The closest hotels to the airport are on Yas Island, so the Yas Viceroy makes an ideal stopover, especially if you want to experience iconic Abu Dhabi (and get a tasty breakfast in the morning). A taxi from the airport will cost you around Dhs.35-40 as you will likely be ushered into the new, more expensive black airport taxis.
Once checked in, quickly refresh and then get a taxi to the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque. Taxis are easily available from outside of the hotel and the trip should cost you around Dhs.25. Visiting the Grand Mosque is free but make sure you are dressed appropriately and remember that it is closed to visitors on Friday's until later on in the day.
Take a taxi from the mosque to Emirates Palace. It should take you along Coast Road where you'll see the Hyatt Capital Gate, which is the furthest leaning man-made tower, and cost around Dhs.30. Once at Emirates Palace you can marvel at the oppulence, buy gold from the vending machine and stop for a bite to eat - perhaps a camel burger or gold topped coffee may go down well!
Leave Emirates Palace by mid afternoon and if it's not too hot, take a walk from there and along the Corniche for a while. There are plenty of places to grab refreshments and you can enjoy a little bit of sunshine at the public beach, or relax in the shade at one of the parks on the city side of the main road.
Make sure you're in a taxi well before the sun goes down (earliest sunsets are 5.30pm in December, latest are 7.15pm in July). Head to St.Regis Saadiyat Island and Turquoiz bar and restaurant. where a seat out on their terrace will give you the perfect location to experience the incredible light of an Arabian sunset. After a bite to eat you may be ready for home, so a taxi back to Yas Island will show you the illuminated city skyline on your right as you travel along the impressive Khalifa Highway. If you still have energy, head to the roof of the Viceroy and enjoy a few more drinks at the impressive Skylite bar.
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