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My Trip to Saadiyat Island by Jacqui Nocton

To find out more about any of these hotels, please contact Jacqui Nocton from our Tonbridge branch on 01732 351223 or email

This trip was impacted hugely by the biggest storm the UAE has had in over 30 years, so a lot of the itinerary was cancelled.
Flights with Etihad: Outbound economy: Inbound Premium economy: Extremely comfortable flights both ways, economy was comfortable enough but the extra space with premium made the journey that little bit more enjoyable. We also got to experience the business Class lounge on the return in Abu Dhabi, which was lovely, with shower rooms, prayer rooms, quiet rooms, flat lounge chairs, children’s corner and very well stocked bar and food buffet.
Transfer to Saadiyat Island – approximately 30 mins. Saadiyat chauffeur service is free for anyone staying at the Rixos must pre-book with pre-arranged times. This service can also be used whilst in resort to take you to the various attractions in the area

Hotel Rixos Premium Saadiyat Island: General Overview

An All-Inclusive resort with a main buffet restaurant and six other a la carte options that you can use once each during seven nights stay. The restaurants must be booked in advance and can only be booked when you arrive (not before). The food in the main buffet was particularly good with a vast selection of choice and various genres.

The All-Inclusive includes all drinks, and the wines were of an exceptionally superior quality and spirits used for drinks and cocktails were all branded. The cocktails are made from scratch and the list is extensive.

There is a bar at the pool with waiter service and a bar on the beach serving drinks and fruit platters. There is a wooden boardwalk that leads to the beach and sunbeds, umbrellas, showers, and towels are all at hand. The white sand is super soft and the water very blue and clear.

There is a large family pool area with a separate adult only area and waiter service is available. There is a wave pool and kids pool area along with a kids’ club.

Although the hotel is quite big it really does not feel that way and the service is second to none. Whilst we were staying there was a major storm on a hurricane level, so the hotel had a lot of problems with flooding and debris blown all over the resort, trees coming down. The staff managed this remarkably and the following day were all on the big clean up but with little disruption to the guests. I was extremely impressed with how this was dealt with.

Suffice to say it is a very lovely hotel and very suitable for families with children of all ages. Rooms are very well appointed and comfortable.

Day 2: Visit to the Presidental Palace
Entrance £15 pre book online, £18 on the day
Dress Modest – Knees and Shoulders covered (Men and Women)

A working palace which houses a very impressive public library. There are few exhibitions of gifts given to the Royal family from other countries.

Afternoon visit to the Saadiyat Golf Club. 18-hole course with pro golfers that give lessons. You can rent a set of clubs for £45 a day and they are of a high professional calibre. A round of golf is £250, and you can book a day before. There are golf buggies and a lovely restaurant and bar along with a very well stocked pro-shop.

Day 3: Warner bros Theme Park

Indoor theme park so fantastic whatever the weather. Tickets can be purchased online and there are various prices for groups, families, children. There are several rides suitable for all ages and characters that wander around the park. There are many outlets for food and drinks. You can also buy a multiple parks ticket that could include; Ferrari World, SeaWorld and Waterworld.

At Yas Marina there is the Grand Prix Racetrack which is open to all for free on a Wednesday evening. You can walk, run or cycle around the track (bikes and helmets are free). You must register online. There are lots of restaurants in Yas Bay near the track.

Etihad Arena is a large outdoor arena that hosts many shows and sports events all year around.

Afternoon was a visit to the Jumeriah Beach hotel, a 5-star property right on the beach and pride themselves on their sustainable certification so no plastic on the resort. Very modern and bright – minimalistic which also made it feel a bit cold. Very Instagramable!

Food options include Dine around programme – one main buffet with various themes on different nights. Other restaurants include, Italian, Lebanese & a Beach club. Facilities include: 4 swim pools (adult pool, kids pool, family pool), a kids club, gym & tennis courts. Plenty of room types including Interconnecting rooms for families.

Day 4: Visit to The Louvre

The visit to the Mosque was cancelled due to the storm
They are developing the Saadiyat Island area at super speed and as well as the Theme Parks they are developing a large Cultural area to include a Natural History Museum, a Guggenheim Museum, a cultural and heritage centre. The Louvre is already open.

Visit to The Louvre, really good visit – such an amazing art gallery with works on loan from the Louvre in Paris. The Architecture is stunning. Allow at least 3 hours for the visit. Tickets are available online.

Afternoon visit to the Al Mamsha area – a beautiful boardwalk that is on the ocean and lined with over 21 different restaurants all licenced. Great for an evening out, some evenings there is live entertainment.

Evening visit to the Rotana Hotel Saadiyat
Really lovely resort and right on the beach. Good All-inclusive programme with the chance to eat in the A la Carte restaurants. Facilities you would expect from a 5-star hotel. Had a nice and friendly feel about it.

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Amy Sharp