Yes, it’s finally time to make a roundup of the best beaches in Abu Dhabi, including public beaches, beach clubs and beach restaurants. Why? Because each and every one of us living in Abu Dhabi is a thalassophile (‘lover of the sea’, from the Greek word – “thalassa”). Especially when it’s the middle of October, and the temperature in the capital is a gorgeous 36 ℃. So, let’s get out of the office white and into the sea blue! But first, let’s decide on the right beach!
THE CORNICHE BEACH
Let’s start with one of the most popular public beaches in Abu Dhabi – the Corniche. This beach stretches from the nearby Hilton Hotel on the Corniche Road all the way to the Al Khaleej Al Arabi Street and beyond. For years, it’s been impeccably maintained, and it’s got the famous beach Blue Flag eco-label to prove it!
What makes the Corniche Beach one of the best beaches in Abu Dhabi: well, several gates to get inside, over 1,100 parking spots (free of charge) and separate sections for families and singletons. Furthermore, the Corniche has gorgeous views of the Lulu Island, proximity to the Marina Mall, several lifeguards on the lookout, showers, changing rooms, cabanas, and of course, a microcosm of palm trees and crystal blue waters. We love it!
SAADIYAT PUBLIC BEACH/SAADIYAT BEACH CLUB
Another beach at a prime location, Saadiyat Island is a real slice of heaven. Joining it soon will be some of the most important cultural venues in the MENA region, such as Louvre Abu Dhabi (opening 11th November) and Guggenheim Abu Dhabi.
What makes Saadiyat Beach one of the best beaches in Abu Dhabi: sailing, windsurfing, yoga – take your pick! Furthermore, Saadiyat offers over three hundred sun loungers, two hundred parking spaces, showers, changing rooms, a retail shop, a beach cafe. However, if you’re willing to pay more, the Saadiyat Beach Club offers a magnificent (650-square-metre) outdoor pool!
Moreover, the Saadiyat Beach Club has spa facilities, a sauna, Jacuzzi, steam room, private beach bungalows and several restaurants. These include the Safina (Mediterranean), De La Costa (finger food) and Cabana 9 (seafood).
As the name suggests, Yas Beach is the coastal part/beach club of Abu Dhabi’s famous man-made island, Yas Island. It’s widely sought out due to white sands, crystal blue waters and view of the mangroves on the other side of the channel for that ‘back to nature’ feeling we all love.
What makes Yas Beach one of the best beaches in Abu Dhabi: Yas Island has one of the most beautiful beach clubs in the capital with an open-air DJ booth, private chalets and an abundance of sun loungers. Furthermore, Yas Beach offers a plethora of beach sports like kayaking, Jet Skis, stand-up paddle boarding, sailing, beach volleyball, banana rides, speed boat tours, an outdoor gym and, of course, the unmissable mangrove tours! When it comes to restaurants and dining, you can have your food delivered to your cabana from the Yas Beach restaurant. It’s the ultimate weekend getaway in the winter time.
BEACH CLUBS IN ABU DHABI:
If you’d like to stay away from public beaches and enjoy a more intimate atmosphere of the Abu Dhabi beach clubs, consider the National Riviera Beach Club. This relaxation central is ideal for families since it has a temperature-controlled pool, cabanas and the Cabana Bar & Grill restaurant. Another option for those seeking rest is the Bayshore beach club that includes a swim-up bar, a Jacuzzi, and more.
For sports enthusiasts, the Beach Rotana beach club offers water sports, squash courts and tennis courts, among others. Bayut also recommends checking out the Fairmont Bab Al Bahr’s Beach Club that offers kayaking, paddleboarding, and other beach sports.
So, which beach will you be going to? Whatever your choice, kalá na peráseis! (That’s Greek for ‘have a good time!’)
Note: All public beaches in Abu Dhabi have a dress code. Ladies should wear a full bikini/swimsuit at all time. Going to the beach topless is a breach of the UAE law, as is wearing inappropriate costumes. Finally, beachwear is only allowed on the beach itself and not outside the designated beach area.