Whisky Magazine Issue 84
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Joe Bates looks at another popular Middle East destination.
Abu Dhabi has had to live under the shadow of its smaller, brasher neighbour Dubai for decades, but this oil-rich city is now fast emerging as one of leading tourist destinations in the Gulf. Top-class hotels, shopping malls and museums are rising out of the desert sand and the airport, which serves this ambitious United Arab Emirate, is growing fast too.
As part of a US$6.8bn expansion plan, Abu Dhabi opened a new terminal (T3) earlier this year dedicated to the fast-growing national carrier Etihad.
The line up of shops in the new facility is suitability upmarket with stores from the likes of Cartier, Bvlgari, Givenchy, Emporio Armani and Chloé.
The world's largest and arguably most competent duty-free retailer, DFS Group, has been drafted in to take care of the duty-free offer. The Hong Kong-based company has done an excellent job and if you can fight your way through the extensive beauty and fashion ranges, you'll find a pretty decent selection of premium Scotch whiskies too.
Ultra-premium blends are particularly well represented in T3.
For example, you'll find Royal Salute 38 Years Old priced at AED1,530 (£253), Chivas Regal 25 Years Old at AED900 (£149), Ballantine's 30 Years Old at AED1,080 (£177) and Johnnie Walker Blue Label King George V Edition at AED1,440 (£238).
In contrast, the malt selection is safe rather than spectacular, but nevertheless look out for the likes of Highland Park 30 Years Old (AED900/£149), The Macallan 1824 (AED6,797/£1,124) and Th...