10 Things I Loved About My UAE Vacay, The Namaste Abu Dhabi Way!

MissMalini , 29 Aug 2017

As you might have noticed from my social media, Nowshad and I just spent an awesome 4 days in Abu Dhabi, exploring the city and getting our fill of hotel room loving. (I cannot begin to tell you how MUCH I love hotel rooms. One day I’m going to open up a MissMalini hotel and live in the penthouse, on the top floor! Or at least, that’s the dream.) Anyway, I thought – once again – I’d let my Desi Girl Traveler vlog and pix do the talking while I take you through a few of my favourite things from this trip! Ready?

WARNING: This blog is going to give you FOMO and make you want to hop across to the UAE for your own little holiday, just make sure you do it the MissMalini way :) xoxo

1. Being A “Bidness” Babe

I promised Nowshad I would never become one of those “business class snobs” when I moved up in life, BUT it’s really hard not to get super excited when you fly Etihad! Their service is impeccable and on the Airbus A340 the seats have a built in massager! #nuffsaid

2. Ferrari World

I had no idea that Ferrari World on Yas Island is an actual theme park dedicated to everything Ferrari! How badass is that? In fact, one of the rides called “Turbo Track” literally shoots you 203 feet up in the air, accelerating to a speed of 63 mph, before completing the course in reverse! It also has the worlds fastest roller coaster and tallest loop (the Formula Rossa) but I confess I chickened out of that one.

Vroom – vroom – vrooming through Ferrari World Abu Dhabi! Snippets of an epic trip to Abu Dhabi for #NamasteAbuDhabi #InAbuDhabi Visit Abu Dhabi AbuDhabiEvents #ADSummer #ad

Posted by MissMalini onMonday, August 21, 2017

Oh and our trip to the mall included a little shopping spree for me at H&M (Yaasss!) Plus an epically yummy visit to Shake Shack. Hands down the BEST burger in the world.

3. Yas! Home For the Weekend.

Much to Nowshad’s dismay, I never really got tired of yelling, “YAS!” every chance I got, because how often do you go to a place that has a matching Instastory sticker?! (Please tell me I’m not the only one who gets genuinely excited about these things.) And honestly, the Yas Viceroy is an absolutely beautiful resort hotel.

Also boys and girls, this was the view from our suite!

And you know how you know you’ve just had the most killer spa experience? You pass out halfway through from pure relaxation and bliss and your masseuse asks if you slept well! #TrueStory.

⛔ DND ⛔ Zen mode on 🙏 #NamasteAbuDhabi #InAbuDhabi Visit Abu Dhabi AbuDhabiEvents #ADSummer #ad

Posted by MissMalini onMonday, August 21, 2017

4. Cipriani Date Night.

We had an absolutely delicious dinner at the very fancy old school Italian restaurant Cipriani and immediately went into a food coma!

Btw, I know this isn’t Italian fare but if you’ve never tried spicy edamame, you’re missing out! My fave snack EVER.

5. Jumeirah High Tea.

One of the things you really shouldn’t miss when you visit Abu Dhabi is high tea at the Etihad Towers. 74 floors up, you get the most stunning views of the city at sunset and a delicious tea service with lots of yummy little treats!

6. Namaste Abu Dhabi!

The whole reason I was in Abu Dhabi to begin with was to attend the lavish concert featuring the dynamic duo of Salim Sulaiman. Man they do know how to bring the party!

Pretty much every one of my favourite Bollywood smash hits back to back and a special treat – Indian Idol winner Vipul Mehta performing alongside them!

And look, I even got a shoutout from Salim on stage :)

Truth be told, I’ve been crushing on Salim for over a decade now. Just look at him! #cutie

This was one heck of a show Salim – Sulaiman 🙌 Thank you for an unforgettable concert <3 #NamasteAbuDhabi #InAbuDhabi Visit Abu Dhabi AbuDhabiEvents #ADSummer #ad

Posted by MissMalini onMonday, August 21, 2017

7. Where The Wild Things Are…

Oddly enough I’ve never really been on a proper safari in all my travels, so imagine my delight when I found out that not only were we going to visit the Al Ain zoo, we were going to go on a safari too!

Our guide Mohamed was an utterly delightful fellow and made the whole trip feel like a real happy shiny Jurrasic Park adventure! He even bought me this little stuffed Rhino to remind me of our exciting (and slightly bone-chilling) encounter with a rhino in the park, when mama rhino heard my camera click and looked straight at us, poised to charge! Apparently, rhino’s can’t see very well, but their hearing is next level. And mama rhinos will go to any length to protect their babies if they think someone unknown is approaching. *Gulp*

I’m probably going to sound like a 5-year-old for the next few minutes but can I just tell you how cool it was?!

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Ostrich at my window… @alainzoouae #DesiGirlTraveler

A post shared by MissMalini Lifestyle (@missmalinilifestyle) on

We saw lions lounging freely and posing on top of rocks, made friends with a slightly moody ostrich, snuck past a family of rhinos and debated whether zebras are black stripes on white or white stripes on black.

Hands down the best part? THIS. Feeding giraffes carrot sticks from the windows of our jeep! (SWIPE to see more pix below.)

Zebras, rhinos, ostriches, giraffes and deers spotted and petted at Al Ain Zoo! All part of my epic trip to Abu Dhabi #NamasteAbuDhabi #InAbuDhabi Visit Abu Dhabi AbuDhabiEvents #ADSummer #ad

Posted by MissMalini onMonday, August 21, 2017

More pictures on Instagram: @missmalinilifestyle

What’s also super impressive is the Sheikh Zayed Desert Learning Centre in the middle of the park. Dedicated to the preservation of animals in the region and educating all those who visit, this impressive treasure trove of knowledge and information is itself partly solar powered and has lots of cool exhibits to enthrall visitors of all ages. Nowshad and I were truly mesmerized by this film… (the actual one at the center is 12 minutes long and fascinating.)

(Excuse me while I take the customary fake camel photo now.)

In Al Ain we stayed at the Mercure Grand Jebel Hafeet hotel (quite a mouthful I know!) But it had the most stunning mountain view…

8. Beach Club Bliss.

The next day we drove back to the city and checked into the St Regis (making a quick lunch stop at Saadiyat Beach Club). If it wasn’t so blazing I’d definitely have hit that pool but we decided we’d nap in the afternoon and try the hotel pool after sunset. Ace plan Nowshad!

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Pool time @saadiyatae beach club

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Pics from my stay at The St. Regis Saadiyat Island Resort, Abu Dhabi! Thank you for the great hospitality 🙏 #InAbuDhabi Visit Abu Dhabi AbuDhabiEvents #ADSummer #ad

Posted by MissMalini onMonday, August 21, 2017

9. Eating Our Way Through Abu Dhabi!

Up above the world so yum 🍴 Eating my way through Abu Dhabi #NamasteAbuDhabi #InAbuDhabi Visit Abu Dhabi AbuDhabiEvents #ADSummer #ad

Posted by MissMalini onMonday, August 21, 2017

I can safely say that Nowshad has been pretty thrilled with the food we’ve eaten on this trip. From street side shwarmas (legit, and super delish) to an epic steakhouse meal at 55&5th at the St Regis Saadiyat, Abu Dhabi has been every carnivor’s delight!

And like I said, hotel rooms, hotel rooms, hotel rooms. The St Regis never disappoints!

Sushi time at The St. Regis Saadiyat Island Resort, Abu Dhabi followed by a peaceful visit to Sheikh Zayed Mosque 🕌 #InAbuDhabi Visit Abu Dhabi AbuDhabiEvents #ADSummer #ad

Posted by MissMalini onMonday, August 21, 2017

10. The Grande Mosque.

And last, but certainly not the least, I am so glad we finally made it to the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque. I actually much prefer to explore places on my own than with a guide, so the audio companion was just perfect! I learned some really cool things and wandered around just captivated by its breathtaking beauty. Of course remember you must dress and behave respectfully so they’ve made it quite convenient for visitors by providing the appropriate attire. How do I look? :)

*Bonus. My Vacay Wardrobe!

Now that I have my own personal dress up dream team (aka my stylist Nelly and her lovely assistant Yeansha) I get to wear all kinds of adorable outfits on my travels and never have to do any of the packing (or unpacking) #Winning! Here are the looks they planned for my trip to Abu Dhabi keeping in mind the weather – and in places, the culture :)

a.) Since “airport style” is now officially a “thing”, here’s mine: comfy and casual. I also always FREEZE at airports, so a jacket/cardigan is a must have. And I find that baseball caps give me the privacy of sunglasses without looking goofy wearing them indoors/at night. (Also the perfect nap time eye shade if you don’t like wearing airplane eye masks!)

b.) I was told that it’s best to wear something relatively covered up to the mall but Ferrari World etc. no real restrictions. So I loved this dual purpose off-shoulder top and tracks that I could turn into a regular top when I needed to show less skin! #onetoptwolooks

c.) I love horizontal stripes. They make you look tall and svelte and this dress was super comfy too! Add on some delicate bling and I thought it made a perfectly elegant outfit for one very fancy dinner at Cipriani with Nowshad. What do you think?

c.) I’m really digging the shoulder vibe these days, be it off-shoulder, cold shoulder or a hint of just one shoulder! I thought this played nicely as the main event ensemble with an appropriately long skirt.

d.) The rest of my looks were a variety of beach club and safari inspired. Oh and I cannot thank you enough H&M hat for saving me from the BLAZING sun!

See more of Abu Dhabi on their Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages.

*This post is in partnership with Abu Dhabi Tourism.

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