Top 10 Sporting Facilities in Abu Dhabi

Tourists are flocking to Abu Dhabi from across the world due to the impressive collection of modern, state-of-the-art sporting facilities on offer. For spectators, there are year-round tournaments, from camel, horse and car racing to world-famous tennis, golf and bowling competitions. Alternatively, if you’re looking to participate, the UAE capital ticks all the right boxes, including watersports, golf, shooting and go-karting, just to name a few.For further information, read our guide on leading sporting facilities.

Remember, you can search for the best prices on flights to Abu Dhabi using the booking engine on this page, while fantastic car hire rates are available through our partner Hertz. For customised holiday packages in Abu Dhabi, including city tours, tickets to sporting attractions and hotel bookings, contact the travel specialists at Hala Abu Dhabi.

Yas Marina Circuit

Yas Marina Circuit

Often described as a ground-breaking combination of style and function, Yas Marina Circuit has been inspired by the culture and values of Abu Dhabi. The stunning facility, located in the heart of Yas Island, is home to the Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, where races are driven anti-clockwise on a 5.55km track and drivers are challenged with 21 different turns (12 left turns and nine right turns).

Other fun-filled activities at Yas Marina Circuit include karting sessions for adults and children at Yas KartZone, private driving tuitions and assessment courses to develop your skills, and behind-the-scenes venue tours.

A variety of driver and passenger experiences are also offered, allowing visitors to race across the ultra-modern circuit with vehicles such as the Aston Martin GT4, Chevrolet Camaro and Renault Sport Clio. Alternatively, to truly experience the rush of driving an open-cockpit racing car, try the Yas SuperSport SST.

Al Forsan

Al Forsan International Sports Resort

If you’re searching for adrenaline-packed action in the UAE capital, the Al Forsan International Sports Resort is highly recommended. Located in Khalifa City, the resort offers various activities for adults and children, from racing your friends on a 1.2km professional karting circuit to testing your off-road driving skills on a floodlit course.

In addition, different levels of equestrian training are available for horse riding, polo, show jumping and dressage, while paintballing fields have been enclosed in air-conditioned domes to maintain comfort even in the summer heat. The resort also includes the Gulf’s first shooting centre to combine Olympic disciplines and sporting clays with handguns and rifle ranges, plus the region’s first water cable park system, allowing you to wakeboard, water ski or knee board on the banks of a purpose-built lake.

What’s more, there’s an all-weather football and rugby pitch, separate courts for tennis, basketball and volleyball, and eight restaurants and cafes for relaxing after all that activity.

Zayed Sports City

Zayed Sports City

Marketed as the best multi-sports destination in the UAE, it’s little surprise that residents and tourists have been flocking to Zayed Sports City for over three decades.

One of the biggest highlights of the large-scale complex is Zayed Sports Stadium, which boasts a maximum seating capacity of 43,000 and has hosted events such as the FIFA Football World Youth Championships, Asian Football Cup and UAE President’s Cup Athletics. In fact, the stadium is considered such an important landmark, it even features on the AED200 bill.

Other popular attractions at the sports city include Khalifa International Bowling Centre (an advanced facility offering a total of 40 lanes), Abu Dhabi Ice Rink (an Olympic-sized facility for public skating, ice hockey, figure skating, and more, with a seating capacity of 1,200), and Abu Dhabi International Tennis Complex (boasting an ATP Standard Grand Stand Centre Court capable of hosting 5,000 spectators and six outdoor courts with an additional 1,000 seating capacity).

Abu Dhabi Golf Club

Abu Dhabi Golf Club

Are you passionate about golf? Then a visit to the Abu Dhabi Golf Club, ranked as one of the top 100 golf courses in the world by Golf World Magazine, is essential.

Located around 10 minutes from Abu Dhabi International Airport, the luxurious resort is home to the annual Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship, a European PGA Tour event that attracts thousands of spectators from across the world each year. However, aside from professional tournaments, Abu Dhabi Golf Club is open to everyone, from beginners to experts. The 27-hole championship course weaves through 400 acres of lush terrain, packed with ornamental shrubs, palm trees and seven saltwater lakes.

There’s also a retail outlet at the resort for clubs, balls, golf bags, clothing and official merchandise. Plus, don’t forget to visit the stunning Falcon Clubhouse, built in the shape of a falcon with outstretched wings, with various restaurants, leisure facilities and meeting rooms.

Al Wathba Camel Race Track

Al Wathba Camel Race Track

A much-loved tradition in the United Arab Emirates, camel racing has a dedicated following across the country, with much of the action taking place at Al Wathba Camel Race Track, around 45km east of Abu Dhabi. During the annual race season, from October to March, thousands of spectators head to the impressive venue, including tourists, local residents and even members of the ruling families.

An early start is recommended, as most races are hosted on weekend mornings from around 6.30am, although the frequency increases on public holidays. Entrance is free and there’s plenty of opportunity to watch the animals thunder across Al Wathba Camel Race Track, with as many as 15 races on a single morning. All camels have electronic jockeys on their backs, which are controlled by specially-trained handlers using a remote.

Generous prizes and cash awards worth millions of dirhams are offered to winners, especially during the Al Wathba Camel Race Festival at the end of each race season.

Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club

Initially launched as a riding centre, Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club has since developed into the ultimate destination for horse racing in the UAE capital.

The popular attraction, which is located in the Al Mushrif district, is home to world-famous events such as the National Day Cup, H.H. The President’s Cup and The Emirates Championship.

Meeting the highest international standards, its racecourse has a grassed surface (using fibreturf) and floodlights for evening races, while a circular training track is located inside the main track, with a fibresand surface. Other highlights include over 250 air-conditioned stalls for racehorses, an equine swimming pool, a state-of-the-art 5,000-seater grandstand and a show-jumping arena, where several important competitions take place, including the much-loved Abu Dhabi International Show.

What’s more, if you want to master the art of horsemanship, Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club’s riding school is one of the biggest and most successful of its kind in the region.

Saadiyat Beach Golf Club

Saadiyat Beach Golf Club

Saadiyat Beach Golf Club offers the Arabian Gulf’s first beachfront course, designed by sports legend Gary Player to accommodate everyone, from beginners to experts.

With breath-taking views of Saadiyat Island’s pristine white beaches, the facility has been developed in line with strict environment guidelines, including the creation of an aquatic habitat, introduction of saltwater lagoons, and restoration of the beach and sand dunes.

You might even come face-to-face with some of the local wildlife, such as mountain gazelles, humpback dolphins, hawksbill turtles, and a diverse range of migrating birds. Each hole at Saadiyat Beach Golf Club has its own unique character and visitors are provided a luxurious ‘member for the day’ experience, from personalised lockers and baggage tags to a friendly service with a smile.

Various products are available at the retail outlet, including eco-sensitive golfing apparel, from sustainable bamboo golf shirts to 100% environmentally-friendly golf balls, and even fully biodegradable tees.

Wadi Adventure

Wadi Adventure

With year-round sunshine in Abu Dhabi, the temperatures are ideal for water sports. And what better location to splash around than the Middle East’s first manmade facility for surfing, kayaking and whitewater rafting?

Wadi Adventure is located in the foothills of the Jebel Hafeet area, known for its extensive natural cave system and hot water springs. The complex includes a surf pool capable of making 3.3 metre high waves every 90 seconds, allowing your skills to be tested in a controlled environment with professional surf instructors.

In addition, visitors have access to three whitewater rafting and kayaking runs with a combined length of 1,133m, each providing a different experience and thrill factor. All trips include a professional guide, a short briefing on the fundamentals and essential safety information, as well as technical equipment.

Other highlights at Wadi Adventure include a rope course, climbing wall and zip line, swimming pools for adults and toddlers, and various retail and food outlets.

Al Ain Equestrian Club

Al Ain Equestrian, Shooting and Golf Club

With a focus on various different sports, there’s plenty to keep you entertained at Al Ain Equestrian, Shooting and Golf Club (AESGC). Offering a range of shooting facilities, including a 25m pistol range, 50m rifle range, 10m air pistol range and four clay shooting ranges, the club is often described as the UAE’s best in terms of ISSF (International Shooting Sport Federation) and Olympic standards.

Alternatively, if you’re passionate about horse riding, book a lesson at the equestrian centre, where all levels are covered, from learning the basics to competing at local and international horse shows.

AESGC also contains Al Ain’s first grass golf course, with an 18-hole championship course offering a picturesque and challenging experience for all visitors. And if that’s not enough, there’s a major emphasis on rugby at the club, which has dedicated teams for men, women and children, together with a popular restaurant for rugby players, local expatriates and other guests.

Yas Links

Yas Links

Yas Links is a flagship development on Yas Island, situated close to Yas Marina Circuit, Ferrari World Abu Dhabi and Yas Viceroy Hotel. Opened in 2010, it has been designed by one of the world’s leading golf course designers, Kyle Philips, and includes an 18-hole course, a nine-hole academy course and floodlit practice facilities, set against dramatic views of the Arabian Gulf.

Described as “a course that will test professionals, enthrall amateurs and excite beginners”, Yas Link has already been listed Gold World’s Top 100 Courses in the World. Other onsite highlights include the Yas Links Professional retail outlet, where visitors can purchase equipment and clothing, while the luxury clubhouse is perfect for rest and relaxation.

Measuring 5,750 square metres, the Andalucía-styled clubhouse includes two restaurants, a live sports bar, changing rooms, wet area, spa, infinity swimming pool, terraces, meeting roomsand valet parking.