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11 reasons why you should visit Abu Dhabi in 2018

  • Published 11 January 2018

This emirate certainly isn’t scared to challenge records and arguably sets the bar for wonderment. Home to the fastest rollercoaster and longest hand-loomed carpet in the world, not to mention its armful of luxuriously-appointed hotels and the mesmerising Sheik Zayed Grand Mosque, Abu Dhabi is one city that deserves to be on every traveller’s bucket list. As with all major cities in the United Arab Emirates, Abu Dhabi is constantly changing and stands proud at the forefront of innovation. One of the leading cities in the world for culture, not content with being home to the much-anticipated Louvre Abu Dhabi (opened in November 2017), the emirate has already set the wheels in motion for Guggenheim Abu Dhabi and Zayed National Museum which are sure to help the city take another world crown for fascinating museums and cultural attractions. But what new openings, refurbishments and must-visits are on the cards for 2018? Well, there’s certainly enough to keep you occupied for at least a five-night stay…

Louvre Abu Dhabi

Technically opening in the final few weeks of 2017, the Louvre Abu Dhabi still deserves a mention in our round-up. The buzz behind the announcement of the first Louvre museum outside of Paris was high... so much so that we were concerned that once open it wouldn’t be able to fulfil the hype. But of course, this is Abu Dhabi and instead the museum has exceeded expectations. Open Tuesday - Sunday from 10am ‘til 8pm (10pm on Thursdays and Fridays) there’s simply no excuse not to visit this art museum. Its exterior alone is worth a visit to Saadiyat Island. The silver dome was designed by Pritzker Prize winning French architect Jean Nouvel and comprises almost 8,000 unique metal stars intricately placed to create a unique geometric pattern. The shining cultural beacon aims to share a fresh light on the shared stories of humanity and is a definite must-visit when travelling to the UAE capital.

Technically opening in the final few weeks of 2017, the Louvre Abu Dhabi still deserves a mention in our round-up. The buzz behind the announcement of the first Louvre museum outside of Paris was high... so much so that we were concerned that once open it wouldn’t be able to fulfil the hype. But of course, this is Abu Dhabi and instead the museum has exceeded expectations. Open Tuesday - Sunday from 10am ‘til 8pm (10pm on Thursdays and Fridays) there’s simply no excuse not to visit this art museum. Its exterior alone is worth a visit to Saadiyat Island. The silver dome was designed by Pritzker Prize winning French architect Jean Nouvel and comprises almost 8,000 unique metal stars intricately placed to create a unique geometric pattern. The shining cultural beacon aims to share a fresh light on the shared stories of humanity and is a definite must-visit when travelling to the UAE capital.

Warner Bros. World Abu Dhabi

One of the most exciting Abu Dhabi openings for families in 2018, Warner Bros. World Abu Dhabi is set to be the world’s largest indoor theme park. Located on Yas Island, close to the famous Ferrari World, the new venture will bring together the entertainment company’s most loved characters including Bugs Bunny, Batman and everyone’s favourite cartoon family, The Flintstones. Promising to transport visitors to a whole new world of action, adventure, wackiness and more, its six ‘lands’ offer fun rides, dining experiences and a true feast for all the senses. At the centre of it all is Warner Bros. Plaza, an elegant art deco celebration of all things Warner. Here you’ll find portals to each of the unique worlds as well as a host of dining options to tantalise the taste buds. 

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Another newbie for Yas Island is CLYMB, the world’s widest flight chamber and tallest indoor climbing wall. Yet another development to break world records, CLYMB is certainly not for those who suffer from vertigo. Costing an estimated Dhs365 million, the indoor entertainment centre will feature a flight chamber that will mimic the feeling of skydiving and thanks to its unparalleled width of 32 feet, it’s sure to provide an incomparable experience. The other height-focused attraction is the indoor climbing wall that comprises four walls of varying difficulty. Standing at a height of 43 metres, pro climbers are sure to be in their element, however shorter and easier climbs are also available for beginners and intermediate visitors. What’s more, CLYMB will also incorporate a range of food and beverage outlets as well as a party space. Plus, it’s planned to be linked to the Yas Mall, the biggest shopping mall in Abu Dhabi, so you can combine an afternoon of adventure with a little retail therapy.

The CLYMB

Another newbie for Yas Island is CLYMB, the world’s widest flight chamber and tallest indoor climbing wall. Yet another development to break world records, CLYMB is certainly not for those who suffer from vertigo. Costing an estimated Dhs365 million, the indoor entertainment centre will feature a flight chamber that will mimic the feeling of skydiving and thanks to its unparalleled width of 32 feet, it’s sure to provide an incomparable experience. The other height-focused attraction is the indoor climbing wall that comprises four walls of varying difficulty. Standing at a height of 43 metres, pro climbers are sure to be in their element, however shorter and easier climbs are also available for beginners and intermediate visitors. What’s more, CLYMB will also incorporate a range of food and beverage outlets as well as a party space. Plus, it’s planned to be linked to the Yas Mall, the biggest shopping mall in Abu Dhabi, so you can combine an afternoon of adventure with a little retail therapy.

Jumeirah Sa’adiyat Island Resort

After Saadiyat Islands’ latest resident Louvre Abu Dhabi kickstarted the area’s plans to turn the island into a hotspot for international culture vultures, it makes sense for a new hotel to also sprout up too, right? Introducing Jumeirah Sa’adiyat Island Resort, a luxurious five-star hotel that will comprise 294 guest rooms and suites as well as private high-end villas. It will also include an all-day dining venue, two signature restaurants, a lobby lounge and bar as well as a beach and outdoor pool areas. The hotel will become part of a larger development plan to turn Saadiyat Island into a seven-district strong area that will house and service a population of 150,000 people. Other developments planned for the area include a championship golf course, a Performing Arts Centre, nine kilometres of deluxe beachfront, a promenade, marina and the Monte Carlo Beach Club. Therefore, the location for the new hotel speaks for itself. Visitors looking to be in the heart of a range of cultural and luxurious attractions should call off the search and base themselves at Jumeirah Sa’adiyat Island Resort, which is planned to open in 2018.


A first for 2018, when booking through Winged Boots you can also enjoy exclusive access to Emirates Palace without booking a night’s stay. Usually exclusive for guests and specially invited persons only, with this activity you can enjoy access to the stunning Emirates Palace and its gorgeous grounds, which offer the best views of the Sheikh’s palace. The picnic experience is available on the first Saturday of every month and includes a basket filled with delicious treats. With two baskets to choose from, opt for either the continental breakfast basket that’s filled with fresh juices, seasonal fruit, assorted pastries and delicious egg sandwiches or the tasty á la carte traditional afternoon tea hamper. Complete with salads, freshly baked scones with preserves and tasty sweet treats, this British-themed basket definitely will not disappoint. While sitting on the manicured lawn of the Emirates Palace on a luxurious picnic set-up you can also enjoy a glass of the finest bubbles. It doesn’t get much more deluxe than this…

Picnic at Emirates Palace

A first for 2018, when booking through Winged Boots you can also enjoy exclusive access to Emirates Palace without booking a night’s stay. Usually exclusive for guests and specially invited persons only, with this activity you can enjoy access to the stunning Emirates Palace and its gorgeous grounds, which offer the best views of the Sheikh’s palace. The picnic experience is available on the first Saturday of every month and includes a basket filled with delicious treats. With two baskets to choose from, opt for either the continental breakfast basket that’s filled with fresh juices, seasonal fruit, assorted pastries and delicious egg sandwiches or the tasty á la carte traditional afternoon tea hamper. Complete with salads, freshly baked scones with preserves and tasty sweet treats, this British-themed basket definitely will not disappoint. While sitting on the manicured lawn of the Emirates Palace on a luxurious picnic set-up you can also enjoy a glass of the finest bubbles. It doesn’t get much more deluxe than this…

Mangrove discovery

No, the mangroves of course are not new for 2018, however the way in which you can discover them is. A selection of tours are available for the new year, including guided and solo options. Starting at Eastern Mangroves Hotel and Spa by Anantara, there are a range of exciting excursions available including stand up paddle boarding and kayaking. Opt to explore the natural beauty as part of a group guided tour, or brave it alone with your family in tow for an adventurous afternoon you’re sure to remember. 

To find out more on Eastern Mangroves Hotel and Spa by Anantara click here
 

Formula 1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

Late November is notorious for being a busy time in Abu Dhabi thanks to the annual Formula 1 Grand Prix. This year’s event is on Sunday 25th November and is sure to see spectators from all over the world descend onto Yas Island for the much-anticipated yearly event. For the ultimate Abu Dhabi Grand Prix experience, why not combine a trip to the emirate’s cousin Dubai before the Grand Prix? Alpha Tours now offer private helicopter transfers from Atlantis The Palm in Dubai direct to the Yas Marina Circuit to the pop-up helipad on the Yas Marina Golf Course so you can make the most of two of the Middle East’s favourite cities in one great trip. Taking approximately 25-minutes, this journey is more than half the time it would take by car… and there’s no risk of stand-still traffic on Sheikh Zayed Road.

Click here to find out more on our Grand Prix offerings
 

Late November is notorious for being a busy time in Abu Dhabi thanks to the annual Formula 1 Grand Prix. This year’s event is on Sunday 25th November and is sure to see spectators from all over the world descend onto Yas Island for the much-anticipated yearly event. For the ultimate Abu Dhabi Grand Prix experience, why not combine a trip to the emirate’s cousin Dubai before the Grand Prix? Alpha Tours now offer private helicopter transfers from Atlantis The Palm in Dubai direct to the Yas Marina Circuit to the pop-up helipad on the Yas Marina Golf Course so you can make the most of two of the Middle East’s favourite cities in one great trip. Taking approximately 25-minutes, this journey is more than half the time it would take by car… and there’s no risk of stand-still traffic on Sheikh Zayed Road.

Click here to find out more on our Grand Prix offerings
 


Are you a seasoned visitor to Abu Dhabi? Although we’re sure you’ve already got your favourite hotel ready to book again, why not try somewhere new? 2018 will see The Abu Dhabi EDITION open its doors. Located in the downtown district on the waterfront of Al Bateen in the Abu Dhabi Marina, the hotel will comprise 198 guest rooms and 57 exclusive residences, all luxuriously-appointed of course. Its unique food and beverage outlets will include two signature restaurants, a gourmet market, lobby bar, tea lounge, pool bar and three-storey nightclub. Its leisure offering includes two pools, a state-of-the-art fitness centre and a sumptuous spa with seven treatment rooms.

Abu Dhabi EDITION

Are you a seasoned visitor to Abu Dhabi? Although we’re sure you’ve already got your favourite hotel ready to book again, why not try somewhere new? 2018 will see The Abu Dhabi EDITION open its doors. Located in the downtown district on the waterfront of Al Bateen in the Abu Dhabi Marina, the hotel will comprise 198 guest rooms and 57 exclusive residences, all luxuriously-appointed of course. Its unique food and beverage outlets will include two signature restaurants, a gourmet market, lobby bar, tea lounge, pool bar and three-storey nightclub. Its leisure offering includes two pools, a state-of-the-art fitness centre and a sumptuous spa with seven treatment rooms.

Supper in the Sky

Fancy an exclusive dining experience accompanied by majestic scenes of Abu Dhabi? Then head to St. Regis Abu Dhabi and start your ascent to the hotel’s helipad where once per month up to 20 guests can enjoy a unique dinner 255 metres above ground. To discover your dining table you’ll be escorted through a myriad of hidden corridors and elevators closed to the public to bring you to the hotel’s rooftop helipad. Here you’ll be met by an army of butlers, chefs, mixologists and wait staff who’s only mission is to ensure you have a truly memorable dining experience… and trust us, they succeed every time. 


One of Abu Dhabi’s all-encompassing entertainment venues is set to have a makeover, and – yes, you’ve guessed it – it’s worth a visit. A Dh3 billion plus project has been announced to expand and upgrade the Marina Mall alongside plans to develop a waterfront promenade, Marina Walk. Offering 546 metres of stunning waterfront views and 123,000 sqm of exciting leisure and entertainment experiences, Abu Dhabi Marina will become one of the most community-focused in all of Abu Dhabi. Boasting attractions for all ages including the city’s first skate park, the Maria will also house a range of restaurants to cater to almost every taste. The Mall already offers a bowling alley, the Middle East’s biggest trampoline park and a nine-screen VOX cinema however the new development is set to add a range of luxury high-end retailers, food and beverage facilities as well as a brand new residential tower. What more could you possibly need?
 

Abu Dhabi Marina

One of Abu Dhabi’s all-encompassing entertainment venues is set to have a makeover, and – yes, you’ve guessed it – it’s worth a visit. A Dh3 billion plus project has been announced to expand and upgrade the Marina Mall alongside plans to develop a waterfront promenade, Marina Walk. Offering 546 metres of stunning waterfront views and 123,000 sqm of exciting leisure and entertainment experiences, Abu Dhabi Marina will become one of the most community-focused in all of Abu Dhabi. Boasting attractions for all ages including the city’s first skate park, the Maria will also house a range of restaurants to cater to almost every taste. The Mall already offers a bowling alley, the Middle East’s biggest trampoline park and a nine-screen VOX cinema however the new development is set to add a range of luxury high-end retailers, food and beverage facilities as well as a brand new residential tower. What more could you possibly need?
 

Visit Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque’s souk

No trip to Abu Dhabi is complete without a visit to the mesmerising Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque. A true sight to behold, its flowering mosaic marble design, commanding size and overwhelming beauty makes it number one on most UAE visitors must-see list. Made of mostly natural materials including marble, stone, gold, crystals and semi-precious stones, the mosque simply glitters from every angle. It is also home to the largest single piece of carpet in the world and features seven dazzling chandeliers each made up of millions of Swarovski crystals. For 2018, a new souk development has been unveiled just a stone’s throw from SZGM. What’s more, a link from the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque’s visitor centre through underground pedestrian facilities will lead directly to the souk. 

Want to book your 2018 Abu Dhabi getaway? Call one of our personal travel managers today on 0203 816 0985 or click here to send a request direct to our team of experts' inbox

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