Go Here, See This: Vacation in Abu Dhabi – A Welcoming Destination

Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque Reflections Night, vacation in Abu Dhabi

Thinking about a vacation in Abu Dhabi? As a luxury adventure travel expert and blogger I get to go to some pretty cool places around the world. And I love it – even the hectic pace as I make as many meetings as I can in new vacation destinations, and see contacts I already have relationships with in places I have been (and my clients love).

I am always on the hunt for new luxury and adventure travel experiences and insights. But when I get to come HOME, where is that? All photos on this blog post are provided by the Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority.


Abu Dhabi Al Ain Oasis, vacation in Abu Dhabi

Why a Vacation in Abu Dhabi is For Me Coming Home

Well, for me it is a bit complicated and SO ME, as an explorer at heart. I spend part of my downtime on the East Coast where my family is (or there are great connecting flights to get to those farther away), and part of the time elsewhere in the world where my husband is. He is currently working in the Middle East.

Yup, the Middle East. And I LOVE it there! This is not my first rodeo in the region.

I have stayed with my man in Bahrain and Dubai, and I visit Jordan often because I love it there. Currently, my part time home is in Abu Dhabi, and it is an eye-opener.

Emirates Palace water view, vacation in Abu Dhabi

So I am going to tell you why you should go and plan a vacation in Abu Dhabi.


It’s Easy to Get to Abu Dhabi

It is easy to get there, and is a connection for many other destinations. Etihad Air has its hub there. If you are a fan of comfortable flights and great service, then Etihad should be on your radar. I could move in to their lounges!

By stopping in Abu Dhabi, you add another layer of travel experiences. If you are on your way to the Maldives, a city and desert experience gives more dimension to your travel. It is a sophisticated resting stop in your journey.

Vacationing in Abu Dhabi, a fairy tale vacation comes true. Click To Tweet

There is WAY more to do than you think.

Abu Dhabi and Dubai are a car ride away from each other. Abu Dhabi is laid back, but not sleepy while Dubai has a tendency to be frenetic.

PS: Take a woman taxi or cab driver to support the local women empowerment and the responsible tourism movement.

woman shopping at WTC Euro, vacation in Abu Dhabi

 What You Can Do When You Are There


City and Entertainment

  • There is culture in the city!  Not only top artists but also venues for art, music, dance.  And local traditional arts as well.
  • Sightseeing is amazing. The Sheik Zayed Mosque is one of the most beautiful modern structures in the world. There are forts, UNESCO sites, local culture such as camel farms and the falcon hospital that will immediately immerse you in the traditions of the region.
  • There is a strong horse tradition, and Formula One racing.
  • Of course, entertainment options on your vacation in Abu Dhabi are almost boundless from music to nightclubs, sporting events, and art (the Louvre really looks like it is going to open soon, and then the Guggenheim eventually).
  • Don’t get me started on the dining options, as Abu Dhabi has so many great options for true international cuisine and venues of top chefs.
Abu Dhabi, Yas Marina Circuit, vacation in Abu Dhabi
Abu Dhabi Al Ain Oasis Horse Riding, vacation in Abu Dhabi
couple walking on the beach on Nurai Island, vacation in Abu Dhabi


Beyond the too-numerous to list entertainment options, Abu Dhabi and elsewhere in the smaller Emirates have stunning natural beaches and island resorts with blue-hued clear warm Arabian Gulf and unobstructed views and white sand beaches (and of course exceptional service and amenities)  that rival the Maldives or Seychelles.

The white sand of the beaches and the blue and green hues of the Gulf are a far cry from what you’d think your vacation in Abu Dhabi and the Middle East look like.

falconry Arabic family in the Abu Dhabi desert, vacation in Abu Dhabi


  • More than anywhere else in the UAE, the desert is spectacular in Abu Dhabi, particularly in the Lost Quarter. This lends itself to incredible trekking by foot, bike, camel and horse.  And of course, by SUV.  You can dune-bash or sled or sand board these massive hills.
  • Touring options abound from forts to dune excursions, falconry, UNESCO sites, camel farms and racing in season, glamping, hiking, Bedouin adventures. Camel races, beauty contests (yup), and farm visits.
camel ride in the desert in Abu Dhabi, vacation in Abu Dhabi
European family camping in the Abu Dhabi desert, vacation in Abu Dhabi
Abu Dhabi desert dune bashing, vacation in abu Dhabi
Arabian nights quad, vacation in Abu Dhabi
European family at the Abu Dhabi camel market, vacation in Abu Dhabi

What about places to stay on your vacation in Abu Dhabi?

Abu Dhabi is a wealthy country, and like its neighbor Dubai, there is no lack of wonderful hotels and resorts in which to indulge.

From the best of the best Emirates Palace to numerous luxury properties through the various sections of the city, you are spoiled for choice and it only depends on where you’d like to be and the view you want. But the choices don’t end there.


woman shopping at the WTC Euro Ladies Shopping, vacation in Abu Dhabi

photo by Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority

If you’d like to have more ease in your travel planning, I’d love to help!

You can stay informed and inspired in planning your travel in 2018 by reading more of my blogs. You can also follow me on Facebook. Twitter @enlitndjrntrvl, and Instagram @enlightenedjourneystravel. Sign up to receive the blogs and a newsletter filled with more insights and offers so you don’t miss a thing.

luxury travel advisor Theresa Jackson on one of her adventures journeys

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Keep exploring – Life’s an adventure!

I look forward to opening hidden doors in exclusive travel for you!