A weekend getaway at Abu Dhabi’s Bab Al Qasr hotel

A welcome retreat in the heart of Abu Dhabi



In Abu Dhabi’s increasingly competitive hospitality market it takes something a little special to stand out from the crowd – especially when your neighbours are two of the emirate’s most recognised properties, Emirates Palace and Etihad Towers.

Bab Al Qasr, which is located on the city’s famous corniche does just that, with its own unique take on Arabic hospitality.

The 677-room property offers a mixture of the old with the new, including a spectacular open lobby area that’s perfect for Instagram snaps.

The hotel’s strong points come from both its location and design, with the city’s main attractions and Abu Dhabi International Airport all within a 30-minute drive.

Guests in rooms facing the front of the five-star property also enjoy spectacular views over the Abu Dhabi Presidential Palace and the nearby coastline.

After being checked-in by the attentive desk staff and taking time to examine the impressive lobby, it’s time to head upstairs to the rooms where traditional Abu Dhabi hospitality combines with modern technology.

Each room features a bedside control panel where everything from the temperature to individual light switches can be customised to your heart’s content. While the smart television acts as your guide to the hotel, replacing the need for traditional in-room booklets. You can also be sure of comfort with sizeable bedrooms featuring a desk and lounge furniture and bathrooms with tubs and showers.

Venturing out into the hotel there is a selection of food and beverage venues to choose from.

Artisan Kitchen is your stop for international cuisine and where the hotel’s breakfast buffet is served. Expect a large array of pastries, cheeses and cold meats. On top of omelette and crepe stations, there are more than enough options to please most palettes. Just try not to get carried away or you’ll ruin your lunch.

At weekends the hotel also offers a garden brunch on the grass opposite its private beach, with a delectable selection on salads, barbecued meats and deserts. The live music and pleasant surroundings make this a nice spot to unwind for a few hours before you return to the pool or for an Arabic-inspired couple’s treatment at the Ayana Spa.

As the sun goes down and the evening lights of the cityscape flick on, Peruvian eatery Limo is the place.

Whether you stop at the bar for a Latin American beverage or opt to share a few dishes in the restaurant you’re unlikely to find yourself disappointed by the flavours on offer or the preparation. The chalaco and arroz con mariscos are recommended or just opt for the chef surprise option where you are presented with a series of specially chosen dishes.

Outside of the food, the hotel’s other key selling point is the 140m private beach – with calm and clear waters and plenty of sunbeds accessible across the garden at the rear of the property. The sheltered location means there are little to no waves to speak of and plenty of opportunities for relaxation and family time.

Alternatively the property’s infinity pool offers great views of the nearby islands and the Loop bar on its doorstep or you can enjoy sights of the Presidential Palace on the opposite side of the building at the fifth floor Ayana Fitness gym.

All in all, Bab Al Qasr offers a great home base to explore Abu Dhabi, with a mixture of F&B options and facilities to cater to the capital’s increasingly diverse tourist market. While for UAE residents its certainly worth a look for a weekend getaway.