man surfing

Water Sports

Abu Dhabi

All about water sports in Abu Dhabi

Whether you want scintillating solo thrills, fast-paced family fun or an unforgettable team-building exercise, a brilliant range of water sports await you in Abu Dhabi.

There’s something to suit every age and ability – from surfing big waves through to serenely gliding across the glistening waters of the Arabian Gulf – and plenty of great locations right across Abu Dhabi where you can find your perfect activity.

The UAE’s capital offers all your favourite water sports as well as plenty of chance to try something new – with a list of activities that includes white water rafting, wakeboarding, paddleboarding, kayaking and flyboarding.

Read on to discover what’s available and get ready to take to the region’s waters to explore a different side of Abu Dhabi.

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Reasons to try water sports in Abu Dhabi

Head to Al Bateen Beach for the chance to begin a jet ski adventure. Captain Sam’s Jet Ski Tours & Rentals lets you pick from a selection of top jet ski brands and head out on your own adventure. 

You can jet ski solo or share one with a partner or family member. From here you can power past the gorgeous scenery of Al Hudayriat Island, cruising by the imposing Emirates Palace Mandarin Oriental Abu Dhabi and round to the Corniche.

Its team of experts are on hand for professional tuition if you’re a newcomer – and you can even book on a tour to see Abu Dhabi’s sights from the water. Flyboards, boats and yachts can all be rented from here too.

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Abu Dhabi’s huge variety of water sport locations is one of the reasons why it’s such a great place to visit. Here’s where you’ll find three world class venues:

Al Bateen Beach is on Khalifa Al Mubarak Street, which is off Al Khaleej Al Arabi Street. Head east on this road past Zayed Sports City to join the E20 and head towards the airport.

Eastern Mangroves Marina can be found on Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Street (E10). From the E10, follow the exit for Sultan Bin Zayed The First Street and then follow signs for Dhafeer Street.

Al Forsan Sports Resort can be found at the intersection of 12th and 15th Streets in Khalifa City. The E10 runs to the north of Khalifa City, the E20 to the south.

Things to know before you go

Pack the right clothes

Getting wet is all part of the fun of water sports, so dress in – or pack – swimming clothes, as well as a change of attire if you’re planning on going somewhere afterwards. 

Providers may have towels for you to use – but check in advance just in case. 

Sunscreen and sun hats are also important, as the water can magnify the effect of the sun. 

Pick your time

If you’re planning on stand-up paddleboarding (or kayaking) among the mangroves, then try to arrange to go in the morning. Not only is the temperature cooler, but it’s also the best time to spot local wildlife. Look for a provider that offers an early start and begin with a healthy breakfast on an island. It’s a restful way to see the very best of the area.

At the other end of the day – look out for jet ski, yacht or boat tours that take to the waters at sunset. The beautiful skies will be an unforgettable backdrop to your water sports activity.

Water sports in Abu Dhabi: FAQs

A day of water sports

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Wildlife spotting

Get a head start on the rest of the tourists with an early morning paddleboard from the Eastern Mangroves Marina. The animals come out to feed amid the still of dawn, so this is your best wildlife-spotting opportunity. Go here early and you’ll have combined a sporty activity with birdwatching and marine mammal spotting before most people have risen for breakfast.

Exhilarating adventures

That gives you plenty of time for more adrenaline-fuelled fun. Get your blood pumping with some jet skiing. Book an action-packed hour where you can race across the waters and explore the city’s landmarks from afar before returning to your chosen marina for lunch.

Top off the day with your most exciting adventure yet. Flyboarding in Abu Dhabi lets you soar above the water with a jetpack that catapults you into the air. Book a session with a tutor to find out how it’s done.

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Where to next?

two people kayaking


From the wildlife amid the mangroves to the shiny modern dome of Louvre Abu Dhabi, head to the waters in a kayak for a new perspective on Abu Dhabi.

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diving underwater near coral

Diving and snorkelling

Explore the crystal-clear waters of Abu Dhabi with diving and snorkelling - you can hunt for pearls at Yas Waterworld or discover fabulous dugongs on the seabed.

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Horse Riding

Discover the Emirati passion for horses with rides and lessons. Trot through unforgettable wildlife parks or treat the kids to a pony ride they’ll treasure.

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Flights + Hotel

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