When you have traipsed the entire city and explored all the tourist attractions in Abu Dhabi, you may just need to slow down, take it easy and relax a bit in some of the sun-soaked beaches of the city. We take you through the best beaches in Abu Dhabi for a vacation with plenty of sun, sand and sea.
Saadiyat Beach, Abu Dhabi
If you are one of those tourists looking for the perfect beach location for your next vacation or just a perfect day at the beach, Saadiyat Beach in Saadiyat Island offers a relaxing and welcoming environment. As one of the best beaches in the city, Saadiyat Beach forms part of few luxury beachfront hotels and resorts, and a good portion of it has dune vegetation with green patches that are nesting areas for some endangered shorebirds. The beach has lifeguards staffed throughout the day and amenities such as sun loungers, beach umbrellas, changing room/showering facilities, a refreshing snack bar and a shop for beachwear. Open from 8am until sunset, the beach has an entrance fee of Dhs25 for adults and Dhs15 for children aged six to 12 years.
Al Bateen Beach
To the western coastline of Abu Dhabi, off Al Khaleej Al Arabi Street is a lovely beach that draws both locals and visitors alike for its relaxed, family friendly vibe, the Al Bateen Beach is family pleaser with water activities and beachfront picnic spots in abundance. Al Bateen has calm, shallow and clear aquamarine waters ideal for swimming, paddleboarding and plenty of opportunity to reel in some good fish; you can rent a fishing gear and a kayak for some inshore fishing. Beach amenities include lifeguards, changing rooms, barbecue areas, a café and shop. The beach also anchors the Hodariyat Bridge, a long suspended bridge, which starts from the beach all the way to the Hodariyat Islands, overlooking downtown Abu Dhabi. The beach also offers many opportunities to appreciate the scenic views of the bridge from a distance. Since the beach is public and a part of it opens only for families, it can get crowded during the weekends with families playing beach sports and barbecuing. Beach is open from 8am until 8pm.
Any visit to Abu Dhabi needs to include the Corniche Beach. Located along the Abu Dhabi Corniche Road, the beach is a popular public attraction that flies a Blue Flag. Pristine and complete with public facilities such as shaded benches, showering/changing rooms, beach lounges and cafés & restaurants, the beach is visited by thousands of tourist every year. A favourite spot of many who frequent the beach is the boardwalk that winds along the shore through the shaded vegetation and offers a stunning vista of the Abu Dhabi skyline against the backdrop of the golden sun, and the shimmering blue waters contrasting with the near white sand around it. The fee-use beach –has designated areas for singles, the public and families with children, and has ample car parking space to accommodate the flurry of visitors. The beach is open to public from 7am until 10pm.
Of course, with so many popular tourist attractions and kilometres in the city, this list is a starting point for anyone looking for something more in a beach or try something new. Mirfa Beach is a developed beach in the harbour town of Al Mirfa on the outskirts of Abu Dhabi city and hosts the annual Al Gharbia Watersports Festival in April. If you are in town, you can be part of the exciting 10-day festival that marks the celebration of music, beach culture, heritage activities along with adventurous water sports. You can also find other ways to enjoy the outdoors away from the city on Mirfa beach. As a lesser known treat, the beach offers great beach camping facilities with convenience stores in Mirfa town that supply all essential beach camping gear and the Sunset Souk, a traditional evening market, lends a carnival-like atmosphere to the beach with plenty of recreational and entertainment activities.
Another magnificent beach that has ranked the beach culture of Abu Dhabi city high up is the Yas Beach in Yas Island. At Yas Beach, both adults and children have the option of sunning on the beach, cooling off by taking part in a variety of adventurous water activities and water sports, or have splashing fun with non-motorized recreational sports such as sailing, kayaking and paddleboarding. There is an outdoor gym for those looking to get active in a fun-filled atmosphere under the sun. If you are looking for more family-friendly activities, you can have a quick game of your favourite beach sports, watch the stunning sea views with your family, lounge the day away at the beach lounge area listening to your favourite music played by the DJ at the open-air DJ booth, or relax in the Pool Cabanas around the pools. There are Snack Shops offering popular beach snacks, drinks and ice cream to keep you energized and refreshed. The beach is open to all until sunset. Saturday is Ladies-only day at the beach.