Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 24 August 2019

24 activities in 48 hours: Kaiser Chiefs’ Ricky Wilson helps launch Etihad’s ‘Stopover Challenge’

Kaiser Chiefs frontman Ricky Wilson participates in the launch of Etihad Airways ‘Stopover Challenge’ by taking a selfie in front of the Sheikh Zayed Mosque in Abu Dhabi. Courtesy Etihad Airways
Kaiser Chiefs frontman Ricky Wilson participates in the launch of Etihad Airways ‘Stopover Challenge’ by taking a selfie in front of the Sheikh Zayed Mosque in Abu Dhabi. Courtesy Etihad Airways

Ricky Wilson, the frontman of British rock band Kaiser Chiefs, completed an epic haul of 24 tourist activities during a 48-hour stay in Abu Dhabi.

In the space of two days the showboating singer ticked off all the emirate’s major tourist attractions – such as racing a supercar, riding a camel and hitting a waterslide – as well as more bespoke experiences, from a gold lead facial to haggling in a soak.

Dubbed the “48 Hour Challenge”, the frantic itineracy was cooked up by Etihad Airways as part of a global publicity campaign to encourage transiting flyers to take some time out in the emirate.

The charismatic singer made a fittingly enthusiastic first challenger – as evidenced in the zany promotional video of Ricky’s wild two-day tour.

“For me a stopover meant sitting in the airport, or visiting duty free, but this is not what a stopover should be,” said Wilson, whose previous work in front of the camera includes three seasons as a coach on The Voice UK.

“It should be flying falcons across the desert, kayaking, visiting water parks – imbibing the culture of the place. Abu Dhabi has taught me that stopovers can be as relaxing as they are exhilarating.

“There is something incredibly refreshing about pushing yourself, getting out of your comfort zone and fully immersing yourself in a new city. I will never stay in the airport again during a stopover.”

Etihad is promoting the challenge as a “holiday within a holiday” to both transiting travellers and UAE residents up for a whirlwind staycation.

The campaign will see more than 60 participating hotels offer two-for-one stays, to encourage travellers to take up the complete challenge, while Business Class flyers will receive a complimentary night’s stay – and First Class guests receive two free nights.

To celebrate the launch, Etihad will be giving away 500 prizes to anyone who takes up the challenge and shares their experience on Instagram with the hashtag #EtihadChallenge, from Friday (April 28). Prizes range from 24-carat gold spa treatments to desert safari trips.

Kaiser Chiefs’ Ricky Wilson explores the best of Abu Dhabi during Etihad’s ‘Stopover Challenge’ - in pictures

“Abu Dhabi is an incredible place, with warm, generous and extremely hospitable people,” added Wilson.

“The city perfectly combines a relaxing and chilled out vibe with excitement and adventure. It is a beautiful city with endless things to do in a short space of time.”

Kasier Chiefs launched onto the British public consciousness with hits including 2004’s I Predict a Riot and 2007’s Ruby. They released sixth album Stay Together last year.

The complete list of attractions Wilson completed in just 48 hours in Abu Dhabi:

A tour in a slingshot

Racing in a supercar

Cycling around the Formula 1 track

Speeding down a waterslide at Yas Waterworld

Boarding a superyacht

Buying a suit

Enjoying tea on the observation deck at Jumeirah at Etihad Towers

Skiing the desert sands on a snowboard

Tasting Black Truffle Pizza

Camel trekking

Taking a drive on the desert sand dunes

Learning to belly dance

Dining in the desert

Sleeping under the stars

Teeing off at Saadiyat Beach Golf Club

Riding the Formula Rossa at Ferrari World Abu Dhabi

Eating a local delicacy

Kayaking through the mangroves

Flying a falcon

Haggling at the souk

Visiting the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque

Enjoying a gold leaf facial

Partying at Iris Yas Island

A stay at the Yas Viceroy

For more information see www.etihad.com/abudhabi.

Updated: April 25, 2017 04:00 AM