Regardless of the recent solar and humid climate in Abu Dhabi, there’s a jaunty air of enthusiasm as 1000’s of vacationers — from all elements of the globe — make their approach to town and Yas Island (the multi-purpose leisure centre that hosts exhibits and festivals attracting hundreds of thousands, making the UAE a hotspot for party-goers and vacationers). Gucci baggage and Louis Vuitton attire are discovered amidst extra typical beachwear and flip flops, all set for the Abu Dhabi Showdown Week: a seven-day occasion selling one of the best town has to supply.
A cab journey to Yas Island is simply 20 minutes from the airport, and after checking in at one of many many ritzy (but reasonably priced) motels within the district, we seize some breakfast by the pool. A shock is discovering that whereas texting is allowed, free audio/ video calling is blocked in Abu Dhabi (WhatsApp/Facetime, and so forth) and Uber isn’t an possibility both. Irrespective of, metered taxis are moderately priced and the drivers are a pleasant lot.
Our first cease is at Warner Bros World that may be a blast of nostalgia for anybody who grew up watching Cartoon Community. Characters from Looney Tunes, Hanna-Barbera and DC Comics are simply among the franchises on showcase right here, and even the continuous babble of pre-teens excitedly bumping into everybody round can’t dampen our temper.
Six themed areas are current: Gotham Metropolis, Metropolis, Cartoon Junction, Bedrock, Dynamite Gulch and Warner Bros Plaza, and it’s with a heavy coronary heart that we depart after a few hours, having tried just some of the 30-plus rides and points of interest. The must-try? A toss up between Scooby Doo: The Museum of Mysteries and Justice League: Warworld Assaults!
No time for lunch — a shawarma or two will do (in fact we’re going to binge on them whereas within the UAE!) — as we make our approach to the Yas Marina Circuit, official house of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Later this yr, followers can watch Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel compete on the monitor — however await it — take pleasure in Marshmello and Lana Del Rey open for the race too!
For guests now, aside from taking within the beautiful views, an experiential drive across the circuit in a System One automobile — or a wide range of different high-end monsters — is obtainable, although it’s going to set you again by fairly a bit (anyplace between ₹20,000 to ₹80,000).
Close by, there may be extra for followers of race vehicles and amusement parks: the astounding Ferrari World, which is house to the System Rossa, the world’s quickest rollercoaster! (prime pace of 240 kilometres per hour). There may be additionally one other magnificence — Flying Aces — that has the world’s tallest non-inverting loop. Nevertheless, if coasters should not your factor, there may be loads to maintain everybody completely happy: from movement simulators and interactive recreation exhibits to 4-D rides and a tour of the historic Ferrari manufacturing facility.
The du Enviornment — a shocking 13,000-seater indoor stadium created not too long ago to host one of the best of world occasions and artistes — is an expertise in itself.
Nevertheless, we’re current for the newest version of the Final Combating Championship — UFC 242 — the MMA occasion that’s headlined by a bout between stars, eventual light-weight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov and Dustin Poirier. The worldwide phenomenon is a rage in Dubai, as not simply followers of combined martial arts, but in addition fans of sports activities leisure flip as much as assist their favourites.
It’s whole however organised chaos on the venue pre-fight: followers from the US, Europe, Russia, Australia and throughout Asia have flown in, and it’s nearly a celebration within the fan part! Picture-ops with ring ladies, posing with the UFC championship belts, memorabilia, beer and meals counters, dancing are all a part of the night.
Don’t imagine the hype but? The Pink Sizzling Chili Peppers have been flown in the day past to a sold-out enviornment as a part of the showcase!
Nicely previous midnight, after the celebrations inside the world are over, we find yourself within the Yas social gathering district — any cabbie will know the best way to take you there.
Pub-hopping is one of the best route of motion right here, as various joints reminiscent of MAD, Stills, Stars ‘N’ Bars, Y Bar and so forth provide various levels of night-life and celebrity-spotting. With luck, you might end up on the bar counter subsequent to a UFC famous person or a pop singer like Katy Perry or Coldplay’s Chris Martin (no, we don’t child).
An early wake-up name sees us on our approach to the Arabian Wildlife Park in Sir Bani Yas Island. It has a really distinctive draw — it means that you can come face-to-face with the giraffes that decision it house. A viewing platform permits guests to stand up shut with the magnificent animals and gives breathtaking panoramic views.
You possibly can go on Nature safaris inside the sprawling park that has near 10,000 animals that transfer freely on the island, and you’re sure to come across cheetahs, gazelles, hyenas and oryxes on the drives.
Abu Dhabi has its personal model of Chokhi Dhani, with an expansive Heritage Village that vacationers can expertise. The attraction is a recreation of pre-modern Abu Dhabi and can give vacationers a style of typical life within the desert. The village has a mosque and an encampment and showcases the normal lifestyle. There may be additionally a improbable alternative to see conventional craftsmen at work making pottery, weaving material and crafting steel. There’s a store for spices and souvenirs.
The spectacular Louvre Museum in Abu Dhabi is 2 years outdated and homes among the most famed art work. Its existence is the results of an settlement between the UAE and French authorities, making the Louvre one of many largest museums within the area.
Along with work, the museum additionally homes breathtaking pictures and sculptures, together with works of Paul Gauguin and Rene Magritte. Different well-known painters whose works could be discovered on the Louvre embody Leonardo da Vinci, Vincent van Gogh, Henri Matisse and Claude Monet. With so many formidable artists housed below one roof, the expertise that the Louvre has on provide is unparalleled.
The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is the biggest mosque in Abu Dhabi, taking 11 years to assemble at a whopping 2 billion dirhams and spans 30 acres. The mosque structure borrows from Persian, Indian, Arab and Mughal kinds. Marble, gold, valuable stones, ceramics and crystals add to the glittering floor of the mosque, which gives beautiful views that make it a favorite amongst vacationers. The big Persian carpet within the prayer corridor is likely one of the many crowd favourites within the mosque. The seven German chandeliers are additionally famend for his or her workmanship. The lighting within the mosque has been designed to showcase the phases of the moon.
We wind up our day on the attractive Saadiyat white sand seaside, which is a novel attraction for these visiting from the subcontinent. The seaside gives nice scenic views to unwind and its pure panorama is likely one of the few which have been unaltered.
Rows of sunbeds can be found to calm down and take within the surroundings. Hawksbill turtles use the seaside as a nesting spot. The nine-kilometre stretch is free to entry and has varied facilities, together with public restrooms and lifeguards on patrol.
Guests are allowed to convey their very own meals. There’s a huge choice of cafés and high-quality eating eating places to select from. Souvenirs could be purchased at small outlets that encompass the seaside. For these eager on an awesome eating expertise, eating places reminiscent of Mare Mare, Seashore Home and Sontaya are a stone’s throw away from the seaside.
(The author was in Abu Dhabi on the invitation of Sony Footage Sports activities Community and UFC)