Where to Experience Luxury Shopping, Food, and More in Abu Dhabi

Known for extravagance and lavishly appointed interiors, even the oldest buildings and neighborhoods in Abu Dhabi have luxurious and beautiful things inside. For those looking to do some heavy spending during their stay, the city offers exceptional shopping destinations, luxury sports cars, and the finest foods in several shopping centers—and around town in a few unlikely places.

1st St - Abu Dhabi - United Arab Emirates
What brought me to Nation Galleria at Nation Towers was the Jarir Bookstore. I stuck around for all the cafes and even brought friends back for the restaurants with views of the Corniche and Arabian Gulf. The luxury shopping centre also houses a natural food grocery, sweets shops, boutiques, and events throughout the year. With a large atrium, the interior draws the eye upward past interesting light installations and to massive sculptures that hang from the ceiling. A great place to gather or just to simply sit and sip a coffee, Nation Galleria sits in a great location on the Corniche in the same towers at the St. Regis Hotel.
Visitors don’t have to depart far from the airport in the UAE before they will notice that cars are part of the culture—luxury cars and fast cars. Showrooms are dotted throughout the City of Abu Dhabi, but one place to get a great taste of high-end brands is Premier Motors. I enjoy window shopping on my way to a cafe or to dropping mail at the Post Office. With Il Caffè Di Roma, it’s a nice spot to sit and enjoy coffee while watching the cars go by. If you’re lucky, perhaps they will unveil a new Jaguar while you’re there.
If you would like to learn your oolong from your pu-erh, spend some time in the Zen-like Artteas shop inside Abu Dhabi’s Central Market. They carry more than 180 teas from Asia, plus beautifully crafted glass, porcelain, and stoneware pots and cups (and they’d be happy to tell you which material works best with which tea). Don’t expect tea bags or mass-produced stuff here, the shop and staff are dedicated to the art of loose-leaf tea and making the perfect cup.
Corniche West Street
With window dressings drawing every shopper’s eye to the colors and lines of their display, Hermès always attracts my attention when I look to see what new patterns and prints they display. Set in Avenue at Etihad Towers, the shop has an accessible location for hotel guests, business people who work at the Towers, and shoppers who intend to purchase fine materials and luxury goods.
Abu Dhabi - United Arab Emirates
Clean, refreshing, full of light, and a shopper’s dream, Yas Mall is the newest of Abu Dhabi’s malls, set on Yas Island—where fast cars, a fast roller coaster, and mega-yachts arrive and depart regularly while shoppers enjoy fashion, food, and entertainment at the mall. High-end shops have a place in the massive new development, along with nearly every shop imaginable, from a LEGO store to West Elm. With an open atrium that allows you to imagine you’re outdoors, the Mall is a wonderful place to seek cool refuge from hot summers in the UAE.
Abu Dhabi - United Arab Emirates
Looking to bring home a sweet souvenir? Something different from a huge bar of duty-free Toblerone? Al Nassma chocolate is made with camel milk, said to be the next “superfood,” with lower fat and more vitamins than cow milk. Then again, it is chocolate, so it’s not exactly a health food. That said, it’s worth a try. It would be a shame to miss out on the healing benefits of camel milk, right? especially when it comes in such a tempting package. Al Nassma is made in Dubai, but available in Abu Dhabi at Cafe Arabia and the Emirates Palace Hotel.
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