Hotel stay at an oasis in the heart of the city - Al Maha Arjaan by Rotana, Abu Dhabi

In recent times, there has been quite a bit of investment in the city centre in terms of getting people back and regenerating the city. It has not been easy when one considers the allure of 'islands' like Saadiyat, Yas and Al Maryah. But it is happening. The World Trade Centre development including a mall and some stand alone restaurants have been supported by Al Maha Arjaan by Rotana thanks to its multi-million dollar refurbishment . With this in mind, I recently stayed at Al Maha Arjaan by Rotana, with my daughter bringing along her friend for the short stay.


The lobby area is warm and inviting with earthy tones dominating. Check-in was handled very efficiently thanks to a very well spoken and eclectic staff. We are checked in to a Deluxe Suite. Within 5 minutes, we are on our way to our room. Oh, on a side note, valet parking is available, but we make use of the self parking. The hotel has its own basement parking, which gives the guest more freedom and flexibility. 

Our room

The Deluxe Suite is 87 SQM in size, quite generous when one factors in that it is the best priced suite of its size in the city centre. The room is tastefully decorated with soothing and relaxing colours continuing the idea of the hotel apartment complex being an oasis in the hustle and bustle of the city. The suite is big enough for a fold away bed to be brought in, allowing my little girl, Mitsuki, and her friend, Nada, run of the bedroom! A fully functional kitchen means I can cook the simple Christmas Day lunch Mitsuki has been asking for. 


Located on Hamdan Street, Al Maha has a central location in the city. At night, we went outside and visited a convenience store and a big supermarket just around the corner. In addition, there are countless fast food outlets also within 5 minutes walking distance. Finally, we discovered several cheap gift stores around - you know, the type of store selling miniature Burj Khalifa replicas and other kitschy souvenirs? The area is colourful and lively at night. 


The thing of great interest to my daughter is, understandably, the swimming pool. I too like what they have done, with he refurbishment of the hotel extending to the pool area as well. The cabana-like shaded spots are brilliant and have a beach feel to them. There is also a jacuzzi, allowing those older than 16 the chance to really relax! Something else  I am really pleased about is that during our visits to the pool, the lifeguard was always on duty and he was very strict about not allowing my daughter access to the pool area without adult supervision. Well done! There are too many hotels where they are blasé about this. 

The hotel also has a gym and 4 massage treatment rooms. It is not a  spa and the hotel apartment does not market it as such. But it is great knowing one can have a massage after a  stressful day or week. I actually went for a massage and I do recommend it. My therapist, from Thailand, understood very well what she was doing. Importantly, she knew when to engage me in conversation during the treatment and when to allow me just to drift away peacefully. Highly recommended. 

Finally, there is a multi purpose room - they don't seem quite sure what to with it, but while there, my daughter and Nada played some table tennis. I do hope they keep table tennis in that space as they had such fun and besides, it is such a  low maintenance thing to have in a hotel apartment. 


Al Maha Arjaan boasts Cafe 302, recent winner of the What's On 2017 Best Cafe in Abu Dhabi award. Those who tried the old cafe will appreciate the transformation. Gone is the dark and depressing feeling that greeted one before. The new Cafe 302 is well lit with a lot of natural light, modern and very family friendly. By the way, outdoor seating is a must, which is where we had our breakfast. Breakfast is a buffet, but don't worry, it is not one of those oversized affairs that greets one at big hotels. It is very manageable and less wasteful. 

Staff are well trained and super friendly. I think happy staff deliver good service, and that was certainly my feeling here. In this beautiful weather, the terrace is just perfect, so it is worth having to share the space with smokers. I dream of a time when smoking will not be allowed in a restaurant, not just inside. 

Kudos to the housekeeping staff who did a sterling job cleaning the up after I cooked Christmas dinner. The place was spotless afterwards! A big shout to the them. When a man cooks, it is usually a disaster in the kitchen. 


Al Maha Arjaan by Rotana is a fabulous option for the city centre. Rather than a traditional hotel where as a family you would have to book two separate rooms and pay extra to eat out at restaurants, Al Maha gives you the option of staying in a comfortable suite and cooking for yourself. Of course, no one wants to have a staycation or visit a city and then stand in the kitchen cooking, but it good to know you have the option. The rooms are spacious, especially the suites, offering much better value than a suite in a 5 star branded hotel. Furthermore, the location is convenient and is a decent springboard from which to coordinate activities in Abu Dhabi. Overall, tremendous value for money, newly refurbished rooms and very helpful staff can make this a home away from home. 


Al Maha Arjaan by Rotana
Fatima Bint Mubarak Street,
Abu Dhabi
+971 2 6106666
Al Maha Arjaan by Rotana

Rates are seasonal and can start at 299AED for Classic Studios

Brandon Stoltenkamp