Check-in to Jumeirah at Etihad Towers and prepare to enjoy the finer things in life. Claire Hill explores this landmark hotel in the nation’s capital Abu Dhabi.
Designed to encapsulate the vision of a progressive UAE while maintaining a cultural soul, the towers’ dramatic sculptural design complement the property’s sophisticated and contemporary interior. Fine craftsmanship, luxurious materials and thoughtful design throughout enhance the guest experience at every opportunity. Look around and you’ll discover the interiors are lined with an abundance of semi-precious stone, marble and crystal – from the lifts, to the lobby to the guest rooms – each piece has been carefully selected for its colour, properties and the natural energy projected into each space. Look closely and you’ll also find some fascinating photographs from the private collection of His Highness Sheikh Suroor bin Mohammed Al Nahyan which show scenes from Abu Dhabi’s early days.
You can find 382 immaculate rooms and suites at this hotel which offer spectacular views of the Arabian Gulf. The interiors include rare natural stones, the finest European crystal, rich fabrics and hand tufted rugs to create an opulent yet welcoming environment. Sunlit bathrooms with walk-in showers and free standing ‘baths with a view’ reflect Jumeirah’s STAY DIFFERENT™ brand promise. You may also notice the customised room scent which was produced exclusively for the hotel by a ‘Maître Parfumeur’ in Grasse on the Cote d’Azur or French Riviera. Described as ‘sensationally uplifting and soothing,’ the scent is a dynamic fragrance of wood, spices and amber with a delicate accord of violet, iris and leather combined with notes of green fig. It’s available to buy in the Jumeirah Collection Shop as a bottle with diffuser sticks or as spray.
The towers and beyond
This property is an absolute haven for foodies, so prepare to eat like a king. From the striking Brasserie Angélique with its elegant 19th century style and wonderful French cuisine, to sushi and Teppanyaki at Tori No Su, international fare at Rosewater and Lebanese cuisine in Li Beirut. There’s also authentic Italian and al fresco dining at BiCE and the chance to sample more European cuisine while taking in spectacular sea views at Pearls by Michael Caines. Steak lovers need look no further than Ray’s Grill which offers quality cuts of meat and stunning city views. For afternoon tea book a table in the Observation Deck at 300 located on Level 74. This venue soars 300 metres up and offers an uninterrupted view of the skyline, the Corniche and Arabian Gulf. Sample the TWG Tea blends or the signature mocktail: the Etihad Sparkler. Open daily from 10am – 6pm, there’s an entrance fee of AED 75 for visitors and children under the age of four go complimentary. Hotel guests are entitled to a reduced fee of AED 60, which is redeemable against food and beverage at the venue.
If it’s time to relax and revive the body, mind and soul, then there’s no better way to unwind than to book into Talise Spa. Tranquillity awaits at this luxurious retreat which offers everything from beauty treatments and purifying facials to 15 types of massages (including Swedish, hot stone, Thai), Turkish hammams and signature experiences which can be tailored to your personal needs.
If you only do one thing outside the hotel, then then embrace the local culture and book a tour through the concierge desk to visit the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque. Recognised as one of the largest in the world, this majestic building is a masterpiece of modern Islamic architecture and one of the few that is open to non-worshippers. It contains a huge white marble courtyard, 82 domes and a 10-metre wide chandelier which has to be seen to be believed. If you’ve more time, take a glimpse into traditional Emirati life with a visit to the Arabian Nights Heritage Village near Al Ain. The historic Al Jahili Fort is another picturesque attraction that is also an important historic landmark, while the Miraj Islamic Centre showcases fascinating exhibits of Islamic art.
You can also explore the nearby dunes either by booking a traditional desert safari, perhaps a camel trek or quad biking adventure. Or if it’s something more serene you’re after, go in search of pearls in the eastern mangroves. During the ‘Pearl Journey’ you can board a traditional dhow boat and learn about the ancient pearl industry which was once the main source of income in the UAE. Arabic coffee and dates are served before divers jump into the waters and bring up a selection of oysters. You’ll be given one to open – if you’re lucky and a pearl is found it can be kept as a souvenir, a wonderful keepsake to treasure.