If like me you’re a sun worshipper, then chances are you’ve got to the tail end of the year and desperately searched for destinations that can offer you heat in abundance. However, where do you go if you haven’t got a lot of time, don’t want to spend over half a day travelling on an aeroplane – particularly with young kids – and want guaranteed good weather.
And that’s the key – assurances of sunshine play a big factor if you’re wallowing in the cold in the UK, and while you may be able to get some rays in the Canary Islands, which are only five hours away, or in Egypt which is much the same flying time, although there are still warnings against travel to certain areas, where else do you look to without having to travel more than you have to?
Five Great Reasons To Holiday in Abu Dhabi As A Family
London to Abu Dhabi flights are only seven hours long, and in that relatively short time, you’ll land in a vibrant city that is well-known for its extravagance and grandeur – and a world apart from a typical winter sun holiday destination.
Abu Dhabi, the UAE’s capital, doesn’t know how to do things by half – it has the fastest rollercoaster in the world and a tower with the greatest lean, to mention a few. But aside from the fantastical, there are plenty of opportunities to experience Emirati culture, food and history as well as explore all the markets, harbour and cafés, as well as the 200 islands that sit in the Arabian Gulf and are within easy reach of Abu Dhabi’s coastline, as is the desert which offers endless fun-filled activities and exploration in the sand.
If that hasn’t piqued your interest, here are Five Great Reasons To Holiday in Abu Dhabi As A Family for your next winter sun destination.
The Corniche is a popular hotspot for all visitors to Abu Dhabi. This long stretch along the northwest shore is flanked by the impressive city skyline, and sees a hive of activity from the promenade and landscaped gardens as well as an array of cafes, ice cream shops and children’s play areas. Best way to see it all – hire a bike! You can also head over to the islands, such as Yas and Saadiyat, and you’ll find more sandy coves to relax and play with the kids in the calm blue sea.
The buildings and architecture
Head over to Masdar City and you’ll discover an innovative cluster of buildings that are at the forefront of sustainable eco-technology. The city is pioneering a green fingerprint for others to follow suit in trying to reduce water, energy and waste. Meanwhile, Abu Dhabi has some remarkable architecture from the CLYMB, the world’s widest flight chamber and tallest indoor climbing wall, as well as Capital Gate – which is not only one of the tallest skyscrapers in the city but inclines 18° to the west. You can also marvel at the country’s largest mosque, Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque and all the opulent hotels including the Emirates Palace.
Attractions for Big and Little Kids
You can choose to do a little or as much as you want in Abu Dhabi, but there is one thing for certain – you will never be bored. From the observation deck at the Etihad Towers to waterparks such as Yas Waterworld which has over a whopping 40 different slides, big and little kids will be kept entertained with tons of entertainment. There are even wildlife safaris where you can see free-roaming animals such as giraffes, gazelles and cheetahs! Sir Bani Yas Island is home to more than 10,000 animals and you see them on their Nature and Wildlife Drive, or even kayak through the tranquil mangrove forest. For car enthusiasts as well as thrill-seekers, Ferrari World is the perfect place to visit. Not only does it have activities for youngsters such as Junior GT where kids can go-kart race in a mini street, you can also brave the Flying Aces, which has the highest rollercoaster loop in the world!
The Scenery and Landscape
Arabian old-world charm meets a modern force wherever you look in the city. Lapped by the Persian Gulf, you are also surrounded by beautiful sandy white beaches, palm trees and vast sand dunes, as well as mangroves and forests. With the marina and the Grand Prix circuit area in Yas, as well as all the historic and brand new architecture sitting side by side, it all adds to this epic assault on the senses. Head to the desert, too, and you’ll discover dramatic scenery inland in the Al Dhafra Region, which is located in the middle of the Rub al Khali, the largest uninterrupted sand mass in the world.
Whatever your tastes when it comes to accommodation, there will be no getting away from luxury and splendour. Although some come with a hefty price tag such as the infamous Emirates Palace Hotel – which has extensive private grounds, beaches and Michelin-star dining, or the Park Hyatt Abu Dhabi – which sits right on the beach at Saadiyat Island and welcomes families, there are plenty of options that suit any budget. And with high standards throughout, you’ll be hard pushed not to find one that will meet all your requirements, for example for as little as £60 per night, you can stay right near the Corniche in a fabulously modern hotel, the Southern Sun Abu Dhabi.
*This post was written in collaboration with Clear Trip