Abu DhabiSand And The City: A Long Weekend In Abu Dhabi

Desert retreats, beaches and malls. Abu Dhabi is the perfect weekend escape

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Abu Dhabi has it all: pristine, white-sand beaches perfect for white-knuckle watersports and serene sunbathing; majestic desert landscapes that soothe the soul with their natural beauty; and the city itself, rising like an urban star over the Gulf coast. This jewel of the Arabian Gulf is an ideal getaway for a long weekend.


Couple walking on the beach


Jumeirah Al Wathba Desert Resort & Spa located in the heart of Abu Dhabi’s desert. Decorated in the style of a traditional desert hamlet, the tranquil Al Wathba was designed to coexist seamlessly with the surrounding environment. As a result, much of Al Wathba’s accommodation looks directly over the windswept dunes, while the huge pool, flanked by rows of flourishing palms, could easily be mistaken for an oasis.

View at the pool of One Bedroom Villa at Jumeirah Al Wathba Desert Resort & Spa


Here you can indulge in an array of innovative treatments available at Talise Spa. Set within a lush garden with the desert for its backdrop, this wellness sanctuary includes 10 treatment rooms and two couples’ rooms, and makes the perfect escape for couples and groups of friends. 

Alternatively, you can make the desert your playground and hire a 4x4 and driver to go ‘dune bashing’ over the towering waves of sand. Follow that with an unforgettable dining experience in a Bedouin camp as the sun’s dying rays paint the dunes a rich gold, before the twinkling lights of the stars emerge above.

Jumeirah Al Wathba Destination Dining 34


Just five minute’s drive from downtown Abu Dhabi is Saadiyat Island, home to the Zayed National Museum, the Louvre Abu Dhabi and the marina area, with its harbour, Maritime Museum and hotels. Head to Saadiyat Beach, arguably the most attractive stretch of sand in The Emirates to kick back and relax under the shade of a cabana, or dip your toes in the crystalline sea waters.

On the waterfront, Jumeirah at Saadiyat Island Resort is a love letter to Abu Dhabi’s azure coast. With its bright interiors and three stunning pools, it overlooks 400m of white sandy beaches. Spend a day unwinding here, have a massage or doze in the shade.

Jumeirah at saadiyat island resort pool view


Away from the quiet of the desert and the relaxation of the beach, the bright lights and atmosphere of the city call those looking for energy, cultural interest and lively metropolitan bustle. Here you’ll find the contemplative Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, the high-octane roar of Ferrari World, and the hydrodynamic Yas Waterworld. Don’t miss The Galleria and The Avenue at Etihad Towers in downtown Abu Dhabi for world-class shopping, with chic cafés and world-class restaurants to refuel along the way.

Make your base in the superb air-conditioned suites of Jumeirah at Etihad Towers.

Jumeirah at Etihad Towers Evening Skyline