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Shopping trips and multi-centre holidays in Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi is perfectly placed between the UK and the Indian Ocean to provide a break in the journey to a longer distance, more exotic destination. Booking a multi-centre holiday to Abu Dhabi and the Indian Ocean means you'll get more from your time away and experience different cultures and attractions.

Top destinations to combine with Abu Dhabi include the Seychelles, Maldives, Mauritius and Sri Lanka - all of which are well known for their outstanding beaches and luxurious hotels. Balance your holiday lounging on a beach in the sun by spending time in the thriving heart of the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Abu Dhabi is its capital and boasts a vast array of attractions, from world-class shopping malls and top-quality restaurants to exciting theme parks and areas of outstanding natural beauty.

Why visit Abu Dhabi?

One of the main reasons to stop for a few days or even a week in Abu Dhabi is to break up the journey to more far-flung destinations. There are plenty of direct flights departing the UK for Abu Dhabi each week, with this journey taking approximately seven hours and 45 minutes.

Travelling directly to the likes of the Maldives or Mauritius can take between ten and 12 hours from the UK, depending on the destination you're heading to, which is why it's so attractive to have a break on such a long journey.

A holiday in Abu Dhabi will also give you the opportunity to discover what this fascinating Middle Eastern country has to offer - the contrast between its traditional culture and modern attractions is striking, while the emirate is also renowned for the quality of its shopping and the luxuriousness of its many hotels.

Shopping trips in Abu Dhabi

Shopping is one of Abu Dhabi's biggest attractions, with the emirate home to some of the world's most impressive malls, as well as a range of more traditional souks. The following are just a few of the shopping locations you may want to check out:

  • Al Ain Souk - Also known as the Central or Old Souk, this is the place to come for an authentic Emirati shopping experience. You can barter with stallholders over the price of fabrics, spices and fresh fruit, as well as more modern items like electrical goods.
  • Marina Mall - Marina Mall is one of Abu Dhabi's impressive modern shopping centres where, in addition to retail therapy, you can go ice skating, watch a movie or just enjoy some delicious food. There are more than 400 shops in here, including big names like Chanel, Gucci, Hugo Boss and Burberry.
  • Abu Dhabi Mall - Like Marina Mall, Abu Dhabi Mall has a vast array of retailers, as well as plenty of other attractions, including the child-friendly Kidoos play area and entertainment centre to keep little ones amused.
  • Madinat Zayed Shopping Centre - This complex is home to a wide selection of fashion retailers, but the main reason to shop here is for its gold stores and souks. There are over 70 jewellery outlets in this mall, as well as Abu Dhabi's only gold centre.

Rest and relaxation in Abu Dhabi

If you choose to just spend a few days in Abu Dhabi to break up your long journey to the Indian Ocean, then you may be more interested in hitting one of its beautiful beaches and simply relaxing after your flight.

The Corniche, which runs alongside the city, is one of the best stretches of sand in the emirate and close to all the amenities you could need. For somewhere a little more peaceful, head to the charming and luxurious Saadiyat Island - this is a great place to stay if you're looking for a high-end hotel in Abu Dhabi.

There are also a host of five-star spas in Abu Dhabi, so if you're in need of a soothing massage or want to reinvigorate your weary body after travelling, book in for a treatment and feel all your troubles simply melt away. Many of the wellness centres are located within the emirate's outstanding hotels, so if a spa day is important to you; make sure you book a room somewhere that offers these services.

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Abu Dhabi International Airport records rise in passengers in January

Abu Dhabi International Airport recorded an increase in passengers in January, 2017 with more than 2.2 million international visitors passing through the facility in the United Arab Emirates. The airport traffic figures were up by 2.6 per cent compared to the same month in 2016, and the majority of passengers originated from India and the United Kingdom.

Marriott Hotel Al Forsan to open to guests in Abu Dhabi in February

Marriott International will launch its second Marriott-branded hotel in Abu Dhabi next week. The Marriott Hotel Al Forsan will open its doors this February, 2017, and will cater for families and corporate groups. The new hotel has 400 guest rooms and suites, plus facilities including several restaurants with outside terraces, a 50-metre swimming pool with Splash bar, a kids area, a fitness centre, and a spa.

Abu Dhabi continues to see increase in guest arrivals

Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture announced that the country saw an eight per cent increase in tourists in 2016. Nearly 4.5 million tourists checked into Abu Dhabi hotels last year, a significant increase over the prior year. Among international visitors to Abu Dhabi, the UK contributed the third largest number of guests.