Nisha Lilia Diu, The Daily Telegraph, May 6, 2013
The coolly sumptuous St Regis dominates a natural white-sand island. Go in winter to spot dolphins or any time to enjoy the endless pools and restaurants. From £303; stregissaadiyatisland.com
Aloft is a young, hyper-modern hotel – think white surfaces, ultraviolet light and touch-screens everywhere. From £62.20; aloftabudhabi.com
For a quick bite try Café Arabia, which has a chic East-meets-West aesthetic in both décor and cuisine. 00 971 2 643 9699
Right on the beach and serving fresh Omani lobster and gulf sole, Fishmarket is a 30-year-old institution. 00 971 800 423463
Abdel Wahab is a relaxed Lebanese popular with both expats and Emiratis in a pretty waterfront souk. 00 971 2 558 1616
For something really special book Bord Eau, with its exquisitely constructed dishes and dramatic views of the Grand Mosque. 00 971 2 509 8888
The Yacht Club is an elegant spot for a sundowner overlooking the marina. 00 971 2 666 6888
On Friday nights the beautiful people head to Allure by Cipriani to dance in the shadow of the F1 track. nightcluballure.com
The Marina is the city’s biggest and flashiest mall. It has a great mix of Western and Arabic boutiques (as well as a musical fountain and indoor rain clouds). Qasr Al Amwaj Street
The Souk Quaryat Al Beri, on the canals near the Shangri-La hotel, sells fabulous jewellery, tea sets and (in the Veneto boutique) designer clothing.
The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, one of the world’s largest, is a surprisingly serene white and gold complex. It’s particularly beautiful in the evening light.
Escape the air-con by kayaking in the protected mangroves. From £25; noukhada.ae
It’s worth visiting the Emirates Palace hotel just to see what a £2 billion building looks like. The Hammam Ritual at its Anantara Spa is justifiably famous. 00 971 2 690 9000