10am - Emirates Palace
It’s mid-morning and Greer has landed in Abu Dhabi after a direct flight from Sydney. It is an enjoyable journey when flying in Etihad’s premium business class cabin. Greer is feeling rested and ready for an action packed 48 hours. She heads straight to the iconic Emirates Palace where Flight Centre travel consultant Tina Asadi is waiting for her.
Meeting at Emirates Palace, Greer can’t believe her eyes and Tina can’t wait to show her around. The main Palace building stretches over a kilometre wing to wing, and in total is spread across 100 hectares.
10:30am - 23 Carat Coffee
Speaking of lavish, first up it is time for a little caffeine to keep that jetlag at bay. According to Tina and the Emirates, that means a 23-carat gold leaf cappuccino inside the palace.
11:30am - Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque
Next on the agenda is a little cultural injection. Tina has organised a visit to one of the world’s largest mosques. She explains that it has been named after Sheikh Zayed, whose funeral was the first ceremony held in the mosque, and he is now buried at the site.
The mosque has the capacity for 40,000 worshippers, features 82 domes, over 1,000 columns, 24-carat gold gilded chandeliers and the world's largest hand-knotted carpet. The main prayer hall is dominated by one of the world’s largest chandeliers –10 metres in diameter, 15 metres in height and weighing twelve tonnes.
1pm - The Lourve
Tina has organised a tour of the newly opened, The Louvre Abu Dhabi. It is an art and civilization museum that was only recently established in late 2017 as part of an agreement between the city of Abu Dhabi and the French government.
3pm - Abu Dhabi Dates Market
The girls head to the Abu Dhabi Dates Market where the friendly store owner, Yakub allows them to try different varieties of dates alongside some traditional Arabic coffee. Greer purchases a selection with her Travel Money Oz Currency Card to take home as gifts.
4:30pm - Saadiyat Beach Club
After exploring the culture, affluence and adrenalin of this city, it’s time to enjoy Abu Dhabi’s Beach Club culture, cool down and have a little fun! Nestled away on the island of Saadiyat, this beach club celebrates health and wellness in natural surroundings and beautiful facilities. The girls enjoy some snacks and mocktails while they relax on a cabana.
7pm - Observation Deck at 300, Jumeirah Hotel
Time to enjoy 360-degree views of Abu Dhabi and wind down for the day with some refreshments. Tina takes Greer to Observation Deck at 300 on the 74th floor, where they enjoy a juice and watch the sunset over the emirate.
10pm - Dinner at Villa Toscana, St. Regis Hotel
Time for a bit of pizazz... Abu Dhabi style. As the girls are spending the night at the St Regis, they head back for the night, but Tina has one last trick up her sleeve..a delicious Italian feast at the St.Regis’ Villa Toscana.
6am - Hala Desert Safari
It’s the start of day two and the first official morning of their 48 hours, so they get going early to enjoy a sunrise desert safari. They relax while watching the sunrise and enjoy a traditional breakfast and Arabic coffee.. The ladies are going to need their energy for this big day!
8am - Ferrari World, Yas Island
With time ticking, it’s time to speed things up! The girls head to Ferrari World on Yas Island, a unique theme park – Tina explains that it is the first Ferrari branded theme park in the world. The park features rides and attractions for visitors of all ages – Greer loves a little adrenalin rush so this is right up her alley! They take on the Turbo Track, the Formula Rossa and then pop their heads into the museum.
10am - Yas Marina Circut
While their inner speed demon is alive and well, they decide to take on another unique driving experience, the Yas Marina Circuit. Here Greer rides shotgun in an Formula One racing car, as professional driver Francesca speeds around the track home to the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
11:30am - Zaya Nurai Island
After a busy morning, Tina has something a little more relaxing planned. They take a boat out to Zaya Nurai Island, and enjoy lunch and some time at the island’s resort. Surrounded by sparkling crystal blue ocean, boasting villas, hammocks, restaurants and an oceanside treatment spa, Greer really is in her element.
They arrive and head to the restaurant via a golf buggy, before grabbing some lunch, a quick dip in the pool and enjoying the atmosphere. Tina explains that locals make the most of these islands and beach clubs in their downtime, it is a great place to get together for some fun on the weekend.
3pm - Dune Bashing & Sandboarding at Qasr Al Sarab
Next the pair is headed out of the city, and it’s time for a little taste of the UAE’s great outdoors. Time to hit the dunes! They get down and dirty in the desert, sand boarding and dune bashing up a storm.
4pm -Qsar Al Sarab By Anantara
Finally, the ladies arrive at the larger than life Qasr Al Sarab Resort By Anantara. They take a walk around some of the property and take in the luxurious and extravagant surroundings. This stunning hotel takes indulgence to a whole new level.
5pm - Hammam Spa at Qsar Al Sarab
Time to take advantage of the luxurious amenities, and wash off that sand. Tina and Greer book in for an indulgent Arabic hammam spa in the splendid Qasr Al Sarb, where they are treated to ancient therapies and relaxation techniques. They emerge refreshed and ready for the evening.
6:30pm Suhail Restaurant at Qsar Al Sarab
The night is not finished yet, feeling squeaky clean, relaxed and zen, the girls enjoy sunset mocktails on the rooftop, followed by a quick but delicious dinner at Suhail, Qasr Al Sarab.
8am - Traditional Arabic Cooking Class at Qsar Al Sarab
Tina wants Greer to learn more about the culture of Abu Dhabi, and she knows Greer is a foodie, so has planned a cooking lesson using traditional spices and ingredients, where Greer can learn a few recipes to recreate for her family and friends back home. They make a few traditional starters, a fish dish, and finish with some Arabic Donuts, before sampling it all. A wonderful way to wrap up their 48 hours.
The girls finish their 48 hours in Abu Dhabi by walking through the gorgeous desert oasis of their hotel, reflecting on the highlights from their journey in Abu Dhabi.