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

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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