Travel: 48 hours in Dubai

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Got two days to spare? Robin McKelvie spends a whirlwind 48 hours in Dubai

Friday, midday

Check into the Hilton Abu Dhabi (rooms from £110,, one of the city’s oldest luxury hotels. It enjoys a privileged location right on the lifeblood Corniche behind a sandy beach.


Abu Dhabi boasts a superb array of global cuisines. Koi ( offers top-notch sushi and sashimi that wouldn’t be out of place in Osaka.


Abu Dhabi these days is, of course, renowned, for its annual Formula 1 Grand Prix. It is also home to Ferrari World (, a spectacular attraction for more than just lovers of the sport.


Vasco’s at the Hilton sits right on the edge of the Arabian Gulf, with views of the rapidly emerging Abu Dhabi skyline. The menu offers the likes of local prawns and white fish.

Saturday, 9am

The Hilton has its own beach club, which is free for guests. It boasts three swimming pools, cafes and, of course, a beach. The sun loungers on the beach are also free.


Unusually for a luxury hotel the Hilton offers an Arabic café, where you can taste traditional Emirati food such as mixed grills and pitta bread by the beach.


In a city of ultra-modern gleaming skyscrapers the most dramatic building is not a skyscraper, though its minarets do soar into the heavens. The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque ( is truly breathtaking in scale and design.


For a unique view of the Abu Dhabi skyline head to Al Mina Port, where you can hop on one of Diamond Line’s ( jet skis.


Sample authentic Emirati cuisine at Mezlai ( The setting is a lavish one and ideal for dinners that rapidly become feasts.

Sunday, 9am

Relax at the Hilton’s Hiltonia spa. They offer numerous treatments – the most popular is a 90-minute massage followed by a facial, ideal before a long flight.

• Etihad ( fly from Edinburgh to Abu Dhabi from £356 return. Flat beds are available in the award winning business class.