, you feel like you’ve been transported into a different world! The hotel has a royal, luxurious décor that was beyond everything we could have imagined, until we saw the view! The big, clear windows overlook the beautiful, blue sea. The hotel property is huge…you can set out for a walk and still discover something new. We were so excited to see a part of the city that we hadn’t been able to, last time.
On day one of our trip, we visited the Yas Marina Circuit which is where the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix takes place every year. Near the circuit is a famous Italian restaurant called Cipriani. We had lunch at their outdoor seating area, which is a beautiful terrace overlooking the Circuit...and about the food…I think this was the day I fell in love with Italian cuisine over again!
Day two was a busy one, and we had so many places to be at. The first was Al Ain, which is called the Oasis City. This is the cultural hub of Abu Dhabi where you can explore markets, take part in some adventure sports or just be around nature. Our first stop at Al Ain was the Zoo and Sheikh Zayed Desert Learning Centre. Al Ain Zoo is vast – at 990 acres, and you can find many species native to the UAE here, and also the white lion, which is now almost extinct in the world.
After this, we were taken to the Al Jahili Fort, which was constructed to protect the city and its palm trees! The fort looks as beautiful during the day, with the clear blue skies and clouds as the backdrop, as it does at night, when it’s lit up against the starry night.
The drive from the fort to our next destination, the Telal Resort was so scenic, with the beautiful landscape surrounding us. We went to the Desert Gate Restaurant, which is the hotel’s signature dining venue for dinner, and the ambience and food were both wonderful. The Chef here was kind enough to make a Vegetarian, Indian dish just for me, so this was the one place where I didn't have to struggle to find food! Hehe.
Day three was our last day in Dubai. We were taken to the Hyatt Capital Gate Hotel for our Afternoon Tea at their Lounge Café. The building where the hotel is located has a really quirky and different architecture, and it is known as the Leaning Tower of Abu Dhabi.
After tea, we went to our last stop – the Souk at the World Trade Centre. The Mall is just the perfect mixture of the modern and traditional. You can get everything from traditional spices and handicrafts to clothes and accessories here…it was just heaven for a shopping enthusiast like me.
Our second experience of Abu Dhabi was so different from the first…but just as amazing. We loved not just the tall buildings, the never ending blue seas, and the but also the people of Abu Dhabi and their love for their culture and the enthusiasm with which they want to share it.