Alistair Bell at Just Journey has just returned from a holiday with his family to Abu Dhabi.
Having visited nearby Dubai before, Alistair was looking for a similar experience where the weather would be good during the February half term school holidays. Somewhere where there is enough to see and do whilst keeping the overall holiday relaxed.
In recent years Abu Dhabi has grown into a fantastic alternative to Dubai. It is not as big and busy as its neighbour but there is a plethora of fantastic hotels to choose from, great beaches and lots to see and do.
Alistair stayed at the Fairmont Bab Al Bahr, an excellent hotel located on the creek with its own private beach. From there you can relax on the beach and enjoy the sunshine, or around the huge pool complex.
The hotel has several excellent restaurants but a short walk away is a souk where there are shops and other fantastic restaurants to experience.
Away from the hotel, across the creek is the majestic Grand Mosque, one of the largest in the world.
A visit here is a must. It is an extremely welcoming place and spending some time viewing the incredible architecture amongst the solitude is a great experience.
Also in Abu Dhabi, there is Yas Island, a purpose built island with a host of entertainment located on it. There is the Formula 1 circuit there as well as several theme parks including Ferrari World, Warner Brothers World and the amazing waterpark of Yas Waterworld.
If you are in search of a bit of culture, the Louvre has a gallery there, the only one outside of Paris and the building itself is piece of art in its own right!
Abu Dhabi also makes a great base for exploring the desert that lies inland from the coastal cities of Abu Dhabi and Dubai. Here you can go ‘dune bashing’ in a 4×4 over the sand dunes as well as experiencing the culture and history of the Bedouin people.
For those who have been to Dubai and are looking for somewhere a bit different, or for those less keen on the glitz and glamour of Dubai but wanting a holiday where there is year round sunshine and a good amount of things to do then Abu Dhabi could be for you!