Abu Dhabi - From the world’s furthest leaning man-made tower to a rain of purple light straddling a F1 racetrack, it’s not often you get to wake up in places as weird and wonderful as those you’ll fine in Abu Dhabi.
Here are our top five picks if you’re travelling to the emirate soon...
For only the ‘Fast and Furious…’
A dramatic architectural statement which featured in the Hollywood blockbuster Fast & Furious 7, this five-tower complex includes the Observation Deck at 300 on the 74 th floor of Tower 2, providing panoramic city and Arabian Gulf views. Etihad Towers is home to the Jumeirah Etihad Towers offering over 380 rooms, a range of world-class restaurants, including one by Michelin-star chef Michael Caine, a gym and no fewer than three swimming pools, not to mention a private beach.
A Capital experience
Touted as a modern-day challenger to the Leaning Tower of Pisa, Capital Gate leans 18 degrees westwards, more than four times that of the Leaning Tower of Pisa. The 160-metre 35-storey tower houses a five-star hotel, the Hyatt Capital Gate, occupying the 18 th to 33 rd floors of the building with breath-taking panoramic floor-to-ceiling views. Abu Dhabi’s only spa-in- the-sky experience is on the 19 th floor overlooking the city.
A race to the finish
A true architectural triumph, the Yas Viceroy is five-star iconic hotel and the only one in the world to straddle a F1 race track, breathtakingly built half on land and half over water. The hotel’s main feature is its unique ‘grid shell’ - a 219 metre expanse of sweeping curvilinear glass and steel covering that drapes over the two hotel towers and lights up deep purple at night, linked by a bridge that crosses the F1 circuit. Our favourite features of the hotel include the Origins restaurant with fantastic views over the racetrack, and Skylite Rooftop Lounge where you can enjoy cocktails under Abu Dhabi’s most sensational light-filled canopy.
Like kings and queens
The haunt of the rich and famous, Abu Dhabi’s Emirates Palace golden sandy hue and green gardens stand out against the azure blue Arabian Gulf, while at night, the hotel’s lighting changes subtly, featuring a majestic rainbow-changing effect over the main dome. The main Palace building stretches over a kilometre from wing to wing, and its gardens and surroundings spread across 100 hectares. The hotel features 114 domes, with the central dome at an imposing 72.6 metres above ground. Gold, mother of pearl and Swarovski crystals dominate the interior and the ATM dispensing gold memorabilia and the gold leaf cappuccino and Palace Cake an absolute highlight of any stay.
Soulful and serene…
Spend a few nights in the desert in quiet contemplation and you’ll be glad you ditched the city for the desert sands of Qasr Al Sarab. Located in Abu Dhabi’s Empty Quarter in the Rub Al Khali sand desert, just 221km or a two-hour drive from Abu Dhabi’s city centre, this is luxury living in other-worldly surrounds. Spend your days camel trekking, braving the dunes in a 4X4 or land sailing across the desert. Witness the Arabian tradition of falcon and saluki hunts or relax by the pool in the middle of the largest uninterrupted desert in the world.
Adapted from a press release for IOL