Meet Mohamed Bakr’s
Top UAE Concierge shares his Insider’s secrets
My Abu Dhabi Itineraries.
My name is Mohamed Bakr, Service Manager – Concierge in Shangri-La Hotel, Qaryat Al Beri, Abu Dhabi.
I have 12 years working experience in five star properties across Egypt, Italy, Qatar and UAE.
10 years of it was spent working in Abu Dhabi.
Let me show you my Abu Dhabi secrets.
My One Day in Abu Dhabi……
A visit to Heritage Village where you can see a reconstruction of a traditional oasis village. It gives you a glimpse of the Emirates’ traditional way of life in the olden days.
From the Heritage Village, I will take you for a stroll at Corniche Road, an eight-kilometre stretch of waterfront promenade that includes children’s playgrounds, separate cycling and pedestrian pathways, cafés and restaurants and a beach park with lifeguards.
After some fun under the sun, I will take you for a sunset tour at Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, one of the world’s largest mosques. There you will find the world’s largest hand-knotted Persian carpet made by around 1,200-1,300 craftsmen. It is also the burial site of former UAE President Sheikh Zayed Al Nahyan.
Then we will end the night with dinner in Pearls & Caviar at Shangri-La Hotel, Qaryat Al Beri, Abu Dhabi where you can enjoy fine Mediterranean seafood cuisine. It also offers amazing views of the Grand Mosque over the canal.
My favorite area of Abu Dhabi is……
The Corniche Road because it has well-manicured gardens and a very relaxing sea view. It is perfect for a morning jog, a family picnic or a weekend beach fun.
If I were to choose one hotel to stay in Abu Dhabi it would be…..
Shangri-La Hotel, Qaryat Al Beri, Abu Dhabi because it is a destination within a destination.
It is located at the Qaryat Al Beri complex that offers you facilities such as CHI, The Spa, award-winning restaurants, bars and a Souk (Arabic market).
It is also located near the airport, national exhibition centre, Yas Island, and the city centre which make it very convenient for both leisure and business travellers.
The food you must try in Abu Dhabi is…
Emirati food such as kabsa (a rice dish with meat and vegetables), shawarma (a wrap made with shawarmameat), falafel (a deep-fried ball made of ground chickpeas or fava beans), harees (a dish of boiled, cracked, or coarsely-ground wheat and meat or chicken) and kebab (a wide variety of skewered meats).
My favorite restaurant is…….
Sofra bld at Shangri-La Hotel, Qaryat Al Beri where you can find the best and wide selection of international cuisine.
Sofra bld features a unique concept of an Arabian market setting with live cooking stations, allowing you to interact with the talented chefs and meander through the marketplace of intercontinental specialties.
Learn more about this great restaurant here.
Three places or sightseeing spots you should not miss in Abu Dhabi are….
3) Ferrari World Abu Dhabi, the largest indoor and first Ferrari-themed park in the world located in Yas Island
The one thing I wouldn’t want you to miss in Abu Dhabi is……
Ferrari World Abu Dhabi, the largest indoor and first Ferrari-themed park, located in Yas Island.
My top Abu Dhabi tip is……If you want to buy pearls and jewelleries at an affordable price, go to Madinat Zayed Gold Souk.
My favorite place to go shopping is Abu Dhabi Mall because it offers a variety of international brands, an extensive food court and a family and entertainment area.
My off the beaten track secret tip is……
Go to the Fish Souk at Mina Zayed near Abu Dhabi’s main port area for an insight on how the traditional fishing business was done then.
Also located in the same area is Al Mina Fruits and Vegetables Souk, where you can find a wide variety of fresh produce.
The place provides perfect photo opportunities since the place is bursting with life and vibrant colours.
The most overrated Abu Dhabi attraction is……..
There is none as Abu Dhabi is increasing its leisure attractions, flourishing into a world-class business and leisure destination.
The capital is enjoying a surge of development that includes tourist, business and cultural projects.
Is there a tip you have so I don’t offend anyone or get into trouble in Abu Dhabi?
It is wise not to drink alcohol in public as respect to the local culture.
Self-disciplined and highly-motivated, Mohamed’s career in the hospitality industry began in 1999 as a front desk agent in a five-star hotel in Egypt and later promoted as a night manager.
He moved on to become an assistant front office manager of a luxury hotel in Abu Dhabi and in Rome. Prior to joining Shangri-La Hotel, Qaryat Al Beri, Abu Dhabi, Mohamed was a pre-opening team member of a five-star hotel in Doha as front office manager.