corniche beach with abu dhabi skyline

Corniche Beach

Abu Dhabi

All about Corniche Beach

Abu Dhabi Corniche Beach on the western side of the city is an outdoor paradise, providing endless entertainment in the open air.

The supremely maintained, lifeguarded beach is an ideal place to enjoy the weather and relax in turquoise waters and white sands. For maximum comfort, the beach is separated into areas for families, solo-travellers and groups.

Charming manicured gardens provide a backdrop to the waterfront alongside a pristine boardwalk. Get active on the cycle trails, volleyball courts and football pitches, while the kids enjoy the children’s play area.

Looking for exhilaration? Get out on the water in a rented speedboat or try your hand at snorkelling, before ending your day at the beachfront eateries.

view of abu dhabi with corniche beach view of abu dhabi with corniche beach

Reasons to visit Abu Dhabi Corniche Beach

Few cycle routes offer such stunning views as the Corniche Bike Track which runs the length of the Corniche Beach. Get all the family invigorated on the easy-going flat track reserved exclusively for cyclists.

Wind along the route dotted with palm trees, overlooking the waterside. Admire the immaculate seafront gardens as you pass by and look out for the incredible stacked bikes sculpture by Chinese artist Ai Weiwei – it’s cleverly designed to look blurry, as if it is moving.

There are lots of benches on the route for a well-deserved break and plenty of cafes and restaurants to stop at for a snack, ice cream or drink. The full 7.5-mile (12 kilometre) bike track extends from Port Zayed to Marina Mall. 

family cycling along corniche in abu dhabi

Corniche Beach is the gem of Abu Dhabi’s waterfront, overlooking the Arabian Gulf with views of Al Lulu Island.

Corniche Beach is a 30-minute drive from the airport. Head west along the E20, before joining the E10 and following signs to Corniche Beach.

You can drive to Corniche Beach in 30 minutes from Yas Island. Take the E12 towards Jazeerat Fahid and continue across Saadiyat Island. Pass over Sheikh Khalifa Bridge before following the signs for Corniche Beach.

Corniche Beach is a 20-minute drive from Saadiyat Island. Head east on the E12 across Sheikh Khalifa Bridge and continue along Corniche Road.

Things to know before you go

Corniche Beach is open to the public

The majority of Abu Dhabi Corniche Beach is open to the public, with a few areas exclusively reserved for the guests of nearby hotels.

It’s necessary to arrive equipped with towels but you are able to hire umbrellas and loungers. There are lots of nearby refreshments stands, cafes and restaurants to keep you topped up with snacks and drinks.

There is a small change fee to access some sections of the beach, which is divided to allow maximum enjoyment for those who want a bustling family area and those who want to relax.

Early morning and early evening are perfect times to visit

Make the most out of your trip to Corniche Beach by arriving early in the morning when its cooler – you’ll have more of the boardwalk, sea and sand to yourself. It gets very hot in the middle of the day, so ensure you have shade and plenty of water if you stay.

Corniche Beach offers a vibrant atmosphere in the evenings too, with lots of visitors staying after sundown. Visit in the early part of evening if you’d prefer a little peace and quiet.

Corniche Beach: FAQs

A day at Corniche Beach

corniche beach corniche beach

Sun, sea, shade and sand

Arrive early in the morning to relaxing on the cooler sands or take a run along the boardwalk before the heat and visitor numbers rise. 

Ensure you select the section of beach most suited to your party - Gate Four, with free entry, is best for couples and groups, whilst Gate Two and Gate Three are for families. Hire an umbrella and some loungers for shade and comfort.

Refreshing rests

If you’re travelling with children a trip to the play area is always a good idea, with the added bonus of shade provided by the equipment.

Select from the array of beachfront cafes and restaurants where you can enjoy a leisurely lunch and escape the midday sun. Alternatively, head to one of the nearby attractions for the afternoon and return to the beach later for an evening stroll through the sea view gardens.

corniche beach with city skyline corniche beach with city skyline

Where to next?

kayaking in the mangrove national park in abu dhabi

Mangrove National Park

Head to Mangrove National Park and kayak through an oasis of nature. Look out for dolphins, turtles and a bounty of native birds.     

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umm al emarat park

Umm Al Emarat Park

Meander through the gardens, let the children run free in the play areas or catch a spectacular performance at the outdoor amphitheatre. 

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woman walking towards beach in abu dhabi

Saadiyat Beach Club

Recline and enjoy the attentive service, soft daybeds and cooling waters of Saadiyat Beach Club. Unwind and enjoy the spectacular views.

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Flights + Hotel

All imagery provided by © Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi