By Rachael Funk
When you think “Abu Dhabi,” the beach might not be the first aspect of the city that pops into your mind. Sure, the capital of the United Arab Emirates might not be an obvious choice for a beach getaway, but while you’re here, you’re not going to want to miss the warm turquoise surf, the sandy shorelines, and the best places to soak up that warm Arabian sun!
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The Corniche Beach
The main promenade that runs between the city center and the Arabian Gulf Sea, The Corniche Beach is the place to be if you enjoy people watching, cycling, and a great view of the city’s skyline. This is a public beach, which means no entry fee, plus the Blue Flag Status means it’s safe for swimming!
Address: Corniche Road, Abu Dhabi
Phone: +971 2 444 0444
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Yas beach, located on Yas Island, is one of Abu Dhabi’s trendiest beaches. Access the beach either as a guest of one of the island’s seven hotels or pay about $13 for entry, towel and lounge chair included. The beach includes an outdoor gym, beach volleyball, and speedboat and mangrove tours which run all day.
Address: Yas Island, Opp Crown Plaza, Abu Dhabi
Phone: +971 56 242 0435
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The first public beach on Saadiyat Island, this beautiful spot offers guests multiple exciting facilities and activities. The name translates to “Happiness Island” and delivers in full at the beach. There, you can find yoga classes, beach loungers aplenty, and Hawksbill Sea Turtles. A small entry fee will be due upon arrival, but well worth it once your toes hit the sand!
Address: Saadiyat Island, Abu Dhabi
Phone: +971 800 8342
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Heritage Village Beach
A hidden gem across the bay from Abu Dhabi, this is a beautiful place to gaze at the city's skyline and listen to the water slap against the traditional Dhow boats. The beautiful shore is only a short walk from the charmingly recreated Heritage Village Abu Dhabi, where you can see Bedouin tents and peruse the souvenirs of the many nearby souks.
Address: Abu Dhabi Theatre Road, Corniche Brake Water، Near Marina Mal, Abu Dhabi
Phone: +971 2 681 4455
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One of the city's biggest beach clubs, you can get onto this beach by staying at Resort Beach Rotana or buying a day ticket. The entry fee gains you access to the 394-foot stretch of beach, plus the spa, sauna, massage rooms, pool, snack bar, and supervised play areas for kids.
Address: 10th Street, Al Zahiya Area, Abu Dhabi
Phone: +971 2 697 9000
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Al Bateen Beach
A great beach for more reasons than its immaculately kept grounds and its lack of entry fee, Al Bateen Beach also offers great views of Hudariyat Island! The area boasts swimmable waters, a full staff of lifeguards, family-friendly facilities, and great spots for picnicking. Don't forget your snorkeling gear!
Address: Khalifa Al Mubarak Street, Abu Dhabi
Phone: +971 52 118 1279
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This is actually a day trip from the city, but well worth the travel! You don't need to be staying on the private island to visit, but you will need to book a day pass to gain entry. Book through the hotel to get access to the most outrageous private island experience in Abu Dhabi. Water swings, jet skiing, fishing expeditions, snorkeling, swimming, surfing, lounging in the sun, and every kind of luxury your heart could desire away on Nurai Island. If you are committed to an ultimate beach experience in Abu Dhabi, this is the place to find it.
Address: Nurai Island, Abu Dhabi
Phone: +971 2 5066 222