It was my second day in Abu Dhabi – the capital city of the United Arab Emirates. I took a bus ride from Dubai to Abu Dhabi and it was almost evening before I reached my hotel. So on my first day in Abu Dhabi, I couldn’t really go anywhere except some nearby areas on foot.
Before going to sleep, I made some plans for the next day as I wanted to get the best out of my time in the emirate.
My second day began a little late but I woke up fresh – perfect for a long day I had planned. I had a few palaces on my list and the Emirates Palace was one of them.
To my surprise, I was told by my taxi driver that most palaces in Abu Dhabi didn’t allow entry to visitors. He suggested that we pass by some palaces and he would tell me about them on our way to the Emirates Palace. I agreed and he shared his knowledge about the city and its history with me.
After an informative taxi ride for about half an hour, I finally reached my first destination for the day – the Emirates Palace!
Emirates Palace at a Glance
Although its name suggests that it is a ‘palace,’ Emirates Palace is both a palace and a 5-star hotel. Located on the prestigious Corniche Road, Emirates Palace is among the most iconic landmarks of Abu Dhabi. Although a rating higher than 5-star is not possible, Emirates Palace is often referred to as a ‘7-star’ hotel.
Built and owned by the government of Abu Dhabi, this ultra-luxurious hotel is managed by Kempinski. The estimated cost to build this ‘palace’ was about 11.02 billion AED or 3 billion USD! It has more than 300 rooms, 92 luxurious suites, a 1.3 km private beach, landscaped pools, tennis courts, and a marina of its own among other amenities.
14 food and beverage outlets serve local and international cuisine at this hotel. Le Vendome – which serves European and international buffet, Mezzaluna – offering Italian cuisine, Hakkasan – offering contemporary Chinese cuisine, and Mezlai – which offers Emirati cuisine are some of the food outlets present at the Emirates Palace.
Whether you book a suite at Emirates Palace or not, you can experience the great hospitality here. Not to mention, this Emirati landmark is a great location for photography. So keep your phone charged, or even better, carry a DSLR!
Things to Do
If you are staying at Emirates Palace, you will have access to a bunch of exclusive places and activities. But even if you are visiting the hotel as just a visitor, you get free access to a large part of it. Just walk through the main entrance and start wandering in the hotel as you please.
You can roam around the hotel and observe the artworks on its golden walls, lovely chandeliers and beautiful work of lighting and marble. Relax on one of those comfy couches or chairs and indulge in a ‘royal’ feeling.
At the reception area, you can grab a complimentary cup of coffee served with a piece of date. You can even ask for more and they will be happy to give you one. If a cup of traditional coffee isn’t enough, you can head over to a cafe for more.
I also came across a souvenir shop but I’m not sure if things were being sold. There was no one in the shop but you can ask someone around. If they’re selling, you can purchase some expensive gifts for your loved ones.
Throughout the palace – inside and out – you can take the most Instagram-worthy photos until your batteries run out! Just pull out your camera and start snapping pictures. Once you’re done with your visit, you might want to relax by the fountain or near the garden.
How to Dress for Your Visit
There’s no dress code to be followed during your visit to the Emirates Palace. You can dress the way you like but make sure you stay away from revealing outfits.
I saw elegantly dressed people – both male and female – throughout the building. Guests were carrying luxurious outfits from major local and international fashion labels – none of them too revealing.
In short, dress modestly to avoid any possible mood-spoiling event.
Other Sights Nearby
Now that you are already visiting one of the best sights in Abu Dhabi, you can move around a bit and visit some other places as well.
You can visit those famous Etihad Towers nearby on the opposite side of the road. The Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) tower along the way is one of the most beautiful buildings in Abu Dhabi. You would love to snap some photos here.
You can take a short 2.5 km ride to the Marina Mall (I walked there). Put on your shopping shoes and buy from hundreds of local and international brands. There are a number of cafes to satisfy your hunger, too.
Another 2 km ride from Marina Mall will take you to the Heritage Village. Heritage Village is worth visiting if you wish to learn more about the Arabian culture as it used to be decades ago. You can also buy some souvenirs or gifts for your friends and family at cheap rates. There’s a small beach here where you can relax a bit before you move to your next destination.
A Visit to Emirates Palace: Summing Up
If you are in UAE, a visit to Abu Dhabi is a must. And once in Abu Dhabi, you can’t ignore a trip to the Emirates Palace. Whether you book a room at the hotel or just wander around as a visitor, your time at the Emirates Palace will be completely worth it.
Don’t forget to pay a visit to other areas nearby. You can visit the Marina Mall, the Heritage Village, and the Etihad Towers. You might also want to relax a bit while overlooking the beautiful Persian Gulf.
That’s it, fellow travelers! This was Parvez and you were reading Emirates Palace, Abu Dhabi – A Must Visit Destination in the UAE Capital. I hope this article was worth your time and I would like to thank you for reading. I will be back with more travel experiences soon. Till then, go get lost and keep wandering.
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