Abu Dhabi’s spectacular sunshine is one of its great attractions – and Saadiyat Public Beach is one of the best places to make the most of its beautiful climate.
It can be discovered on the western edge of Saadiyat Island, looking out on the sparkling, serene waters of the Arabian Gulf – and offering a glorious stretch of warm and soft golden sand.
It’s the perfect place for honeymooners wanting a relaxing retreat, families looking for a fun location where they can spend some quality time together and those seeking to marvel at some wildlife wonders by spotting turtles and dolphins.
Whether you fancy yoga, football, water sports or more – make Saadiyat Public Beach a part of your Abu Dhabi adventure.
Saadiyat Public Beach has got a lot to offer for families – not least open spaces for you to indulge in some timeless beach pastimes such as building sandcastles, sunbathing, flying kites and throwing frisbees.
The warm water is safe and perfect for a quick dip, while the Beach House Café is an ideal spot for a lunch under the sun, with a dedicated kid’s menu that’ll please the younger members of your group.
While you can rent sun loungers, you’re also able just to bring your own towels and claim a space wherever you like. Even better, there are changing rooms and showers available so you can freshen up before the next adventure.
Ecosystem conservation is important on Saadiyat Island – and you might see hawksbill sea turtles nesting here on the public beach. A protective programme keeps the turtles safe – including boardwalks for pedestrians to safeguard their nests.
Head out into the water – whether for a swim or by boat – and you might spot some dolphins in the water. Most of these are bottlenose, but you might also spot some humpback dolphins too.
If you’re really lucky, you might even catch a glimpse of the dugong. This unusual marine mammal – called sea brides by some locals – is another protected species and is often seen from Saadiyat Public Beach.
Saadiyat Public Beach provides the opportunity for some action-packed activities – making this more than just a great spot for sun seeking or a relaxing swim.
Take to the water and try out paddle boarding, bodysurfing, kayaking, sailing and windsurfing. These are all in designated areas so you won’t disturb the dolphins and turtles – and, in fact, you might well get the chance to spot some wildlife while you’re having fun.
On the beach, head to the football pitches or beach volleyball nets for a spot of sport with friends and family. If you want to enjoy the sea views while practising your putting, the Gary Player-designed Saadiyat Beach Golf Club is nearby too.
There’s also chance to look after your mind and body with some excellent beach yoga sessions.
Based on Saadiyat’s Island’s western edge, Saadiyat Public Beach is easily reached from all parts of Abu Dhabi.
With Corniche Beach to your left, follow Corniche Street north. Take a right into Shinaf Street, then left to join the E12. You’ll cross the Sheikh Khalifa Bridge. Take the exit for Shati Al’ Sa’diyat Street, which you can follow all the way to the beach.
Leave Abu Dhabi International Airport and take Al Khaleej Al’ Arabi Street, heading right on the Al Ishoush Street slip road and then right on Al Rahah Street to join the E10, travelling north-east. Follow the E12 west until you reach Saadiyat Island. Take the exit for Shati Al’ Sa’diyat Street.
Join the E12 – the Sheikh Khalifa Highway – and head west until you reach the exit for Shati Al’ Sa’diyat Street which leads to the beach. The journey takes about 20 minutes.
The beach opens at 8am and can get busy. If you want to make sure you get a prime spot - with a lounger and umbrella - it’s best to arrive early. The beach can be especially popular on weekends and parking spaces may be at a premium.
Book a nearby hotel if you want to be able to simply stroll onto the sand at your leisure – there are plenty of options nearby.
It’s easy to forget a few essentials when heading to the beach. Happily, Saadiyat Public Beach has plenty of facilities to hand to assist you. There’s a shop full of beach-related goodies - including toys for family fun - while you can also rent towels.
You can also hire a locker to keep your belongings secure, rent a lounger and umbrella for the day, use the showers and changing rooms, and grab snacks and refreshments from the excellent beach cafe. Lifeguards are also on duty all day to ensure you and your family can have peace of mind when heading for a swim.
Yes, you can take your own food and drink to Saadiyat Public Beach. However, this doesn’t extend to cooking on the beach or having beach barbecues. There is a Beach Café, and the nearby hotels all have facilities for food and drink.
There is a charge for access to the beach. While prices may change, the cost is reasonable and includes use of the shower facilities. Under-fives get free access to Saadiyat Public Beach and there’s a reduced cost for all children. There is an all-inclusive charge at weekends that includes a sun lounger and umbrella.
The beach opens at 8am in the morning and closes at sunset (which varies depending on the time of year). The staff at the beach will be able to advise you on the day.
If you want that perfect beach experience, arrive soon after the beach opens at 8am. That way you’ve got the pick of the loungers and can find that sweet spot that’s close to the sea, cafe, showers and whatever else you’ve got planned.
The water is a lovely, refreshing temperature for a morning swim. Once you’ve explored the crystal-clear waters, kick back and relax on a sun lounger. Buried your head in a page-turning novel or just allow yourself some peace and tranquillity.
After a freshly prepared lunch at the beach cafe, take a boat trip out to explore the area’s marine marvels. Look out for dolphins and maybe even book a trip that offers you chance to dive and discover peaceful dugongs on the sea floor.
Finish with a flourish with a family game of beach volleyball.
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All imagery provided by © Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi