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Abu Dhabi Shangri-La Sunset Luxury Travel


Welcome to my thrilling escapade through Abu Dhabi, where luxury and adventure collide!

As a luxury destination wedding expert and avid traveller, I couldn’t resist delving into the opulence of the Shangri-La Qaryat Al Beri 5 Star Hotel. Brace yourself for a rollercoaster ride of lavish accommodations, unforgettable experiences, and hidden gems. So, buckle up and get ready to join me on this wild journey as we unveil the secrets of this extraordinary hotel and uncover the wonders of Abu Dhabi. But before we dive in, let me share a little behind-the-scenes story with you.


Abu Dhabi Shangri-La Luxury Travel


This trip to Shangri-La Qaryat Al Beri Hotel Abu Dhabi had been in my diary since the pandemic days of cancellations and no-fly zones. I had rearranged flights multiple times and squeezed it into an already crammed post-pandemic travel schedule. To be honest, it wasn’t a trip I was particularly excited about taking at first. But boy, was I wrong!

From the moment I stepped foot into the hotel, any lingering doubts or weariness from travel melted away. The beauty and opulence of the surroundings, the warm hospitality, and the experiences that awaited me quickly turned my apprehension into sheer excitement.

The stunning Arabian architecture of the hotel instantly transported me to a different world—a world of grandeur and enchantment. The breathtaking views of the beach, the Grand Canal and the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque from my room created a sense of awe and wonder that I couldn’t have anticipated. It was as if I had stumbled upon a hidden gem, tucked away in a little corner of paradise.




However what truly stole my heart was the exceptional service I received. The staff’s attention to detail, with their warm smiles, and their genuine desire to ensure my stay was nothing short of perfect made all the difference. I soon realised that the experiences I had here would be etched in my memory forever.

I absolutely loved enjoying all the hotel had to offer. It was pure delight! Whether it was a romantic abra boat ride along the dimly lit canal, a rejuvenating spa treatment, or exploring the vibrant souk, Starbucks in the souk became our daily go-to for an iced coffee fix. Each experience brought its own touch of magic and joy.


Abu Dhabi Shangri-La Abra Gondola Luxury Travel


As I reflect on my time at Shangri-La Qaryat Al Beri, I can’t help but smile at my initial reservations about this trip. It just goes to show that sometimes, the most unexpected journeys can turn out to be the most extraordinary ones. So, if you find yourself with an opportunity to visit this luxurious oasis, don’t hesitate. Get ready to throw aside expectations, loosen up, and let the captivating beauty and wonder of Shangri-La Qaryat Al Beri Hotel sweep you off your feet!

Please humour me as we embark on this virtual journey to Shangri-La Qaryat Al Beri, where unparalleled luxury, tranquillity, and a touch of whimsy come together to create an unforgettable experience.

Breakfast Bliss at the restaurant Sofra Bld:

Mornings at Shangri-La Qaryat Al Beri were an absolute treat thanks to Sofra Bld, the hotel’s awesome signature restaurant. Picture this: a breakfast spread fit for royalty, with mouthwatering pastries, exotic fruits, and traditional Emirati dishes that made my taste buds dance with joy. The service was top-notch, and the relaxed ambiance set the perfect mood for a delightful start to the day.

Cheers at Al Hanah Opulent Bar:

When it was time for pre-dinner cocktails or a nightcap, the Al Hanah Bar became our regular haunt. Kicking back on the balcony with the most jaw-dropping sunsets over Abu Dhabi – you won’t find that anywhere else! It’s like your go-to happy place, only better. And the mixologists? Total show-offs, mixing up all sorts of amazing drinks.


Abu Dhabi Shangri-La Al Hanah Bar Luxury Travel


Abu Dhabi Shangri-La Al Hanah Bar Luxury Travel


Poolside Paradise at the Pool Bar & Restaurant:

Imagine lounging by the pool, basking in the glorious sunshine, and sipping on refreshing drinks that transport you to a tropical paradise. The Pool Bar & Restaurant at Shangri-La Qaryat Al Beri is the ultimate oasis of relaxation and luxury. With lush surroundings, comfortable loungers, and a refreshing menu of snacks and cocktails, it’s the perfect spot to unwind and let all your worries float away. And guess what? They even serve watermelon icy cold and bring it with a smile right to your sun lounger at your chosen pool or beach location. It’s pure bliss! Oh, and let’s not forget about the BBQ evenings—they’re a must-try! Be sure to request a table by the poolside for an enchanting view as the sun sets behind the majestic Grand Mosque—it’s pure magic!


Abu Dhabi Shangri-La Pool Restaurant Luxury Travel


Exquisite Chinese Flavours at Shang Palace Restaurant:

Calling all foodies! Shang Palace Restaurant is where culinary dreams come true. Step into this elegant dining spot and prepare to be blown away by authentic Chinese cuisine. The decor sets the stage for an unforgettable dining experience, while the attentive staff adds that extra touch of charm. From delectable dim sum to mouthwatering Peking duck and sizzling Szechuan specialties, every bite is a flavour explosion that will leave you craving more.

Abu Dhabi Shang Palace Luxury Travel


Unexplored Gems: Hoi An Vietnamese and Bord Eau French

Although our trip to the hotel was filled with delightful dining experiences, we couldn’t help but feel a pang of regret for not visiting two highly recommended restaurants: Hoi An Vietnamese and Bord Eau French. The tantalizing flavors of Vietnamese cuisine at Hoi An and the exquisite culinary masterpieces at Bord Eau French beckon us to return and savor the unexplored culinary gems of the hotel. These restaurants promise an unforgettable journey of flavors, and we can’t wait to embark on this culinary adventure on our next visit.

Magical Moments on the Arabian Abra: A Family Affair

Hop aboard and embark on a scenic journey through the twinkling lights of the hotel’s winding waterways. The traditional Arabian abra, connecting the hotel complex and souk, sets the stage for a delightful experience. Some opt for leisurely meanders, enjoying a splendid picnic-style breakfast amidst the gentle ripples. For us, it was a pre or post dinner ride with our teenage boys in tow.

As the abra glided along the tranquil waters, a sense of serenity enveloped us. Though not a romantic date night, it was a chance to create cherished family moments, setting the mood for a sunset dinner.

Abu Dhabi Luxury Travel



Sibling Speed Limits: Jet Skiing Adventures

With wide-eyed excitement, the boys eagerly anticipated their jet ski car adventure, envisioning a thrilling, high-speed ride that would set their hearts racing. The eldest, craved an adrenaline-fuelled experience that would leave him breathless.

However, much to his chagrin, the presence of his younger brother resulted in the imposition of speed limits, ensuring everyone’s safety. What was meant to be a hair-raising escapade transformed into a leisurely glide on the waves. His dreams of a hair-whipping, pulse-pounding ride were replaced with a more tranquil and relaxed journey.


Abu Dhabi Shangri-La Watersports Jet Ski Car Luxury Travel


But wait, there’s more! Our adventures didn’t end at the hotel. If you’re curious to know about our escapades beyond the luxurious accommodations, read on for a few of our exciting highlights. Brace yourself for tales of exploration, laughter, and unforgettable experiences as we ventured further afield in Abu Dhabi.


Retail Therapy: The Galleria Al Maryah Island and Galleria Mall

Hold on tight and get ready for a thrilling day of retail therapy at The Galleria Al Maryah Island! Eager to satisfy the fashion-forward desires of our trendsetting teenage boys, we eagerly embarked on an epic shopping expedition that left us in awe of this luxury mall.

From the moment we stepped inside, we were greeted by extraordinary views of the city’s skyline and a dazzling waterfront promenade. The Galleria Al Maryah Island isn’t just your average shopping destination—it’s a lifestyle haven, a paradise for all things fashionable and fabulous.

As we roamed the mall, we couldn’t help but be mesmerised by the world’s most coveted luxury fashion brands and high-end jewellery that adorned the stunning boutiques. And let me tell you, the Apple Store was a must-visit! Even though I’m a diehard Android lover, my boys managed to convince me to give it a go, hoping for a miraculous iPhone conversion. Will I make the switch? Well, let’s just say the jury is still out!

The architectural marvels within the mall were equally captivating. With black granite steps cascading with water and an elevated position that demanded attention, it was like stepping into a futuristic wonderland.

The NBA store, a floor-to-ceiling basketball fans dream, pulsating with interactivity and teeming with jerseys from both current and former players, was our next stop on this day-long shopping escapade. With shopping bags in hand, we breezed out of this retail nirvana, our bellies happy from an awesome afternoon spent munching on Cheesecake Factory treats, all while soaking in the upscale vibes of The Galleria Al Maryah Island.


Abu Dhabi NBA Store Luxury Travel


A Royal Affair: Indulging in Luxury at Emirates Palace Mandarin Oriental

Embarking on our whimsical adventure at the Emirates Palace Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Abu Dhabi was like stepping into a fairytale. The moment we laid eyes on its magnificent architecture and spacious surroundings, we couldn’t help but envision a grand wedding taking place here in the magnificent ballroom. Seriously, someone please invite me!

As we casually wandered through the grand halls, we couldn’t resist the temptation to treat ourselves to a lavish lunch at Episodes. The pick-your-own filling sandwich extravaganza had us hooked, and we eagerly crafted a mouthwatering masterpiece. And, of course, we couldn’t pass up the chance to sample their signature gold leaf coffees and tantalising gold leaf adorned ice creams—our wallets winced a bit, but hey, some experiences are just too good to miss!

Episodes, the newest culinary gem at the iconic Emirates Palace Mandarin Oriental, promises to whisk you away on a delightful journey of exceptional flavours. From the finest teas sourced from all corners of the globe to heavenly pastry creations and savoury classics crafted with artistry, this place has it all. Whatever your mood or craving, Episodes is the perfect spot to indulge your taste buds and create unforgettable memories.

But our journey doesn’t end there. Oh no! We’re already planning our return to the Emirates Palace Mandarin Oriental to experience dinner on the terrace of the Martabaan restaurant by Hemant Oberoi. Imagine being treated to outstanding views of the Arabian Gulf’s crystal blue waters and the magnificent Emirates Palace Mandarin Oriental Marina.


Abu Dhabi Emirates Palace Mandarin Oriental Luxury Travel


Abu Dhabi Emirates Palace Mandarin Oriental Luxury Travel


Abu Dhabi Emirates Palace Mandarin Oriental Luxury Travel


Abu Dhabi Emirates Palace Mandarin Oriental Luxury Travel


A Taste of Parisian Delights: Entrecote Cafe De Paris in Abu Dhabi’s Souk

Get ready to be transported to the enchanting world of Entrecote Cafe De Paris, situated in the bustling Souk next to the hotel. Thanks to the expert recommendation of our attentive concierge, we hopped on a golf buggy and arrived at this renowned dining spot, where a delightful evening of gastronomic wonders awaited

As we entered, we were transported to the streets of Paris, with charming decor that exuded elegance and sophistication. The atmosphere was alive with laughter and the clinking of glasses, setting the stage for a memorable dining experience.

Now, let’s talk about the star of the show—the mouthwatering French cuisine. The menu boasted a tantalising selection of dishes, each one more tempting than the last. And of course, we couldn’t resist trying the iconic sauce that made Chef Boubier famous back in 1930. The world-renowned “Café de Paris” butter sauce, specially flown from Geneva to Abu Dhabi, was an absolute game-changer. Its rich flavours danced on our taste buds, creating a symphony of delight with every bite.

But let me tell you, this meal was not just a winner—it was a champion! The flavours burst with authenticity, and each dish was crafted to perfection. From the succulent steaks to the divine sides, every element on the plate was a celebration of culinary excellence.


Abu Dhabi Entrecote Cafe De Paris Luxury Travel



Title: Sun, Sand, and Serenity: Exploring Saadiyat Beach in Abu Dhabi

With its pristine stretch of pure white sand and crystal-clear sea, Saadiyat Beach, a slice of paradise in Abu Dhabi. is a haven of relaxation and fun.

Offering the perfect escape any time of the day. Whether you fancy a morning walk, an evening stroll, or a front-row seat to witness the glorious sunset over the Arabian Gulf, this beach has it all. The azure blue sea welcomes you with its warm embrace, inviting you to dip your toes and indulge in the refreshing waters.

Now, we must mention the luxurious Saadiyat Beach Club, even though we didn’t have the chance to experience it firsthand. We heard through the grapevine that it takes beachside luxury to a whole new level. Picture a magnificent outdoor pool, a spa for ultimate relaxation, a sauna, jacuzzi, steam room, and even private bungalows. It’s a haven of indulgence that promises an unforgettable experience.


Buzzing Nights and Waterfront Delights at Yas Marina

Prepare for an unforgettable evening at Yas Marina, where Abu Dhabi’s finest marina transforms into a vibrant and buzzing scene as the sun sets. Join us as we embark on a culinary adventure filled with sophisticated ambiance and waterfront delights.

Our first choice, Cipriani, unfortunately slipped through our fingers as we hadn’t made a reservation. But fear not, for Ishtar Yas Marina came to the rescue, providing us with a superb dinner experience. The trendy vibes and chic atmosphere at Ishtar instantly captivated us as we dined outdoors, overlooking the marina.

But let’s not forget the highlight of the night—the stunning waterfront views. The marina’s glistening waters provided a picturesque backdrop, adding a touch of magic to our dining experience. It was a feast for the senses as we savoured delicious dishes, enjoyed the company of loved ones, and soaked in the vibrant energy of Yas Marina.

Abu Dhabi Yas Marina Luxury Travel


Unleashing the Fun: Warner Bros Abu Dhabi Adventure

Get ready for an adrenaline-pumping family escapade as we dive into the incredible world of Warner Bros Abu Dhabi. This indoor theme park is an absolute game-changer, captivating visitors of all ages with its iconic characters, thrilling rides, and interactive experiences.

As we stepped foot inside, we were greeted by a multitude of themed zones that brought our favourite movies and cartoons to life. From the dark streets of Gotham City to the bustling Metropolis and the whimsical Cartoon Junction, there was something for everyone to enjoy.

Even our boys, aged 19 and 15, were blown away by the immersive world of Warner Bros. They indulged in all the rides and interactive experiences, embracing their inner superheroes and cartoon enthusiasts. From heart-pounding roller coasters to thrilling 4D simulations, the park offered a variety of exhilarating experiences that kept us on the edge of our seats. Laughter and excitement filled the air as we ventured from one adventure to another, creating memories that would last a lifetime.


Abu Dhabi Warner Bros Luxury Travel


Abu Dhabi Warner Bros Luxury Travel


Captivating Cultural Delights: Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque

Prepare to be mesmerised by the magnificent Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, a must-see destination that captures the essence of serenity and cultural significance. This architectural masterpiece stands tall as one of the world’s largest and most stunning mosques.

As we explored the grandeur of the mosque, we were captivated by its intricate designs and meticulous attention to detail. Every corner revealed a new marvel, from the breathtaking domes to the delicate carvings that adorned the walls. It was a feast for the eyes and a testament to human creativity.

Amidst the serene atmosphere, we felt a sense of tranquility and reverence. The spiritual significance of the mosque was palpable, and we took a moment to reflect and appreciate the beauty that surrounded us.

While visiting the mosque, we respected the local culture and dressed appropriately. We noticed that some visitors were caught off guard, but fear not, for there are stores nearby that provide the correct attire to ensure no one misses out on this awe-inspiring experience.

Abu Dhabi Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque Weddings Abroad Luxury Travel
Abu Dhabi Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque Weddings Abroad Luxury Travel
Abu Dhabi Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque Weddings Abroad Luxury Travel
Abu Dhabi Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque Weddings Abroad Luxury Travel

Rolling Sands and Hilarious High Jinks: Al Khatim Desert Safari

Hold on tight for a desert adventure like no other as we ventured into the Al Khatim Desert. It was a must-do experience, and our hearts were set on dune bashing, sand boarding, quad biking, and camel rides. My husband, the master planner, booked everything online, and soon enough, we were picked up by our driver, the enigmatic Ali.

As we hopped into the vehicle, Ali surprised us with his mysterious silence throughout the entire journey. The only sound came from the blasting music that filled the air, leaving us wondering if he had lost his voice or simply preferred to let the music do the talking. The boys, well-prepared with their airpods, zoned out and enjoyed their own musical bubble.

To our amusement, another couple joined us in the huge Land Cruiser. It was quite the cozy ride, but we were ready for the adventure ahead.


Abu Dhabi Desert Camp Dune Bashing Quads Biking Weddings Abroad Luxury Travel


As we ventured deeper into the desert, my eyes couldn’t help but fixate on the repeating road signs guiding us closer to “ButHeeb Endurance Village.” A whimsical worry crept into my mind—had we accidentally stumbled into the wrong vehicle, unknowingly embarking on a hilariously misguided kidnapping adventure? I couldn’t resist the urge to share my amusing paranoia with the family group chat via WhatsApp, just in case my worst nightmare turned out to be true.

Meanwhile, the other couple sharing our ride seemed to be fluent in a language that left us bewildered, adding an extra layer of comedy to the situation. We attempted to communicate through a mishmash of gestures and laughter, and little did we know, this mix-up would become one of the highlights of our desert escapade.

After an hour of driving, Ali abruptly parked the vehicle and swiftly let the air out of the tires. The transformation was immediate—the real fun was about to begin.


Desert Dune Bashing Abu Dhabi weddings Abroad


OMG! The dune bashing was a thrilling mix of exhilaration and terror. For about ten minutes, we screamed our lungs out as the vehicle teetered on the edge of rolling over, while Ali, as cool as a cucumber, drove with just one hand. Each twist and turn had us begging for mercy, desperately pleading for him to stop.

Thankfully, we finally arrived at the camp, only to be promptly surrounded by eager sellers. In exchange for a wad of notes, we found ourselves wrapped in headscarves, transforming into desert fashionistas. After recovering from the adrenaline rush, we sought shade and a refreshing drink before jumping on quad bikes and experiencing the timeless tradition of camel rides. Be prepared to say no to the persistent upselling, though—it’s all part of the adventure!

We had opted to leave the camp early, but for the more daring souls, staying for the show and dinner was an option. As we bid farewell to the desert and its wild adventures, we couldn’t help but acknowledge that this experience was not for the faint of heart.


Abu Dhabi Karen Thornton-Brown Destination Wedding Expert Luxury Romantic Travel Reviewer Weddings Abroad


In a nutshell, our trip to Shangri-La Qaryat Al Beri in Abu Dhabi was a dream come true—a perfect blend of luxury, adventure, and unforgettable moments. From the stunning Arabian architecture to the tranquil beach views and mouthwatering dining experiences, it was pure indulgence. We laughed, explored, and immersed ourselves in the local culture, creating memories that will last a lifetime.

As we reluctantly bid adieu, we’re already counting down the days to our next visit. The diary is marked, for we can’t resist returning to this extraordinary place. Plus, exciting news is on the horizon—we’ll soon be offering luxury weddings in the UAE, adding another layer of enchantment to this magnificent destination.

Stay tuned for more delightful adventures as we continue to explore the world, celebrate love, and make dreams come true in the most lavish and unforgettable ways.

Abu Dhabi Karen Thornton-Brown Destination Wedding Expert Luxury Romantic Travel Reviewer Weddings Abroad

Just to ensure total transparency, my journey through the opulent landscapes of Abu Dhabi was a personal family holiday, not sponsored in any way. The objective was to experience and share this fabulous city’s luxury without any professional affiliations influencing the narrative.

However, as a destination wedding expert and global explorer, I have collaborated with numerous hotels, airlines, venues, and tourism boards in the past. These alliances have always opened doors to fresh, exciting experiences. Given that, I am keenly open to considering new partnerships and collaboration opportunities, schedule allowing.

So, if you’re part of an organisation looking to join forces to create inspiring and captivating travel experiences, I welcome you to reach out. Let’s explore the potential of our synergy and carve out new paths in luxury travel and event planning together. Feel free to drop me an email, and let’s initiate a conversation.



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