Les Clefs D'Or
Les Clefs D'Or

Your Key To Authentic Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi is a destination of blue skies, stunning white sand beaches and a modern cosmopolitan city. The combination of international influences and a strong commitment to the legacy has created an intriguing mix of new and old. Anyone who’s ever seen a photo of Abu Dhabi knows how quickly the city has turned desert into metropolis. And anyone who’s been here knows that photos don’t do justice to the massive scale of the city’s ambition.

I think that the best way to get an overview of the city is to arrange private tours in order to experience the rich diversity of historic monuments, architectural landmarks, evocative heritage areas and centuries-old forts which reflects an ancient culture. My personal favorite thing to do is to drive around and explore the vibrant energy.

Start your experience at Qasr Al Hosn which is the oldest and most significant building in Abu Dhabi, holding the city’s first permanent structure; the watchtower. Carry on the journey to the famous Corniche with its beautiful promenade. Continue to the Heritage Village and embrace a glimpse into the emirate’s past. Be sure to stop over at the Marina Mall which is an upscale mall.

Take a minute and step into the magical world of the Emirates Palace where you will enjoy the quintessence of luxury hospitality, outstanding beauty and authentic local experiences. Culinary highlights include Le Café where you may try the very famous Palace Cappuccino. Sprinkled in real 24 carat gold flakes, this is the epitome of indulgence at the Palace. You can also taste the rich flavours of the region with the Emirates Palace signature dish, the 24 carat gold ‘Emirates Palace Camel Burger’.

Qasr Al Watan is a new, incredible and unique landmark in the United Arab Emirates which has become one of my favourite places to visit. The Qasr Al Watan is more than just a palace, it is an enriching journey in a contemporary setting that reveals and reflects on governance, knowledge and craftsmanship. The Palace offers you a unique opportunity to marvel at majestic hallways that is sure to leave you with a meaningful experience, explore exhibitions that celebrate the region’s rich Arabic heritage and learn more about the rulers and governing institutions that shaped this great nation.

Make your way to the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque which stands out as one of the world’s largest mosques, and the only one that captures unique interactions between Islam and world cultures.

Next, head to Yas Island and choose any of the major attractions like Yas Mall, Ferarri World, Yas Waterworld or Warner Bros World.

Carry on and explore the iconic Louvre Abu Dhabi which is the first universal museum in the Arab World that translates the spirit of openness of cultures. As one of the premier cultural institutions located in the heart of the Saadiyat Cultural District, the art-lovers dream displays the works of historical, cultural and sociological significance from ancient times to the contemporary era.

Then, make sure to visit Al Maryah Island, which is home to an exceptional selection of luxury boutiques, contemporary brands and a wide array of dining experiences. My favourite restaurants are COYA and La Petite Maison.

Whether you have just arrived in the city or have been here for ages, there is an area worth checking out which is the Mina Port Zayed. The fish market is one of the oldest in the country as well as one of the largest. While there is a seemingly endless array of fish and seafood, the options depend on the time of year and what’s available locally. Once you pick your fish you can get it cleaned on site and then choose from several different restaurants who will cook it right in front of you.

Abu Dhabi is a destination for travellers who seek an authentic experience and wish to immerse themselves in a resilient, and largely unchanged culture. It is indeed an intriguing city and one that you should definitely visit.

Meet the Author
Valmira Haxha

I was born in Albania but I was raised in Sweden and Norway to a family of engineers and entreprenues. However, I chose the path of medicine. My bachelor’s degree is in Dentistry. After traveling around the World I started to search for other adventures in my life. I came to the conclusion that there is no such thing as a perfect job, a perfect family or a perfect life but there is such a thing as a perfect moment.

My hotelier career started in 2012 at Radisson Blu Scandinavia in Oslo, Norway. In 2013 moving downtown, I joined the legendary Hotel Continental located in the heart of Oslo. In February 2018 I decided to move to Dubai where I joined the iconic Burj Al Arab hotel. As of now I am part of the Concierge team at the majestic Emirates Palace hotel. Moreover, I am a member of the prestigious association of UICH Les Clefs d’Or and I have also been a social media executive of the NHPF Association in Norway.

I do believe that my background is different in so many ways but my ambition has always been the same, to serve. I absloutely love being a Concierge and one of the things that I like the most is the fact that I am able to be part of organizing timeless memories. I enjoy being a navigator and assist requests at the hotel and offer recommendations on things to do, but also use my creativity to arrange special occassions and to advise of all the new and trendy hot spots in my city as well as worldwide.

It will be my pleasure to welcome you to Abu Dhabi and to help you plan and discover all that is possible in the city of dreams.

Emirates Palace

A lavishly imagined dream, Emirates Palace has always delivered on decadence. From 394 luxurious rooms and suites, to the award-winning culinary cuisine, Emirates Palace is the definition of an unrivaled and Arabian fantasy. Located in the heart of Abu Dhabi and only 40 minutes from the airport, the Emirates Palace is grand in both its design and myriad of offerings. From a 1.3 km pristine beach, landscaped pools and a private marina overlooking a natural bay, Emirates Palace is perfect for a once-in-a lifetime holiday or for events and meetings that make a statement.

Emirates Palace’s diverse range of the world’s finest cuisine in its 13 opulent restaurants offers meals to tempt every gastronome. Diners may experience exquisite seafood at Sayad served with a magnificent view of the Gulf, and the Palace’s Caviar Bar is renowned for its world-class champagne menu and caviar selections. You may dine as the locals do at Mezlai or simply partake in an international smorgasbord at La Vendôme.

The hotel has 2 expansive swimming pools, and a spa that offers massages, and a full range of lavish body treatments. The Emirates Palace also has a fitness centre and a kids’ club.

An ethereal experience, Emirates Palace is truly one of the most inspiring hotels in the UAE.


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