Etihad Airways to the UAE: Conclusion

This was another eye opening trip on many levels.

On the airline front this was a trip I was really excited about, since I had heard so many great things about Etihad Airways. While the seat and entertainment were phenomenal, I didn’t think the service or food was as good as that of many Asian/European airlines. Having now tried Qatar Airways and Etihad Airways, I have to say that Middle Eastern airlines are a bit overrated, in my opinion. I’d still like to try Emirates and Gulf Air, though, to see if either of them are a bit more consistent on the service front.

As far as destinations go, the UAE was fascinating. It’s certainly not at the top of my list if I’m looking to explore history and culture, though it’s an exciting place nonetheless. Most surprising to me was that I actually found Abu Dhabi to be at least as exciting as Dubai. It’s a city that’s growing quickly, and has much more to offer than Dubai, in my opinion. I also had no clue that Abu Dhabi is actually a beach destination, especially Saadiyat Island, where the Park Hyatt is located. There are literally about a dozen resorts under construction on Saadiyat Island, and I’m certain it’ll be come a world class beach destination when construction is complete.

At the same time, the UAE is a bit like Disney World, in that there’s not a whole lot of substance to it. So while I’m sure it’s a destination I’ll return to, I’m not rushing to book my ticket.

Thanks again for reading, and stay tuned — next up is my quick trip to Tokyo on the Lufthansa Airbus 380..

Filed Under: Awards, Hotels
  1. I completely agree with respect to the service on Middle Eastern carries. I’ve flown a few EK F segments recently and was consistently disappointed with the service, though the hard product is excellent. I’d like to try out EY F though, as I”ve only flown them in Y but was relatively impressed with their F lounge accessed through my DJ status. RJ J is average, not too impressive, but not too poor either.

  2. Where’s the India trip report?

    Some of us are planning to go there and would like to read about your trip first…

  3. Thanks for giving your thoughts about the UAE. Your trip reports have really improved overall since you started giving your impression of the cities you visit. I may not always agree with what you have to say about each place, but I’m always interested.

  4. That’s so strange about the service. I’m hoping EK is better in that department and I can’t wait to try them. What’s your future strategy for redemption with EK? Korean via Ultimate rewards?

  5. @ BrewerSEA — Almost makes it not worthwhile to book an ex-CMB ticket in EK F.

    @ Michael — It’s coming, I promise. It’s such a monster and I haven’t had the time to finish it yet.

    @ Jeremy — I don’t believe Korean miles can be used on JAL. The only reasonable way to use points/miles for EK F nowadays is by transferring SPG points to JAL, and frankly I’m not sure it’s worth it. I’m thinking of booking a paid first class ticket on EK ex-CMB, as the fares are somewhat reasonable.

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