This was a very confusing experience. While our tour guide was very friendly, he would often stop mid-sentence for sometimes minutes at a time or to check his phone. He once said, On your right, as you can see, there is a desert. I'm still not sure if this was a joke or if he really wanted us to know if there was a desert in the UAE.
I'm pretty sure some of the destinations we were taken were just to sell us stuff. At one point, we stopped at a carpet store where we learned about the carpets being sold were one-of-a-kind and how the stones had healing abilities. I have seen these carpets in Dubai, and, as for the stones, no comment. When I tried to leave the store right after the spiel, the owner wouldn't let me leave and blocked my way until I went upstairs to look at the souvenirs being sold. The lunch was okay, but my package didn't include the meal so I just sat by myself at someone else's table who I didn't know and who wasn't on the tour. He was pretty weirded out also. The pricing for lunch was 49 dirhams I think, as noted on a sign, but the owner insisted I pay 55 for the service fee which is strange because it's a buffet. Dropping us off at the mosque was great, but we had only 50 minutes to look around. Well, 47 minutes since the timing started while we were still trying to drive in past security.
Other people seemed pretty happy with the tour, but I just felt very skeptical the whole time.
Despite being told to be ready for pick up at 8.30 our mini bus arrived at 9.10. We were the first pick up so we then picked up from a further 3 hotels which took over an hour and we hadn't even left Dubai. Next a very uncomfortable ride over to Abu Dhabi. The mini bus was dirty the seat belts didn't work and we had to stop for fuel 20 minutes this took. Eventually we made it to Ferrari World. We are taken by our driver around the gift shop. We cannot go inside and can't see anything inside. Why is this on the trip? Next the Abu Dhabi museum which is not a museum but a shop where you are given a hard sell of carpets.
At long last we make it to the Mosque, the highlight of the trip ! The bus driver gives us just one hour and we had to get back to the minibus. The mosque is beautiful and deserves much longer there. The tour is unguided. Our driver stayed with the mini bus and we just walked around as fast as we could which was a shame. You need a guide to explain about this wonderful building and to show you where you can go. Very very disappointing that on a 9 hour trip only one hour was given to this place.
Next the Heritage centre. This is a tourist trap of small stalls selling tat. Beware your driver who will try to get you to pay for the over priced buffet. There is a stall selling sandwiches, fruit and drinks that is much better. Toilet facilities here were appalling! Very dirty and flooded out.
Our stop at the Emerites palace was just 10 minutes at the end of the drive just so you could take a photo of a hotel!
This tour says you go to Marian Mall. We didn't !
The ride back to Dubai was awful with the driver either on the phone or texting most of the way. He drove very fast and yet again we had to stop for fuel where he left us in the minivan, left the engine running and filled the tank. Actually he left the fuel filling into the tank and he disappeared of to the shop.
This is a cheap tour and now I know why. Avoid at all costs, what a waste of a day.
This was run by Rayna Tours.
Pro: got picked up at my friend's house and had a delightful shuttle driver all to myself.
Con: getting the group assembled felt like a round-up. No one knew what was happening or where we were going and it's only because I asked a lot of questions did I feel secure knowing what was happening - that we were being consolidated at a meet-up point with a large bus
Pros: Nice guide can't remember name, comfortable bus with big windows, a/c and cool bottled water. We covered a lot of ground but only stopped a few times to walk around which was as advertised
Cons: Hard to hear the guide due to low volume and chatty kid near me. Crank up the volume man! The windows were dirty and some of the seats were way reclined which is a problem if the person in front of you just doesn't get that you don't want their head in your lap. I sat behind the back door and it was the best seat IMO - quick out, near toilet and bottled water and no one in front so you avoid the person in front of you reclining into your lap and you get two huge windows to look out. Only the front row would've been better maybe.
Thanks to the other reviewers who posted about the pricey all you can eat buffet lunch. No one complained on my bus but I rather enjoyed spending the extra time wandering around the historical village and eating snacks I brought.
This tour is not recommended by Rayna Tours!
Pickup was 1.5 hours late despite confirmation the night before.
Sites visited were not as described on webpage.
More than one member of the group left early - because of poor quality and not keeping to schedule.
Tour guide speech not clear.
Drop off was at Yas Island additional taxi cost of 75 AED despite voucher clearly stating drop-off at hotel... company refused to honor!
Tour to Abu Dhabi was ok but not that great. The driver who came to pick us from the hotel was on time, we were sitting in lobby waiting for him. After our tour we were very disappointed. Some of us were transferred from big bus to a shuttle. There were altogether 5 people going to all different hotels for drop off. We arrived Dubai around 5.30pm. The driver who picked us from Dubai in a shuttle was not aware where the hotels were. He was calling someone and asking for the directions. To drop 5 of us to all different hotels it took him 2 and half hours. We had some other plans on that evening and I clearly told my guide he said no problem you should reach your hotel by 6pm to 6.30pm, but no we reached our hotel at 7.34pm , we were so late. The driver did not have any courtesy, no apology no thank you.
Basically we were not happy with Abu Dhabi tour experience.