Abu Dhabi Stop Over




On this occasion, we made the deliberate choice to break up our extensive journey from Australia to France with a stopover in Abu Dhabi. The decision was partly influenced by Etihad Airlines’ enticing offer of complimentary accommodation for travelers opting for a layover in the city. Envisioning a brief respite from the confines of the airplane cabin, complete with the luxury of a refreshing shower and a proper night’s rest, we eagerly seized the opportunity.

However, as fate would have it, our plans took an unexpected turn. Somewhere between our initial booking and the departure date, Etihad revised their policy, no longer extending the complimentary hotel stay to passengers with layovers lasting fewer than 24 hours. Much to our dismay, we found ourselves in Abu Dhabi for a mere 18 hours, falling short of the revised threshold.

Undeterred, I made earnest attempts to appeal to their sense of commitment and uphold the promise they had previously made. Despite my best efforts, Etihad remained steadfast in their decision, leaving us with no choice but to secure accommodation at a considerably expensive airport hotel. As seasoned travelers well know, airport accommodations, while convenient, often come with a price tag disproportionate to their amenities. Our experience was no exception.

Touching down in Abu Dhabi close to midnight, we navigated through customs effortlessly, only to realize that the advertised hotel was not conveniently located within the airport premises as anticipated. Instead, it was situated approximately thirty minutes away at the old airport. Fortunately, a shuttle bus stationed outside the airport terminal provided a timely solution to our predicament, sparing us from further inconvenience.

Upon reaching our lodgings, we were relieved to find the rooms to be both comfortable and impeccably clean, while the hotel staff exuded warmth and hospitality. Following a restful night’s sleep, we indulged in a satisfying breakfast spread before availing ourselves of a leisurely check-out process.

Reflecting on our experience, we resolved that future stopovers in the Middle East would warrant more extended stays, albeit not with Etihad. Despite the minor setback, our time in Abu Dhabi left us with fond memories of warm hospitality and a continued appreciation for the beauty of spontaneous detours.