A hidden gem of Abu Dhabi can be found in this small and laid-back beach resort island.
A privately owned and operated resort, Al Maya Island is accessible daily by a small boat taking you from the mainland to the island jetty, just 12 minutes away. It really is a mini holiday from your holiday in Abu Dhabi!
The facilities at Al Maya include a soft sandy beach, beach volleyball, a swimming pool (with a kids pool!), a jacuzzi, a licensed restaurant, and a pool bar. The island is beautifully landscaped, with wild gazelles roaming free around the site.
Let’s take a closer look at some of the island’s features and how exactly you get yourself to this hidden island paradise!
Horizon Pool – Al Maya Island
Facing the open sea and the magnificent Abu Dhabi skyline, the horizon pool is surrounded by shaded sunbeds and private cabanas. The area is well spaced out, so unlike some city beach clubs, you’re not sitting on top of one another.
There is also a jacuzzi and a dedicated kids pool.
Guests can enjoy poolside dining and cocktails without needing to leave their chairs!
The Beach – Al Maya Island
The exclusive private beach of Al Maya Island & Resort is one of the real draw cards. the waves here are small and tranquil; lounge on one of the sunbeds or enjoy a private cabana.
Entertainment is on hand with various beach sports, including beach volleyball or taking a kayak out onto the aqua waters.
Al Maya Islands Grills& Restaurant
For more formal dining than the poolside bar, you’ll find African restaurant Al Maya Island Grills & Restaurant. Expect salads, seafood, meats, pizzas and special Mediterranean fare through to specially crafted cocktails.
Al Maya Island – How to Get There
The island is accessed by a 12-minute boat trip west from the clearly signposted pier in Al Ras Al Akhdar.
(This is near Qasr Al Watan (The Presidential Palace)/Emirates Palace; the pier is adjacent to Khalidiya Palace Rayhaan by Rotana).
There is free parking here for Al Maya customers, though note spaces are limited – you are best being dropped off by taxi.
Al Maya Island – What does it cost?
Weekday Passes to Al Maya
- 200 AED per adult (fully redeemable on F&B)
- Two kids aged 13 or under go free with a couple
- Extra children 50 AED
Weekend Passes to Al Maya
NB, the weekend in the UAE is now considered Friday afternoon through to Sunday. The strictly over 21’s policy that used to run on a Friday has been removed – though as Saturday is now party day, we recommend families stick to other days of the week.
- Ladies are free until 2:00 PM (thereafter, gents prices)
- Gents 250 AED (100 AED is redeemable on F&B)
- Weekend Kids Pass (6 to 13 years) 100 AED (50 AED is redeemable on F&B)
- Complimentary access for kids below 6 years
The day pass includes your boat transfer; there are no private arrival alternatives, and there is no bringing your own picnics or food and beverages onto the island, so plan your budget accordingly.
- Alcohol is sold at the beach bar and restaurant as well as soft drinks.
- The dress code for Al Maya Island is smart casual with appropriate swimwear.
- Al Maya is now dog-friendly! Your well-behaved pups are welcome in designated areas on the island for daycations (every day except Saturday). A 50 AED fee applies for bringing your dog.
Al Maya Opening Hours
- Monday to Thursday from 10.00 AM to 8.00 PM
- Friday to Sunday from 10.00 AM to 8.30 PM
Daily Boat Timings to Al Maya Island:
- Monday to Thursday: 10:00 AM, 11:00 AM, 12:00 PM, 1:30 PM, 2:30 PM, 3:30 PM
- Friday to Sunday: 10:00 AM, 11:00 AM, 12:00 PM, 1:00 PM, 2:00 PM, 3:00 PM, 4:00 PM (Saturday additional services 4:45 PM, 5:45 PM, 6:45 PM, 7:45 PM)
Daily Boat Return Timings from Al Maya Island:
- Monday to Thursday: 5:00 PM, 7:00 PM, 8:30 PM
- Friday to Sunday: 1.30 PM, 2.30 PM, 3.30 PM, 4.30 PM, 5.30 PM, 6.30 PM, 7.30 PM, 8.30 PM
You can learn more and book your day passes at almayauae.com or contact the team there directly +9712 667 7777 / email@example.com
Staying on Al Maya Island
Not just daycations on Al Maya, a select few on-site villas can also be hired for an exclusive island getaway.
These luxury villas include 1, 2 and 3-bedroom options with their own private pool.
Prices start from around AED 1,000 per night for one bed villas, accommodating up to 3 guests, through to around AED 4,500 for the 3-beds that can sleep up to 9 guests. Prices are highly variable by day and season.
More Beach Inspiration in Abu Dhabi
Looking for more sunshine and beach experiences while you’re in Abu Dhabi? You may also want to check out:
- Our 7 favourite Abu Dhabi beaches we recommend for tourists
- Learn more about Abu Dhabi’s best beach clubs here
- Camping and glamping is also possible at many Abu Dhabi beaches
- Or if you’re looking for a hotel with its own private beach, we have plenty of those too!
Undoubtedly one of Abu Dhabi’s most beautiful beaches and unique experiences, a relaxing day out at Al Maya Island & Resort should definitely be on your Abu Dhabi itinerary!
Before you go… Important things to consider when planning a trip to Abu Dhabi
- Pop into our essential planning information page; it includes everything you need to know about getting around Abu Dhabi, a handy guide on what to pack and top tips for first-timers on the dos and don’ts, laws, and customs in the UAE.
- Don’t forget to pack your travel insurance!
- Discover the best places to stay in Abu Dhabi, or bag a bargain on your accommodation here:
Please note we are not a travel agency. This site is a travel blog to help newcomers to the UAE self plan their trip, we cannot book your flights, hotels, visas or connections for you. We may make a small commission if you click on any of our hotel or tour recommendation links.Abu Dhabi Travel Planner