Tag Archives: Holiday

Abu Dhabi: Fun for all the Family

This entry is part 4 of 4 in the series The Emirates

Although Dubai is currently the most popular Emirate, the capital Abu Dhabi is fast becoming a tourist destination in its own right.

This Emirate has plenty of rides and slides for the thrill seekers. Most of these are located on the man-made Yas Island, an up-and-coming entertainment destination. It boasts Abu Dhabi’s state-of-the-art Grand Prix circuit, the Yas Viceroy Abu Dhabi five star hotel, and theme parks. Ferrari World is a car lover’s dream. The car-themed amusement park is complete with a tyre changing show, a junior Grand Prix, a Ferrari gallery and even a play area designed as a car wash.

Ferrari World, Abu Dhabi. Photo © Michael Schindler

Yas Waterworld is the Emirate’s popular water park, an exciting adventure for everyone’s inner child. It is family-friendly, with a wave pool, vertical drops, a surfable wave sheet, a water fortress for young children, and group rides and slides, which cater to single riders and couples.   

The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is Abu Dhabi’s colossal monument and its most visited attraction. Of course, it’s a frequented place of worship, but the Fatimid and Ottoman inspired landmark, constructed of Macedonian marble and furnished with mosaic tiling, attracts masses of tourists. Non-Muslims are granted access to all areas of the grand mosque, making it an enlightening insight into the architecture and religious customs of the Islamic faith.

Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, photo © Chris Mills

Another heritage site for tourists to visit is Qasr-al-Hosn. Being the oldest building in Abu Dhabi, it was originally a watchtower and was later converted into a fort by the royal family, who also resided in the Qasr-al-Hosn. Locals regard it as the symbolic birthplace of the Emirate. Those who want an experience of Abu Dhabi’s traditions should visit as there are plenty of artefacts on display presenting the region’s history.

Qasr-al-Hosn fort. Photo © Hsien-yang Tseng

Anyone in need of retail therapy can head down to one of the various shopping centers that Abu Dhabi has to offer. Between the two most prominent ones, Marina Mall and Abu Dhabi Mall, everyone’s shopping needs are catered for. Marina Mall has an ice rink, a Cineplex and many big brand stores.

Abu Dhabi is also a great place in which people can shop big names. The children’s play area “Kidoos” is perfect for families, and parents can continue shopping whilst their children enjoy hours of supervised fun. Arguably, the number of malls means that there is a risk of Abu Dhabi being compared to Dubai, its neighbouring Emirate which dominates the tourism industry in the region. However, the air-conditioned malls do provide a way for people to escape the intense heat and cool off.

Some may be surprised to find that the business orientated capital would have so many family friendly tourist attractions, but there are plenty to visit, making Abu Dhabi the perfect holiday destination.

Featured image © Ross Ruck

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A Whale of a Time: Swimming with Humpbacks in Bazaruto

In the summer of 2015, along with my older sister, twin brother and our mum, I embarked on a once-in-a-lifetime journey to Continue reading

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Around the World in Two Days

This entry is part 3 of 4 in the series The Emirates

Global Village is the fastest way to travel the world.

…Not literally, of course,  but this seasonal, cultural extravaganza allows you to visit most of the globe within a few hours.

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An Expat’s Guide to Christmas in Korea

To many, Christmas is a wondrous and magical time of year. A time of celebration and relaxation, a time to indulge in gift shopping for loved ones, a time for enjoying holiday festivities, and a time to fill one’s stomach with heaps of delicious, hearty food and drink to keep warm during the winter season. It’s considered the favourite of all western holidays, so being a foreigner in a country that doesn’t predominantly celebrate Christmas, and finding yourself thousands of miles from home around this time of year, can be quite disheartening.

(evedyahu)

Some expats in Korea go home for the holidays, but those that work in private schools and don’t have that luxury may begin to feel a little homesick. If that person is you, depending on where you live, here you will find some of the traditional activities Korea has to offer to help your Christmas feel more like home.

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October’s Seasonal Secrets

As a middle-aged, musical legend once told us: we’re all going on a summer holiday. However, I can’t help feeling Cliff Richard was being a little closed minded here, because we might not all choose to go during the summer. Though October traditionally brings to mind Halloween, pumpkins, and nights that are taking a definite turn towards their long, cold winter form, I bet something you didn’t consider was a holiday in Europe.

October is a great month for travel. While one of the downsides to any summer trip is the inevitable tourist crush, in October the population of Europe is no longer made up of more holidaymakers than residents. This works out for everyone: for travellers who like to see the sights, it means that the popular attractions are less crowded and more comfortable to explore; for those who enjoy blending into the local scene, your job will be made a lot easier – nobody expects the autumnal traveller.

Avoiding the height of summer is also a good strategy for the cost conscious among us. You can backpack in style or treat yourself to the luxury break you’ve always been tempted by because, as it’s not peak season, this time of year gives you cheaper airfares and cheaper accommodation, leaving you more money to actually explore the country (and all without the oppressive heat, which brings me to my next point…).

The weather is cooler in October. An obvious statement – and one that might not appear to be selling the holiday idea – but hear me out. Cooler does not necessarily mean cold. Take Rome, for example. October is one of the city’s best seasons: the heat is off, the city is pleasant to walk in again, the thick coating of sun cream is no longer obligatory, and the prospect of spending hours in the rather shade-less Roman Forum does not need to fill you with dread.

View-of-the-Acropolis-at-night-in-Athens-which-is-an-autumn-hotspot(Make the most of the last warm sun-rays in Athens this October. www.puretravel.com)

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