Posted in Desire, Travel on 3 April 2014 | by Sam

The discerning gent’s guide to Abu Dhabi



Abu Dhabi is an upcoming destination for the discerning gent, while it is currently seen as Dubai’s little brother, it is the new home of Formula One!


Elysium Magazine has put together the discerning gent’s guide to Abu Dhabi to ensure you are aware of what to do in the city that never sleeps.


Where to Stay


As you would expect, when looking for accommodation you are spoilt for choice in Abu Dhabi! There main areas we recommend staying are:


Tourist Club Area has everything you could want it easily accessible. It is not a specific area for tourists, as the name suggests, but is a buzzing residential block for offices and luxury apartments. A number of the top bars and clubs in Abu Dhabi are within easy distance of this district.




Yas Island is connected to the mainland. It is the home of Abu Dhabi’s Yas Marina Circuit, Ferrari World (theme park), Yas Links (golf course) and several hotels, including the fantastic Yas Island Rotana which we visited a number of times.  Outside of motor racing event times this is a quiet area to stay. It takes about 10 minutes to reach Abu Dhabi airport. It takes about 30 minutes to reach the busy center of Abu Dhabi and about 60 minutes to reach Dubai.


Corniche (or downtown) is the busiest part of Abu Dhabi, opposite the beach and home to a number of luxury hotels such as Emirates Palace, Jumeirah Etihad Towers and Rotana Khalidya Palace. Great for an active travellers looking to visit the sites, shop at the luxury malls and visit the sites.


What to do


The discerning gent comes to Abu Dhabi to rest and recharge. But he also comes to play! The Yas Marina Circuit is worth visiting as is Ferrari World. Fast cars, what’s not to like?




If you are looking to visit some of the local culture we would recommend Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque. An architectural masterpiece it can be seen from most of the sky rise hotels in Abu Dhabi. The guided tours are in English and take place twice a day. It is certainly worth doing as they provide much insight into why the mosque was built and how every piece within the mosque has a significant meaning.


Looking to relax and unwind having heard of Abu Dhabi’s 5 star treatments? Look no further than Zen Spa at the Beach Rotana which is located within the Tourist Club area. When stepped into the Beach Rotana we were embraced by the unique blend of traditional Arabian hospitality and the breathtaking opulence of modern luxury. The Zen Spa concept derives from Holistic Asian Philosophies with an added Contemporary twist. Zen is “uncomplicated” and “uncluttered”. The discerning gent should look no further than the Zen Spa when in Abu Dhabi.




If you are looking for pure over the top indulgence you should certainly visit Abu Dhabi’s Empires Palace. A beautiful building – home to royalty – which is covered in gold from top to bottom. It even has a Gold ATM in case you feel the urge of buying a gold brick while out in Abu Dhabi.


Food and drink


Abu Dhabi is certainly a foodie’s paradise. There are hundreds of quality restaurants in Abu Dhabi. Our top recommendations are:


Li Beirut at Jumeirah at Etihad Towers. This exquisitely designed Lebanese restaurant serves both traditional and contemporary Lebanese cuisine with European hints, offset by captivating views of the sea.




Rangoli at Yas Island Rotana.  This is a quaint restaurant serving North and South Indian cuisine in a contemporary setting, complemented with a modern presentation and an extensive wine and beverage list.


Prego’s, at the Beach Rotana, is an authentic yet contemporary Italian restaurant. Prego’s Pastas are freshly made on a daily basis, and the pizzas are baked in a traditional wood-fired oven.


Getting there


British Airways and Etihad Airways operate flights from London Heathrow direct to Abu Dhabi International Airport from £399 return. For more information on Abu Dhabi visit


Overall, the discerning gent had a fantastic time enjoying the luxury that is Abu Dhabi, it is certainly becoming more popular with tourists and it is still growing. With the likes Justin Timberlake performing there this year, it certain is the new go-to destination!




The Beach Rotana is set on its own stretch of beach in the Tourist Club Area, just 30 minutes away from the Abu Dhabi International Airport and 90 minutes from Dubai International Airport. Home to the prestigious Abu Dhabi Trade Centre complex, the hotel is directly linked by an exclusive passageway to the over one million square foot Abu Dhabi Mall—the capital’s most prestigious shopping mall, which houses international brands, a 6-screencineplex and entertainment venues. The five star property boasts a selection of restaurants and bars, a beach front location, water sports centre, swimming pool, and spa facilities. For best available rates, please view


The discerning gent can start his holiday in style at the airport – meet and greet parking as well as a lounge – visit for more information.

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