Getting the Royal Treatment Flying Etihad Airways to Abu Dhabi1
The Middle East has been on my bucket list for a while. Thanks to Etihad Airways, I was able to cross Abu Dhabi off my list. I was invited along with international chefs and journalists, on a trip to experience the “Taste of Abu Dhabi” festival. This year’s event was especially unique since Abu Dhabi was hosting the “Taste the World” competition. The chefs selected for the competition were the winners of “Taste” festivals around the world including Pascal Aussignac (Club Gascon, London), Michael Hunter (Antler Restaurant, Toronto), Vitaly Tikhonov (G.Graf, Moscow), Siu Hin Chi (Duddell’s, Hong Kong), Sylvestre Wahid (Restaurant Sylvestre, Paris), Nelly Robertson (nel., Sydney) and more.
Not only was this my first time in the Middle East, this was my first experience flying with Etihad. The service was beyond amazing with top class treatment in business class. On my flight to Abu Dhabi, the flight attendant had arranged a mini wine tasting to go with my 3-course meal which started with an Arab mezzi platter, followed by a traditional Emirati beef stew, and finished with a warm apple tart with vanilla ice cream. I was really hoping that I’d get to try freshly prepared food made by Etihad’s in-flight chefs, however this service is only available on limited flights for first-class passengers and occupants of the “Residence” (which I’ll tell you about later).
My itinerary was packed during the 4 days I had in Abu Dhabi. Etihad gave us the royal treatment, putting us up at the Viceroy hotel on YAS Island (YASSSS, that’s actually the name of the island) and taking us to all the major attractions including the Sheikh Zayet Grand Mosque, Emirates Palace, the Taste of Abu Dhabi festival, the Guggenheim and more. I took so many photos, but here are some of my favorites. Check out my photo journal above for a look into my trip to Abu Dhabi.Abu Dhabi, UAE