Abu Dhabi’s “Bridge to Nowhere” finally goes somewhere!
In 2009, the longest cable suspension bridge in the UAE completed works. But no cars would cross the bridge for many years to come as the bridge went to what we now know as Al Hudayriyat Island was little more than a vast, desolate sand island, off the west coast of Abu Dhabi Island – nearly matching the main city island in length.
Roll the clock forward to 2020 and Al Hudayriyat is now the go-to sports and leisure destination of Abu Dhabi. A beachfront and cycling track already opened in May 2018 but now a new all-star new lineup of outdoor adventures await families and fitness enthusiasts.
The Hudayriyat Recreation Project is a 3000-hectare waterfront community known as the Hudayriyat Leisure & Entertainment District.
Connecting to the mainland at Al Bateen Beach – an extension of 19th Street – here’s what you can expect to find on the island now that much of the construction work is complete:
Bab Al Nojoum Glamping
Housing groups between two to six people in simple canvas tents through to Converted VW Vans and luxury glamping – or even enjoy a two-floor floating tent for stargazing with your own private beach!
If you’re looking to “get away from it all” while remaining close to the conveniences of town, this is the place for you.
Operated by Mawaird Hotels and Hospitality, you can see all the different accommodation choices and book your stay at Bab al Nojoum via booking.com.
Find all the top spots for glamping in Abu Dhabi Emirate here! (including the new Bab al Nojoum location in Mirfa – Western Region)
The newly opened OCR Park proudly holds the title as the UAE’s largest obstacle course – with the adult and children’s courses each containing eight obstacle challenges for endurance fitness with the latest technology
- Tickets cost 100 AED for a weekday pass or 150 AED for a weekend pass.
- Classes run daily between 6:00 am and 8:00 pm for varying fitness levels.
Learn more at www.ocrpark.com
321 Sports boasts a huge range of indoor and outdoor sporting amenities, including:
- A full-sized outdoor football pitch
- 4 basketball courts
- 4 volleyball courts
- 4 beach volleyball courts
There are also facilities for paddle tennis and badminton.
Incorporated within 321 Sports is the already opened 10km bike track, free to use, or you can rent your bikes from external providers at 321 Sports, as well as a 2km running track.
Part of the sports facilities is 321 Hub which includes a gym, bike studio, cafe and kids zone.
Guests can pay as they go for court or equipment hire, or residents may be interested in their membership packages, monthly and annual.
Learn more and make your advance bookings at 321sports.ae
Circuit X is Abu Dhabi’s newest outdoor adventure hub, offering thrilling, fun and challenging experiences for people of all ages. This one-of-a-kind adventure park features four exhilarating offerings, including a BMX Track and High Rope Park at Adventure Village and a Skate Park and Splash & Climb Park at Marsana.
Pricing at Circuit X
- BMX Track AED 40 for one hour
- High Ropes Park AED 55 for two circuits + additional features paid separately
- Splash & Climb Park AED50 for one hour
- Skate Park AED 20 AED for one hour (own board)
Further pricing and package options are available. Open seven days a week (note there are staggered aged group times for the BMX Park and Skate Park on weekends to give both big and little kids a fair go).
You can see a detailed review of Circuit X here.
Learn more and make bookings at circuitxuae.com
The Hudayriyat Heritage Trail
Operated by Mawarid Hotels and Hospitality, explore the waterfront Hudayriyat Heritage Trail to connect with nature and learn more about the historical and cultural significance of the island.
The Heritage Trail links from the adventure and Bab al Nojoum side of the island to Marsana.
Marsana is the entertainment district and waterfront promenade. From kid-friendly fast food to coffees to go, the fun and colourful beachfront dining sport can be “grab-and-go” or dine in with food truck style dining while taking on the waterside views – fun, vibrant and utterly instagrammable!
Circuit X Splash Park and Skate Park
Note that these two Circuit X parks are within the Marsana complex on the island’s western side. Both are paid activities, and booking in advance is recommended.
Book your Splash Park tickets in advance here or Skate Park tickets here
Beach and playground
The beachfront and playground at Al Hudayriyat opened during the first stage of development and remain free. There’s a 600m stretch of calm water patrolled by lifeguards with shower and toilet facilities.
The beach is open daily from 8:00 am to 7:00 pm.
New in 2022 at Marsana
We don’t have all the details yet, but we believe a new splashing feature is making its way to the Marsana beachfront for winter 2022/23! Preview here, but more coming soon!
A new mountain biking circuit, TrailX MTB, has also opened on the island with 4 levels of difficulty and 15-kilometres of track to enjoy. BYO bike or hire one from Yas Cycles or Wolfi’s.
Need to know – Planning your trip to Hudayriyat Island
How do you get to Hudayriyat Island?
Al Hudayriyat island sits to the east of the main Abu Dhabi Island. The spectacular suspension bridge to the island is an extension of Sheikh Shakhbout bin Sultan Street (19th street); you’ll find the entry at the junction of Khalifa Al Mubarak Street (Al Bateen Beach) – which is about halfway between the Abu Dhabi Corniche and the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque.
You can drive or use the dedicated cycling lanes, just don’t stop for photos even though the views back to the city skyline are spectacular.
How do you book activities at Al Hudayriyat?
All visitors at present must pre-book the new recreation facilities before driving to the island. The beach, cycling track and running track remain free on a ‘first come’ basis; they tend not to be too crowded.
All other recreation facilities must be pre-booked – as linked with the third-party providers above.
Opening Hours Al Hudayriyat Island
Al Hudayriyat is open 7 days a week.
Opening times vary by each facility, with links to the operator’s websites as stated above.
Learn more at https://www.hudayriyatisland.ae/.
Please note that updated health and safety rules set by the UAE government no longer require the presentation of the Al Hosn Green Pass to enter public spaces such as Al Hudayriyat. Individual sporting events may still have testing requirements.
More Frequently Asked Questions about Al Hudayriyat island in Abu Dhabi
There is no entry charge onto Hudayriyat island, and many of the island’s features are free to use, including the beach, bike paths and playground.
There are paid sports and leisure facilities on the island that cost extra to participate in.
For the paid facilities on Hudayriyat, you will need to contact each of the individual vendors as outlined above.
The restaurants in Marsana, Hudayriyat Island, do not serve alcohol.
Before you go… Important things to consider 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 as well as top tips for first-timers on the dos and don’ts, laws, and customs in the UAE.
- Find the latest Abu Dhabi COVID-19 Guidance here.
- 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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