We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

First visit - planning

Which Abu Dhabi hotels are on sale?
dd/mm/yyyy dd/mm/yyyy
See hotels
Melbourne...
Level Contributor
251 posts
1 review
Save Topic
First visit - planning

Hi,

I flew on Etihad Airways to get to Paris earlier this year and now on my return to Melbourne I wish to stop over in Abu Dhabi. I am trying to work out how much time to spend there in mid May depending on my budget and the costs.

Can you please suggest a few cheap places to stay? I could not find anything on booking.com for less than about AUD$50. Also, if I stay at the airport or near the airport, is it easy to get into the city and see the major sites or is a city location better? Please give me a few suggestions if possible.

Where should I get currency? Should I exchange euros in France for AED or in AED airport? Or can I use my Australian debit card in Abu Dhabi to pay for the local currency? I am currently using a traveller card with euros loaded on it which I got from the bnk and keep topping up from my account.

Finally what are my options for getting into the city from the airport? Taxi I suppose is the most expensive. Is there a train or bus which are cheaper?

Last question! What kind of entry/ticket costs can I expect in Abu Dhabi? I mainly like to visit cultural places and see old architecture ad the sea side.

Abu Dhabi, United...
Destination Expert
for Abu Dhabi
Level Contributor
1,069 posts
25 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: First visit - planning

Abu Dhabi accommodations are not cheap, very rarely you can find hotels less than Dhs.250, that is AUS$75. Average Rate in 3 Star hotels are Dhs. 350-400, ie AUD$ 100-120.

If your stay is short can you can stay close to airport. Airport Hotel will be expensive, another hotel close to airport is Premier inn, which is a reasonable one. I would go with staying inside the city near the Airport Bus route, so that you can relax when you are tired, also easy to catch the bus for returning to airport.

Apart from airport taxis, you can get Public Bus A1 at the airport, which is very cheap but the frequency is less, one bus in every 40 minutes to 50 minutes. There is no train or metro in Abu Dhabi.

It is better to exchange small amount for your travel expenses in Abu Dhabi airport, as bus or taxi wont accept your debit card. Once you are inside the city, you can get better rates in Exchanges.

Edited: 23 March 2014, 07:14
Abu Dhabi, United...
Level Contributor
664 posts
40 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: First visit - planning

With your last few questions I am not sure you have done any research about Abu Dhabi before posting. Any "old architecture" (apart from Qasr Al Hosn) is going to be recently built. The seaside you will see much better beaches in Australia. It is an expensive modern and mostly high-rise city geared up for well-heeled travellers. Cost of entry you need to consider would be going to Ferrari World Theme Park, Yas Marina Circuit and/or Yas Waterworld.

For spending money you can pay by debit card or credit card - or use local ATMs. There are ATMs at the airport. For taxis you need cash. Taxis are not expensive but buses are cheaper.

Abu Dhabi, United...
Destination Expert
for Abu Dhabi
Level Contributor
1,069 posts
25 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: First visit - planning

I missed the cultural question, Abu dhabi is a modern city, you can find very few old structures.

1) Qasr Al Hosn , white fort.

2) Al Maqta fort

3) Heritage Village

You can find many forts and heritage locations in Al Ain, You need to travel 150+km from Abu Dhabi.

Edited: 23 March 2014, 08:26
Melbourne...
Level Contributor
251 posts
1 review
Save Reply
4. Re: First visit - planning

May I also get some advice on two more things:

language and a visit to Dubai:

Language: I am learning some arabic phrases to use mainly because I like to use a little of the local language where I go. Can you tell me, if I someone is struggling to understand my arabic, is it very likely that they will understand English?

Visit to Dubai: I might go to Dubai for a day trip on the 3rd or 4th of May. I found that a bus leaves from Ghubaiba station ... where exactly is that?

How much should I expect to pay ($US or $AUD) for the bus and how long does it take?

Can I buy the ticket online? Or do I buy it in cash/card on the bus?

Oh, one more question - the weather currently shows 40 degrees - thats very hot for me - any tips on how to deal with it? Surely a bottle of water will get warm after a few hours during a day visit in Dubai. Or are there mostly places that are indoors and air conditioned?

Abu Dhabi, United...
Level Contributor
716 posts
28 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: First visit - planning

Arabic probably won't be of much use in Abu Dhabi. People that you interact with will speak English and their native language (Urdu, Chinese, Indonesian, Philipino, Russian,....)

Edited: 25 April 2014, 23:33
Abu Dhabi, United...
Destination Expert
for Abu Dhabi
Level Contributor
4,892 posts
3 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: First visit - planning

From memory, the bus between Dubai and AD is around 30 dirhams (8 USD ?). It goes from the (green, weird looking) central bus station in AD near Al Wahda mall. Just walk in the main entrance and the ticket desks are to your right. Look for the Dubai sign and give the guy your cash. He'll tell you which bus to get on.

Al Ghubaiba is at the NE end of Dubai, near the creek and close to the airport. That may be inconvenient for areas further SW, but you can easily jump on the metro from there. I vaguely recall an intermediate stop. See Google maps.

Everyone understands English. Just speak slowly and simply.

Yes, 40 degrees is hot but the humidity is relatively low, so it's nowhere near as uncomfortable as e.g. Singapore or Bangkok. Still, you need to drink plenty of water and minimise your time in the direct sun, but as an Aussie you know that already. Unless you go for a wander around the older Creek area, you'll be spending most of your time in air-conditioned taxis, metros and malls.

Re hotel costs, it will be cheaper to base yourself in Dubai and take day trips to AD as desired. The is a much more hotel competition in Dubai. Etihad have a free bus service from AD airport to Dubai for their customers.

hth

Melbourne...
Level Contributor
251 posts
1 review
Save Reply
7. Re: First visit - planning

Thank you.

I am staying in an apartment in Abu Dhabi because I am flying with Etihad.

Can you tell me how I get a free ride to and from Dubai with my airline ticket?

Does it also allow me to go to Al Ain?

Abu Dhabi, United...
Destination Expert
for Abu Dhabi
Level Contributor
4,892 posts
3 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: First visit - planning

etihad.com/en-ae/…

I believe this is only for connections to Etihad flights into and out of Abu Dhabi airport, but you could call them for more details.

9. Re: First visit - planning

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 28 April 2015, 06:17