Discover a marvelous fusion of ancient and modern framed by golden desert dunes and sparkling gulf waters on this intriguing journey to the United Arab Emirates. Whether it’s your first visit or a return to explore more deeply, enjoy a multifaceted immersion into Emirati history and culture. Stroll through old Dubai and the colorful Spice and Gold Souks, then admire spectacular contemporary landmarks like Palm Jumeriah and Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building. In Abu Dhabi, tour the stunning Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, the Louvre Abu Dhabi and the magnificent presidential palace, plus learn about the UAE’s national bird at a falcon hospital. You’ll also chat with Emiratis during two fascinating cultural exchanges and delight in a magical celebration under the desert stars!
LE ROYAL MÉRIDIEN. ABU DHABI is at your doorstep while staying at this luxury hotel, one of the city’s iconic landmarks. Parks, shopping, restaurants, the beach and more are just steps from the hotel. You don’t have to leave the hotel, however, for a variety of restaurants. Get a bird’s-eye view of Abu Dhabi from Stratos, a revolving restaurant. Market Kitchen, a casually elegant spot, features menus planned by celebrity chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten. Savor delicious Italian cuisine at District by Amalfi. Poolside P.J. O’Reilly’s features music provided by a DJ and live bands. Café Palmier is a casual bistro open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Enjoy a fully equipped fitness center and indoor and outdoor pools.
SPECIAL COVID-19 NOTICE – During the period of COVID-19 contagion, you should refrain from joining a trip if you are feeling unwell, exhibit fever or other symptoms of contagious disease, or have been in contact with a person exhibiting symptoms of contagious disease within 14 days of trip departure. Affected passengers will receive a full refund in the form of a credit applicable to a future AHI Travel program. All passengers must complete a health questionnaire and execute an Assumption of Risk and Waiver of Liability Relating to Coronavirus/COVID-19 prior to trip departure. If you cannot or will not complete and execute these documents, AHI reserves the right to consider your booking cancelled as of that day and assess applicable cancellation fees.
CANCELLATION-You will receive a full refund for cancellations made up to 90 days prior to trip departure. Cancellations from 89 to 76 days prior to departure will be subject to a $300 per person administrative fee. The withheld administrative fee may be applied to a future AHI Travel program that will operate in the current calendar year or year following cancellation. The credit will be applied to the final billing and may not be used as part of the initial deposit. It is non-transferable and is not valid toward the purchase of an AHI Cruises independent cruise. Cancellations from 75 days to 60 days prior to departure will result in forfeiture of 25% of the entire cost of the trip per person; 59-30 days, 50% of the trip cost per person; cancellations from 29 days up to the time of departure will result in 100% forfeiture of the entire cost of the trip. TRIP CANCELLATION INSURANCE IS AVAILABLE. AN APPLICATION WILL BE SENT AFTER YOU RESERVE. All cancellations must be submitted in writing to AHI Travel. CANCELLATION OF TRIP OPTIONS-Purchases of optional excursions, trip extensions and additional hotel nights become fully non-refundable 45 days prior to departure. Air transportation and private transfer purchases are subject only to penalties assessed by the airlines and transfer suppliers. PLEASE NOTE – Vouchers for future travel, travel credits and transfers are subject to the Terms and Conditions, including without limitation the cancellation fee schedule, agreed upon at the time of the original reservation.
AS A CONDITION OF ACCEPTANCE OF YOUR RESERVATION, YOU AGREE AS FOLLOWS: You have read, and you understand, these terms and conditions of your participation in an AHI Travel program. You recognize and accept any risk associated with the travel program and the conditions, including the Cancellation policy, set forth herein. You acknowledge that there are many risks and uncertainties inherent in any travel, including, but not limited to weather, flooding, high/low water levels, acts or omissions of foreign governments, terrorism, war or insurrection, theft, illness, widespread communicable disease outbreak (e.g., COVID-19, SARS, etc.) or other public health emergency event declared by local, State or Federal government order to be an epidemic, pandemic, public emergency or similar, quarantines, bites from or attacks by animals, insects, or pests, and damage to person or property due to the negligent acts or omissions of tour staff or others. In consideration of, and as part payment for, the right to participate in the travel program, you hereby agree to release, hold harmless and covenant not to sue AHI International Corporation (d/b/a AHI Travel), its officers, employees, representatives or agents, the sponsoring association and its officers, employees and agents, from liability for personal injury, death, property damage or loss suffered by any person in connection with this travel program, even if caused by the negligence (but not the reckless, willful, or fraudulent conduct) of travel program staff or other related persons or entities.
day 1 & 2
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Arrive at Dubai International Airport, where an AHI Travel representative will be waiting to take you to the Al Seef Heritage Hotel Dubai, Curio Collection by Hilton.
Discover Dubai’s roots as a fishing village and pearl diving center at the Al Shindagha Museum, and stroll along narrow alleyways to see historic wind tower houses. Next, enjoy a discussion at a cultural center about Emirati life, values and religion, where all questions are welcome, and share in a traditional meal. Then, explore the Gold and Spice Souks, bustling bazaars packed with glittering jewelry and colorful, fragrant displays of ginger, chili, saffron and cinnamon. Tonight, gather for a Welcome Reception and Dinner.
Today, witness the contrast between old and modern Dubai. Now a cosmopolitan international center of commerce and finance, Dubai dazzles with a magnificent cityscape of sleek skyscrapers. Take it all in from the skydeck of the iconic Dubai Frame. Then see the grand Zabeel Palace, Jumeirah Mosque and Palm Jumeirah, a man-made archipelago. After lunch in Dubai Marina, check out the famous Dubai Mall, complete with its own aquarium and underwater zoo, and crane your neck for a look at Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building!
The entire day is yours to plan. Maybe you’ll return to the Dubai Mall or ride up to the Burj Khalifa’s “At The Top” observation deck on the 124th floor for incredible views! You can also join a morning Elective Activity to a conservation reserve in the Arabian Desert to see native wildlife and plants. Later this evening, learn about the UAE’s founding before dining at a restaurant near the hotel.
Check out this morning and head to Abu Dhabi. Your first stop is a falcon hospital, where you’ll observe these majestic creatures up close. Used for centuries by the Bedouins for hunting, falcons are revered throughout the Middle East for their beauty and speed. Today, the fastest birds can win millions in prize money at UAE’s premier racing competition! Next, step inside the awe-inspiring Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, which welcomes people of all faiths. Marvel at the opulent marble-inlaid courtyard, the world’s largest hand-woven carpet and Swarovski crystal chandeliers. Later, check in to Le Royal Méridien Abu Dhabi.
First settled in 1761 by the Bani Yas Bedouin tribe, Abu Dhabi has matured into one of the world’s richest cities. Admire picturesque gulf views and renowned landmarks, including the Emirates Palace, Etihad Towers and the Corniche waterfront area, on your way to Qasr al Watan. Tour this modern, working presidential palace splendidly crafted in homage to traditional Arabian artistry. Enjoy lunch afterward at an Emirati home with time for conversation and questions. Finish with a visit to Qasr al Hosn, a former fortress and palace.
Visit the breathtaking Louvre Abu Dhabi on Saadiyat Island, a cultural district. The museum’s impressive dome appears to float over the complex and produces an enchanting, dappled light below. Enjoy a guided tour within the art galleries. Then head off on your own for lunch and more sightseeing this afternoon. Back at the hotel this evening, hear a firsthand account of desert living during an engaging talk.
Set off from Abu Dhabi this morning into the Arabian Desert and check in to the Bab Al Shams Desert Resort & Spa. Spend your day relaxing by the pool or enjoying the resort’s optional activities, including spa treatments, falconry, archery, camel rides and desert drives over the sand dunes. This evening, join your group for a Farewell Reception and then celebrate beneath starry skies at a Farewell Dinner featuring delectable Middle Eastern dishes, traditional music and belly dancing.
Depart for home city
After breakfast, bid farewell to your fellow travelers. Depart for the Abu Dhabi airport and head home.
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