view over the mangroves national park in abu dhabi

Everything You Need to Know About Mangrove National Park Abu Dhabi

by Abu Dhabi Travel Planner Team

Just outside the hustle and bustle of central Abu Dhabi is a verdant natural paradise. Flanking the Sheikh Zayed Road (also known as the E10) and made up of a network of channels and coastal lagoons, the Mangrove National Park is a haven for wildlife and those looking to get closer to nature.

Covering an area of 19 square kilometres, the park includes salt marshes, mudflats, and algal communities as well as towering mangrove plants. It is home to a variety of fish, crabs, and turtles, and over 60 different species of bird, including herons and flamingoes. Dugongs and dolphins also frequent the area, making it the ideal place for marine wildlife lovers.

Whether you choose to explore the parks and promenade along the Al Gurm Corniche by foot or take to the water in a kayak or canoe, the Mangrove National Park is the perfect place to visit early the morning, late in the evening or on cooler winter days.*

overhead view of the mangroves national park in abu dhabi
The extensive mangroves that surround Abu Dhabi city

*Note: Greater Flamingoes and Western Reef Herons are both easiest seen during the breeding season, which runs from April until July.

Mangrove National Park vs Jubail Mangrove Park

Note that the Mangrove National Park Abu Dhabi is different from Jubail Mangrove Park. The former is the subject of this article. The latter is where you will find the iconic walkway over the water providing stunning picture-perfect views over the Arabian Gulf coast – You can learn more about Jubail Mangrove Park here.

Map where to find key mangrove locations open for visitors in Abu Dhabi city
Map showing where the Mangrove National Park is in comparison to the boardwalk at Jubail Mangrove Park

Importance of Mangrove National Park

Mangroves are a vital part of the UAE’s ecosystem. Not only do they provide a habitat for a wide variety of creatures, but they also help protect against tidal surges, purify the surrounding water, and remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

Abu Dhabi’s Mangrove National Park makes up almost 75% of the total mangrove area of the UAE and is crucial in battling the effects of climate change and maintaining biodiversity in the region.

The Mangrove National Park is also an important leisure facility, offering people the chance to escape from the heat of the city and enjoy being at one with nature.

Kayaking therough the mangrove national park

How to Get to Mangrove National Park

Found off the E10 freeway, the area is often referred to as the ‘Eastern Mangroves’ or the ‘Al Gurm Corniche’.

Free parking is available at the Eastern Mangroves development and along the Al Gurm Corniche. Access to boats and kayaks is via the Eastern Mangroves development, where you will also find the Anantara Eastern Mangroves Hotel and a variety of cafes and restaurants.

Exploring Mangrove National Park from the Water

The Mangrove National Park can only be explored up close by taking a watercraft – there are a few options, depending on how much physical effort you’re willing to put in!

Hire an Eco Donut boat

Donut boats are a great way to explore the area as part of a family or group of friends. They are powered by small eco-friendly, solar-powered engines. Each boat can accommodate up to 6 people (depending on size).

There is no age restriction, although children should be potty trained or in nappies as there are no bathroom facilities on board. We recommend booking in advance, although it is possible to turn up after 2 pm daily if you don’t mind taking a risk on availability.

Learn more about hiring an Eco donut boat here or WhatsApp +971 56 480 0427

Kayaking the Eastern Mangroves

This is a great active option that gives you a good workout as well as the chance to explore all of the little nooks and crannies, inlets and islands of the mangrove area.

Eastern Mangroves Kayaking father and daughter

One and two-person kayaks are available, making this a great option for couples or people who want to explore the water on their own. You can go it alone, or join a bigger tour group with a guide. Life jackets and dry bags are usually provided, and many providers also offer complimentary bottled water – just be sure to dispose of your bottle responsibly when you get back to the pier!

A number of companies offer kayak hire and kayaking tours around the Mangroves. You can learn more about them by clicking the links below.

Rhino Riders

You can also explore the area with Rhino Rides, which gives you the option of hiring your own speed boat. Whilst you man your own boat, you will be accompanied by an experienced guide (in another boat).

Six tours depart throughout the day, including at sunrise and sunset. There is also the option to have a picnic lunch on one of the mangrove’s many islands as part of the midday tour.

Learn more at rhinoabu.com

Take a more traditional Guided Tour

More traditional tour boats operating from Eastern Mangroves include Mangrove Adventures, who offer 1 and 2-hour cruises for up to 10 adults on comfortable modern boats as well as yachts, lounge boats and dhow-style vessels.

Husaak Adventure offers kayaking tours as well as small boat cruises. For an unforgettable experience, try Husaak’s Full Moon Kayak Tour. To find out more, click here.

Tips: remember to pack plenty of sunscreen and water to stay hydrated, and a waterproof back pack and phone case is handy!

Toilets and refreshments are available at the Eastern Mangroves development.

Other Ways to Enjoy Mangrove National Park Abu Dhabi

Take a stroll

The reopened Al Gurm Corniche stretches along the eastern coast of Abu Dhabi Island. It affords visitors an incredible view overlooking the Mangrove National Park. Granted, the busy hum of traffic will join you as it sits parallel to the busy E10 road that connects Dubai to Abu Dhabi but fear not, it’s still a really pleasant walkway with lots of fun features and educational attractions along the way.

Viewing deck along Al Gurm Corniche
Viewing deck along Al Gurm Corniche
exploring the mangroves from al gurm corniche
Enjoy the outskirts of the Mangrove National Park from the promenade

Stay the night at Anantara Resort & Spa Eastern Mangroves.

One of Abu Dhabi’s premier 5-star hotels, this is the perfect spot to stay to visit the mangroves in Abu Dhabi.

the Anantara hotel at eastern mangroves in Abu Dhabi

More Frequently Asked Questions About Mangrove National Park Abu Dhabi

What is the Mangrove National Park ticket price?

There is no entry fee. You pay for boats and kayaks only if you want to explore deeper into the mangroves. Kayak rental starts at around AED 150 for an adult for two hours but varies from company to company.

If you are visiting nearby Jubail Mangrove Park, this currently has an entry fee of AED 15, but it is important to note that it is separate from the national park and is located on Jubail Island. Learn more about Jubail Mangrove Park here.

What hours is the Eastern Mangroves open?

The Eastern Mangroves are open from early morning, but each boat company has different operating hours, which vary from season to season. Generally, boats and kayaks are available from sunrise until sunset, if pre-booked. Occasional nighttime and full moon tours are available with experienced operators.


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