A good choice of direct flights to Abu Dhabi is available from London, based a competition between Etihad and British Airways. In recent years, Etihad have experienced phenomenal growth, as they seek to establish their place in the lucrative Europe to Asia and Australasia flights market, and this has included the addition of direct flights from Manchester and Dublin to Abu Dhabi. Arabic speakers will note the irony that Etihad have chosen to sponsor Manchester City Football Club, as Etihad means ‘United’ in Arabic.
As with any hub airports, you may well still experience a ramping up of flight prices for the privilege of taking a direct service. This isn't usually such a problem from London as there is competition not just between British Airways and Etihad but also between all the airlines offering flights to nearby Dubai, but you will usually pay less for connecting flights to Abu Dhabi if you are departing from Manchester or Dublin.
Etihad also market themselves as in effect serving Dubai West, although travellers are far more likely to head in the other direction and take advantage of the huge range of direct flights to Dubai from various UK regional airports, as well as from Heathrow and Gatwick. If you a sightseeing, then we would certainly recommend taking advantage of both cities, they have an incredible amount for between them, but if you are just trying to get to Abu Dhabi, even though the road trip takes just more than an hour if you get a good run, it is still a very chaotic and dangerous stretch of tarmac.
Abu Dhabi is not just the capital of the United Arab Emirates, but a city oozing oil wealth from every pore. Those glittering skyscrapers you can see dotting the horizon thus serve double duty as signposts, signalling to all who observe them that this is one of the richest cities in the world.
Abu Dhabi first made its money through pearling, before the giants of the international oil industry settled here, and if the city has the effect of making travellers feel like wealthy sheikhs, enshrined in their own private kingdoms of wealth and luxury, it also encourages them to spend in a similar manner.
Abu Dhabi's administrators have been very savvy when it comes to generating further revenue for their coffers: the island city boasts a duty free zone every bit as glamorous as its rival emirate, Dubai.
But it's not all about the money. Proximity to the desert allows tourists to share in the Bedouin experience and take camel safaris as well as guaranteeing consistently hot weather. During May to September, temperatures in the mid-40s are not uncommon; many travellers, therefore, prefer to travel during the so-called 'rainy season', October to April, where temperatures level out at a rather more manageable 25°C.