Abu Dhabi ’17

Abu Dhabi ’17

Hi guys, welcome to my updated Abu Dhabi travel guide. After being in Abu Dhabi with Abu Dhabi Tourism earlier the year, I had the honor to return only half a year later to visit this beautiful place again for the opening of the stunning Louvre Abu Dhabi. And honestly: it’s been one of my favorite projects in 2017! As Alex and I came back to Abu Dhabi for the third time, we already knew everything quite well and enjoyed the mixture of discovering new sights and going back to places we loved during our previous visits.



Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque
The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is the biggest one in the United Arab Emirates and was opened in 2007. I personally think it is one of the most beautiful buildings I ever got to visit! With its numerous columns and domes, the reflection pools and all of the colorfully ornamented white marble you could wander around it forever. We had a young woman as our personal cultural guide, which was amazing because she could give us a lot of details about the mosque’s architecture and design but also about the worshipping that takes place within its walls. If you ever come to Abu Dhabi, the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque should definitely be on top of your of things to see list! It’s a must-not-miss destination!

Louvre Abu Dhabi
Opened on November the 11th, the Louvre Abu Dhabi has its name from Parisian one. Architect Jean Nouvel calls it his masterpiece, also due to the fact that it took quite a while to build it up, longer than actually planned. The exhibition shows a big variety of art from all over the world. The most amazing thing is that all these artpieces are placed up next to each other – as a unity of all nations and world religions. Another plus is the astonishing architecture: I loved how with the sun breaks through the building and creates wonderful light spots.

TOP: Majorelle (here), SKIRT: Majorelle (here), BACKPACK: Chanel (here), HEELS: Proenza Schouler (here), BRA: Dior

Desert Safari
You simply cannot go to Abu Dhabi without a desert adventure! At least that’s how I feel! Even though I’ve been to the United Emirates a couple of times, I always have to return to the desert! Depending on how adventurous you are, there are quite a few fun options! I love dune bashing, a traditional buffet – But my favorite thing is very simple: watching sunsets in the desert! The sun changes the colors of the sand and even after sunset you can see some of the most amazing star-spattered skies.

SKIRT: Spell (here), TOP: Zara (similar here), BACKPACK: Chanel (here), SUNNIES: Ray Ban (here), HEAD BAND: Eugenia Kim (similar here), BIKINI: Zimmermann (here)

Observation Deck at 300
While we stayed in the area next to the Grand Mosque out of view of the city’s skyscrapers, we went to the Observation Deck at 300 for afternoon tea one day. The observation deck is on the 74th floor of the Etihad Towers, which makes it the highest observation deck in Abu Dhabi and definitely worth the trip! While sipping a cup of tea or coffee or enjoying a snack you have the most amazing view on the skyscrapers next to you, the marina, the beach and both the Presidential Palace and the Emirates Palace (the first is a “proper” palace, the second one of the most luxurious hotels in the city – it’s probably not advised to knock on the wrong door when you booked a room at the Emirates ;)). The Etihad Towers are also close to the Corniche Beach where you can sit in the sand and enjoy the Abu Dhabi skyline at the same time.


Abu Dhabi clearly is home to some of the most stunning hotels I’ve ever stayed at. The range of different types of hotels is just stunning! You can get instant Maldives vibes at the Zaya Nurai Island resort, a unique desert experience at Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort by Anantara, the best Mosque views at the Shangri-La Hotel Qaryat Al Beri and the Ritz-Carlton Grand Canel or the most glamorous stay at the Emirates Palace. I did sooo much research before selecting my favorite hotels and even though there are countless options, the ones below are truly amazing in their own unique ways! 

Shangri-La Hotel Qaryat Al Beri:
Sooo much to love about the Shangri-La Hotel Qaryat Al Beri! First of all the beautiful Mosque, the view at the beaches and around the pool area, the direct access to a little souk and boats which drive you along a small canal. Clearly one of my absolute favorites in Abu Dhabi (the evening has also been buffet is amazing! The dessert buffet is on another level ;)). 

DRESS: Majorelle (here), BACKPACK: Louis Vuitton (similar here), SUNNIES: Ray Ban (here), HEAD BAND: Eugenia Kim (similar here)

Emirates Palace:
We only stayed one night at the Emirates Palace but I was in constant „aww“-mood. The sunset at the beach is so beautiful when the golden light covers the beautiful hotel building as well as the impressive skyscrapers in the back. We had dinner at the Le Vendome. The inside of the restaurant amazes by its classy but also oriental style, absolutely breathtaking! You can easily get goosebumps by just looking and wondering around the giant golden halls of the hotel. The interior is unbelievable and for the first time in my life I’ve even looked up the brand of the glasses and cutlery because every detail was so charming. 😉

TOP: Majorelle (here), SKIRT: Majorelle (here), BACKPACK: Chanel (here), HEELS: Proenza Schouler (here), BRA: Dior

Zaya Nurai Island Resort:
Maledive vibes in Abu Dhabi? When a small boat took us to the Zaya Nurai Island resort I couldn’t believe my eyes. Turquoise water, super stylish villas and all the details of a cool boutique resort. We only had one night at Zaya Nurai Island and it’s been unreal. We had a beautiful beach villa with private pool, super beautiful interior and cute bikes to cruise around the island. I loved the areas with swings and hammocks in the water and all colorful tippys at the beach.

BATHING SUIT: Marysia (similar here)

SKIRT: Spell (here), BLOUSE: Spell (here), SUNNIES: Miu Miu (here), BACKPACK: Louis Vuitton (similar here)

BATHING SUIT: Marysia (similar here)

DRESS: Spell (here), BACKPACK: Louis Vuitton (similar here)

The Ritz-Carlton Grand Canal:
During our time in Abu Dhabi we stayed at the Ritz-Carlton Grand Canel. It is located next to the Grand Canal with a beach access but it also has an amazing view on the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque that is its direct neighbor. We changed rooms once so that we could enjoy both views from the bed for one night. And one night we had the most beautiful sunset behind the mosque that we enjoyed in the hotel’s garden. I love the Ritz-Carlton hotels and we have stayed there before (for example on Tenerife last month: here). Once more we had a very enjoyable stay and I can only recommend it especially because of its location next to the mosque that is in my opinion the most beautiful sight in the city!

Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort by Anantara
One of my definite highlights during my days in Abu Dhabi was a night at the Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort by Anantara. The resort is a 1,5h drive from the city right into the heart of the desert and there is literally nothing but sand and camels around it for miles and miles. I had seen pictures online before and it had been on my bucket list for quite a while! I stayed in one of their amazing rooms for one night with my sister and we had a huge window facing the dunes and a big terrace where we had a great Arabian lunch (that we had to protect fiercely from the birds who wanted to have there share). During the day the sand was so hot that you couldn’t really walk around but at night we went on a camel ride and watched the sun setting behind the sandy dunes. I looooove the way the colors of the sand change when the sun is setting and I can never get enough of it. Actually, my sister and I left behind our group having tea to climb the highest dune so that we would have a better view – quite a work out! However, those of you who follow my insta stories might have read about the traumatic camel experience I had in Jordan a couple of years ago when I was appointed a particularly feisty individual and I was really happy that I got along much better with my Arabian camel. 😉 I’m optimistic that this has whipped away my fear of camels for the future! ☺

I hope you enjoy my impressions from the trip! I hope they will remind me of the amazing time we had for a long while to come! xx Leonie



*In cooperation with Abu Dhabi Tourism <3



  1. Tschok
    7. April 2017 / 17:58

    Die Bilder sind so so schön! Abhu Dhabi steht jetzt auch auf meiner Bucketlist <33

    Love, Tschok

  2. 7. April 2017 / 19:02

    Wow die Bilder sehen einfach wunderschön aus und es hört sich nach einem richtig tollen Trip an! Abu Dhabi kommt definitiv auf meine Liste. <3
    xx, Carmen – http://www.carmitive.com

  3. Natali
    7. April 2017 / 20:00

    Oh my, everything looks so grandiose and magical!! Beautiful photo diary!


  4. Sheila
    8. April 2017 / 2:00

    Beautiful photos! The UAE is such an incredible country, I love the diversity of the modern cities, the deserts and the beautiful crystal beaches all together in one place. I too was in absolute awe of the resort I stayed at, completely surrounded by sand for miles and it was so magical to see camels wandering by!



  5. 8. April 2017 / 2:35

    Wow, I would have never thought to go here had it not been for these photos! It looks so stunningly beautiful! I love the ones of you on the observation deck!

    http://www.kristenskouture.com | Luxury. Fashion. Lifestyle.


  6. Pam
    8. April 2017 / 4:42

    Oh my, this looks amazing!\
    Hope you had an awesome time Leonie and keep up the gorgeous pics! ♥


  7. 8. April 2017 / 11:30

    Amazing place! I love this view <3

  8. 8. April 2017 / 15:20

    wow wow wow…diese Bilder sprechen für sich und ich liebe diese Farben! Diese Moschee zu sehen, steht auch noch auf meiner Liste, einfach traumhaft! Reist deine Schwester noch mit dir? Wenn ich mich recht erinnere, hat sie ja auch Medizin studiert. Ich werde bald fertig und überlege nach diesem harten Studium auch erstmal eine Weile rumzureisen :). Euch beide mal zusammen zu treffen, wäre bestimmt lustig – dann kann ich mit dir über Fashion fachsimpeln und mit deiner Schwester über Medizin <3

    Liebe Grüße, Verena

  9. 8. April 2017 / 17:33

    Hallo Leonie,

    deine Bilder sind wie immer wunderschön und Abu Dhabi steht jetzt definitiv auch auf meiner Bucketliste 😀 die Wüstenbilder auf dem Kamel sind wirklich traumhaft ebenso wie die unglaubliche Moschee. Die möchte ich auf jeden Fall auch besuchen!
    Hast du schon mal darüber nachgedacht auf deinem Blog Foto Tipps zu teilen? Ich bin immer unglaublich inspiriert von deinen Bildern und würde zum einen gerne näher erfahren mit welchem Equipment ihr shootet und bearbeitet und zum anderen Tipps für posing und Blickwinkel für solche traumhaften Travel-Bilder! 🙂

    Liebe Grüße und ein schönes Wochenende
    Pauline <3


  10. 8. April 2017 / 20:48

    Ich war leider noch nie in Abu Dhabi, aber deine Bilder machen auf jeden Fall Lust auf mehr! Super tolle Eindrücke! Liebsten Dank und noch ein schönes Wochenende meine Liebe!
    Liebst Kathi

  11. Sylvia
    9. April 2017 / 8:10

    Also die Fotos in der Wüste sind definitiv meine Liebling. Sooooo schön. Ich war noch nie in der Wüste, das muss traumhaft sein.

    Liebe Grüsse
    http://www.mirrorarts.at – Fotoblog

  12. Leonie
    10. April 2017 / 11:42

    Ich finde auch, dass die Wüste etwas ganz besonderes ist! Das kann man mit nichts anderem vergleichen! 🙂

  13. Leonie
    10. April 2017 / 11:43

    Freut mich, dass der Beitrag dir gefällt 🙂 Dir auch einen schönen Wochenstart! <3

  14. Leonie
    10. April 2017 / 11:44

    Schön, dass der Beitrag dir Lust auf mehr gemacht hat! Das ist auf jeden Fall eine schöne Idee! Ich werde mal mit Alex darüber sprechen und gemeinsam überlegen! 🙂 Liebe Grüße zurück!

  15. Leonie
    10. April 2017 / 11:46

    Danke!!! Die Moschee ist auch einfach traumhaft – wirklich ein ganz besonderer und wunderschöner Ort! Meine Schwester arbeitet noch mit uns, aber ich werde sie vermutlich bald (ins Krankenhaus) gehen lassen müssen. Ich finde aber wirklich, dass man sich nach so einem harten Studium eine Auszeit verdient hat!! Viel Glück für die letzten Meter Medizinstudium – ich drücke dir die Daumen! <3

  16. Leonie
    10. April 2017 / 11:48

    Thank you, Pam, I did!! <3

  17. Leonie
    10. April 2017 / 11:49

    I am glad you liked them that much! Abu Dhabi definitely has a lot to offer!!

  18. Leonie
    10. April 2017 / 11:49

    You summed that up so well!! I am glad you liked the photos! 🙂

  19. Leonie
    10. April 2017 / 11:50

    Thank you, dear! <3

  20. Leonie
    10. April 2017 / 11:50

    Thank you!! 🙂

  21. Leonie
    10. April 2017 / 11:51

    Danke, Liebes! <3

  22. Leonie
    10. April 2017 / 11:57

    Danke, Liebes! <3

  23. 10. April 2017 / 13:36

    Wow! visiting Abu Dhabi is one of my dreams <3


  24. Marlene
    10. April 2017 / 16:26

    Das sind so unglaublich schöne Bilder liebe Leonie! Da bekommt man immer direkt Fernweh 🙂


  25. 10. April 2017 / 19:58

    Wow Leonie deine Bilder sind immer sowas von auf dem Punkt! Wirklich wunderschöne Aufnahmen. Deine Outfits sind super stimmig mit der jeweiligen Location. Ich kann mir deinen Blog stundenlang anschauen und habe immer noch nicht genug!

    Liebste Grüße Samira von samirawemken.de

  26. Jennifer
    10. April 2017 / 23:01

    Wow! Very beautiful architecture 🙂
    I would love to visit there some day!

  27. Leonie
    11. April 2017 / 13:12

    Yes, it is such an amazing and unique building!!

  28. Leonie
    11. April 2017 / 13:12

    I keep my fingers crossed for you! 🙂

  29. Leonie
    11. April 2017 / 13:13

    Das ist so lieb von dir, liebe Samira, und freut mich ehrlich sehr! <3

  30. Leonie
    11. April 2017 / 13:13

    Danke schön <3

  31. Caterina
    12. April 2017 / 5:51

    Wow was für beeindruckend schöne Fotos. Ich will schon lange unbedingt in die VAE. Ich hoffe es dauert nicht mehr allzu lange.

    LG Caterina

  32. 13. April 2017 / 17:38

    Amazing!! I have always wanted to visit Dubai! Such lovely photos! I love your blogging style! Im also from the blogger community! http://franklyfrankiee.com/

  33. Leonie
    14. April 2017 / 11:52

    Thanks, dear! <3

  34. Leonie
    14. April 2017 / 11:54

    Ich drücke dir die Daumen, dass die Reise bald für dich klappt! 🙂

  35. Leonie
    19. April 2017 / 13:16

    I am glad you liked them! 🙂

  36. Chiara
    22. April 2017 / 1:46

    Wow! Ich muss jetzt unbedingt dahin. Hatte Abu Dhabi sonst nie so in Erwägung gezogen, aber deine traumhaften Bilder sind wirklich überzeugend.
    Danke für die Inspiration, Leonie!

    Chiara von http://www.ChiarasCompass.com

  37. Leonie
    25. April 2017 / 14:31

    Freut mich, dass sie dir so gefallen haben!!

  38. Anna
    25. April 2017 / 22:37

    Sehr schöne Bilder! Wenn Ich bin krank, du machst mir Urlaubsstimmung. Ich wünsche mir mehr reisen ♥ Und dir wünsche Ich mehr tolle Locations entdecken. Ich hoffe irgendwann kann Ich über schöne reisen auch schreiben 🙂

  39. Leonie
    26. April 2017 / 14:49

    Danke, Liebes! Ich drücke dir die Daumen 🙂

  40. Leonie
    27. April 2017 / 13:35

    Thank you babe <3

  41. 29. April 2017 / 21:41

    Definitely have Abu Dhabi on my mind now! Bucket list item for sure 🙂 Your photos turned out beautifully as always Leonie!

  42. Leonie
    1. May 2017 / 9:04

    Thank you, Vanessa! <3

  43. Leonie
    8. May 2017 / 14:21

    Thank you 🙂

  44. Marijana
    21. June 2017 / 10:09

    Hello, I have a request for all you people with a good will. My friend is celebrateing her birthday, so I want to make a surprise for her. I have imagined this surprise as a lots of people, from different states and cities, taking a picture of a papper on which is written ”Happy birthday, Nataša” and below with the name of the city where picture was taken. It would be nice if there was also a panorama of the city or some recognition mark of the town. If someone really wants to help me with this project, please send me pictures at my email adress marijanadrobnjakovic@gmail.com. Thank you.

  45. Brittany Winek
    2. July 2017 / 22:49

    Loved his post! My sister and I are traveling to Dubai in a few weeks and we Love Ypur fashion in all these photos! Where can we find the links to find your outfits?! XOXO 🙂

  46. Leonie
    4. July 2017 / 10:11

    Ahhh, thank you for reminding me – I really have to update the links!You will have sooo much fun <3

  47. Carol
    14. August 2017 / 16:42

    Hi, I was wondering what was the dress code for the mosque in Abu dhabi?

  48. 20. November 2017 / 10:49

    Deine Fotos sind wunderschön! Ich war letzten Winter in Dubai und habe überlegt ob sich Abu Dhabi auch lohnt, nach dem ich dein Post gelesen habe, würde ich am liebsten direkt einen Flug buchen;)

  49. Leonie
    20. November 2017 / 10:51

    Hihi in ein paar Tagen gibts auch noch einmal ein XXL Update zu diesem Guide! :)<3

  50. Courtney
    13. December 2017 / 4:23

    Hi! I love this post!
    Traveling to Dubai and Abu Dhabi in January! Where did you find that gorgeous outfit for the mosque?

    Thank you!!:)

  51. Leonie
    13. December 2017 / 20:06

    Hi love, thank you so much – You’ll get it to cover-up when you enter the mosque! <3

  52. 17. December 2017 / 12:57

    Amazing post! Such an inspiration love!

  53. desert safari dubai
    14. January 2018 / 5:04

    Hello there! This is my 1st comment here so I just
    wanted to give a quick shout out and tell you I really enjoy reading your blog posts.
    Can you suggest any other blogs/websites/forums that go over the same subjects?

  54. Leonie
    20. January 2018 / 12:16

    <3<3<3 Thank you so much!

  55. Morgan
    27. February 2018 / 4:26

    Hello your pics are gorgeous!! What camera and editing software do you use??

  56. Leonie
    12. March 2018 / 22:37

    Hi babes, it’s Lightroom <3

  57. 30. April 2018 / 12:02

    Detailed about all Abu Dhabi things to do. very informative. thank you.

  58. Franziska
    3. May 2018 / 21:52

    Hey deine Bilder sind wirklich schön!
    Wir wollen im September auch nach Abu dhabi.
    Aber verstoßen deine Outfits nicht alle gegen die Kleiderordnung, die man aus Respekt den Einheimischen gegenüber einhalten sollte? Soweit ich mich informiert habe gilt “Schulter und Knie bedeckt” oder nicht?

  59. Shaxmay
    3. February 2019 / 13:21

    Fascinating! I’ve been dreaming to be within those places to free my self away from choirs to school works and any stressful events. Since I am still a student I would probably work hard for it to be granted. You really had a great vaca as I see from these pictures. Great captures! Keep it up!

  60. 30. July 2019 / 17:55

    Wow! Very beautiful architecture
    I would love to visit there some day

  61. 4. August 2019 / 4:56

    Engaging Photos About Dubai DEsert safari which is really Great. I’m also planning this trip this September.

  62. Tanya
    27. October 2019 / 22:36

    I love the dress that you are wearing in the mosque. I am heading over there next week and would like to purchase one.

  63. 29. November 2020 / 12:00

    amazing and related informatio and phot dairy is amazing

  64. 17. December 2021 / 11:40

    Wow looking so style and cool. I like your all the pictures.

  65. 26. December 2023 / 3:53

    best information and its nice

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