Tuesday, December 26, 2017

ABU DHABI - Adventure Meets Luxury

Magnificence of the desert, serenity of the seacoast and luxury of a capital; Abu Dhabi has it all. Visiting Abu Dhabi has always been one of the things on my bucket list. And when work takes you to a place, which has always been your travel dream; it doesn’t get better than this! What a wonderful experience it was, to be collaborating with ‘VISIT ABU DHABI’ as they took me through this adventure.

Abu Dhabi, which literally means the father of the Gazelle, is no less beautiful than than a gazelle itself. It is a city that has something for everyone, from the adventurous desert sand dune safaris to the picturesque tropical islands to the bright city life. Abu Dhabi is every traveler's dream, where luxury meets adventure, to give you an unparalleled travel experience.

Our journey was very comfortable, as we took a direct 3 hours flight from Pune to Abu Dhabi, with Jet airways. We arrived early in the morning and were warmly greeted by Ravindra, our chauffeur for the next 4 days. Chatting with Ravindra and getting to know a little bit more about Abu Dhabi, we arrived at our hotel, The Eastern Mangroves by Anantara, in an hours time.

Eastern Mangroves by Anantara is a gorgeous property with a backdrop of mangroves and an architecture which is traditionally rich and luxurious beyond description. The hotel is beautifully done up with arches and corridors in the Arabic cultural designs and is extremely spacious and relaxed. The various amenities that the Hotel provides include; Anantara Spa, an infinity pool, all day dining with a selection of International cuisines, a salon, a business centre and elegant lounges.
We were living in their Pool Suite, which was a huge comfortable and luxurious suite with a pool facing the mangroves. The suite was snug and cosy, while the hotel staff was very warm and friendly.

Our first outing in Abu Dhabi was to the beautiful property of the Zaya Nurai island resort. Zaya Nurai is a picturesque private island resort, 15 mins speed boat ride away from the city of Abu Dhabi. The island is simply gorgeous with a tropical feel. The clean white sand beaches lead you to the unending blue waters of the Gulf. There are beachside bars and restaurants which offer you a wide range of delectable cuisines, and some really cool swings right into the waters.  The staff is charming and friendly. We walked around on the beaches soaking in the views, and explored the property on cute bicycles provided there. We decided to have lunch at their beach facing restaurant, where we devoured the floating sushi platter. The food was delicious and authentic.

My favourite thing to do after a scrumptious lunch, is to go for a relaxing spa treatment. And we did just that!
The Zaya Nurai spa is again, a gorgeous property, with the treatment rooms giving you exquisite views of the ocean. The space is very relaxing and calming. The masseurs were trained professionals and we thoroughly enjoyed our massages. After our stress-relieving spa treatments, we enjoyed the sunset with a cup of herbal tea.


We were back in the city by dinner time and decided to explore one of the most popular restaurants there.We dined at Parmigiana at the Sofitel Hotel which serves authentic Italian cuisine. Here, we ate some Italian specials and mouth-watering desserts. The interiors were cozy and the food delicious.

Day 2

Our second day in Abu Dhabi promised to be one filled with fun and adventure as we set out for a tour of the desert. Just an hour’s drive from the city and you are in the midst of the glorious sand dunes of Abu Dhabi! Desert Rose tourism organised a day trip for us and it was indeed very well coordinated. Our day’s activities started with something that I had never done before, the thrilling dune rides! A Land Cruiser took us dune bashing, which turned out to be an experience I will never forget. A must-do for all the adventure lovers out there!  Our guide ‘Saleem’ was very warm and friendly and most importantly, a very good driver.
After we got done with the dune rides, we spent some leisurely time, walking around on the dunes and clicking pictures. Then we relaxed as we took in the setting sun, against the beautiful canvas of the desert.

After the sunset, the guide took us to the Desert Rose camp, where we were served some delicious barbeque grills, authentic Arabic and middle-eastern specialties and drinks. There were traditional dance performances organized for the entertainment of the guests. We especially enjoyed the belly dancing acts, while we unwound with the relaxing smoke of fragrant Shisha. This was definitely one authentic ‘Arabian Night’ to remember!

Day 3

The third and final day in Abu Dhabi started on an excited note, as we headed out to the Ferrari World. Placed in the city next to the Formula 1 Marina circuit, Ferrari world is the world’s first Ferrari-branded theme park. The park is full of fun-filled and adventurous activities. Ferrari World is the house of the fastest roller-coaster in the world, Formula Rossa. Apart from the various thrilling rides and roller-coasters, the park also offers you a great selection of restaurants. We spent an entire day at the park enjoying ourselves, going on different rides and eating our hearts out. This is the perfect place for thrill seekers and youngsters and of course, a paradise for the Ferrari fans.


After the fun-filled day at the Ferrari World, we were craving for a relaxed ambience and good food. And we found the perfect place for this, Asia De Cuba. The restaurant is located at the St. Regis’ prestigious Nation Towers, with a panoramic view of the Arabian gulf. Their beach deck with elegant cabanas, amazing views and great cocktails is perfect for a dinner date. Featuring cuisine they call ‘Chino-latino’ which is basically a perfect amalgamation of Asian and Latin flavours, the food here is as good as it can possibly get.

In all, the three days we spent in Abu Dhabi will be very close to our hearts. It is indeed a city that offers everything for everyone. No matter the age, i am sure you will have a great time in Abu Dhabi. Truly, a city where adventure meets luxury!
We will be back again very soon.