Abu Dhabi is where stunning desert landscapes and traditional Arabian culture merge together to create a memorable visitor experience.
A vibrant emirate rich with history and heritage is reflected in the variety of activities available on land and at sea, whether it is one of the emirate’s old forts, an exhilarating desert safari, a boat tour of the mangroves, an international art exhibition or a major sporting event.
In just over 50 years, Abu Dhabi has transformed into a thriving 21st century society, which remains strongly attached to its culture and roots. It has also established itself as a must visit destination for golfers.
With a host of attractive on-course accommodation options and a fantastic climate for taking to the fairways, particularly in the winter, the emirate’s golfing gems are now closer than ever with the start of a new direct route from Edinburgh to Abu Dhabi International Airport – including no additional charges for your golf clubs on Etihad Airways.
Abu Dhabi is renowned for its diverse array of courses, including Abu Dhabi Golf Club, home to the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship, Yas Links Abu Dhabi, the Middle East’s only true links and Gary Player’s ocean-front masterpiece Saadiyat Beach Golf Club.
Saadiyat Beach Golf Club
In addition, golfers are also afforded soaring city skyline views at Abu Dhabi City Golf Club, the unique sand golf experience at Al Ghazal Golf Club and an oasis experience at Al Ain Equestrian, Shooting and Golf Club.
Abu Dhabi Golf Club is arguably best recognised amongst golf fans as host of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship. Working with renowned worldwide golf resort management organisation, Troon Golf, the course is always in impeccable condition regardless of the time of year.
Just fifteen minutes from the city centre and twenty minutes from Abu Dhabi International Airport, this Peter Harradine-designed masterpiece is perfectly located for domestic and international guests of all abilities. Meanwhile, Night Golf, on the club’s floodlit nine-hole Garden course adds to what is a truly spectacular golf venue.
Off the course and overlooking the layout is the iconic Falcon Clubhouse, which stands over the back of the 18th green, offering an array of dining options.
Meanwhile, within just a short pitch of the driving range is the five-star Westin Abu Dhabi Golf Resort & Spa, the ideal place for golfers to base themselves during their stay. Yas Links was designed by Kyle Phillips, one of golf's most creative and innovative architects, and was heavily influenced by Scotland’s traditional links courses.
Yas Links Golf Club
A milestone for golf course design in the emirate, its ranking as one of Golf Digest’s Top 100 courses outside the United States highlights a plethora of international awards it has received in recent years. It also has a fantastic floodlit course for an evening round of golf. A truly stunning layout, it boasts one of the game’s most spectacular finishing stretches, alongside the Yas Marina Circuit, the iconic venue of the Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, so Yas Links should sit towards the very top of any golfers' bucket list.
Saadiyat Beach Golf Club completes the enviable championship offering in Abu Dhabi. Recognised as the ‘world’s best new golf course’ following its launch, it is still somewhat of a hidden gem. Designed by Gary Player and managed by Troon Golf, it is unquestionably one of the world’s most captivating golfing projects.
This beach-front club harnesses the natural beauty of the idyllic Saadiyat Island, made all the more rewarding with spectacular views of the Gulf’s glittering blue waters fringed by pristine beaches. The five-star St. Regis Saadiyat Island Resort Abu Dhabi, located by the fifth and sixth holes of the golf course, is where the leading players stay during the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship.
"Abu Dhabi is where I spend my time practising between events" - Matteo Manassero
There is also an impressive line-up of other world-class events for visitors throughout the year, including the culinary delights of the Abu Dhabi Food Festival, the eight-month Abu Dhabi Classics season, Abu Dhabi International Triathlon, Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Abu Dhabi Art, and the Mubadala World Tennis Championship.
Four-time European Tour winner Matteo Manassero is a frequent visitor and he said: "I like Formula One and Abu Dhabi is one of the best, because there is so much going on throughout the week. I tell people Abu Dhabi is where I spend my time practising between events, because of the golf facilities and because of the hotels and relaxation it affords visitors. It is number one for me."
Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque
The emirate has an expanding range of fabulous hotels and iconic buildings including Emirates Palace, one of the world’s most majestic hotels, the signature Yas Viceroy Abu Dhabi, the only one in the world straddling a Formula 1 race track and Capital Gate Tower – the world’s furthest leaning man-made tower which houses the mightily impressive five-star Hyatt Capital Gate hotel.
The city is also rapidly becoming a global cultural centre with the creation of the Cultural District on Saadiyat Island. It will soon be home to Louvre Abu Dhabi on track for completion later this year, Zayed National Museum opening 2016 and Guggenheim Abu Dhabi, opening 2017. These world-class cultural institutions will add a contemporary dimension to the emirate’s more traditional attractions such as Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque – the UAE’s most imposing religious and national landmark.
For thrill seekers. there's plenty to enjoy, too, with both Ferrari World Abu Dhabi, the world's largest indoor theme park and home to the world's fastest rollercoaster, and Yas Waterworld, Abu Dhabi's largest waterpark, sitting at the heart of Yas Island's entertainment complex overlooking Yas Links golf course.