harbour abu dhabi

Ted’s Smart Travel Notebook: Abu Dhabi ??

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Formula One heads to the United Arab Emirates this weekend for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

Whilst it’s the final race of the season and the championship has already been decided, it’s still set to be an exciting race with drivers and teams still tussling for position in the table and teams beginning to test out their machines for next season.

We’ve caught up with Ted Kravitz of Sky Sports F1® again to get his smart travel tips for a trip to the UAE’s capital. And in this weekend’s Smart Travel Notebook we even get some insight from the Yas Marina Circuit’s designer, Hermann Tilke, on where to watch the race.

Abu Dhabi is the United Arab Emirates’ capital and the perfect place to discover Emirati heritage and Gulf culture. It’s also a fantasic holiday destination as the cold weather and early nights begin to roll in here in the UK.

Keeping with the Formula One theme, give yourself a thrill at Ferrari World on Yas Island. Ferrari World is home to the world’s fastest rollercoaster, which reaches an astonishing 240km/h in 4.9 seconds, and another 4 impressive rollercoasters all housed indoors (perfect for getting out of the hot summer sun). The site also hosts car exhibitions, a roof walk adventure, live shows, and driving experiences. Tickets start at around £60 for adults and £47 for children.

To slow your heart rate back down, take a stroll around the dhow harbour and watch the wooden cargo boats bob up and down on the waters of the Persian Gulf. You’ll also see fishermen bringing in their latest trawl, working on their boats, and fixing their fishing nets. Whilst it’s easy to get caught up in Abu Dhabi’s modern skyline, it’s also easy to see remnants of what the city once was, a simple fishing village in ancient times.

After you are done gazing into the past walk along Corniche Road’s well-manicured 8 kilometres of waterfront with cafes, restaurants, children’s playgrounds and a beautiful Blue Flag status beach. You can even rent a bicycle along the Corniche and make use of the segregated cycle paths – hire starts at AED 30 (£6) per hour for adults and AED 20 (£4) for children.

Abu Dhabi also offers plenty of opportunities to understand the UAE’s history through museums, exhibitions, tours and food.

Head to the audacious Emirates Palace for high tea and cocktails, or to enjoy a night at the opera or live orchestra. This 392 room hotel has it’s own private beach and over 1,000 chandeliers spread through its lobbies and suites.

For art and antiques, check out the Etihad Antiques Gallery. The collection is full of pieces of modern day Middle Eastern art and antiques, plus Ottoman and Persian artefacts from centuries ago.

As well as Ted’s tips, make sure you check out the videos from our F1 Smart Series. Some of the brightest people in F1 tell us about the smart moves that are made on and off the track. Hear about everything from smart travel to smart business in the FairFX F1 Smart Series. Watch the videos here and subscribe to our YouTube Channel to stay up to date with the latest videos.


If you’re heading to Abu Dhabi, don’t forget to order or top-up your FairFX Everywhere Card. Load pounds and automatically spend in the local currency. Feel at home anywhere in the world.

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Mariette Ferreira

Mariette Ferreira

Mariette heads up marketing at FairFX. She loves travelling, scuba diving and South Africa, but she's yet to combine all three in one.

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