If you’re planning to mark your retirement with an extravagant overseas getaway, then Abu Dhabi might well appeal. It’s a location that’s synonymous with glamour and luxury, and it’s done a great deal to make itself attractive to tourists from around the world.
While it might be slightly overshadowed by the record-breaking excess of nearby Dubai, there’s no shortage of things to see and do in this incredible city. Retirees making the trip will want to include several key stops on their travel itinerary.
You can fund a trip to the Middle East, either by downsizing or using an equity release mortgage to free up the cash. So, what are the places you need to see?
For those who’d like to indulge in some shopping, it doesn’t get much better than the Yas Mall. You’ll find every brand you could imagine under one roof, and a hands-free service that sees all your shopping collected for you. No bags, no stress! This is a retail experience that’s a step above your local shopping centre.
Qasr Al Watan
The presidential palace of the UAE was completed in 2017 and opened to the public in 2019. It’s mostly made from white granite and limestone, centred around an enormous dome that sits atop the central chamber. Of particular interest here is a crystal chandelier comprising more than 350,000 individual crystals. Like many other structures in the city, this building combines modern techniques with classic Arabian style.
Saadiyat Beach Club
For a relaxing beach experience, look no further than the Saadiyat Beach Club. Saadiyat is a Blue Flag beach with an emphasis on luxury. You’ll be able to enjoy spas, private cabanas, and the chance to spot some truly incredible sea life, like turtles. Bear in mind that this is the UAE, so you’ll want to stay on the right side of the modesty codes.
Abu Dhabi has established itself as a key stop on the F1 calendar, with a now-iconic day-night race. But there’s more to entice the travelling petrolhead here, in the form of Ferrari World on Yas Island. The Formula Rossa rollercoaster, which reaches world-record speeds of 240 kph, is perfect for retirees who still feel the need for speed.
Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque
The national religion, Islam, plays a significant role in life in Abu Dhabi. You can see what this looks like with a visit to the UAE’s largest mosque, the Sheik Zayed Grand Mosque. With its incredible minarets and brilliant-white domes, and a carpet that was hand-knotted by 1,300 people, this is a spectacle that you won’t want to miss out on.
Louvre Abu Dhabi
Established in 2017 as a result of a collaboration between the governments of France and the UAE, this incredible museum is stocked with wonderful exhibits, many of which are loaned from the museum’s namesake in Paris. More than seven hundred artworks reside here permanently, with a continuing roster of loanees making an appearance, too.