Hungry for a bite, we stopped at a sign for a café as we sauntered around the streets of Khalidiya. We went in through the Oryx Hotel: a charming place in the heart of Khalidiya neighborhood that offers a quiet getaway compared to the hustle and bustle of the beachside Corniche resorts.

On the top floor of the hotel is a terrace surrounded by tall pillars evocative of ancient Greece. There is a pool there, too, surrounded wooden lounge chairs, where you can relax after a swim. The place feels like oasis, where you can sit, relax, and enjoy a fresh drink.  There are even poolside shishas are also available from a starting price of 40 Dhs.

The hotel’s Horizon restaurant has a décor reminiscent of a cruise-ship, but its warm vibe seems appropriate for both business meetings and snacks with friends.  The menu choices range from a biryani of the day to the “All American Sirloin Steak (95 Dhs), Jumbo Seafood Prawns (110 Dhs), Italian pizzas and pastas (40-50 Dhs).  The house specializes in Indian food, however, with specialties like Tandoori Malai Chicken (55 Dhs).

As a light snack, we enjoyed crispy potato wedges well seasoned with sweet “chilly” sauce and we sipped on rock shandy and strawberry coconut mocktails.  To reward ourselves after a long walk, we dug into an all-time favorite: warm brownies with vanilla ice cream.

The terrace of the Oryx is an ideal place for an afternoon getaway: the quiet rooftop offers a sanctuary that provides a bird’s-eye view of yet another oasis in this part of Abu Dhabi: the green grass and tall trees of Khalidya Park.  Whether you come for shisha, a swim, or the warm brownies, a trip to the top of the Oryx is worth your time.