Ramadan Escape

Image from Feedio.net

In a matter of weeks, around the 10th July,  the Holy month of Ramadan will be upon us.  During Ramadan, Muslims must fast completely during the hours of daylight; it’s a hard call for them when the Holy Month falls at the height of summer as it means their fast lasts from approx 4.15am until sunset at approx 7pm.  
The non-muslim expats have to adjust their daily routines too – governmental departments and the private sector all work reduced hours and most shops and malls are shut during the day and come to life after Iftar in the evening.  So what can one do all day?  You cannot be seen drinking or eating in public, and this applies even in your car.  Go for a walk?  Forget that one – with temps of 45C+ crossing to the other side of the road is a challenge.  Staying at home for prolonged periods can lead to cabin fever so it’s worth considering a weekend escape to make the most of the extra special offers available to GCC residents at this time of year. 

The idea for this blog post came around after a recent stay in the luxurious 4* Crowne Plaza in Abu Dhabi’s Yas Island. 

Prices for a two night stay in a double club room during Ramadan 18th-20th July –  from 934aed plus tax or 1016aed plus tax inclusive of breakfast – on the advance saver rate which should be booked a minimum of 10 days in advance.  
Now here’s the best bit: club rooms offer access to the Club Lounge, where they will serve you afternoon tea and evening drinks with a view of the Arabian Gulf.  It’s open all day from 12noon to 10pm during Ramadan for complimentary tea and coffee *this is what I was told on 26th June, check with hotel at time of booking.

Image from www.booking.com

All rooms in the hotel are lovely, good sized and beautifully furnished with comfortable beds, luxury percale bedlinen, tv, ipod player, complimentary tea and coffee and a minibar.  The glass fronted bathrooms have a huge tub and overbath shower, hairdryer, illuminated vanity mirror and complimentary toiletries.

Deluxe rooms come with a balcony and a view over the islands of Abu Dhabi.
The staff are very efficient and pleasant and nothing is too much trouble; one tip is to put your do not disturb sign on the door if you are relaxing or having a bath as housekeeping do tend to knock on the door to check you have everything you need.
There are a variety of hotels clustered together on Yas Island beside the F1 track, all with their own restaurants and bars, though we normally remain in the Crowne Plaza as we love the restaurant.
You can stop by Stills Bar for a good selection of drinks and snacks; it has the longest bar counter in Abu Dhabi.  There’s seating both inside and out though it will probably be closed during daylight hours during Ramadan.

Image from www.booking.com
 Jing Asia – one of our favourite buffet restaurants in the UAE, with dinner starting from 140aed++ per person.  If you have an entertainer coupon book why not use one to buy one get one free.  Although more expensive, the Wednesday Surf and Turf night is exceptionally good, with a huge range of sushi as well as steak and fish cooked to order. 
image from www.booking.com

If you do venture outside, then a morning visit to Sheikh Zayed Mosque is highly recommended.  During Ramadan it is usually open to the public in the morning only and last year’s tours were at 9 and 10am.

Recently opened Yas Waterworld might be worth a look if you want something more energetic than lying round the hotel pool all day.  At the moment the opening hours are 10am-7/8pm but these are likely to change during the Holy Month so do check with their website. The standard adult price is 225aed but use one of your entertainer coupons to buy one and get one free.

Yas Island is being developed as the main centre for leisure in Abu Dhabi; there is a huge mall under development which will link with two massive stores already established – Ikea and Ace Hardware.  Using the Sheikh Khalifa Highway it’s an easy drive down to the northern end of the Corniche on Abu Dhabi island.

This is an independent review, the Crowne Plaza aren’t paying me to write this nor did they give me a free room in return for this blog.

You can book this hotel direct on their website,  or via booking.com. 

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