We’d like to invite you to Abu Dhabi, were the first words I read of my first PR email of 2022. The words that every travel blogger and content creator wants to hear after a two year travel hiatus, where inspiring travellers to explore the world went from being a seamless job to facing every trial and tribulation known to man. However, it was time to get moving again; filling my suitcases to the brim, squeezing skincare products into small plastic bags, the thrill of being a million miles above ground, soaring through white fluffy clouds – it was all coming back to me.
I’m no stranger to the balmy temperatures of the Middle East and the wonders of the world that find themselves residing in the capital of the Emirates, so I was excited to be embarking on a journey to somewhere filled with a sense of familiarity, but seeing it from a whole new perspective.
Two hours at Heathrow airport and seven hours in the sky and I descended over miles of beige sandy hills – a landscape that could make anyone weak at the knees, especially when I spent the past 24 months immersed in the greenery of the local park and the four walls of the my home. Stepping out of the plane, every inch of my face was greeted with the warmest of welcomes – the heat smothered me like a golden retriever who hasn’t seen its owner in a number of hours. I knew I was in for a real treat over the next five days…
Keeping in the theme of familiarity, I stayed at the very same hotel I resided at all those years ago on my last visit. The jewel that is the Rosewood Abu Dhabi has a special place in my heart, its exemplary service and modern-chic rooms know no bounds: think free-standing tubs, leather finishing’s, and floor to ceiling windows overlooking the marina. And just like that, it felt right at home, ready to turn in for the night for the adventures that awaited.
The sun woke me up in the morning, continuing its warm, caressing greetings from hours prior, which set me for the day ahead.
First stop? Qasr Al Watan – one of the newest landmarks, paying homage to the spirit of the United Arab Emirates’ people and its leaders. The working palace takes you on an incredible journey of culture, craftsmanship, and sheer knowledge making it a first-of-its-kind. The interiors were truly majestic, with every corner of the palace generating a sense of awe and admiration. I would certainly dedicate a few hours getting lost in the palace, as it’s one landmark you won’t want to rush.
As we prepared for our next landmark, we primed our stomach with sweet, rich cake and half a litre of creamy, ice-cold coffee before visiting the one and only Sheikh Zayed Mosque.
I struggled to string together a sentence on my initial visit to the mosque and my second experience was exactly the same, a rare occurrence as people wouldn’t often describe me as someone who never has anything to say. But, the mosque’s gold and white palatial façade is one thing, but as the sun took its leave of absence spreading a golden haze is one of the most remarkable views, as humans, we will ever have the pleasure of experiencing.
By night, the mosque embraces an Arabian nights style, purple glow, which makes for an incredible picture opportunity at Wahat Al Karma.
After a day of sightseeing, I mustered up an appetite for some local cuisine – with a flood of recommendations to pick from, I ended up at Beirut Sur Mer, a picturesque restaurant with alfresco seating that overlooks Soul Beach of Saadiyat Island. The food was utterly delectable, from fresh meat koftes to cheese filled Tlameh and locally made wines (yes, Middle Eastern wine!) I wasn’t going to be leaving without a food baby in tow.
You ready to live another day with me in Abu Dhabi? Come back to read about the rest of my adventures in this little slice of heaven.
Until next time…