SACRED LANDMARKS, TURQUOISE SEA, PRISTINE BEACHES, DAZZLING DESERT AND ARABIAN CUISINE; KUWAIT CITY, KUWAIT & ABU DHABI, UAE
Day 1 – Arrive Kuwait City, Kuwait
There are direct flights to/from Kuwait City, Kuwait from the European International Hubs, such as Frankfurt and London. Upon arrival at the Kuwait International Airport, we follow signs to the visa center and obtain a tourist visa. (US citizens may obtain free of charge a 90-day tourist visa upon arrival). At the arrival terminal, we are greeted by the limo driver, sent by the transfer services offered by our hotel. We arrive in half an hour to our hotel and have dinner at the hotel restaurant.
Note: In Kuwait City, our tour itinerary uses the private limo services of the Four Seasons Hotel Kuwait at Burj Alshaya. An experienced concierge staff together with a professional limo driver superbly managed our planned Kuwait City itinerary.
Day 2 – Grand Mosque, Dhow Harbour, Kuwait Tower, Souk Al-Mubarakiya
In the morning, we drive 10 minutes to the Grand Mosque, passing the National Assembly House and the Seif Palace along the way. A guided tour of the Grand Mosque includes the review of its architecture, Islamic culture and traditions. A 10 minutes route along the Persian Gulf leads to the picturesque Dhow Harbour and the nearby Fish Market with rows of stalls displaying fresh seafood. A few minutes’ drive to the Kuwait Towers offers panoramic views of the sea and the city. Our next stop is the Radisson Blue Hotel (a 20 minutes’ drive) and the neighboring Al Hashemi II, the world’s largest wooden dhow boat. A guided tour takes us through the Al Hashemi Marine Museum and the spectacular banquet hall of the Al Hashemi II. In the afternoon, we drive 10 minutes to the Dar Hamad Restaurant to sample Kuwaiti haute cuisine. After lunch, we drive 20 minutes back to Kuwait’s old district to visit the authentic Souk Al-Mubarakiya. After our shopping, we drive few minutes to our hotel and have dinner there.
Day 3 – Sadu House, Kuwait National Museum, Tareq Rajab Museum, Cultural Center
Today’s cultural tour starts with a 10 minutes’ drive to the Sadu House, a traditional Kuwait house and museum showcasing Kuwait’s weaving and embroidery heritage. A short walk from the Sadu House takes us to the Kuwait National Museum, an impressive repository of Kuwait’s historic and cultural artifacts, including symbols depicting the old way of living in Kuwait. The next 20 minutes’ drive takes us to the Tareq Rajab Museum, a comprehensive repository of Islamic relics, art and calligraphy from around the world. At lunch time, we drive 15 minutes to the upscale seaside Babel Restaurant to taste an excellent Lebanese cuisine. After lunch, we drive 1o minutes to the Sheikh Abdullah Al Salem Cultural Center, a world class museum and cultural center with exhibits summarizing Kuwait’s history and culture, and the achievement of the Arab world. After our visit, we drive 20 minutes to the Dar Al Athar Al Islamiyyah, a museum with the Al Sabah Collection of Islamic Art. After the tour, we drive 10 minutes back to our hotel.
Day 4 – Relaxation by the Pool, The Avenues Mall
Our activity-free day begins with a sumptuous breakfast at the Elements Restaurant of our hotel. We spend the day by the outdoor swimming pool, swimming, having lunch and appreciating the panoramic views of the city. In the afternoon, we venture to the largest upscale shopping mall in Kuwait, called The Avenues. The layout of the mall includes wide avenues decorated with fountains, palm trees and a transparent glass roof. The Souk resembles a traditional Kuwait souq with Arabic handcrafts, aromatic spices and local sweets. The Avenues hosts an abundance of restaurants and cafes, creating an inviting place for dinner and/or dessert.
Day 5 – Kuwait City Departure, Arrive Abu Dhabi
After breakfast, we transfer to Kuwait International Airport to take our flight to Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Emirates Arline has direct flights from Kuwait City to Dubai, while Etihad Airline offers direct flights from Kuwait City to Abu Dhabi. We take a 2 hour direct flight to Dubai, as we prefer the high quality customer service of Emirates Airline. At the Dubai International Airport, we meet our pre-scheduled private driver and start the hour and a half drive to our hotel. At the resort, we spend few hours on the beach and then, in the evening, have dinner at the Abd El Wahab Lebanese Restaurant, situated within walking distance from our hotel.
Note: In Abu Dhabi, UAE, we use a mixture of transfer/limo services provided by our resort and transfer/tour services offered by Rayna Tours and Travel.
Day 6 – Sheikh Zayed Mosque, Emirates Palace, Dates Market, Desert Safari
Our morning excursion begins with a half an hour drive to the Sheikh Zayed Mosque, a spiritual landmark of Abu Dhabi. We explore the Mosque’s impressive architecture with 82 domes, four minarets and an expansive courtyard. Inside the mosque, we walk on the flowery Iranian carpet and admire its arched ceilings with beautiful chandeliers. A half an hour drive away, the Heritage Village showcases the traditional Arabian life in a recreated ancient village. A few minutes’ drive along the coast takes us to the Emirates Palace, a seaside luxury hotel. Its Arabian style architecture and opulent décor with gold accents creates an inviting setting for lunch. After lunch, we drive twenty minutes to the Mina Zayed, an island port city harbouring wooden fishing dhows. We visit the nearby Mina Fish Market with large displays of local and regional fresh seafood. A short walking distance away, the Mina Dates Market has an amazing selection of the fresh and dried dates. A stop at the nearby Carpet Souk offers us a chance to buy colorful fabric souvenirs and rugs. Late afternoon, we depart for a six-hour Desert Safari, consisting of sand dunes bashing, camel riding, star-gazing and dining at an outdoor camp.
Days 7 – Abu Dhabi Beach Day, Louvre Abu Dhabi
Today, we spend a day at our resort’s beautiful beach with panoramic views of the sea. Our resort is located on the Saadiyat Island, ensuring a direct access to the long stretch of white sand beach. The warm and calm turquoise sea is perfect for swimming. In the late afternoon, we enjoy a cultural experience at the nearby Louvre Abu Dhabi, a 10 minutes’ drive from our resort. After the visit, we drive 20 minutes to the Yas Mall for a little bit of shopping and for dinner.
Day 8 – Abu Dhabi Departure
Early in the morning, we transfer to the Dubai International Airport for our international return flight.
Kuwait – Situated in the Arabian Peninsula, Kuwait is an oil rich country that dazzles its visitors with its beautiful coastal scenery, captivating museums, magnificent mosque, traditional and modern architecture, and an excellent cuisine. Kuwait is located on the Persian Gulf coast and borders Iraq to the west and north, and Saudi Arabia to the south. Kuwait, originally founded as a fishing village, became a prosperous trading center between Persia, Asia and Arabia. In the 18th century, the booming international commerce along the Kuwait Bay brought great prosperity to the ruling Al Sabah dynasty. Kuwait became a ship-building center that produced traditional vessels used for long-distance trading, fishing, pearling and transportation. After the First World War, the global economic crisis reduced Kuwait’s trading revenues while Japan’s invention of cultured pearls eliminated Kuwait’s pearling industry. Kuwait’s history encompasses the 16th century period of Portuguese control, the 1899 to 1961 period of the British protectorate, the discovery of oil resources in the 1930s, and the 1990 Iraq invasion of Kuwait followed by the Gulf War. Kuwait’s independence declared in 1961 and the parliamentary elections in 1963, began Kuwait’s “golden era” of economic prosperity, political reforms, cultural development and social freedoms. In the 1980s, the stock market crash preceded an economic recession and a shift toward a more conservative era politically and for the society. Kuwait is a constitutional monarchy ruled by the Al Sabah family.
Kuwait City – The glittering waters of Kuwait Bay are a beautiful background setting for Kuwait City, the capital of Kuwait. Kuwait City, is a fascinating metropolis that serves as Kuwait’s political, economic and cultural center. The city’s economic prosperity created a diverse population mix, consisting of Kuwaitis, residents from other Arab countries and influx of foreign workers. Kuwait City’s architecture is defined by villas in the traditional style and modern buildings. Kuwait’s mostly desert topography results in increasingly hot temperatures and sand storms in the summer. In response, Kuwait develops the “smart city” concept with villas with its traditional Persian echo-friendly windcatchers and with efficient transport services. The visitors to Kuwait City are greeted with a collection of museums, theatre venues, traditional souq, picturesque coastline and superb cuisine.
In the heart of Kuwait City, the Grand Mosque is an important landmark and the symbol of Islamic architecture. The mosque was completed in 1986, displays a 74 meters high minaret and celebrates the Andalusian architecture. The main prayer hall may accommodate 10,000 people and showcases a central dome, arches and arcades, blue carpet, magnificent chandeliers and tile mosaics in the Andalusian style. The Emir of Kuwait visits the Grand Mosque twice a year and pauses at the Amir’s Room, defined by awe-inspiring hand-carved ceiling and the display case of the seventh replica of the original “Qu’ran” Al Kareem (Mos’haf). The women’s prayer hall has a simple design and is situated at the upper level. A visit to the Grand Mosque needs to be organized in advance and includes a free guided tour. Women are provided with a traditional black cloak that covers the body and the hair. Along the Persian Gulf, the Dhow Harbour displays rows of docked traditional fishing dhows that supply fresh fish to the Fish Market. Situated next to the harbour, the Fish Market has rows of stalls presenting various types of local and imported seafood. A visit to the Kuwait Towers offers panoramic views of the Persian Gulf, as the Horizon Restaurant, situated inside the tower, serves an international cuisine for breakfast, lunch and dinner. A drive along the coast guides us to the Radisson Blue Hotel and the largest traditional dhow boat, Al Hashemi II. We organize in advance a short guided tour of the Al Hashemi II and Al Hashemi Marine Museum that houses a collection of replica dhows and outlines Kuwait’s maritime heritage. The Al Hashemi II, the largest wooden dhow in the world, as recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records, is a replica of the wooden dhow that was used historically for distant voyages. Inside the dhow, the spectacular banquet hall is decorated with a parquet floor, gold accents and chandeliers. Al Hashemi II honors Kuwait’s extensive maritime heritage and shipbuilding traditions. The old part of Kuwait City hosts the traditional Souk Al-Mubarakiya that retains its original design with abundant stalls selling spices, produce, meats, fabrics and souvenirs. Kuwait City has many very interesting museums, including the Sadu House that educates visitors about Kuwait’s weaving traditions and showcases ethnic handcrafts created by the Bedouin women. The Sadu House, a traditional Kuwaiti-style house with an open courtyard, displays different weaving styles, embroidery used to decorate wardrobes and textiles with unique traditional patterns, and hosts workshops teaching ancient weaving techniques. A souvenir shop sells the artisan products created by the local weavers who joined the Co-operative Al Sadu Weaving Society. Situated behind the Sadu House, the Kuwait National Museum takes visitors on a historic journey through Kuwait’s founding journey and a sailing voyage on the traditional dhow, Boom Al-Muhallab. The museum houses artifacts depicting the old Kuwait way of living, a collection from the expedition to Failaka Island and astronomical books and maps in the Planetarium. The Tareq Rajab Museum, a private collection of the Rajab family, exhibits Islamic artifacts, such as Holy Qurans, paintings, ceramics and Islamic Calligraphy. The Islamic Calligraphy collection shows historic, symbolic and artistic masterworks from around the world. The Sheikh Abdullah Al Salem Cultural Center, a world class museum complex, was developed on a 13-hectare land and houses six main buildings. The impressive exhibits guide visitors through its interactive multi-building displays: Ecosystems, Our Earth, Transportation & Robots, Human Body, Arabic Islamic Science/Fine Arts Center and Space. The museum is an excellent educational venue for families with children, inspiring the young generation to learn, dream and invent. The museum outlines Kuwait’s history and culture, educates visitors about the Arab world and praises many accomplishments across the world. Next to the Kuwait Parliament and along the Arabian Gulf Street is the Dar Al Athar Al Islamiyyah, the Collection of Islamic Art of Al Sabah, a repository of ceramics, metal objects, manuscripts, textiles and architectural pieces. The collection includes over 30,000 artifacts from many countries with an Islamic history and culture. Sheikh Nasser Sabah Al-Ahmed Al Sabah is the founder of the collection that grew overtime to include two libraries and varied artifacts from the Islamic world, spanning a wide period of time. A visit to Kuwait’s financial district reveals Kuwait’s modern architecture, including the uniquely carved skyscraper Al Hamra Tower. Shopping lovers should visit The Avenues, the largest upscale shopping mall in Kuwait with a large collection of premium brands, traditional Kuwait shops, cinema, restaurants and cafes. The shopping mall’s design imitates an outdoor setting with wide avenues, fountains, pathways with palm trees and a transparent glass roof. Every avenue has a unique design: the Prestige displays a palatial style, the Grand Avenue is a tree lined boulevard and the Souk resembles an old Kuwait souq with Arabic handcrafts, fabrics, spices and sweets. Arts lovers can enjoy music, theatre or film performances at the Sheikh Jaber Al-Ahmad Cultural Centre, the largest opera house in the Middle East (also known as the Kuwait Opera House).
United Arab Emirates – The United Arab Emirates, also called Emirates, is a vibrant country located along the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman in the Arabian Peninsula. It borders Oman to the east and Saudi Arabia to the south. UAE’s wealth is due to its substantial oil reserves and natural gas reserves. The United Arab Emirates was established in 1971-1972 by the consolidation of seven autonomous emirates, including Dubai, Abu Dhabi (capital of Emirates), Sharjah, Ajman, Fujairah, Ras Al-Khaimah and Umm Al-Quwain. The President of the United Arab Emirates is the ruling emir of Abu Dhabi while the Prime Minister of UAE is the emir of Dubai. The United Arab Emirates is a prosperous country with a modern infrastructure, a developed business environment and a booming tourism. In contrast to Dubai that is renowned for its coastal scenery of beautiful beaches and man-made archipelagos, Abu Dhabi offers a laid-back atmosphere, lovely beaches, desert adventures and newly developed cultural sites.
Abu Dhabi – The Emirate of Abu Dhabi, an archipelago with over 200 islands, has the largest oil resources in the United Arab Emirates, hence it plays an important commercial and political role in the country. The emirate’s topography is mostly desert, but the eastern region is a wonderful oasis hosting its main city of Al Ain. Abu Dhabi city, the capital of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, is an island city that is connected by bridges to the mainland. The city’s expansive coastline ensures panoramic views along the Abu Dhabi Corniche, manicured pathways perfect for relaxing, walking and exercising. Abu Dhabi is a laid-back city with beautiful beaches, a glorious mosque, a dazzling desert and very interesting cultural sites. The Sheikh Zayed Mosque is the religious landmark of Abu Dhabi and a splendid architectural masterpiece. The white structure consists of 82 domes and four minarets at each corner of the mosque. The expansive courtyard reveals white marble decorated with floral motifs. The mosque interiors display a beautiful Iranian carpet, designed by the Iranian artist Ali Khaliqi and made by Iran’s Carpet Company. The process of making the carpet utilized 1,200 carpet weavers and many tons of wool and cotton. Inside the mosque, there are beautiful copper and gold chandeliers, with the largest chandelier measuring 10 meters in diameter and 15 meters in height. Sheikh Zayed Mosque is a unique spiritual symbol and an architectural jewel. An excursion to Abu Dhabi’s coastline leads to the Emirates Palace, a luxury hotel situated on a private bay and surrounded by the beautifully landscaped gardens. An Arabian palace showcases opulent interiors with marble floors and above the lobby a dome ceiling decorated in gold. As we walk through the lobby, a group of artists is playing classical music. The palace is an inviting destination for lunch or dinner with a collection of restaurants and lounges. The Emirates Palace is an embodiment of a lavish royal lifestyle designed along the picturesque sea. An excursion to the nearby Heritage Village educates us about the traditional Arabian life displaying Bedouin camps, traditional souk and a defense fort near the sea. The Heritage Village is a replica village showing the ancient Arabian life in the Emirates. On the Gulf coast, Mina Zayed (Port Zayed) is an island port city that houses commercial boats and traditional wooden fishing dhows. The Dhow Harbour is a vibrant and colorful place, especially in the morning when the fishermen arrive with the fresh catch of the day. A visit to the nearby Mina Fish Market reveals an abundant display of local and regional fresh seafood brought by the local fishermen. The nearby Mina Dates Market is a fascinating market with a wide variety of sweet dates. During our visit, the display of harvested fresh dates entices our senses with different flavors, textures and colors. As we visit the stores, we sample the high quality dried dates, including the best dates from Saudi Arabia. A stop at the nearby Carpet Souk impresses us with the colorful selection of carpets and fabrics, including manufactured carpets from Turkey and handmade rugs from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Syria. Our search for a modern shopping experience guides us to the Yas Mall situated on the Yas Island. Connected to the mall is the Yas Island Ferrari World, a theme park for the adventure seekers who want to ride the world’s fastest rollercoaster. The highlight of our visit to Abu Dhabi is the Desert Safari, an amazing desert adventure, consisting of sand dunes bashing, camel riding, star-gazing and dining at an outdoor camp. An hour and a half drive from Abu Dhabi takes us to the seemingly infinite landscape of the rolling sand dunes. We seem to follow in the footsteps of the Bedouins Arabs, enjoying the camp set in the middle of the desert. A stay at the Saadiyat Island ensures direct access to the most beautiful stretch of white sand beaches. We spend careless hours lounging on the beach, swimming in turquoise sea and admiring the coastal scenery. The Saadiyat Island has become a culture hub with the creation of the Louvre Abu Dhabi, a collaboration between France and the United Arab Emirates to create an innovative cultural institution.
Tareq Rajab Museum – Kuwait’s first minister Tareq Rajab and his British wife opened the Tareq Rajab Museum in the 1980s. The private collection of the Rajab family is displayed in two separate buildings. The collection consists of over thirty thousand pieces and includes ceramics, textiles, jewelry, paintings, Arab art and Islamic Calligraphy. The Tareq Rajab Museum of Islamic Calligraphy houses a collection of Islamic masterworks from different parts of the world. The accomplished calligraphers recorded the Islamic script, showcasing different styles throughout the Muslim world. A walk through the museum reveals Arabic scripts used as decorative art on textiles, wood, pottery, and metalwork. The Islamic art of the collection includes notable pieces, such as a Qur’an from the 12th century written in gold, a single Qur’anic folio in gold from the 9th century and impressive curtains covering the door of the Ka’aba. The framed Islamic scripts reveals an incredible artistry with colorful borders, flower patterns and unique symbols. The Tareq Rajab Museum with its amazing collection of Arab and Islamic art, warrants a sufficient time to truly appreciate it. The museum is open every day with a break of few hours between 12:00-4:00PM.
Kuwaiti Cuisine – As Kuwait transformed itself to incorporate its traditional culture to its new cosmopolitan life, so did the traditional Kuwaiti cuisine. Today’s Kuwaiti cuisine is influenced by its nomadic tribes, its fishing traditions, the British colonization period and its immigrants from Arabia, Africa and Asia. The Kuwaiti cuisine incorporates a wide array of seafood, including crabs, shrimps, octopus and fish. In Kuwait City, we dine at the Dar Hamad Restaurant (darhamad.com) that serves an authentic Kuwaiti cuisine with a contemporary twist. The restaurant is located inside a two-storey villa that belonged to Al Hamad family since Kuwait’s Golden Era. The stylish décor and an outdoor terrace with Persian Gulf views create an inviting dining venue. A refreshing drink Laban with Mint perfectly complements the thin crispy Kuwaiti Bread served with dates, cheese and tahini sauce. An order of Potato Kubbah delights our senses as we degust these fried balls of breaded mashed potatoes, stuffed with minced beef with onions. The Dar Hamad Salad, made with fresh vegetables, pomegranate, matai crisps in yogurt & lemon sauce, is quite inventive and refreshing. We order Bamya as the main course, a delicious okra dish with meat in tomato sauce, served with basmati rice. The Dar Hamad Restaurant transformed the traditional Kuwaiti cuisine into a highly praised contemporary Arabic haute cuisine. As we dine, we notice guests only from Arabia, dressed in their traditional attire. This elegant restaurant feels truly authentic.
Lebanese Cuisine – The Arab cuisine is a fascinating mix of regional cuisines, each one contributing its own unique characteristics. Across the centuries, the Arab cuisine evolved together with the movement of nomadic tribes, its expansions to African and European lands, and the journeys of the spice merchants. Arabia’s regional culinary traditions are strongly influenced by the Levant region and the Lebanese cuisine. The Lebanese cuisine is highly praised for its fresh vegetables, nourishing ingredients, diverse meats and seafood, exotic spices and delectable sweets. Set along the Persian Gulf, the Babel Kuwait Restaurant (babelrestaurant.com/branch/index/babel-kuwait) is a superb dining venue for lovers of Lebanese cuisine. The restaurant’s menu features a selection of traditional dishes and reinvented classic dishes. A selection of nuts and fresh mint arrive on our table at the beginning of the meal. We choose the restaurant’s specialty starters that incorporate few extra ingredients to the classic Lebanese recipes. The Hummus with Pesto topped with fresh walnuts is appetizing and delicious. The Tabbouleh El Bahhar, a reinvented classic tabbouleh with few extra ingredients, is made of parsley, tomatoes, onions, wheat sprouts and shrimps. The tabbouleh tastes wonderfully with those added ingredients and with the added fresh citrus juice. The Fattet Shrimps in Yogurt, an improved recipe of the eggplant fatteh, is a harmony of flavors of eggplants, shrimps and yogurt. The Nayeh Moutammameh, raw meat coated with mixed nuts, is a remarkable dish with an array of flavors, colors and scents. The Babel Kuwait Restaurant serves an exquisite feast that culminates with fresh fruits, dessert and specialty sweets from Lebanon.
Dates (Fresh and Dried) – A visit to the Mina Dates Market in Abu Dhabi offers a chance to sample and buy the best quality dates from the Middle East. The Date Plant was cultivated in the Middle East for centuries, notably by Saudi Arabia, Iran and Egypt, the largest producers. The Date Plant, part of the palm family, has many varieties and produces an edible sweet fruit. The quality of the dates is dependent on their sweetness, color, softness, size and nutritional value. At the Mina Dates Market, every store displays its own selection of imported and local products: fresh dates, dried dates, raisins, figs, date jams, chocolate covered dates, dates with walnuts or almonds, and countless others. During our visit, we admire a colorful display of freshly harvested dates, some half-ripe, some fully-ripe with many different colors. Our daunting task is to sample them all. As we browse the stores, we discover a wide selection of dried dates and other dried fruits, local and imported. The flavors are amazing and we select the two varieties that became our favorites. The Ajwa Dates from Saudi Arabia have a dark color, a soft texture, a fruity flavor and a slight sweetness. The Mabroom Dates from Saudi Arabia have a longer oval shape, a dark brown color, a soft yet chewy texture and a distinct sweetness. These dried dates are the best we ever tasted.
Four Seasons Hotel Kuwait at Burj Alshaya – In lively Kuwait City, the Four Seasons Hotel Kuwait at Burj Alshaya is an epitome of luxury, personalized service and serenity. A stylish lobby stands out with a display of fresh flowers on the walls and the sculpture “Etymology of the Baroque” by the British artist Marc Quinn. The luxurious rooms with city views have a modern Arabian decor, a spacious siting area and the latest technology that will satisfy both business and leisure travelers. In the morning, the Elements Restaurant offers a colorful and delicious selection of Arabic and international dishes. This urban resort is a perfect short-term getaway with a two-level spa, indoor pool and a stylishly designed outdoor pool overlooking the city. Next to the outdoor pool, in the fourth floor terrace is the Al Bandar lounge, a relaxing dining venue decorated with palm trees and comfortable couches. The hotel is situated within a short distance to the cultural sites and at a walking distance to the Al Shaheed Park. The Four Seasons Hotel Kuwait at Burj Alshaya offers superb accommodations, high-end dining, resort style swimming pool and excellent guest services.
St. Regis Saadiyat Island Resort, Abu Dhabi – A visit to Abu Dhabi warrants a stay at the St. Regis Saadiyat Island Resort, Abu Dhabi, a beautiful resort situated on a natural island along the turquoise Persian Gulf and on long stretch of a white sand beach. This exotic resort has a Mediterranean style architecture, a fashionable interior décor, a private beach, three outdoor swimming pools and manicured resort grounds. Our recommended higher floor St. Regis Suite offers sweeping views of the Persian Gulf, a private balcony, a spacious bedroom with sitting area and a stylish bathroom. In the morning, the Olea Restaurant serves a sumptuous breakfast buffet and offers panoramic sea views. In the afternoon, the Drawing Room located in the lobby, serves a wide selection of desserts and an afternoon tea. The resort’s beautiful pathways lined with palm trees guide us to its high-end restaurants, including the Sontaya Restaurant serving an excellent Southeast Asian cuisine. A few minutes’ walk from the resort, The Collection, a restaurant and retail complex in a Mediterranean village style setting, provides diverse dining options. The St. Regis Saadiyat Island Resort is an elegant resort with a white sand beach, an exquisite architecture and a superb cuisine.