London lifestyle & travels with kids and babies
Abu Dhabi with baby for us was one the loveliest and most memorable – first Christmas with our first child! And to make Abu Dhabi family holidays even more memorable, we threw in few luxury treats.
Friends based in UAE were kind and lent us their car to drive between Dubai and Abu Dhabi. A smooth straight forward 1 hour journey as infrastructure is great and directions likewise. So we left Dubai just after lunch, with the little one deep asleep for the journey.
We picked Sofitel Corniche for similar considerations to Dubai, they were running a great offer for the executive lounges. We got a suite on the 25th floor overlooking the blue Arabian golf, designery, spacious and impeccable, 2 bathrooms including separate bath tub area with Lcd, pillows menus and butler service. All very UAE and convenient. The other great detail was the access to the Executive floor, with tailored service, including nice breakfasts, amuse-bouches for lunch, pattiseries and macaroons for tea time and wine served until 7pm. We made the most of the Executive Club and most evenings after the baby went to sleep, monitored him with the camera and wifi over nibbles, grown up conversations and wine ( payable after 7pm but very convenient for us).
Christmas felt very joyous at the hotel, with the Executive club staff being so attentive and kind – delightful Abu Dhabi family holidays! Baby modelled his first Xmas outfit and was particularly chilled and delighted by the Indian talkative staff. Another great little detail that we loved at Sofitel executive lounge was baby’s own toiletries – yummiest fragrances of coconut plus the crispest bedsheets and little cute pillow.
We all felt very spoilt in here plus it felt truly good value for money.
Favourite places Abu Dhabi with baby :
– We celebrated Christmas Eve/ the 24th at the Beach Club Saadiyat Island, hanging around the swimming pool sipping prosecco and enjoying the views over the wild beautiful beach of the Natural Reserve and the sleek functionality of the Club. Our UAE friend joined us and we caught up bathing in the sun, entertaining the baby and taking pictures.
– Christmas lunch we went to Turquoiz at St Regis – right by the beach, North African theme restaurant and lounge – great half day. We loved the chill out vibes, food and wine, very chic, relaxed and still family friendly. After lunch we spent a couple of hours by the beach and the bar, a good dj and ambiance. And in 2022 and 2023 we found St Regis beach as stunning as we left it, Turquoiz now a fabulous Buddha Bar, as good as Buddha Bar Mykonos by Santa Marina!
And Buddha Bar by St Regis Saadiyat makes a wonderful spot for sunset drinks and chilled early dinner by the beach, we loved the food, the music and vibes!
Some other day trips Abu Dhabi with baby (or without), updated with our fantastic 2022 & 2023 trips:
– Ferarri World Abu Dhabi has been a legendary day for the kids, we reckon 3 years olds ideally and older to enjoy driving cars, soft play areas and all the fun. Our 6 year and 9 years olds reckon it makes the best fun park they have been to, and London & around have been rather spoilt!
–Louvre Abu Dhabi : Jean Nouvel’s architecture is magnificent and sunsets especially gorgeous in there; the permanent collection is filled with glorious antiquities (that our Percy Jacksons fan adored), whilst the children museum visionary and engaging.
– Emirates palace, nowadays part of Mandarin Oriental. If gold floats your boat, head here, tones of grandeur plus a landmark status.
– Observation Deck 300, Jumeirah At Etihad Towers, nowadays Conrad Abu Dhabi Towers. Nice tea and stunning views.
– Eastern Mangroves Hotel & Spa By Anantara. Great service and pool, chilled day over beers and casual food.
– Abu Dhabi public beaches, long, calm and nice strip, lovely walk in the morning or sunset.
–Sheikh Zayed Mosque is the largest in UAE and its architectural grandeur meant to reflect the cultural diversity of the Islamic world with a contemporary art twist. Swarovski crystals chandeliers and mosaic marbles are just some of the highlights; it makes a stunning sight at sunset – we soaked in daily from our Ritz Carlton glam pied a terre!
Taxis are relatively cheap and friendly, baby sleeping a bit on the way out and lunch time normally by the beach. December temperatures were nice and mild : 22/23C degrees at most, very pleasant for us all. Abu Dhabi family holidays were such a treat for us all, we will be back soon !
For more inspiration in the Middle East, head to our 10 days Oman adventure holidays around Muscat, Al Hajar mountains, the wadis, dessert and Ras Al Jinz turtle reserve. For further Arabic (but North African) inspiration with another family friendly Sofitel, head to our dedicated article on Essaouira. For best of road trips from Dubai, head to our dedicated article in here, whilst for Abu Dhabi dress code and packing guide, here.