Kaiser Chiefs frontman Ricky Wilson in front of the Sheikh Zayed Mosque in Abu Dhabi during the 48 hour challenge. Courtesy Etihad Airways

Why not spend two days in the UAE doing some cool activities? Well, now it is possible with the 48 Hour Challenge. 

 

The challenge’ is part of Etihad Airways’ wider stopover campaign promoting Abu Dhabi as a ‘holiday within a holiday’ for transit travellers and a ‘staycation’ option for UAE residents wanting a relaxing short-break. The city’s many highlights can now be enjoyed through a series of exciting stopover programmes.

 

To launch the campaign, Etihad Airways recently challenged Ricky Wilson, singer-songwriter, TV personality and frontman of British indie rock band Kaiser Chiefs, to spend 48 hours exploring the best Abu Dhabi has to offer. The video of his attempt is part of a global online promotional campaign and captures the excitement of the challenge visually to share with consumers on social media and across the airline’s communications channels.

 

“For me a stopover meant sitting in the airport, or visiting duty free, but this is not what a stopover should be,” said the singer. “It should be flying falcons across the desert, kayaking, visiting water parks….imbibing the culture of the place. Abu Dhabi has taught me that stopovers can be as relaxing as they are exhilarating. There is something incredibly refreshing about pushing yourself, getting out of your comfort zone and fully immersing yourself in a new city. I will never stay in the airport again during a stopover.

 

“It is an incredible place, with warm, generous and extremely hospitable people. The city perfectly combines a relaxing and chilled out vibe with excitement and adventure. It is a beautiful city with endless things to do in a short space of time.”

 

Peter Baumgartner, Etihad Airways’ Chief Executive Officer, said: “The launch of Etihad Airways’ comprehensive stopover programme reinforces what we who live in this wonderful city have known for so long – that Abu Dhabi is a cosmopolitan, dynamic and thrilling destination packed with opportunities for all visitors, whether they are looking for adventure, culture, or a relaxing beach break.

 

“It is our honour as the national airline of the UAE, based here in Abu Dhabi, to promote and celebrate the emirate’s sophisticated infrastructure, the hospitality of the Emirati people, and its beautiful landscape. It is the perfect stopover destination for those flying through Abu Dhabi and an ideal domestic getaway for those living in the wider UAE.”

 

The airline will also launch a special competition to promote its stopover programme. From Friday 28 April until the end of 2017, Etihad Airways will be giving away 500 great prizes to members of the public who take up the 48 Hour Challenge and who post their experiences on Instagram using the hashtag #EtihadChallenge. The amazing prizes on offer range from 24-carat gold spa treatments to desert safari trips.

 

Etihad Airways’ Abu Dhabi stopover options include 2-for-1 deals on hotels and various activities. Guests who book a two-night stay from a choice of over 60 participating hotels in Abu Dhabi will receive the second night free. Business Class guests receive a complimentary night’s stay, while First Class guests receive two free nights. Etihad Airways’ guests flying in The Residence cabin onboard the airline’s flagship Airbus A380s will be treated to two nights at the luxurious Emirates Palace hotel.

 

Abu Dhabi’s world-famous leisure and business attractions include miles of beautiful white sand beaches, theme parks such as Yas Waterworld and Ferrari World, unforgettable desert safari expeditions, arts and cultural institutions such as Manarat Al Saadiyat and the soon to be opened Louvre museum, exquisite local and international dining, world-class golf, and the Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix and its race track, Yas Marina Circuit.

 


Ricky Wilson successfully completed the following activities on his Abu Dhabi 48 Hour Challenge:

 

·       A tour in a slingshot

·       Racing in a supercar

·       Cycling around the Formula 1 track

·       Speeding down a waterslide at Yas Waterworld

·       Boarding a superyacht

·       Buying a suit

·       Enjoying tea on the observation deck at Jumeirah at Etihad Towers

·       Skiing the desert sands on a snowboard

·       Tasting Black Truffle Pizza

·       Camel trekking

·       Taking a drive on the desert sand dunes

·       Learning to belly dance

·       Dining in the desert

·       Sleeping under the stars

·       Teeing off at Saadiyat Beach Golf Club

·       Riding the Formula Rossa at Ferrari World Abu Dhabi

·       Eating a local delicacy

·       Kayaking through the mangroves

·       Flying a falcon

·       Haggling at the souk

·       Visiting the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque

·       Enjoying a gold leaf facial

·       Partying at Iris Yas Island

·       A stay at the Yas Viceroy