a snapshot of abu dhabi
Posted: 24 March 2017
From markets to Michelin star-rated chefs, extravagant architecture, roller-coaster rides at Ferrari World, lavish hotels, street food and breathtaking sunsets, Abu Dhabi has what it takes to be a world-class holiday destination.
sheikh zayed grand mosqueThe key site for worship in the country, this spiritual masterpiece is the third-largest mosque in the world and is surrounded by lush gardens and calm water pools. Created by over 3 000 artisans from different countries, the mosque's design includes influences from Persia to Pakistan and features luxurious natural materials such as gold, marble and semi-precious stones.
the corniche in downtown abu dhabiAbu Dhabi is not a walking city, largely due to the exorbitant temperatures in summer months and the option of relatively inexpensive taxi rides. The Corniche, however, is a lovely 8km scenic stretch of promenade where families and exercise enthusiasts spend their winter afternoons when temperatures reach around 25°C and the humidity levels are manageable.
zaya nurai islandZaya Nurai is a private island that's open to the public and only a 13-minute ferry ride from the mainland. Boasting prime real estate as well as bars and restaurants, this picturesque island is a tranquil and relaxing retreat. The Book Cellar, a beautiful contemporary library-cum-wine cellar on Zaya Nurai, boasts many collectors editions, including a signed SUMO-sized book of photographs by Annie Leibovitz. Muted wallpaper contrasts with touches of gold in the elegant interiors of the Ginger Mermaid restaurant on Zaya Nurai.
eating outWith a wide variety of cuisine ranging from Arabian to Italian, Abu Dhabi offers a myriad of dining options. Although street food is readily available and affordable, most restaurants are based in hotels as they are cooler in the summer months and permitted to hold a liquor license. FROM LEFT TO RIGHT Pan-seared foie gras at The Foundry in the Southern Sun Abu Dhabi, which is headed by chef Shaunne Cordier who is originally from The Round House in Cape Town; grilled angus striploin and oven-roasted prawns in a garlic, chilli and white wine sauce by chef Ivan Musoni at The Beach House, Park Hyatt, on Saadiyat Island. The Foundry steakhouse at the Southern Sun in Abu Dhabi. Turkish street-side restaurant Chagh Kabab.
market shoppingVisiting the Al Mina Fish Market is an authentic experience. Located in the Dhow Harbour, the market has a wide array of fresh seafood options and you can have your fish cooked right there in the harbour. Across the road from the fish market is Al Mina Fruit and Vegetable Market, which is the best place to buy produce such as chillies, figs and dates.
Read the full story on Abu Dhabi, the land of luxury, in House and Leisure's April 2017 issue.