Played Abu Dhabi National a number of times alongside Yas Links, while in the UAE. I really like the course and the whole setting. It's definitely worth an overnight stay, with a fantastic Westin hotel on site.
The facilities, range and short game area are all first class - it is of course a European Tour stop so the level has to be high. The course itself is very strong without being tricked up. I really like the design of the holes and the routing. A mid handicapper like myself can shoot a decent score here. The greens are not too undulating and run true, while the fairways and hazards are well maintained. It's pretty much all in front of you. There is water but you have to be well off line to find it, except for a few forced carries over water but then you should pick the right tee for your game.
You don't even need a cart, as the course is very walkable. There are not many big distances between tees and greens, and both nines lead you back to the iconic clubhouse for some nice pictures.
I would rate AD National as the best course in Abu Dhabi, ahead of Yas. But for sure I'd play both, and have done so even in one day (but that was a long day).
AD National is highly recommended and I enjoy coming back and playing the course again and again. One word of warning though, if you're playing in the weeks leading up to the HSBC, beware of the rough. We played a round in December (the tournament is in January) and the rough was vicious to the point of not being able to find the ball again, if you threw it 10 metres ahead of you. You get an appreciation for what the pros do but I didn't enjoy that day so much. But when the rough is down, this is an awesome course where you can get around in a good score.
Date: October 19, 2019