Try some Arabic pastry
“I’m not a big fan of labels,” says Sanderson’s executive chef, Troy Payne. Well, even if he shies away from virtue signalling, his menu hits all the Insta-friendly, healthy high notes: locally sourced organic produce; plenty of plant-based options; everything from bread to nut milks made in-house. Case in point: this light-as-air Mafroukeh cake, an Arabic breakfast dessert of creamy semolina with almonds, pistachios and rose petals.
Celebrate Eid al-Fitr like a local
Fireworks over Yas Marina, intricately patterned henna hand tattoos, hefty discounts pulling in the crowds at bazaars and malls – it can only be Eid al-Fitr, when a month of fasting for Ramadan comes to a close with all manner of celebrations. Expected to start on 4 June in 2019, this is traditionally a time for giving gifts, visiting relatives and indulging in one of the lavish brunches laid on by UAE hotels and restaurants; be sure to try Emirati specialities such as manakesh (flatbread topped with thyme, cheese or ground meat) and ouzi (rice with slow-cooked lamb). Eid Mubarak!
Bed down in a swish airport hotel
Hands up, who’s attempted a contortionist’s routine to nap on airport seating? Aerotel, inside Terminal 1 at Abu Dhabi airport, now takes the pain out of long layovers or red-eye arrivals. Its 38 spacious rooms (from solo to family size) tick the boxes: power showers, neutral modern decor, comfy beds with a pillow menu and unlimited free Wi-Fi. Rooms cost from AED 250 for six-hour use.