Kayaking in Abu Dhabi helps you discover the UAE capital’s natural wonders – while making the most of its waterfront location and year-round sunshine. It’s an activity that combines exercise with sightseeing, and is perfect for solo travellers, couples on a romantic holiday and active families.
You get to set the pace too. Take things slow by gliding peacefully through the native mangroves – pausing to spot wildlife and take some great pictures as you go. Or, if it’s an adrenalin rush that you’re after, try out white water kayaking for high octane fun.
Professional companies and providers are on hand to help beginners, look after your safety and guide you through scenic courses.
Kayaking through Abu Dhabi’s mangroves is an activity that every visitor should put on their to-do list. It’s a peaceful way to spot wildlife while enjoying Abu Dhabi’s warm climate and spectacular landscape.
Noukhada, based at the Eastern Mangroves Marina, offers a wide range of kayak experiences, including eco, island, full moon and even overnighter tours, where you’ll sleep in a tent on a peaceful desert island.
You’ll discover the peace of the mangroves, the dappled light on the water as you pass the impressive trees, while keeping an eye out for turtles, flamingos, sea snakes and animals, like gazelles, grazing on the islands.
Take to a kayak to discover Abu Dhabi’s great landmarks from the water. The Louvre Abu Dhabi hosts a world-class collection inside its galleries, but its exterior is a masterful piece of art in its own right – and hiring a kayak is a great way to appreciate it.
Experienced provider Sea Hawk runs hour-long kayak tours from this attraction. You’ll get instructions and a safety briefing before heading off. The cost includes all the equipment you need including a life jacket, drinking water and a fruit salad.
Children aged over six are welcome too, although under-12s must be accompanied by an adult. For an extra special experience, book a full moon tour or rise early to see the sun come up over Louvre Abu Dhabi on an early morning kayak tour.
Those in search of a kayaking experience that gets the heart racing should make their way to Wadi Adventure at Al Ain.
This exceptional water adventure park has brilliant facilities covering everything from wakeboarding to surfing as well as splash and swimming pools for families. Kayakers are in for a special treat here – with the chance to test their skills with some white water action on 1,100 metre long channels.
There are channels for beginners and the opportunity for lessons if you need to get up to speed. Pros can skip straight to the most challenging channels and set about navigating the thrilling choppy waters that await.
Whether it’s at Al Ain, the Corniche or in Mangrove National Park, kayaking is an unforgettable Abu Dhabi experiences. Here’s where to find some of the key locations.
The marina is just off the E10 – Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Street. From the E10, take the exit for Sultan Bin Zayed The First Street and then take Dhafeer Street.
Louvre Abu Dhabi is situated on Saadiyat Island. Whether you’re coming from Downtown Abu Dhabi or Yas Island, you’ll want to take the E12 and leave it for Jacques Chirac Street. The museum and its parking will be on your left.
Wadi Adventure is in Al Ain, about an hour and 40 minutes east of Abu Dhabi by road. You’ll follow the Abu Dhabi – Al Ain Road (E22) for most of the journey.
Whether you’re a novice or a seasoned pro, there’s always a valuable briefing before you take to the waters in a kayak. These sessions go over the basics and cover any specifics for your provider – such as how to contact your tour guide if you have a query. These useful briefings will be run by professionals who can answer any questions you might have, leaving you free to take to the waters safely, with complete peace of mind.
If you have a passion for kayaking, you might wish to use your own equipment. This is perfectly possible for some of the tours on offer in Abu Dhabi – and also at Wadi Adventure for those interested in some white water kayaking. If you do wish to do so, you should check in advance to see if a provider is happy for you to bring your own equipment. Your kayak will usually be subject to a safety check when you arrive.
From short hires of a couple of hours through to overnight tours, you get to choose how long you want to be on the water in Abu Dhabi. If you head over to Al Ain and Wadi Adventure you’ll start with a 30-minute instruction session, followed by an hour on the water.
Safety wear will be provided when you go kayaking in Abu Dhabi – so you just need to go in appropriate swimwear. Take waterproof shoes, and perhaps a change of clothes if you plan on going somewhere else after. If taking your phone or camera, consider a waterproof case or bag.
Yes. While some providers will have walk-in slots and cancellations on the day, it’s always advisable to book ahead online to get guaranteed access.
Book a dawn kayaking session for a beautiful way to start the day. You can start from Louvre Abu Dhabi and watch the sun rise over its beautiful domed structure.
The morning is also a wonderful time to explore Mangrove National Park. Head there next and you’ll still be in good time for great opportunities to see marine mammals and an array of birds.
After a relaxing lunch, drive out to Al Ain and Wadi Adventure, for some white water kayaking. Negotiate the rapids of your chosen lane, then explore the rest of the water park here, with surfing, rafting and aerial adventures on ziplines too.
You can refuel after your action-packed afternoon by stopping by Surf Café, with a tasty selection of burgers, curries and pasta dishes are on the menu.
Wakeboarding, paddle boarding, jet ski riding and much more are all in your sights during an action-packed Abu Dhabi adventure.
Dive underwater to discover reefs and the amazing underwater world, home to marine animals like dugongs, a unique sea mammal.
From the graceful arc of public beaches to private clubs with pools and loungers, you’ll love the soft sand and welcoming water of Abu Dhabi.
All imagery provided by © Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi