1. Concern: The sweltering hot
Truth: No one wants to melt on their holiday, least of all us. Abu Dhabi has a sub-tropical, arid climate. That means there’s almost year round blue sunny skies with near perfect winter temperatures (November to March) with very little rainfall.
In winter, temperatures range from a around 13C (low) at night to around 24C during the day. In summer the temperature can rise to a high of around 42C during the day (July and August are the hottest months).
That said, like in Australia, you stay out of the sun during the hottest part of the day. Think of all the ‘air conditioned’ shopping malls you can visit, fine restaurants to lunch at five-star resorts you can read a book at poolside while sipping cocktails!
2. Concern: You can’t drink
Truth: Speaking of cocktails…. you can drink. In fact, every night is ‘ladies night’ at one of the many five star hotels that offer inexpensive or, wait for it, FREE drinks for ladies. Then there’s the famous ‘Friday brunch’ held in almost every hotel in Abu Dhabi, which offer ‘free pour French Champagne’. You don’t even get that in Paris!
Emirates law allows tourists to buy and drink alcohol in licensed venues, such as hotels, restaurants and clubs. However, it is a punishable offence under United Arab Emirates law to drink or be under the influence of alcohol in public.
3. Concern: It isn’t safe
Truth: Abu Dhabi has actually been named the safest city in the world for the second time in a row, according to The CEO Report! In fact, Abu Dhabi has the lowest crime index of more than 300 cities. So you can hit those spice markets, exotic souks and beaches and feel safe and secure.
4. Concern: It is hard line conservative
Truth: Abu Dhabi and all of the United Arab Emirates is, in fact, very open and hospitable. The Emiratis pride themselves on their hospitality, which comes from their Bedouin past where travellers were always welcome into the Bedouin tent for dates, coffee and swapping of tales. In modern times, locals love to welcome guests to their country. Abu Dhabi's culture is firmly rooted in Arabia's Islamic traditions, creating a shining example of Islam's true commitment to tolerance and hospitality. The combination of international influences and a strong commitment to local heritage has created an intriguing mix of new and old.
However, visitors should be respectful during the Holy Month of Ramadan (approx May 5/6, 2019 and lasts for 29/30 days). This means refraining from drinking, eating and smoking in public places, being respectful of the ‘quiet time of reflection, charity and contemplation’ and dressing very conservatively. For a truly authentic experience of Emiraties hospitality, enjoy the festival of Eid Al Fitr – a three-day celebration of family life and the end of the Ramadan.
Visit the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi for great information about emirate’s rich cultural, historical and religious events.
5. Concern: Women have to cover up
Truth: Generally women can wear what they want. The only time women need to cover up is in the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, but that is inline with anyone visiting any religious monument world-over.
However, during the Holy Month of Ramadan, under Emirates law women should wear either long dresses or a conservative top and skirt or trousers - no tight trousers, sweaters, blouses or short, low cut tops should be worn in public. Swimmers are fine to wear in resorts, hotels and on private beaches. Men should wear trousers and a shirt.
6. Concern: It is very expensive
Truth: It is actually very affordable - the day to day costs are on par with Australia. That said alcohol is a little bit more expensive, but being Australian, we know how to balance the scales, or tip them in our favour (hint: hotels offer extended happy hour periods). Hotel competition is good – for visitors!
In fact the hotels are ‘sites’ themselves – far more grand than the ones we have in Australia and yet far less expensive. Visit The Edition hotel and St Regis for wow factor. All part of the experience!
Look out for holiday package deals like these:
* Book the Etihad Stopover deal you will receive two nights for the price of one.
* The Abu Dhabi Holiday Deal For Two includes:
· 5 nights in a Superior Sea View Room at The St. Regis Abu Dhabi
· Return economy flights with Etihad Airways
· Buffet breakfast daily
· Return private airport transfers
· Desert Sunset Drive and BBQ tour
· Story of Abu Dhabi City half-day tour Prices ex Sydney/Melbourne/ Brisbane from only $2199pp – save up to 57% Visit 7travel.com.au or call 1300 297 577