In a city full of luxurious hotels in can be hard to find the one that’s just right for you in Abu Dhabi.
Every traveller has their own individual needs when it comes to picking perfect accommodation. For some it comes down to budget constraints and value for money; for others, it’s all about having the most convenient location or having the most amazing and relaxing Middle Eastern hospitality experience.
Unexpected costs and poor decisions at your planning stage though can leave you with an unexpected feeling of disappointment. To prevent this from happening, we have collected some of the best tips that are going to help you in choosing Hotels in Abu Dhabi.
1. Choose the location very carefully
Location is an important factor in choosing accommodation. Before booking any accommodation in Abu Dhabi, consider what will be the most important factors of your trip. If it’s location, will you be reliant on public transport and require something quite central near shops and restaurants, or are you happy to pick somewhere more remote and take taxies or hire cars?
Abu Dhabi is a city spread out over a series of islands so there’s no one central spot you must stay for convenience. If you are in town for business reasons you are best being placed on the main Abu Dhabi island, or close to the ADNEC exhibition center – which is less than 15 minutes by road from AUH airport.
Alternatively, those looking for a family getaway in the sun, or on a romantic retreat to the capital may prefer to stay at one of the beautiful and luxurious beachfront resorts of Saadiyat Island, or even more secluded tucked away in the Liwa Desert places such as Qasr Al Sarab where solitude and lack of crowds is exactly what you’re seeking.
2. Research before you travel
You will have a much greater understanding of what to expect at your chosen location if you research well in advance. Reviews from other visitors are useful and instructive as they are based on what they have actually experienced.
Some guests may have negative views, but read between the lines; don’t just rely on the scores given by visitors but the comments too, and how management have addressed any concerns. Some issues with bad reviews may only be temporarily like parts of the hotel shut for renovations, or simply seasonal.
Focus on reading the reviews that relate to the aspects of your accommodation that matter to you most. This might be the food selection and service if you are looking at resort stay, or travelling with kids how good the pools are – or how soundproof your room is!
We particularly like looking for tips on the best rooms to request as this can make a big difference to the quality of your stay – everyone loves an ocean view of the possibility of an upgrade!
3. Take note of extra hidden costs
This is a really important one to take note of in booking Abu Dhabi accommodation. The headline price you see when booking online is not the price you pay when you check out.
There are lots of taxes and service charges that are levied on hotels by local authorities in Abu Dhabi that are not paid upfront and included in the room cost, they must be paid separately.
These taxes and service charges apply not just to your hotel stay but your food and beverage bills too, often amounting to an additional 25% over and above what you’ve budgeted for.
Whilst tipping isn’t common place, you should still allow a small amount for this too in budgeting your overall hotel costs for Abu Dhabi.
4. Try to book or reserve your place early
This is the most common tip for hotel booking anywhere in the world, but nonetheless an important one to remember. You should always try to book as early before your arrival as possible. This can save you from many surprises and you can be prepared for anything that comes up.
In the UAE, take particular note that the school holiday periods over winter (Christmas to New Year) and spring (late March early April) are by far the most popular times to travel, and therefore the busiest and most expensive.
5. Seek out off-peak deals
If you are prepared to put up with the heat, travel off-peak! The hottest months of the year occur from May to September each year. The mid-summer can still be quite busy with transit flyers through the Middle East, but look just either side at June and September, this is when you’ll find the cheapest prices.
Also be aware of the local weekends. These fall on Friday and Saturday, so you will find Thursday through Saturday the busiest and most expensive time for booking hotels as you get a lot of local staycation traffic too, particularly at the luxury beach resorts that offer day passes too. To avoid this we recommend the best days to enjoy hotels in Abu Dhabi are Sunday to Wednesday.
Do note, not all restaurant and facilities may be open at hotels if you visit at off-peak times, but you will certainly enjoy a quieter and more relaxing experience in Abu Dhabi.
Before you go… Important things to consider planning a trip to Abu Dhabi
- Pop into our essential planning information page, it includes everything you need to know about getting around Abu Dhabi, a handy guide on what to pack as well as top tips for first-timers on the dos and don’ts, laws, and customs in the UAE.
- Check the most up-to-date COVID entry rules for Abu Dhabi.
- Don’t forget to pack your travel insurance!
- Discover the best places to stay in Abu Dhabi, or bag a bargain on your accommodation here:
Please note we are not a travel agency. This site is a travel blog to help newcomers to the UAE self plan their trip, we cannot book your flights, hotels, visas or connections for you. We may make a small commission if you click on any of our hotel or tour recommendation links.Abu Dhabi Travel Planner