For our family holiday this year we decided to go back to the Middle East, after visiting Dubai last May we thought we’d try another Emirate resort, Abu Dhabi.
We took the opportunity to visit at the end of March beginning of April, the temperatures were perfect for us averaging 35 degrees and not a cloud in sight.
Overall, we were away for a week taking advantage of the overnight flights we flew from Manchester and had the full day ahead to relax around the pool. Likewise, on the return flight left Abu Dhabi in the early hours of the morning and were back into Manchester at 07.15am.
We wanted to balance our time on day trips and time spent around the pool and found that Yas Island was perfect for this. Only 15 minutes’ transfer from the airport plus Yas Mall, Yas Marina, Ferrari World and Yas WaterWorld were on our doorstep. The Radisson Blu Hotel offered all the facilities we wanted and was well priced for our budget.
We spent a couple of days away from the pool and visited Ferrari World and Yas WaterWorld.
Ferrari World today is approximately 5 minutes from the hotel and costs 15AED in a taxi. There’s 5 main roller coasters with some smaller rides for the younger members of the family and a few 3D rides. All indoor out of the heat, so very pleasant when having to queue. There’s also plenty of other experiences you can pay a supplement for i.e. change tyres, photo opportunities, drive a Ferrari, race simulators. It has lots of restaurants and cafes to choose from. Each little section has its own souvenir shop. Queues were good the day we visited but I can imagine it gets very busy. Our ticket was a two-day pass for Yas WaterWorld.
Yas WaterWorld, again very close to the hotels on Yas Island and will cost up to 15AED in a taxi. We had a lovely day here, something again for all the family. 42 slides and rides for all types of thrills. Lots of sunbeds and shade plus a variety of cafes, snack bars, drinks. Very good value for money if you buy the two-park pass.
Eating out in the evening we found plenty of choice at Yas Mall, the second largest Mall in the UAE or with stunning views of the Viceroy Hotel and Yas Marina Circuit at Yas Marina. Taxis are very cheap in Abu Dhabi and one evening we took one downtown to the Corniche area and visited the Marina Mall.
The highlights of the trip for me was our visit to the Grand Mosque, I can't speak highly enough of the free tour at 5pm. It’s in English and explains the building, it’s meaning and existence of the mosque. The tour finishes just before sunset and the place looks stunning as the sunsets behind it. You've then got to have a cocktail in Li Jiang the Asian restaurant at the Ritz. Ask for the outside area and continue to watch the sunset as the Mosque is lit up, completely amazing views.
Eating out was reasonably priced, with plenty of choices to suit all budgets and tastes. There was plenty of international restaurants and chains. At Yas Mall try and eat by the Ferrari World entrance and ask for an outside table overlooking the fountains, there’s 5 or 6 restaurants with this view all with different themes.
Drinks prices varied depending on where you where, around the pool a beer or cocktail was priced around £7, soft drinks £4. Although the hotel pool bar had a happy hour between 18.00-20.00 each day. The main bar inside the hotel was similarly priced and had 3 different happy hours each evening depending on your choice of drink.
Overall, we had a fantastic holiday in Abu Dhabi, perfect temperatures, wonderful flights and service from Etihad Airlines. Because every building and taxi is air conditioned you only feel the heat whilst sunbathing and makes the temperatures extremely bearable. The service at the hotel, in the shops, restaurants and attractions is first class and make this destination perfect for a family holiday.