The Definitive Guide to Living in the Capital , Cairo , Egypt

Sights & Travel

Cairo to Abu Dhabi: Escape to Paradise

Cairo to Abu Dhabi: Escape to Paradise
    written by
    Ranya Saadawi

    Tropical
    weather, sandy beaches and scrumptious food, exciting desert and oasis
    adventures, unlimited shopping and majestic hotels– welcome to Abu Dhabi. Just
    a hop, skip and a jump away from Cairo, Abu Dhabi is the perfect destination
    for you to indulge in all your hedonistic pleasures.

    Getting There

    Egypt Air and Etihad
    Airways
    offer direct flights from Cairo for under 2000LE. Air Arabia offers great deals from
    Alexandria Borg El Arab Airport for as little as 850LE. Online websites such as
    Expedia, Kayak
    and Cheaptickets are excellent; especially
    if you’re looking to book a hotel as well.

    Things to Do

    Abu
    Dhabi is known for its spectacular waterfront that stretches for miles with
    white, sandy beaches and calm, captivatingly blue water. Spend a day on the Corniche
    enjoying the beach and recreational activities offered. Though the public
    beach is clean and easily accessible, you can also opt to pay the small
    entrance fee for the ‘family beaches,’ where you can rent comfortable lounge
    chairs. There, you can partake in a number of water sport activities including
    kayaking, paddle boating and parasailing, as well as windsurfing and jet skiing.

    If
    you’re a thrill-seeking adventurer, head to Yas Island to check out the
    recently opened Ferrari World.
    This is the world’s largest indoor theme park and has the world’s fastest
    rollercoaster clocking in at 240km/h. Right next to Ferrari World is the Yas Marina Circuit, which hosts the
    annual Formula 1 car race. The Circuit is opened year-round and hosts a number
    of events, tours and racing activities.

    Don’t
    miss out on the Sheikh Zayed Grand
    Mosque; it
    is breathtakingly
    beautiful, expansive and white! As the third largest mosque in the world, you
    will be in awe of its sheer size and space.

    Only
    in the UAE would a hotel be a tourist sight destination; but when you enter the
    Emirates Palace Hotel, you will understand why. Everything in the hotel
    is glistening and shiny– probably due to the 1002 especially designed Swarovski
    crystal chandeliers featured throughout the hotel. Don’t forget to look out for
    the vending machine that dispenses only gold bars!

    If
    you have time, you can also arrange day trips for a desert excursion,
    visit Al
    Ain oasis
    or check out Dubai.

    Shopping

    Recovering shopaholics beware; Abu Dhabi’s shopping
    scene is too tempting to resist. Head to Marina Mall, Abu Dhabi Mall or Khaldiyiah
    Mall
    (just to name a few) and you will find everything from designer brands
    to international department stores and brands such as the recently opened
    H&M.

    For
    jewellery, head to Madinat Zayed Gold Souk. Be prepared for some intense
    haggling, but for Cairenes this should not be a problem. However, once a price
    is agreed upon, it’s bad taste not to actually make the purchase. Also check
    out Souk Qaryat El-Beri– Abu Dhabi’s modern, elegant and high-scale
    twist on the traditional Middle Eastern marketplace. Hop into the free water
    taxi for a beautiful and peaceful tour around the souk via its manmade canals.

    Dining

    Food
    lovers will delight in all the international cuisine offerings in Abu Dhabi.
    The emirate’s five-star hotels all boast a selection of high-end restaurants
    such as Hoi An’s Vietnamese food, Marakesh for a fine selection
    of Moroccan delicacies, or Al Fanar– a revolving restaurant offering
    unlimited champagne on Fridays. Indian, Lebanese and other Arabic local restaurants
    offer excellent quality food at reasonable rates. Check out India Palace
    or pop into Egypt’s ubiquitous food chain, Abu Shakra.

    Nightlife

    Abu
    Dhabi has a variety of bars, pubs and nightclubs, usually located in major
    hotels. If you’re looking for a dancing scene, check out Hemingway’s,
    where live music is played on most nights or Sax– a popular nightclub offers
    free drinks for women on Wednesday nights. For a more chilled scene, head to PJ’s,
    an entertaining Irish pub with a large expat crowd. For something classier,
    head to the bar at Hakkasan in the Emirates Palace Hotel; be sure to try
    one of their specialty cocktails. The strawberry and basil leaf martini is
    particularly popular. Check out TimeOut
    Abu Dhabi
    for more nightlife tips.

    Transportation

    Taxis
    are the easiest and most convenient way to get around Abu Dhabi. Car rentals
    are also available as long as you have a credit card and an international driver’s
    license.

    When
    to Visit

    Avoid
    the summer months because the heat and humidity is stifling.

    If
    you want an unforgettable weekend holiday, look no further than Abu Dhabi. You
    can wine and dine the night away, wake up to a lazy day on a pristine beach,
    and engage in retail therapy while staring in awe at the amazing manmade
    creations of Abu Dhabi.

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