From 20 July to 9 September, it’s not just the temperature that will rise in the UAE capital. Abu Dhabi is preparing itself to entertain the influx of visitors expected to arrive.
Abu Dhabi’s national carrier, Etihad, says is expects up to 3.3 million travellers to fly across its network over this time and has issued some great travel tips to ensure a seamless travel experience.
Guests travelling with the airline are urged to make use of the airline’s mobile app allowing them to check in 49 hours before departure and download an electronic boarding pass. The app is free to download on iOS and Android, and has a host of features including preferred seat selection and a live flight tracker. Online check-in is also available on Etihad’s website, etihad.com.
Guests travelling onward from Abu Dhabi to other destinations are also urged to arrive at the airport at least three hours before take-off, accounting for extra road traffic.
US-bound guests are encouraged to pack any electronic devices larger than a smartphone in their checked baggage. Those wishing to carry their devices to the airport will be guided to a re-packing point before screening at the airport’s dedicated US immigration facility, where they can pack them into specially provided secure cases, for collection on arrival in the US. All US flights have power and USB ports at every seat, hundreds of hours of inflight entertainment, and Wi-Fi connectivity now available at lower rates with no time limits.
Another benefit for US-bound passengers is that Abu Dhabi International Airport is one of only a handful of airports outside North America that offer the United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP) facility. Having cleared CBP, guests can check-through their baggage to their final destination in the US. When they arrive, they will be treated as domestic passengers, meaning they will save time connecting to other flights or on to their final destination.
On select mornings in Terminal 3 between 21 and 24 June, a specially dedicated ‘Family Check-in’ area will be available for guests travelling with young children and infants.
If you are lucky enough to travel to or through Abu Dhabi over this period, or if you are looking for ideas for a spontaneous mid-year break, here’s how you can beat the heat in Abu Dhabi:
#SayYas: Abu Dhabi’s island of all things fun, Yas Island is not only home Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix every November, and of course Ferrari World it also offes one of the best spots to cool down - Yas Waterworld. Featuring 43 rides, slides and attractions, Yas Beach where you can spend the day sunning yourself or kayaking in the gulf, or for shopaholics Yas Mall, the second-largest mall in the United Arab Emirates.
Hit the beach: Head out to Saadiyat Beach Club, just 20 minutes’ drive from the city centre to enjoy the cooling waters of the crystal-clear infinity pools, comfy daybeds and cocktails.
Surfing in the desert: No where else in the world will you be able to surf in the desert. Wadi Adventure in Al Ain is home to a man-made wave machine which can create a wave as high as 3 metres high every 90 seconds.
Dive deep: Take some lessons at the Al Mahara Diving Center on a propulsion vehicle and tape your inner James Bond. Explore Abu Dhabi’s waters with a PADI day-course, which includes two dives.
Bright lights, big city: When the night comes calling, experience the nightlife of this vibrant city in one of the many clubs or bars Abu Dhabi has to offer. Rub shoulders with local A-listers at Rush, the only bar in the world built over a Formula 1 racetrack or dance the night away to your favourite throwback tunes from the 70s, 80s and 90s on the sea-facing terrace at Sho Cho.