Updated: Oct 5
I think Abu Dhabi is one of the most baby friendly places we have been to so far; it is very familiar, the flight is not too long and the people are so welcoming. Most holiday makers will head to Abu Dhabi's more extravagant neighbour Dubai which we have also visited a few times but if you are after the glitz and glam of Dubai but with a more chilled out relaxed vibe then Abu Dhabi is the place to be.
Tyson Trails Recommends Visiting
Grand Sheikh Zayed Mosque - This is an absolute must do whether you are with children or not, bare in mind that the daytime temperature at certain times of the year can be extremely hot; too hot to be walking outside for any length of time without a pool to cool down in. We had this issue and after I did a little bit of research I noticed that the mosque is open until 10pm! Bonus as it allows you to marvel at its beauty at sunset and in the evening when they switch on the lights. We arrived around 6pm and was there for around 2 hours in total we didn't take any kind of buggy for Roman but they had free golf buggy to drive you everywhere. Before visiting I would advise having a read through their website at the dress codes etc. its naturally very strict, they do provide you with respectful clothing if you need anything.
The Louvre - This was on our itinerary before we even left for Abu Dhabi, Roy
being an artist loves to drag us round galleries everywhere we go and point out my lack of art knowledge. If like us you have visited the Louvre in Paris you will love this one in Abu Dhabi it is a little different; I would say it was a museum mix art gallery. They had everything from Egyptian artefacts, roman ruins and then modern art. The building is a work of art in itself and is worth a visit if only to marvel at its incredible visage built over crystal clear water. Roman loved all the space it offered him he could practice his walking skills and it was so clean I had no worries about letting him crawl around whilst we browsed.
Corniche Beach - What is any holiday without a beach? Corniche Beach is so beautiful and clear, It is around 5.5 miles starting from Mina Fish market to the Marina Mall. Many hotels have a private beachfront spot with free sun loungers which is perfect for a family as you have easy access to food, drink and your room meaning you dont have to lug your whole suitcase to the beach. We found ourselves on the beach every day, as far as beaches go the UAE know how to keep them clean and thanks to the very hot climate the water is like a bath! just don't forget your factor 50 and protective swimwear for the kids!
Where To Stay
We chose this hotel for it's location and amazing facilities, it was within walking distance to the marina mall which we visited most evenings and boasts multiple outdoor pools, water slide, and children's playground. It also offered a wide selection of dining options that include Italian, international flavours and a live band and DJ at the Jazz Bar and Dining. The staff were amazing, we found them so friendly and they always entertained Roman at breakfast which was a bonus.
Like with visiting any religious Muslim countries I always recommend to dress respectfully. Visitors are not expected to cover their heads or wear traditional clothing (except in mosques). However, it is advisable to wear long, loose clothing when out.
When to visit
The best time to visit Abu Dhabi is between April and May or from September to October. This is the spring and fall months, the weather can get quite hot during the day but manageable crowds and reasonable hotel rates. For the best weather not too hot and humid you'll want to visit in the winter (December through March). Especially with children i would avoid visiting in the summer it is very hot and quite unpleasant, we visited Dubai in August and could hardly leave the hotel pool!
Abu Dhabi International airport - this is the closest and takes roughly 30 minutes in a taxi to get to most hotels along the coastline. You could also use Dubai which is around and hour and half drive but allows you to get sometimes cheaper flights or do a split holiday. We also took advantage of Uber which allows you to book a car seat if you are travelling from Abu Dhabi to Dubai (or visa versa)
Food & drink
If you are looking for traditional cuisine you can expect lots of hummus, falafel and shawarma (kebab). We mostly use the malls in the UAE as you can literally eat everything from pizza to five guys which is fantastic when you are travelling with a baby as its fast and you can get it to take away if needed.