A trip to the Etihad Airways First Class Lounge in Abu Dhabi was the warm-up to the main event: flying the Etihad First Apartment from Abu Dhabi to Melbourne. It was essentially the only reason we had chosen to route from the US to Australia via the Middle East. And a visit to the brand new lounge was nearly as exciting as flying the A380 since our trip was just about 3 weeks after the May 30th grand opening–talk about timing!
As a result, we were purposely very, VERY early arriving at the airport for as much lounge-time as possible before heading to our gate. We checked in quickly and were welcomed into the lounge which is located immediately after going through [...]
Even though we were only in Dubai for 3 days before heading to Australia, we were trying to see as much of the city and surrounding area as we could in such little time. Of course, the center of Dubai is pretty impressive, with the world’s tallest building, indoor ski slopes, etc., but we really wanted to see outside the city, too.
Especially after taking the culture tour of Ramadan (here), we learned that Dubai used to be a small fishing village– and, of course, it’s right in the middle of the desert, so we wanted to see a type of terrain that we were unfamiliar with. We’d also just visited Arizona, so we were curious to compare that desert climate [...]
On our way to Australia, we spent our first few days in Dubai. It was my first trip to the UAE and Jeffrey’s second, and it was fun to split up our trip with a stop in Dubai- especially to get a taste of non-Western culture since our final destination of Australia was about as Western-feeling as you can get!
After flying Etihad Airlines into Abu Dhabi, we decided to spend our entire time in Dubai. Originally, we planned to spend a day or two in both Abu Dhabi and Dubai, but ultimately decided to spend all 3 days in Dubai to get a better feel for the city and try to stop over in Abu Dhabi in the future. Looking back, we’re glad we made that decision as any shorter [...]
The Park Hyatt Dubai is a Hyatt Category 5 property, meaning award nights will cost you 20,000 points or 10,000 + $125. Booking with points didn’t make much sense, though, as we were able to book a special 3-night minimum Ramadan rate of about ~$150 US/night + tax. Best of all, when booking with cash or Points + Cash, you can apply a Diamond Suite Upgrade which will land you in a suite and get you access to the minibar for free. More on that later.CHECK-IN
We arrived at the Park Hyatt Dubai around 9:30 pm on a Thursday night during Ramadan after a very long travel day from the US (see Etihad B787 [...]
After landing in Abu Dhabi-AUH from our flight from Washington, D.C., we popped into the Etihad Arrivals Lounge after going through passport control/customs. We had our chauffeur already scheduled, so we really only had the time to head to the lounge for some water. We couldn’t stop ourselves from trying a quick snack, too — pita and hummus and a few bite-sized sandwiches.
At around, the lounge was mostly empty. Interestingly, it looked very similar to the Etihad lounge at IAD, with the same decor: dark wood with bright white and light blue leather upholstery.
In the lounge, [...]