Mystery shopper: A relaxing week in Abu Dhabi

Location:Shrewsbury, Shropshire
Wanted: A couple would like to splash out on a relaxing week-long break to Abu Dhabi in November. They want a hotel near the beach.
Budget: £3,000

3 Mardol

I was approached almost immediately by an agent who asked a lot of questions, including my budget, interests and hotel preferences. I was recommended a £2,662 holiday with Hayes & Jarvis, staying at the Traders Hotel at Qaryat Al Beri. I was also given quotes for insurance and she printed out four excursions to look at. She said I would need a doctor’s note as I am pregnant. The agent was patient and friendly, and made me feel excited about the holiday. We exchanged details and she said she would call me later in the day, after asking if I was ready to book. The agent was very thorough and knew a lot about Abu Dhabi, having been there herself.

Peake’s Travel Elite
11 Mardol

I was acknowledged quickly by a friendly agent in this quirky store, who knew a lot about the destination and ended up suggesting a hotel she had stayed in. It cost £2,734 for the Traders Hotel Qaryat Al Beri or £2,562 for the Beach Rotana. I was given a brochure and the agent said she would email the quotes. She mentioned some excursions, insurance and parking. I would have liked to have seen more pictures.

Co-op Travel
Pride Hill shopping centre

The agent was friendly and professional but did not know a lot about the destination. She asked me some questions, but I had to prompt on some topics. I was recommended a £1,905 holiday with Gold Medal, staying at the Beach Rotana. The agent also showed me a couple of excursions, including the Dune Dinner Safari. She took my details but did not follow-up. I did not feel the consultation was very thorough.

Winning agent – Kate Evans, travel advisor

I have worked for Thomson for more than 22 years. I was over the moon I’d won as I have recently been on a Hayes & Jarvis fam trip to Abu Dhabi and Dubai, so could share my expertise in this area.


All of the agents came up with solid recommendations within the budget, but the winner went above and beyond.

Elite resorts caribbean

Top-scoring agent each month will win use of a Mercedes SLK for 10 days.

The winning agent must be at least 25, for insurance reasons. Any agent who is under 25 will win a week’s all-inclusive holiday at an Elite Islands Resorts property. The prize is non-transferable and the car must be driven only by the winning agent.

The winner must not have any serious driving convictions. The winners will be informed by Travel Weekly.

Share article

View Comments

Jacobs Media Group is honoured to be the recipient of the 2020 Queen's Award for Enterprise.

The highest official awards for UK businesses since being established by royal warrant in 1965. Read more.