Set just outside Abu Dhabi’s main hub, Eastern Mangrove Lagoon National Park is a scenic escape of luscious mangrove trees and calming channels of water.
Guests can walk along the boardwalk among the shelter of the magnificent mangroves, or book a kayak to move through the waterways. Get an even closer look at the wildlife that resides here, from colourful birds to turtles and dolphins.
Mangrove National Park isn’t just a serene spot to spend the afternoon – it’s also a crucial contributor to the city’s atmosphere and environment. Mangrove trees both protect the coastline from tidal surges and remove carbon dioxide from the air. 75% of the country’s mangroves are found in this tranquil park.
Visit the Environment Agency, Abu Dhabi for more information about this wonderful habitat.
Mangrove National Park is a sanctuary for some of Abu Dhabi’s brightest birds and marine life. Take your camera for a chance to capture the diverse wildlife in its natural habitat.
Travelling by kayak is the best way to spot these beautiful creatures, with around 60 species of birds calling this diverse habitat home. Traverse the various channels with your eyes on the shallow banks to spot herons and flamingos along the water’s edge.
There are also mottled crabs, turtles and tropical fish residing in the waterways, so have your camera at the ready. If you’re really lucky, you might even catch a dolphin or dugong in the deeper parts of the park.
The massive mangroves themselves also make for great camera subjects, with some reaching up to 15 feet in height.
You can explore the wide reaches of the park on foot, but this will only take you so far. To fully immerse yourself in the biodiversity of Mangrove National Park, you should take to the waters, whether by boat, kayak or paddleboard.
You can either book onto a boat or kayak tour, or rent the equipment and set out yourself. However, if you’re a kayak novice, we recommend the tour as it’s easy to get lost among the sprawling mangroves.
Once you’re on the water, the city will be a distant memory as you’re encompassed by mangrove trees and local wildlife. Manoeuvre through the weaving channels and immerse yourself in nature for a truly unique experience just minutes from the city.
A boat tour through the mangroves is a great way to show the whole family the importance of nature on our health and wellbeing. Sit back and relax while a tour guide takes you through the winding pathways and explains how the mangrove ecosystem works.
Another fun way to spend some quality time together among the soothing sounds of nature is with a donut boat. These shaded eco boats fit six adults or four adults and four children, with a handy table in the centre for all your snacks and drinks.
You can rent kayaks or canoes for an active family adventure. With both single and two-person kayaks, the whole family will love spending an afternoon exploring the various waterways together.
Mangrove National Park is just off Al Salam Street to the east of the city centre, close to the Anantara Hotel.
Head on Corniche Road along the coast then join the E10 inland following the signs for the airport. The park will be on your left, but you’ll need to continue on the E10 to loop around.
At the airport you’re only 20 minutes away from the park. Join the E20 towards the city to merge onto the E22 and E10 to your destination.
This national park is around 30 minutes from Saadiyat Island via the E12 and E10. Cross over Sheikh Khalifa Bridge and take in the spectacular views of the water before heading inland.
Mangroves are an important part of the UAE’s ecosystem and Abu Dhabi’s coastline. Not only do they create the perfect habitat for lots of different wildlife to thrive, but they also work as a natural windbreaker from tidal waves.
On top of all this, mangroves also remove carbon dioxide from our air, helping to limit the effects of global warming.
Mangrove National Park holds around 75% of the total mangrove forestry in the United Arab Emirates and is protected by the Environment Agency Abu Dhabi (EAD). So there’s nowhere better to see these beautiful, beneficial trees and shrubs.
Eastern Mangrove Lagoon National Park spans seven square miles (19 square kilometres) of narrow waterways and luscious mangroves, so you will need a few hours of exploring. For this reason, it’s important to take plenty of water with you to keep yourself hydrated.
The mangroves also don’t provide much shade from the Abu Dhabi sunshine, with the highest mangrove only reaching around 15 feet. While the donut boats and cruises offer a shady spot, kayaks and canoes don’t. If you’re planning on renting a kayak, remember to take a hat and sunglasses and keep your skin topped up with sunscreen.
Entry is free at Mangrove National Park. This includes access to the boardwalk and promenade, which features a variety of cafes and restaurants.
However, if you wish to venture further than the boardwalk, you will need to pay to rent a kayak or purchase a boat tour to access the water.
If you’re planning to explore the park by kayak, the best time to go is at high tide. This is when the narrower channels open up, giving you more to explore.
Those planning on exploring the boardwalk should do so early as this walkway can soon become busy with tourists and locals alike looking for a breath of fresh air.
Mangrove National Park is open every day of the week, from 10am until 12am.
The opening times of the rental companies and tour agencies may differ. Get in contact with the company or visit their website for more information.
Arrive at Mangrove National Park bright and early to wander the boardwalk. This quiet spot is perfect for soaking up the views of the luscious mangroves.
Once you’ve had a glimpse of what this amazing park can offer, head back to the promenade for a bite to eat at one of the many cafes and restaurants.
After lunch, head to the rental centre and book your kayak or canoe rental for a few hours on the water. Paddle through the narrow channel ways among the sprawling mangroves and have your camera ready to snap the various wildlife.
For a more relaxing way to spend the remaining afternoon, stock up with supplies for a picnic and rent a donut boat. These shaded boats are electric driven, so you can cruise down the waterways and find the perfect spot to watch the sun set.
Explore another oasis of calm in Abu Dhabi at Umm Al Emarat Park. Wander the gardens, catch a show at the amphitheatre and meet the animals.
This haven just hours from the city offers a unique look into the region’s traditional agriculture. Walk among the shaded canopy of date palms and fruit trees.
Find fun for the whole family at Corniche Beach. Splash in the cool tranquil waters, relax in the gardens or cycle along the boardwalk.
All imagery provided by © Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi