Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Community > Trip Reports
Reload this Page >

A Weekend In Abu Dhabi

A Weekend In Abu Dhabi

Old Dec 22, 19, 12:51 am
  #1  
Moderator: Trip Reports
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Dubai
Posts: 3,299
A Weekend In Abu Dhabi

My weekend trip to Abu Dhabi, enjoying lunch at Le Pain Quotidien at Yas Mall, getting a dose of history and culture at the Louvre Abu Dhabi, sampling gold and luxury at Emirates Palace, savouring the camel tannour at Mezlai Emirati Restaurant and taking in the beautiful architecture of Sheikh Zayed Mosque.

My previous trip report's can be found below:

A Trip to Afghanistan
A Journey Through Kyrgyzstan
A Trip Around The Arabian Gulf
A Trip To Yemen
A Trip To Jordan & Israel
A Southern African Adventure
Road Trip to Saudi Arabia & Qatar
Five Days In Japan
Underground In New Zealand
A Trip To Iran
A Trip Around The Mediterranean
A Long Weekend In Paris
A Trip To Ukraine, Belarus & Russia
A Trip To Kenya & Tanzania
Beautiful Thailand
To Muscat For A Travel Magazine
Everest in Full Picture
A Trip To Bali & Dili
A Trip To Northern Iraq
Winter Trip To Europe
Christmas In Mogadishu
A Trip To Sudan
A Trip To DR Congo & Rwanda
Twelve Days Across Africa
A Trip To Lebanon
A Long Weekend In Prague
A Trip To Laos, Vietnam & Hong Kong
Off Road In Kazakhstan
A Trip To Turkmenistan
Six Days In Sri Lanka
A Trip To Copenhagen & Stockholm
Sixteen Days In West Africa
A Trip To Maldives
A Trip To Armenia & Nagorno-Karabakh
To The Frontlines Against ISIS
A Weekend In Baku
Return To New Zealand Via South-East Asia
Three Days In Georgia
A Trip To Bulgaria
A Trip To Iceland & Greenland
Back To Southern Africa
A Trip To Canada
A Trip To Eritrea
A Trip To Romania
A Trip To Djibouti
A Trip To Bangladesh
Three Days In Mexico City
A Trip To Havana
New York, New York
Relaxing In Seychelles
Four Days In Namibia
Frankfurt To Bruges
Nine Days In Brazil
Sarajevo To Dubrovnik
Three Days In Libya
Four Days In Hong Kong
Six Days In Ethiopia
Baghdad To Basra
Chișinău To Odessa
A Trip To Bhutan
Karachi To Peshawar
Eight Days In Argentina
A Trip To Colombia
A Tourist In North Korea
Venice To Zagreb
Sixteen Days In Central America
Nine Days In Norway
One Night At A Desert Resort
Relaxing In Mauritius
Four Days In Tajikistan
MareLuce likes this.
DanielW is offline  
Old Dec 22, 19, 12:51 am
  #2  
Moderator: Trip Reports
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Dubai
Posts: 3,299

Day 1.

On the road just after 10am and heading on the E11 to Abu Dhabi.


Today's plan was to first go to Yas Mall for lunch before heading to the Louvre Abu Dhabi on Saadiyat Island. We would then cross over Sheikh Khalifa Bridge onto Abu Dhabi Island and then drive along the Corniche to the Emirates Palace.


Fueling up at a ADNOC Station about half-way to Yas Island.


Outside Trayano at Yas Mall.


After a bit of shopping we headed to Le Pain Quotidien for lunch. Rianda with her frittata and potatoes with a glass of pomegranate lemonade.


And enjoying the Angler brunch platter with some black coffee and a glass of orange juice.


A short drive away on the E12 highway was the Louvre Abu Dhabi.


Opened in November 2017 by French President Emmanuel Macron, UAE Vice President Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum and Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the museum is the result of a thirty-year agreement between the city of Abu Dhabi and the French government.


In the first of twelve galleries in the museum, the Grand Vestibule, which featured a series of exhibits each containing a trio of similar historical objects from around the world.


Three hand axes. From left the first is from Saudi Arabia, 800,000 BCE, the second from Algeria, 200,000 BCE and the third on the right from France, 500,000 BCE.


The 3,000 year old sarcophagus of the ancient Egyptian Princess Henuttawy.


The Pharoah Ramesses II, sitting on his throne.


A bust of Constans, the Roman Emperor from 337 to 350.


A silver-gold pendant from Ras Al Khaimah, UAE dating from 2000 BCE.


A schist Buddhist statue of Bodhisattva from the Kushan Empire in present day Pakistan, 200 CE.


In a special darkened room that held ancient copies of Buddhist scripture, the Bible, the Quran along with the Torah (below) from Sana'a, Yemen from 1498.


A Greek male torso of an athlete from 200 CE.


A painting of Napoleon Bonaparte crossing the alps by Jacques-Louis David.


In the twelth and final gallery featuring contemporary art.


No. 14 (Browns over Dark) by Mark Rothko.


After the delightful walk through the various galleries we headed outside to discover and explore the distinctive architecture of the museum itself.


Designed by the French Architect Jean Nouvel, the museum features a "seemingly floating dome".


The dome is made from 7,850 aluminium stars of varying sizes and was designed to reflect light into the museum like a natural palm frond.


And had plenty of places for the perfect Instagram shot.


After the dose of history and culture at the Louvre we made our way over to Abu Dhabi Island and to the Emirates Palace for our one night stay.


Inside the very golden lobby.


At check-in where Rianda was welcomed with a single red rose.


And welcome cool hand towel to refresh with.


A map of the main floor of the hotel. We had booked a room with a garden/city view but were upgraded to a sea view.


Mukhtar showing us our room in the east wing. The hotel television loop also featured scenes with Vin Diesel and Paul Walker in the film Furious 7, which was partly shot at the hotel.


At 55 square meters (592 square feet) there was plenty of room to stretch out. Our low season summer rate was 1150 AED ($310) per night including breakfast and seemed quite reasonable compared to the 6150 AED ($1675) rack rate.


A plum, apple and kiwi.


The extensive (but albeit expensive) minibar.


Coffee machine and gold flaked water.


From 195 AED ($53) a bottle we would definitely be sticking to the complimentary water though!


The spacious marble bathroom.


Complete with bath tub.


The view from our balcony with Qasr Al Watan, the UAE Presidential Palace, visible in the distance.


And our two room keys, two golden medallions.


After freshening up we went out to explore the rest of the hotel.


Faux palm trees at the bottom of the atrium. The hotel is managed and run by Kempinski.


The Emirates Palace opened in 2005 and was at the time the world's most expensive hotel constructed at $3.9 billion.


A harpist and cellist entertaining guests.


The main atrium leading up to the hotel suites. The penthouse florr is home to six Royal suites which are used for visiting dignitaries such as GCC heads of state.


At Le Café where we took a seat for some afternoon coffee.


The hotel café is famous for its gold flaked cappuccino.


Rianda opted for the camel milk ice cream topped with 23 karat gold.


And at 73 AED ($19.90) the cappuccino was an affordable taste of outrageous luxury if only for the photo!


After the gold-flaked indulgence we went for a sunset walk along the private hotel beach.


Emirates Palace behind us with the 342 meter tall ADNOC Headquarters building center.


Looking at Qasr Al Watan at dusk from Emirates Palace Marina.


The moon upper-right as blue hour begins.


The hotel and city buildings now all lit up as dusk fades to an end.


Back at our room where our sheets had been turned down and slippers placed on each side of the bed.


Rianda making the most of the plush bathrobe and towels after showering before we headed to dinner.


We then headed down to the lower floor where the hotel restaurants were located. With 9 meter tall ceilings and lined with faux date palms it was very grand but also slightly surreal.


For dinner we decided on Mezlai, an Emirati Restaurant that has been voted one of the best Arabic restaurants in the country.

Welcome Arabic coffee.


A mural inside on the wall of some of the city landmarks including the Louvre Abu Dhabi and Sheikh Zayed Mosque which we would visit tomorrow.


There was only a few other guests so we settled in a small, private table in the corner of the restaurant.


Being an Emirati restaurant we figured we had to have the local water from Al Ain rather than one of the European brands on the menu.


Some fresh, hot bread with olive, tomato and chickpea dips to start.


For the entrée we shared a selection handmade meat, cheese and vegetable Sambousas.


My main, the camel tannour served with okra and ersyah, an Emirati specialty.


Rianda's Farsh fish rolls with baby spinach and olive, tomato, dill, onion, garlic and lemon sauce.


Both dishes were delicious with some amazing and very interesting flavours. Mezlai was quite different from other Arabic resturants we had been to over the years of living in the UAE and it was great to have a taste of local cuisine at such a stunning location.

The view from our balcony after we retired to our room at the end of a great day in the city.



Day 2.

After a good sleep I got up at 7:30am and went for a walk along the 1.3 kilometer beach again.


Looking down on the hotel surrounded by the extensive and well manicured grounds.


I then went for a lazy morning run to burn off some excess calories.


And finishing up with a warm dip in the sea.


I then caught up with Rianda who was taking it easy by the pool.


And cooled off from the morning humidity with some ice cold water.


After the easy morning we headed to Restaurant Le Vendome at 10am for breakfast.


Making the most of the extensive buffet with everything from dim sum to steak!


And enjoying the view from our room as as our short stay at the Emirates Palace came to an end.


Rianda posing for a photo in front of the portraits of the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan and UAE Vice President Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum after check out.


We then headed for a visit to Sheikh Zayed Mosque. Despite being open since 2007 it was our first visit to the country's largest mosque.


Looking up at the 107 meter tall minarets.


Designed by Syrian architect Yousef Abdelky, the dome layout and floorplan were inspired by the Badshahi Mosque in Lahore, which I had visited last year on my trip to Pakistan.


The main prayer hall featuring a 5627 m2, 30 ton carpet made with New Zealand and Iranian wool.


Rianda posing for a photo for her first visit to a mosque despite living in the Middle East since 2005!


And heading across Maqta Bridge on the E22 as we make our way back to Dubai after a great and relaxing weekend in Abu Dhabi.

DanielW is offline  
Old Dec 22, 19, 8:00 am
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Denver CO
Programs: HHonors Gold, National Emerald Club, no airline affinity status
Posts: 2,695
Awesome pictures. And Rianda looks absolutely stunning.
HawaiiTrvlr is offline  
Old Dec 22, 19, 1:41 pm
  #4  
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: San Francisco
Programs: GM on VX, UA, AA, HA, AS, SY; Budget Fastbreak
Posts: 8,876
Beautiful TR and great photos. Such fun luxury!
gaobest is online now  
Old Dec 22, 19, 9:55 pm
  #5  
Moderator: Trip Reports
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Dubai
Posts: 3,299
Originally Posted by HawaiiTrvlr View Post
Awesome pictures. And Rianda looks absolutely stunning.
Thank you, HawaiiTrvlr, yes, she is really rocking the baby glow.
Originally Posted by gaobest View Post
Beautiful TR and great photos. Such fun luxury!
Many thanks, gaobest. Everyone has to have a $20 gold-flaked cappuccino at least once in their life!
DanielW is offline  
Old Dec 23, 19, 11:44 am
  #6  
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Arcadia, CA
Programs: Marriott Lifetime Titanium
Posts: 849
Another terrific report from DanielW! Your pictures make me wish we had time to go inside the mosque. The exterior architecture itself is already stunning, but the inside has even more intricate detail than I imagined.
chongl is offline  
Old Dec 23, 19, 8:15 pm
  #7  
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: HKG
Posts: 1,249
The Louvre looks solid, and I'm surprised Emirates Palace's rooms look more traditional than I would have expected.
hkskyline is offline  
Old Dec 23, 19, 11:44 pm
  #8  
Moderator: Trip Reports
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Dubai
Posts: 3,299
Originally Posted by chongl View Post
Another terrific report from DanielW! Your pictures make me wish we had time to go inside the mosque. The exterior architecture itself is already stunning, but the inside has even more intricate detail than I imagined.
Many thanks, chongl. Yes, they definitely spared no expense for the interior, cool to read they used NZ wool for the carpets too.
Originally Posted by hkskyline View Post
The Louvre looks solid, and I'm surprised Emirates Palace's rooms look more traditional than I would have expected.
Yes, the Louvre is a very beautiful building. Apparently they're about to renovate the hotel so will be interesting to see what happens to the rooms:
https://www.thenational.ae/lifestyle...-2020-1.952056
DanielW is offline  
Old Dec 29, 19, 12:27 pm
  #9  
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Aberdeen, Scotland
Programs: BA Bronze, Emirates Silver, Virgin Silver, Marriott Titanium
Posts: 1,121
Thanks for another enjoyable TR from you. Wow at the size of the hotel!!!
nequine is offline  
Old Dec 31, 19, 10:19 am
  #10  
Moderator: Trip Reports
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Dubai
Posts: 3,299
Originally Posted by nequine View Post
Thanks for another enjoyable TR from you. Wow at the size of the hotel!!!
Thank you, nequine, yes, definitely must have cost a lot of petro-dollars!
DanielW is offline  
Old Jan 3, 20, 9:40 pm
  #11  
 
Join Date: Feb 1999
Location: T82
Programs: AA Gold, HH Gold
Posts: 2,845
Great TR and loved all the photos. How did the camel's milk ice cream taste? One thing I noticed, or didn't, was I never saw one bird in Abu Dhabi. Do they kill them? Just thought it was strange for a city by the sea.
Nanook is offline  
Old Jan 4, 20, 10:00 pm
  #12  
Moderator: Trip Reports
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Dubai
Posts: 3,299
Originally Posted by Nanook View Post
Great TR and loved all the photos. How did the camel's milk ice cream taste? One thing I noticed, or didn't, was I never saw one bird in Abu Dhabi. Do they kill them? Just thought it was strange for a city by the sea.
Thanks, Nanook. The ice cream was really smooth and delicious. Don't think they kill the birds. There's actually protected mangroves and wetlands right next to the city so would be surprised if they did.
DanielW is offline  
Old Jan 6, 20, 6:42 pm
  #13  
DH
 
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: Ashburn, VA (IAD/DCA/BWI)
Posts: 2,720
Thanks for beautiful pictures. They bring me the memory of my visit 5 years ago. ^
DH is online now  
Old Jan 7, 20, 7:30 am
  #14  
Moderator, Trip Reports
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: 6km East of EPAYE
Programs: UA Silver, AA Platinum, AS & DL GM Marriott TE, Hilton Gold
Posts: 9,576
What an awesome staycation trip report! It looks like you guys had a wonderful time - thank you for sharing.
Madone59 is offline  
Old Jan 7, 20, 8:42 am
  #15  
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Lon ,(former ABZ + AUH)
Programs: BAEC Gold, Starbucks Gold, CO Op gold
Posts: 160
Great Trip report Daniel, loved the photos. Congratulations on having a little one join your family, when is the due date?
Omar84 is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search Engine: