Due to an opportunity, I flew business class to Abu Dhabi last week for leisure. The trip was very short but worthwhile and I had a fantastic time by myself! The 13hr and 50 minute flight flew by because of the champagne, good food and having had a good amount of sleep on the flat bed.
I arrived at night and checked into my hotel and tried to get some sleep. Woke early and explored Abu Dhabi city. First stop was Al Saada Bakery on Defence Road for an Emirati breakfast. I had a cheese and zaatar (Middle Eastern sort of spice with oregano, thyme, basil etc) hot bread which was made fresh and was very filling. Each cost about 3 dirham, so around 80c – bargain!! The day was spent visiting the Emirates Palace (amazing!), Marina Mall and Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque (absolutely grand!)
|Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque|
|At the mosque|
That afternoon, I was chauffeured to the desert, approximately 1 hr away from Abu Dhabi and stayed at a fantastic desert resort called Arabian Nights Village – really recommend it if you want to experience some time out of the city and have a desert safari adventure. It is also such good value for money.
I absolutely loved the atmosphere at Arabian Nights Village. It had a sense of tranquility, warmth and vibrancy, being right in the middle of the desert. The place is so isolated that it would’ve been awesome to come with a group of friends and hang out, chill by the pool and party the night away as noise would not be a restriction! The rooms had so much character and charm with Arabian decorations and the room came with so many drinks and delicious Arabian sweets.
During the day, I rode a camel, went dune bashing, sand boarding and climbed the hill to see the sunset. Dinner was a delicious Emirati buffet with various dips, breads, meats, rice and vegetables and pretty much had my own waiter doing everything for me. It was just relaxing being by myself and having time to just chill.
|Arabian Nights Village|
|View of the whole resort|
|Camel riding in the Arabian desert|
|View from my room at the Sofitel, Abu Dhabi city|
Next day, I got back to Abu Dhabi city and I visited Abu Dhabi mall, the gold souks and had an amazing feast at The Lebanese Flower. All of it cost me about 50 AED which is less than $15!
|Lebanese Flower – best meal!|
The reason this trip was so short, was obviously because of uni (I can’t afford to miss it too much as I do 5 subjects and pretty much go in 5 days a week) and because Future Music Festival was on the Saturday – rookie error! I arrived on Saturday morning and the immigration and customs line was ridiculously long (as always in Sydney airport) but luckily I had my express path card to get me through really quickly. Parents and brother were in Tasmania so I caught the train and went straight to Chadwick and worked for a few hours.
Then FMF. It was good but not as good as previous years (maybe I’m just getting old & getting over Australian festivals) and it definitely wasn’t worth coming back from an overseas trip!! I would have loved to do Dubai for a couple of days as well. Ahh well I guess that means I will definitely be back to the UAE!