The Fairmont Bab Al Bahr Hotel – Abu Dhabi, UAE

Abu Dhabi, the less well known UAE state. Usually overshadowed by its big cousin Dubai, it is fast becoming the new and less extravagant Dubai. However, dont let this lead you to beloeve that it is less luxurious.

SInce the building of the Abu Dhabi Formula 1 circuit, this city has attracted some of the wealthiest jet set in the world, but all without the obvious glitz of Dubai. This is the understated cousin, the quiet but well educated cousin.

A group of us went out to The Fairmont on reccomendation to get some winter sun, and some Abu Dhabi fun.

Fairmont Bab al Bahr - Abu Dhabi

This cousin has the Ferrari theme park with the fastest roller coaster in the world, Yas Waterworld , the region’s largest waterpark and as mentioned the Grand Prix Circuit.

What else? Well I am glad you asked. For anyone who likes a shop… (I like a shop), Yas Mall, in walking distance. You will find artisanal shops in a souk and for those who dont like to shop, an abra (boat) ride within winding canal path ways.

One of my group (The outdoorsey type) also did what I would call an “off the beaten track” Kayak afternoon, where you go with a group and literally kayak your way through Abu DHabi creek and winding streams. Thats all a little outdoorsey for me, but should you be looking for the “adventurous” side of Abu Dhabi, rest assured that you have options.

So, the hotel. Fairmont Bab Al Bahr is home to 369 rooms and suites which are all beautifully modern but still have a nod to the Arabian.

Fairmont Bab al Bahr - Abu Dhabi

Truthfully, when I am in the UAE, I want the decor to reflect that in some way. No, you dont need to have over the top sterotype but just a sense that you are immersed in their design culture and this place has that.

Fairmont Bab al Bahr - Abu Dhabi
Fairmont Bab al Bahr - Abu Dhabi

The Grounds: So they have a casual Olympic size swimming pool, Jacuzzi and a man made beach line. The one thing you will definitely struggle to find in this city is a beach hotel. So, this was a welcomed sight.

The Bars and Restaurants:  These include the The Marco Pierre White Steakhouse (which has excellent steak) and two Bars really worth a mention. Chamelion is their Bar/Club and is pretty cool with resident DJs, a very cool atmosphere and funky house/dance music.

Fairmont Bab al Bahr - Abu Dhabi

The other is the Cedar Lounge which looks a little like a Japanese Zen garden with a huge water wall feature and bamboo seating areas for individual group tables. You can order Apple Shisha to compliment you Apple Martini (this was particularly good) and relax in a pre or post dinner vibe.

Fairmont Bab al Bahr - Abu Dhabi

As a nice little addition, they have The Chocolate Gallery (Of coirse they do) where you can watch as chocolatiers craft chocolate treats in an artist studio or ‘atelier’. Now, I am not wild about chocolate particularly, though everyone I was with is and they went insane for the range of hot and iced chocolate beverages are and also cakes, truffles and pralines that you can eat on the terrace. Casual.

If you are looking for an Arabian destination, but dont want the glitz of Dubai or the quiet of Oman, I would say The Fairmont in Abu Dhabu is your bet.

The Fairmont Bab Al Bahr
– Khor Al Maqta, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, P.O. Box 114304

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