Abu Dhabi basks in sunshine throughout the year and is blessed with an abundance of beaches. Whilst the soaring summer temperatures can make going to the beach rather uncomfortable from June to September, October brings with it perfect weather for the beach and all through the winter.
The fantastic weather and variety of beach options available make Abu Dhabi the perfect destination for beach lovers throughout the cooler months. Here we take a look at some of the best beaches in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
1. Saadiyat Beach
Saadiyat Beach is undoubtedly the most beautiful beach in Abu Dhabi and is definitely a contender for the best beach in the Middle East. The crystal clear turquoise waters and white sand rival those of the Maldives, but don’t be deceived by calm mornings; by mid-afternoon, the waves can be pretty intense, depending on the weather.
Stretching over 4 kilometres, the dazzling white coral sand beach is divided between a number of luxury beach resorts, a high-end beach club and two public beach areas. It’s a great place for long strolls and collecting seashells as well as sunbathing and swimming.
If you’re lucky, you might spot a dolphin or two or even baby hawksbill turtles as they hatch from the numerous nesting sites along the beach.
Let’s take a closer look at the different areas of Saadiyat Beach:
Situated close to The St. Regis Hotel, Soul Beach is a 1-kilometre stretch of sun loungers overlooking the Arabian Gulf.
During the week, the entry fee is 50 AED, which entitles you to a sun bed and umbrella for the whole day. This fee rises to 75 AED at the weekend (Children over six pay around half the price).
There are toilets and showers, and soft drinks and fruit can be purchased on-site. Each sun lounger also has a scannable QR code that links to the substantial and deliciously tempting menu from Saadiyat Beach Club. Any food ordered arrives by golf buggy but can take time as it has to travel some distance.
Flanking the beach is the Al Mamsha development, with numerous shops and cafes where you can buy items to take away (including a very nice vegan cafe directly opposite the main entrance to the beach). There is no playground, but there is a trampoline for the kids.
It’s a lovely clean beach that enables you to access Saadiyat’s beautiful waters without breaking the bank. Open daily from 7:00 AM to Sunset.
Replacing what used to be Saadiyat Public Beach and BAKE, the new opening of Kai Beach brings another trendy beachfront location to the capital.
Here you’ll find ‘barefoot luxury’ delivered by the team from Saadiyta Beach Club; sun beds and umbrellas, toilets, showers, and changing rooms accessible via boardwalks behind the dunes at the top of the beach.
The MLT food truck offers delicious bites as well as a variety of beverages, including alcohol. Shisha is also available and can be ordered to your sun bed. No outside F&B or beach mats are permitted.
Open daily from 7:0 AM to Sunset.
NB – outside of public holidays, Thursdays and Fridays are for Ladies only. Males only up to 4 years old – you will get full privacy from surrounding premises.
- Summer Rates During the week, you can expect to pay 85 AED per adult and 40 AED per child. At weekends the price increases to 105 AED per adult and 60 AED per child. Children under 6 receive complimentary entry.
- Standard Rates: 175 AED per adult and 80 AED per child. At weekends the price increases to 195 AED per adult and 90 AED per child. Children under 6 receive complimentary entry.
Saadiyat Beach Hotels
If you’re looking for exclusivity, a stay at one of Saadiyat’s luxury 5 star resorts is what you need for the perfect beach holiday in Abu Dhabi.
Several of these resorts also offer private villa and pool options.
Beach access is usually from 8:00 AM until sunset, but some hotels vary depending on the season and hotel occupancy. If staying at one of these hotels isn’t within your budget (as they are amongst some of the most pricey hotels in the UAE), day passes are available and start at AED 250.
For more information about the various day passes on offer, check out the links below:
- Jumeirah Saadiyat Day Pass
- Park Hyatt Resort Day Pass
- Rotana Resort Saadiyat Day Pass
- St. Regis Saadiyat Resort Day Pass
- Rixos Premium Resort Saadiyat
Saadiyat Beach Club
Saadiyat Beach Club is the height of luxury with several fine dining options as well as beach and pool access. Beautiful changing facilities, a gym, saunas, steam rooms, and jacuzzis are available for use, and a beauty spa and hairdressing salon are on site.
Throw in a kids’ club with a shallow pool with water features as well as a playground, and we’ve got the perfect luxury beach day out for all the family!
- Day passes are available for AED 250 for one person or AED 350 for a couple during the week. Children aged 7-17 years pay AED 100, while children under 7 are free.
- Prices rise to AED 375 for one person, AED 525 for a couple and AED 150 for children over 7 at weekends.
- Ladies, keep your eye out for special deals; Tuesdays all day AED 199 with free-flow beverages 12:00 – 4:00PM; Friday AED 150AED day passes.
- Summer Rates 2023: (April 24 until the end of August) Weekdays AED 175, kids 6-12 AED 70; Weekends AED 265, kids AED 105
Safety at Saadiyat Beach
All of the hotels, Soul Beach and Saadiyat Beach Club, employ lifeguards, but there are sections of the beach where lifeguards are not present. Whilst it is possible to walk the length of the beach from the St. Regis Hotel (in the direction of Saadiyat Jumeirah), we do not recommend swimming in areas not monitored by lifeguards.
2. The Corniche Beaches
The most easily accessible beach in Abu Dhabi is the Corniche Public Beach which runs parallel to the famous Corniche Road. This long sandy beach is flanked by verdant gardens set against the backdrop of Abu Dhabi’s impressive skyline.
The beach is protected by an artificial breakwater making it particularly suitable for families with smaller children, as there are no strong currents. However, the minimal tidal range does mean that the sand close to the shore has a mossy feel underfoot, which some people find a little disconcerting.
The beach is divided into sections for the general public, ladies, and families – each with its own amenities. These sections and where to access them are highlighted below.
A’l Bahar Beach
The A’l Bahar area of the Corniche starts beside the Nation Riviera Beach Club. It is characterized by the large number of converted shipping containers that serve as food and beverage outlets. The beach is located directly opposite the Abu Dhabi breakwater, and the shallow, calm waters make it a great place for swimming.
Al Bahar offers a huge range of things to do besides swimming and lounging around on the beach. Kids will enjoy the large playground and jungle gym with zip lines. For the grown-ups, there are a variety of water sports on offer, as well as sports facilities, including volleyball courts, basketball courts and spaces to play football and other ball games. There’s even an outdoor gym for real fitness fanatics!
Out on the water, Aqua Fun (which closed after COVID) has been replaced by AquaDhabi water park – a giant inflatable water obstacle course. Juniors (4-7 years old; min 110cm) can get all-day access to the kid’s circuit for AED 95, while a standard ticket will additionally get you all-day access to the SportsPark XL with 35+ obstacles for AED 125. Open daily 9:00am to sunset.
There are plenty of coffee shops, some good sit-down restaurants, showers and toilets to enjoy at A’l Bahar Beach, making it one of the best places in Abu Dhabi to hand out by the beach.
Entry to A’l Bahar beach is free, whilst some activities are paid extras.
The beach is open daily 7:00 AM to sunset. The rest of A’l Bahar stays open until 10:00 PM in the evening or midnight at weekends.
Al Sahil Beach – Corniche Gates 1-6
Once the Corniche’s most popular section, the Al Sahil Beach area needs a bit of a revamp. That said, there are clean toilets, a few coffee shops, and a fantastic pirate-ship playground for the kids.
For those wanting to be more active, there are beach volleyball courts and spaces to play football and other games. Alternatively, you can take a stroll along the boardwalks that run through the well-kept gardens that act as a buffer between the beach and the busy main road.
Sahil Family Beach – Gates 1 & 2
This beach is set aside for families only and is surrounded by a fence; single men are not allowed. Sunbeds and umbrellas are available.
A small entry fee of AED 10.50 adults and AED 5.25 for older kids
Sahil Mixed Beach (free entry) – Gate 3 & 4
This beach is accessible to everyone and is popular as one of the best free things to do in Abu Dhabi. You have to bring your own sunbeds and umbrellas, but there are showers and toilets. in the plaza area and a large children’s playground.
Sahil Mixed Beach – Gate 5 & 6
This beach is for both men and women. There are sun loungers, umbrellas, toilets, showers and snack bars.
Entrance fee of AED 10.50 adults and AED 5.25 for older kids
All beaches on the Corniche are monitored by lifeguards and security staff. Alcohol is not allowed and you should be very careful not to take photographs of other bathers. All sections of the Corniche beach are open from sunrise to sunset; restaurants will open later and close later.
3. Hudayriyat Island Beach
For many years, residents of Abu Dhabi often referred to the ‘bridge to nowhere’ – now, that bridge finally leads to the spectacular beach hotspot of Al Hudayriyat Island.
Access to the beach and sun lounges on Hudayriyat is free, and the open sea is a real draw. The water temperatures are a little cooler than the shallow waters of the Corniche, and the sand is soft underfoot, making this one of the best Abu Dhabi beaches for families.
As well as a 600m long white sandy beach, there are clean showers, changing facilities, and a variety of coffee shops and restaurants.
For anyone not content to sit around all day, there is a 10-kilometre cycle track with bike rental, beach volleyball, basketball, tennis courts and football pitches, and kayaking and kite surfing opportunities.
For younger visitors, there is a fenced playground and Circuit X splash park in the Marsana area, in addition to the opportunity to swim and build sandcastles. Hudayriyat really is ane excellent place for an active family day out.
To get the most out of the experience, why not stay overnight at the island’s luxury campsite, Bab Al Nojoum? You can also walk the Hudayriyat Heritage Trail boardwalk between Bal Al Nojoum and Marsana if you’d prefer not to dip in the water.
Open daily from 8:00 AM until sunset. Admission to the beach is free.
4. Yas Beach
With a wide range of activities, including jet-skiing, beach volleyball and an outdoor fitness centre, this beach is a must for those who like a more active beach day and those seeking a moment of calm from the hustle and bustle of Yas Island’s other attractions!
Yas Beach offers a large pool, a smaller splash area, and a pristinely clean sandy beach. Sun loungers and umbrellas are available, and private cabanas and chalets for an additional fee.
There are several dining options and bars serving alcohol, making Yas Beach the perfect place to relax and unwind. The proximity to the mangroves and numerous small islands makes this a great spot for canoeing, kayaking, and taking in a bit of nature!
Most Yas Island hotels offer complementary day passes for Yas Beach, but if you’re not staying on Yas Island entry to the beach will set you back AED 60 on weekdays and AED 120 at weekends*. Children under 11 can enter the beach for free if they are accompanied by an adult.
Yas Beach is open daily from 10:00 AM to 7:00 PM.
*Saturday is Ladies Day – All ladies enter for 60 AED.
5. Al Bateen Beach
Situated in Al Bateen, a family villa district on the west coast of Abu Dhabi Island, this 800-metre-long “Blue Flag” beach overlooks Al Hudayriyat Island and the famous Hudayriyat Bridge.
The beach is popular with locals and expat families as an easy-going free activity. It’s a great place in Abu Dhabi to swim and enjoy a family picnic. You’ll find plenty of amenities here, including showers and changing rooms, toilets, and playgrounds.
More than just lazing on the beach, Al Bateen Beach offers water sports such as kayaking, stand-up paddling, and jet skis for hire. It makes for a relaxing day out for the whole family.
Part of Al Bateen is sectioned off for ladies only (Al Bateen Beach for Women) and has an entrance fee of 25 AED for adults, AED 5 for children, boys allowed only up to the age of 6.
Entrance to Al Bateen Public Beach is free. A new car park has gone in nearby so there is plenty of space for all.
6. Al Maya Island
Another trendy beach with a parting vibe is to be found on the private island, Al Maya Island. The island is accessed by a 15-minute boat trip from the clearly signposted pier near Qasr Al Watan (The Presidential Palace).
The facilities include a soft sandy beach, a swimming pool (with a kid’s pool), a jacuzzi, and a licensed restaurant. The island is beautifully landscaped, with wild gazelles roaming free around the site, offering some select overnight accommodation.
Whilst Al Maya is known for its raucous weekends, it offers a tranquil escape for couples and families alike during the week.
Day passes start at AED 200 during the week – fully redeemable on F&B; whilst weekends, ladies are free before 2:00PM, gents, you’re paying 250 AED to join the party, but get 100 AED back on F&B.
Access is free for children up to 13 years old (limited to 2 children per adult) during the week.
New Openings – And Closed Abu Dhabi Beaches
In a city made up of a series of islands – natural and man-made – it’s no surprise that there is all variety of beach clubs and water sports spots that open up along the Abu Dhabi coast. As is the nature of the region, some have been there for decades, and others come and go.
Opened but closed or renamed now:
- Cove Beach on Reem Island – suddenly announced its closure in 2023; we await to see what may open in its place.
- Saadiyat Public Beach has been replaced by Kai Beach
- The old Hiltonia is now part of West Bay Abu Dhabi – attached to the Radisson Blu, a private beach club at the end of the Corniche.
Frequently Asked Questions About Abu Dhabi Beaches
We hope that our round-up of the best beaches in Abu Dhabi has given an insight into what Abu Dhabi has to offer. Check out our frequently asked questions below for more information about beach life in the UAE’s capital city.
At the entrance to every beach in Abu Dhabi, there are signs outlining the behaviour that is expected of guests. Points include; no public displays of affection such as kissing or heavy petting, no taking photographs and no lighting fires. All formal beaches employ security guards who will tell you off and may ask you to leave if you break the rules.
There are no barbecuing facilities at any of the beaches in Abu Dhabi, and taking your own barbecues onto public beaches is forbidden. That said, there are numerous islands with secluded beaches, and if you have your own boat and grill, no one will stop you from using it.
There are also barbecue facilities in some of the parks parallel to the beaches on the Corniche, which you can use after a day at the beach. Some hotels with their own beaches can organise private barbecues for you for a fee.
You can have a beer or whatever other alcoholic beverage that tickles your fancy on the beach in Abu Dhabi if you purchase and consume it on licensed premises – for example, at a beach hotel or private beach club. You cannot buy your own beer from a shop and drink it on public beaches.
You can learn more about Abu Dhabi’s alcohol rules here.
No. It is against the law for women to sunbathe topless. We would suggest wearing a full swimming costume or a tasteful bikini. Whilst thongs might not be strictly prohibited, they will offend local sensibilities and get you (perhaps) unwanted attention. Best save these for the exclusive beach clubs and NOT public beaches.
You can learn more about what to wear in Abu Dhabi without offending over here.
We urge you not to let your kids run naked at the beach in Abu Dhabi. It’s culturally inappropriate as well as dangerous.
Your child’s skin needs protection from the strong middle eastern sun, even in winter. We recommend UV suits or rash guards for all children as these help protect them from the sun and jellyfish stings.
Get a complete guide of what to pack to deal with the sun and heat in Abu Dhabi here.
Some beaches, like the Corniche Beach and al Hudayriat Beach, have free access areas; others, like Soul Beach, charge a fee for facility usage, although they are set on public beach area.
Hotel beaches should be used by hotel residents and day-pass holders only, although you are free to walk the entire length of Saadiyat Beach regardless of your point of entry (you can’t use sun loungers that belong to hotels if you are not staying in them).
Unfortunately yes. Whilst sharks are rare, jellyfish and stingrays are common at certain times of the year. Sea snakes have also been spotted recently on a number of Abu Dhabi beaches (October 2021).
Always take heed of the flag system. Do not swim if the flag is red, and exercise extreme caution if a purple flag (indicating a marine pest) is flying.
Yes, this list is not exhaustive, but it highlights the best beaches in Abu Dhabi city open to tourists.
Many more hotels and residences have their own private beaches. We highlight several of these beachfront hotels here – including areas along Al Raha Beach, the Grand Canal (Between the Bridges), surrounding the Corniche, such a Emirates Palace and the old Tourist Club area.
If you are able to drive or rent a car in Abu Dhabi, you can head to the Western Region for some brilliant, unspoilt stretches of beach with clean water. Mirfa Beach is a stunning spot with a long beach, home to the Al Gharbia Watersports Festival.
If ‘better’ means cheaper than definitely the public beach, but if you want comfortable changing facilities and sun lounger service with excellent food and alcoholic beverages, it has to be either Yas Beach, a hotel beach or a private beach club!
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:
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