From the moment you get off the plane in Abu Dhabi, you’re surrounded by grandeur.

But in my case, it was from the moment I got on the plane.

Just imagine… you’re lying back, drink in hand, waiting for your personal chef to rustle you up some haute cuisine.

One hour earlier you were relaxing in your own chauffeur-driven personal limousine.

And after your meal you’ll be savouring the delicious aroma of a fine wine – made from handpicked grapes from the world’s best vineyards.

And your holiday hasn’t even started yet. This is just the plane journey.

I’m about to tell you the story of what happened on my holiday to Abu Dhabi – a top holiday destination in the Middle East that’s renowned for steeping its guests in luxury and opulence.

Taking luxury travel to new heights

Etihad

Before my trip to Abu Dhabi, I’d never even caught a glimpse of what it was like to fly first class.

And nothing has ever taken my breath away quite like it.

I flew Diamond First Class on Etihad Airways from London Heathrow to Abu Dhabi. The flight took around seven hours and let me tell you – for every second of those seven hours I was treated like a king.

Imagine having your own personal suite on board the aircraft.

My Diamond First Class suite compared to no other way I’ve ever travelled. My seat that was comfortable beyond the imagination and upholstered in Poltrona Frau leather – the world-renowned manufacturer of Ferrari’s interiors.

From the adjustable headrest and footrest to the inbuilt massager, it felt like the seat had been tailor-made just for me. Each tiny detail enhanced my comfort and if I hadn’t been so eager to soak up every ounce of pleasure out of my first class experience, I could have easily dropped off.

In fact, if a mid-flight nap had taken my fancy, I could have reclined my seat at the touch of a button to turn it into a 6’ 8” flatbed. And taken a nap wearing my complimentary pyjamas.

But I was too busy enjoying all the luxury surrounding me for that.

Haute cuisine at 30,000 ft

What astonished me most was that when you travel Diamond First Class, you’re indulged with your own personal chef.

luxury travel

They offer a wide choice of meals on an à la carte menu and their philosophy is ‘Kitchen Anytime’ – this means you don’t need to wait for the air hostesses to bring food round. You can order your meal whenever you like, leaving you in control of your journey.

And when you get your food, you’ll be truly awed by the way it’s presented. Honestly, this fine dining is finer than most restaurants down on the ground.

Everything from your starter to your in-flight cocktails is impeccably presented – my trio of desserts looked so good, it almost seemed a shame to eat it.

After my meal it was time to enjoy the in-flight entertainment on my own personal 23” widescreen television. With a refreshing mojito in my hand, of course.

The suite had a very private feel once the shutters were closed so I could truly relax. And with the back and legs massager turned on, it was heavenly.

With so many new release films and TV programs to choose from too, there was more than enough to keep me occupied for the rest of the long-haul flight.

The jewel in the crown of luxury holidays

Such an incredible experience it was flying in Etihad’s Diamond First Class that I almost forgot that there was much more luxury to come when I landed in Abu Dhabi.

Known for its grand architecture, I was eager to go and visit the Sheikh Zayed Mosque. Its white-washed exterior looked magnificent in contract with the clear blue sky and when you see its colossal size for yourself you’ll understand why it took 9 years to complete construction.

MENAMosque

As one of the key places for worship in the UAE, it can be visited by more than 40,000 people in the holy period of Eid.

Seeing it in all its glory was an unforgettable experience. Just like the flight I took to get there.

Start planning your own luxurious Abu Dhabi experience…

I’ve only scratched the surface of how incredible a trip to Abu Dhabi can be – from start to finish.

But flying there with a luxury airline doesn’t have to be exclusively for the rich and famous.

Here’s my secret tip:

Search for Etihad promotional codes at Voucher Codes UAE so you don’t just have to dream of affordable luxury travel –you can experience it yourself.

Honestly, the luxurious flight really made my trip extra special. It really was the cherry on the top of what would have already been an incredible holiday.

But they even offer a fantastic standard of economy travel and fly from destinations all over Europe – meaning wherever you live, the wonder of Abu Dhabi is within your reach.