I visited Abu Dhabi for a winter sunshine break instead of the Canaries this year, staying on Saadiyat Island, approximately a 20 minute drive from the city.
The 5-star Park Hyatt is friendly, and the room amenities exceptional. Nice touches in the room include an Nespresso coffee machine and kettle with various teabags, bottled water and fruit which is replenished every day. The pools are shallow although there is a deeper section to the adults infinity pool. A great surprise is the beach— gently shelving with beautiful white sands and crystal clear waters enabling you to walk a long way out before it becomes deep. Swimming in the sea is a pleasure— beautifully warm and you don’t have to worry about anything lurking in the water as it is so clear. No watersports are available here because the waters are home to bottle nose dolphins and the nesting ground for hawksbill turtles. Half board includes a buffet restaurant, a credit in the Park Grill a-la-carte restaurant, and a beach house restaurant.
Activities include tennis, gym, golf, swimming and sightseeing although I found the evening entertainment was very low key with just a singing duo. Taxis are very cheap and visits to the city and the Corniche are easy and inexpensive to make. A desert excursion in a four-wheel drive vehicle includes an hour or so of dune-bashing (driving up and down the desert dunes!) and, upon arrival at a Bedouin camp, there are options of joining in many activities which include camel riding, dressing as an Arab, sand boarding, star gazing and belly dancing!
A great winter break destination, just 6-hours from the UK.