There’s an exciting promotion on at Montecasino at the moment where you are rewarded just for spending money at the complex between 8 August – 31 October 2016. Spend R 450 or more at ANY participating Montecasino outlet and receive a scratch card with a GUARANTEED reward PLUS an entry to stand a chance of winning an amazing trip to Southern Sun Abu Dhabi & Ferrari World valued at over R 50,000! Incredible, right? I was one of the lucky media personalities who were invited by the complex to get a small taste of the prize and spent three days in Abu Dhabi experiencing all the city has to offer!

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Our first day in Abu Dhabi was jam-packed so, I expected the second day to be just the same. We started the day with a delicious breakfast at The Foundry. I love how the restaurant served traditional breakfast items mixed with Middle Eastern and Asian flair. After a good meal, we made our way to the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque – the biggest Mosque in the United Arab Emirates. The Mosque is exquisite. There is so much detail in each and every aspect to it and it really does take your breath away. Construction started on the site in 1996 and it is still not finished. Despite this, 53 000 people descended on the Mosque earlier this year as part of their Eid celebrations. Naturally, a lot of money is being spent on the Mosque. While the Sheikh doesn’t want to reveal just how much the project is costing him, he has given us a little insight as he revealed that the seven chandeliers inside the Mosque cost a whopping $10 million! A trip to Abu Dhabi is nothing without a visit to the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque. Remember, this is a place of worship so long pants and T-shirts should be worn by men and women should cover their elbows and heads while wearing pants down to their ankles.

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We spent quite a bit of time at the Mosque so we arrived back at the hotel in time for lunch. We went to the Southern Sun Abu Dhabi’s famous restaurant Kahraman. Before we tucked into a decadant sushi lunch, we had the chance to make our very own. We were all kitted out and made an interesting crab and caviar california roll. To my surprise, my batch came out incredible! I was proud of myself. If you’re in Abu Dhabi, the restaurant holds weekly sushi experiences every Monday which I recommend. Unlike the traditional sushi we get here in Mzansi, Kahraman has a variety of interesting creations – and they all taste so good!

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After lunch, we headed out to the Al Wahda Mall for a bit of shopping. The mall features a variety of local and international brand names as well as a cinema and a delicious food court. People often say that you can get cheap, good quality items in Abu Dhabi – and that’s true – but do some research before buying. You will sometimes find that buying things here in South Africa is the best option. However, make sure you experience! There is a wide variety of food, clothing and other options at the mall. However, there are many of the same brands that are available at Yas Mall. I did find a Mugg and Bean there which I was really excited about, though.

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That evening, we returned to Kahraman for dinner. Kahraman is an Arabic restaurant with a twist. It’s a contemporary take on Arabian food and was the culinary highlight of my trip. We started off with some salads. Hummus, tabouli salad, labneh, calamari, falafel and many other Middle Eastern delights were served and I indulged in them all. We then had some grills for the main meal which included kebab, lamb chops and many more. I also broke my lobster virginity which I really enjoyed. Dessert was absolutely phenomenal as well and included baklava and pistachio ice cream. If there’s one restaurant you need to try when you’re in Abu Dhabi, it’s Kahraman. After a few drinks and some delicious Turkish coffee, it was off to bed.

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Want a similar experience? Make sure you head to Montecasino today, spend R450 at a participating outlet, redeem your guaranteed gift and enter the competition with your unique code. Each scratch card has a unique USSD code so the more codes you accumulate, the better your chances are of winning. The winner will win a 7-night stay at the Southern Sun Abu Dhabi including flights, breakfast and a trip to both Ferrari World and Yas Waterworld valued at over R50 000! The winner will be announced on the 9th of November 2016 at Montecasino. For more information, click this link.

Check back tomorrow for a blog post on my third day in Abu Dhabi.

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