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Score a Free Hotel Stay in Abu Dhabi When Flying With Etihad Airways or Upgrade to a Five Star Stopover With a Big Discount

Score a Free Hotel Stay in Abu Dhabi When Flying With Etihad Airways or Upgrade to a Five Star Stopover With a Big Discount

  • Stay in Abu Dhabi for up to two nights for free
  • Or upgrade to a four or five star hotel with a discount of up to 40%
  • Got a long layover? Score a free hotel for stopovers of between 10 and 24 hours
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Etihad Airways is one of several airlines which allows passengers to break up a long journey with a free stopover in their home city, and until December 20, the Abu Dhabi-based carrier will also completely cover the cost of three-star hotel accommodation for stopovers of up to two nights.

If you’re in need of a little more luxury, Etihad offers a discount of up to 40% at select four and five-star hotels across the Emirati capital on stays of up to four nights. There’s even the option to get a free hotel room for layovers of between 10 and 24 hours.

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    The Stopover On Us package

    The most popular stopover package currently offered by Etihad Airways is the simply named ‘Stopover On Us‘ package. The reason it’s so popular? Until December 20, 2023, Etihad will cover the cost of your stay at select three and four-star hotels across Abu Dhabi for up to two nights.

    a large white building with domes and lights

    The catch? Well, you need to be travelling with Etihad Airways on connecting flights through its Abu Dhabi hub. That’s it.

    With the Stopover On Us package, you can stay in Abu Dhabi for up to two nights, subject to availability at participating hotels. At present, hotels taking part in the promotion include:

    • Centro Al Manhal
    • Premier Inn Abu Dhabi International Airport
    • Premier Inn Abu Dhabi Capital Centre
    • Ramada by Wyndham Abu Dhabi Downtown
    • Traders Hotel, Qaryat Al Beri
    • TRYP by Wyndham, Abu Dhabi

    The Best of Abu Dhabi package

    While there’s nothing wrong with any of the hotels in the Stopover On Us package, there are certainly far more luxurious accommodations available in Abu Dhabi and that’s where ‘The Best of Abu Dhabi’ promotion shines.

    With this promotion, Etihad Airways won’t completely cover the cost of your stay, but it will discount your hotel bill by up to 40%. The added benefit of this package is that you can stay for up to four nights and enjoy a complimentary buffet breakfast, along with free WiFi.

    cars driving in the desert

    The hotels currently taking part in this promotion include:

    • Anantara Eastern Mangroves Abu Dhabi Hotel
    • Andaz Capital Gate Abu Dhabi –  a concept by Hyatt
    • Dusit Thani Abu Dhabi
    • Fairmont Bab al Bahr, Abu Dhabi
    • Grand Hyatt Abu Dhabi Hotel & Residences Emirates Pearl
    • InterContinental Abu Dhabi, an IHG Hotel 
    • Novotel Abu Dhabi Al Bustan
    • Park Rotana Hotel Abu Dhabi
    • Royal M Hotel & Resort Abu Dhabi
    • Shangri-La Qaryat Al Beri, Abu Dhabi
    • Traders Hotel, Qaryat Al Beri, Abu Dhabi

    Just like the Stopover On Us package, hotels are subject to availability. Unfortunately, you can’t actually check availability or prices until you already have your booking reference.

    The Transit Connect package

    If you don’t plan to stay in Abu Dhabi for any longer than needed but have ended up with a long layover between connecting flights, then Etihad also has you covered. The Transit Connect package is designed for passengers with layovers of between 10 and 24 hours, with complimentary accommodation provided close to Abu Dhabi International Airport.

    There are a few important eligibility conditions to take notice of with this package:

    • There’s a minimum airfare spend of US $500 for one-way flights and US $750 for return flights. This minimum spend criteria is per person.
    • As the hotels aren’t in the airport, you must have the ability to enter Abu Dhabi – either with a pre-arranged visa or visa on arrival.
    • You won’t be eligible if travelling to or from the following destinations: Amman, Bahrain, Cairo, Dammam, Doha, Istanbul, Jeddah, Khartoum, Kuwait, Lagos, Lebanon, Medina, Muscat, Nairobi, Riyadh, Seychelles and Tel Aviv.
    a city skyline with buildings and water

    Currently, the following three hotels are taking part in the Transit Connect scheme:

    • Premier Inn Abu Dhabi International Airport
    • Premier Inn Abu Dhabi Capital Centre
    • Aloft Abu Dhabi

    How to book

    In order to make sure you book eligible connecting flights with Etihad Airways, head to the Etihad website and once you start filling in the flight search box, you’ll notice that an ‘Abu Dhabi stopover‘ option appears.

    Check the box to indicate you want to include a stopover, and then select how many days you would like to stay in Abu Dhabi. You also have the option of choosing your stopover on the outbound or return flight, but you can’t do a stopover both ways.

    You then complete a flight booking process in the normal way, and once you have your booking reference, you can head to the special Etihad stopover microsite to search and book your hotel stay.

    Things to do in Abu Dhabi

    Flashy Dubai might steal the limelight, but there’s still plenty to do in Abu Dhabi. The capital of the UAE is certainly more reflective and calm but its definitely worth a visit with some pretty spectacular highlights. These are some of my top picks:

    Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque:

    This iconic mosque is one of the largest in the world and a stunning example of Islamic architecture. Admire the intricate designs, the majestic domes, and the massive chandeliers while learning about the cultural significance of the mosque.

    Louvre Abu Dhabi

    An architectural masterpiece, the Louvre Abu Dhabi is an art and civilization museum that showcases a diverse collection of artworks and artefacts from around the world. Explore its galleries to witness the fusion of historical and contemporary art.

    Ferrari World Abu Dhabi:

    For thrill-seekers and motorsport enthusiasts, Ferrari World is a must-visit. It is the world’s first Ferrari-branded theme park and offers exhilarating rides, including Formula Rossa, the fastest roller coaster on the planet.

    Corniche Beach

    Stretching along the waterfront, Corniche Beach provides a picturesque setting for a relaxing day by the sea. Take a stroll, enjoy a picnic, or indulge in various water sports and beach activities.

    Yas Island

    This is a man-made island that is home to many of Abu Dhabi’s top attractions, including Ferrari World, Yas Waterworld, and the Yas Marina Circuit. There are also hotels, restaurants, and shops on Yas Island.

    What other airlines offer stopover packages?

    Several other airlines offer similar stopover packages, including Emirates and Qatar Airways – all of which are perfect if you are trying to break up an ultra-long-haul journey.


    Considering that Dubai is now so popular in its own right, it’s probably no surprise that Emirates now limits its stopover package to the summer months when Dubai can become unbearably hot, and tourist numbers are at their lowest.

    In 2023, Emirates is running its free stopover programme from 26th May 2023 to 31st August. Stopovers are limited to stays of up to 96 hours at a select few hotels.

    Qatar Airways

    Qatar Airways offers a heavily discounted stopover programme with four-star accommodation starting at just US $14 for a one-night stay.

    The airline offers stopovers of between one and four nights, and, for the time being, at least, the promotion is running year-round.

    Singapore Airlines

    Sadly Singapore Airlines ended its stopover programme in 2022. It was possibly a victim of Singapore’s pandemic travel restrictions but whatever the case, any reference to the stopover programme has been wiped from Singapore Air’s website.


    Spanish flag carrier Iberia allows you to break up your journey through its Madrid hub with a stopover in the city, but the airline doesn’t currently subsidise hotel accommodation. Still, the aptly named Stopover Hola Madrid programme is a good way to include a second European destination before travelling onwards.

    Turkish Airlines

    Turkish Airlines offers free hotel accommodation for passengers with a layover of at least 20 hours in Istanbul. If you’re travelling in Economy, then you are eligible for a free one-night stay in a four-star hotel, while Business Class passengers can get up to two nights free accommodation in a five-star hotel.

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