Abu Dhabi and Dubai have been a bucket-list destinations for us for as long as we can remember. Where else can you find such history juxtaposed with modern innovation? We were finally able to work a trip to each magical city into our schedules this year, and in no way did they disappoint. Here’s our quick travel guide to make your trip to the Manhattan of the Middle East and City of Gold one that really shines.

First stop: Abu Dhabi

Yes, you’ve heard of it: the richest city in the world. Sightseeing highlights included the Qasr Al Watan, a unique palace that represents a testament to the spirit of the United Arab Emirate’s people and its leaders, and the Louvre Abu Dhabi, an art museum just as impressive as its namesake in Paris. We were completely in awe of the hotel we chose: the Shangri-La Abu Dhabi Hotel. It was an oasis in the heart of the Emirates. Our room was elegant with an Arabian architectural flare, offering breathtaking views of the Khor Al Maqta Creek and Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque. Abra boats helped us travel through the waterways of the Qaryat Al Beri complex, where we shopped at the Souk.

Next stop: Dubai

Of course, the minute we set foot in Dubai we headed straight for the Burj Khalifa, one of the most talked-about, Instagrammed, and anticipated sights to see in the world. For those who don’t know, it’s the world’s tallest building, a stunning work of art, and an incomparable feat of engineering. Next was a visit to the Burj Al Arab Jumeirah, Dubai’s most iconic hotel shaped like a sail. Then, we couldn’t resist a trip to the beach, and where better than Atlantis, The Palm Hotel. It’s a Dubai institution and really transports you away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Not to mention, it’s home to Dubai’s number one water park with 30 slides and a record-breaking lazy river.

Finally, just as impressive as the Shangri-La Abu Dhabi was the Shangri-La Dubai Hotel, where we chose to stay. From the incredible dining options to the spa, to the perfect location, this hotel was everything we could have asked for and more.

This was truly an unforgettable trip for us. All we can say is that if you have the chance…GO. You will not regret it for forget it. Check out some other shots from our trip in the gallery below:


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