Alex Maaroufi, Head Concierge at the EDITION Abu Dhabi and Member of Les Clefs d’Or offers his best recommendations for meals, art, views, and more for every agenda.
Tell me about one of your favourite places to send first-time Abu Dhabi visitors.
I always speak about art and what Abu Dhabi can offer culturally. I always mention the wonderful Grand Mosque at sunset and Manarat Al Saadiyat and Warehouse 421, which are two of my favourite places in town.
Tell me about your favourite hidden gem in Abu Dhabi.
I love a good, fuss-free Indian restaurant near Al Wadha Mall called Nasser. A classic place with authentic dishes.
Tell me about your favourite hidden gem in the city.
The old-fashioned Mina Port and Fish Souk offer a trip back in time. Once you purchase your fresh fish, you go to the side of the market where your choice of restaurants will prepare
it for you as you like.
Where should I eat if I want to celebrate a special occasion? How hard is it to get a reservation in a nice restaurant while I’m in Abu Dhabi?
Coya has always been a wonderful brand. Here in Abu Dhabi, I know I can send my guests to their wonderful terrace with stunning views of Downtown and live latin music. Another option I usually recommend is Tamba, an original trendy place that is unique to the city. The people, decor and wonderful food make it up for a good meal or special occasion. It can be tricky to get a reservation at one of those restaurants during the weekends but that’s what our Concierge team is here for — we make things happen.
Your most unusual request as a concierge?
To order a helicopter to pick up a guest, which is no easy task in London, I learned.
What about the craziest request?
Back in London, I was asked to reschedule the Changing Of The Guard at Buckingham Palace to accommodate a guest — that was a laugh.
I want to experience historic Abu Dhabi. Where do you recommend that I go?
Qasr al Hosn Fort has recently re-opened and it is great to experience the Emirati culture through its variety of exhibitions and activities reflecting the history of Abu Dhabi.
What tips do you give first-timers?
To be respectful of different cultures and have a lot of fun. Abu Dhabi is a great city which offers the opportunity to experience so many new things through its events, food, drinks, nature, history, and art. It is an Emirate with a lot to offer if you scratch the surface.
Published on March 2019