Abu Dhabi's Desert Gems - luxury Hotels You Should Consider

FORTLOC Staff 01/03/2024
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Abu Dhabi Skyline

Image: Abu Dhabi Skyline Credit: Boule

One of the richest cities in the world, it's steeped in opulence and luxury, with landmarks such as the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, one of the largest and most famous in the world. Whether you're visiting for work or with friends and family, there's a lot to see and do in Abu Dhabi to make it a place you can stay for a few weeks without running out of exciting activities to enjoy. Abu Dhabi has a long list of hotels you can choose from, with many doing all they can to get the attention of visitors. Here's a list of some of the city's best luxury hotels.

W Abu Dhabi

Exploring F1's Top Venue

W Abu Dhabi

Image: W Abu Dhabi Credit: FORTLOC/Khalid Bari

The hotel offers luxury rooms with beautiful views of Yas Marina. Inside, you'll find a gorgeous interior with a blend of contemporary and Arabian designs in the rooms and across the impressive range of restaurants and lounges. Also available is a luxury spa and two rooftop pools.

The W Abu Dhabi gets extra points for being close to top attractions like Ferrari World, Warner Bros. World, and SeaWorld Abu Dhabi, all of which are on Yas Island. The hotel is also just a 10-minute drive from the Abu Dhabi International Airport.

Address:   yas island, abu dhabi, uae, 131808


Conrad Abu Dhabi Etihad Towers

Conrad Abu Dhabi lobby

Image: Conrad Abu Dhabi lobby Credit: Hakanyalicn

Each of the 377 sleek and stylish rooms and suites features fully integrated lifestyle tech, 24-hour room service, and stunning design features to make your stay a truly unforgettable one.

If you plan to stay for a while, you can take advantage of the available apartments instead of the regular hotel rooms and suites.

Address:   conrad abu dhabi etihad towers, west corniche, abu dhabi, uae


Emirates Palace Mandarin Oriental

Emirates Palace Mandarin Oriental Hotel

Image: Emirates Palace Mandarin Oriental Hotel Credit: Mateus Sposito

The hotel offers eight incredible restaurants, a beautiful spa, two swimming pools, a private beach, and a private marina. The marina, which shares its name with the hotel is a superyacht haven and offers what may be the most exclusive mooring facility in the UAE.

A short distance from key Abu Dhabi tourist attractions like Qasr Al Watan Presidential Palace and Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, it's safe to say a stay in the city cannot be any better than one at this hotel.

Fast and Furious fans will remember the building from the Abu Dhabi scenes in Fast and Furious 7, where the hotel's grand exterior and beachfront were displayed in their full glory.

Address:   west corniche road, abu dhabi, uae


Andaz Capital Gate Hotel

Capital Gate district

Image: Capital Gate district Credit: Kazzazm

The iconic structure, which leans 18 degrees hosts this hotel which exudes contemporary luxury. Nestled in the perfect spot just 15 minutes from the airport, its proximity to the world-class Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre should draw the attention of business travelers as the center offers facilities to host large conferences and meetings.

With elegantly designed contemporary stately rooms and suites on offer, the hotel truly immerses you in the culture and lifestyle of the area. With a fitness center, spectacular outdoor pool, spa, and multiple bars and restaurants, you're spoilt for choice when staying here.

Address:   al khaleej al arabi street, p.o. box 95165, abu dhabi, uae


The St Regis Saadiyat Island Resort

St. Regis Saadiyat Island Resort Entrance

Image: St. Regis Saadiyat Island Resort Entrance Credit: Myroslava Bozhko

The design here is more traditional and exudes luxury and comfort in all areas of the hotel. You can dine in six different restaurants, head to the spa, and make time to visit the athletic club and golf course. The ultimate experience here is at the Royal Suite, a tastefully decorated duplex occupying the upper part of the hotel. The suite offers amenities fit for royalty.

Also seize the opportunity to explore Saadiyat Island. The Island's most popular attraction is the Louvre Abu Dhabi which is within walking distance of the resort. But feel free to take luxury transportation instead. After all, you're on vacation.

Address:   saadiyat island, p.o. box 54345, abu dhabi, uae


Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort

Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort

Image: Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort Credit: Pracha Hariraksapita

However, don't let the sound of desert living fool you into thinking this can't be a luxury experience. This Anantara Group owned 140-room and 14-suite property offers all you'll expect from a 5-star resort. You can select from spacious luxurious rooms and suites or choose to stay in one of the villas close to the main resort's location. In addition, dining choices include cosmopolitan options despite the remote location.

Beyond the top-notch accommodation and services, you can enjoy a host of desert adventures here including exploration by camelback as well as a range of Moroccan hammam and desert spa activities.

Address:   1 qasr al sarab road, liwa desert, mahdar bin usayyan, 131277


Shangri-La Qaryat Al Beri

Shangri-La Qaryat Al Beri

Image: Shangri-La Qaryat Al Beri Credit: Secret Traveller

Similar to the Qasr Al Sarab resort, the hotel also offers expansive villas for those who value the additional space and privacy. Sit on your balcony and soak up the views before heading to their spa for a relaxing treatment and massage. There are numerous restaurants and bars to make the most of as well as Shangri-La's exemplary service.

Other perks include amazing artificial waterways you can take a boat ride on for an Arabian version of a Venice gondola ride and private outdoor dining setups.

Address:   khor al maqta, p.o. box 128881, abu dhabi uae


Park Hyatt Abu Dhabi Hotel

Oasis of the Park Hyatt Abu Dhabi hotel

Image: Oasis of the Park Hyatt Abu Dhabi hotel Credit: Stanislav71

Not to be outdone by some of the hotels on this list, the Park Hyatt also offers impressive villas with at least one private pool to ensure that guests who prefer maximum privacy don't miss out on any of the impressive amenities on offer.

The hotel has a good list of dining options with some of the best restaurants in the city to cement its impressive list of guest services.

Address:   saadiyat island, po box 52007, abu dhabi, uae


The Ritz-Carlton Abu Dhabi, Grand Canal

Ritz-Carlton Abu Dhabi, Grand Canal

Image: Ritz-Carlton Abu Dhabi, Grand Canal Credit: Vladimir Zhoga

Built directly opposite the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, the hotel is an excellent choice for those who wish to spend a lot of time exploring the spectacular Abu Dhabi landmark. Guests can also enjoy the remarkable sunset views of the mosque from the hotel grounds. On the other side of the hotel, guests can enjoy a private beach directly in front of the impeccably designed pool area.

In addition to offering cosmopolitan dining options, the hotel has a hydroponic farm which provides pesticide-free fresh produce and reduces the hotel's carbon footprint.



Abu Dhabi Edition

Abu Dhabi Edition

Image: Abu Dhabi Edition Credit: Elena Bee

The hotel has a total of 198 rooms and 57 serviced residences available to guests. Dining options include three signature restaurants, a three-story social space, a pool bar, and a lobby bar. Business travelers will be happy to note that the hotel has over 900 square meters of event and meeting space available.

Address:   al bateen marina po box 127799 abu dhabi, uae



Frequently Asked Questions about Abu Dhabi.

Which area of Abu Dhabi is best to stay in?

When thinking of where to stay in Abu Dhabi, there are a great number of options. With various parts of the city offering something unique, you want to consider why you're heading there, what you want to do, and how near you want to be to certain attractions.

There's downtown Abu Dhabi, the central business district, Al Maryah Island, Yas Island, Saadiyat Island, and more. We recommend staying on Saadiyat Island, home to the Louvre Abu Dhabi, the Saadiyat Beach Golf Club, and several beautiful luxury beachfront resorts. The island is ideal for those after some culture or looking for something a little more peaceful. It offers convenience via proximity to popular attractions.

What is Abu Dhabi's most expensive hotel?

The most expensive hotel in Abu Dhabi is the Emirates Palace Hotel. An iconic and undeniably luxurious five-star establishment, it's well known for its impeccable service and awe-inspiring design. Easily accessible from the city center, it's an architectural masterpiece that incorporates marble and gold leaf - a nod towards the incredible design and luxury the UAE is known for. There are lavishly designed suites, numerous restaurants, and even an ATM that dispenses gold bars and coins.

How is Abu Dhabi different from Dubai?

When looking for where to go in the UAE, the two places often deliberated between are Dubai and Abu Dhabi, but what are the differences? While they both share many similarities, there are a few main differences between them. Dubai is often seen as more tourist-centric and includes places such as the Burj Khalifa - the tallest building in the world, luxury shopping malls, and a vibrant nightlife. Abu Dhabi, on the other hand, is seen as more relaxed and offers a richer cultural experience. Abu Dhabi is larger in terms of land but has a smaller population. Regarding infrastructure, Dubai is known for rapid and bold projects focusing on contemporary design. Abu Dhabi, on the other hand, has a more even balance of modern and traditional design.

Which is more beautiful, Dubai or Abu Dhabi?

Both cities are steeped in their own unique charm and offer differing views and experiences. Dubai is well known for its futuristic stance, with iconic glass facades and towering contemporary buildings. It has a vibrant nightlife and a range of extravagant attractions such as the Dubai Fountain and Dubai Marina. On the other hand, Abu Dhabi tends to marry contemporary and traditional culture together for a more varied appearance. However, there's still an abundance of lavish and opulent buildings here with unique architecture. Examples of these include the Louvre Abu Dhabi and the Qasr Al Hosn. Abu Dhabi also boasts pristine beaches and traditional markets, which add to the authenticity of the destination and make it a truly stunning place to visit.

Can you drink alcohol in Abu Dhabi?

When considering a trip to the UAE, you might be wondering if you're allowed to drink alcohol. The answer to this is yes, but there are specific laws, regulations, and restrictions that you need to follow. Remember to adhere to the Islamic Law and cultural norms in Abu Dhabi and respect the locals. Alcohol is only available in licensed venues, and this tends to be in hotels, restaurants, bars, and clubs.

The drinking age is 21, and you're only allowed to consume alcohol in designated areas. If you are in possession of alcohol in a public place or consume it somewhere you're not allowed, you might face a fine or other punishment.

Can a woman wear pants in Abu Dhabi?

Women can wear pants in Abu Dhabi. You need to note that other items that aren't considered modest would be significantly frowned upon, and as such, you need to be aware of the local laws and customs. Ladies' clothing should cover the shoulders, chest, and knees, and anything too tight or revealing should be avoided. During religious events or in certain areas, you'll want clothes covering as much skin as possible, such as long skirts and sleeves or loose-fitting trousers. When at the beach or swimming pool, swim attire is acceptable, but when leaving these areas, you'll need to cover up before making your way to your next destination. Places like hotels and resorts might offer more relaxed dress codes, allowing you to wear shorts and sundresses, but it's still a good idea to respect the local culture by dressing modestly.