Saadiyat Island is the spectacular home of Abu Dhabi’s fascinating cultural district. Nestled between Zayed Port and Al Jubail Island, this stunning destination is well-connected to the city’s top sights and attractions.
Embrace a life of leisure along the five-mile beachfront, lined with luxury hotels, exclusive clubs and trendy restaurants. Enjoy exhilarating water sports on the waves of the Arabian Gulf or lower the tempo and feel the sand between your toes during a beach yoga class. Then, head to the Louvre Abu Dhabi to experience the wonders of world-class art and architecture.
The island is a haven of natural beauty too, from the protected Hawksbill turtle habitats to the neighbouring mangroves. Use the elevated boardwalks to spot the native wildlife, without disturbing these incredible ecological sites.
Whether you fancy a romantic retreat or an outdoor adventure, Saadiyat Island caters to all.
The iconic soft and powder white sand on the island’s beaches. You won’t find sand like it anywhere else in Abu Dhabi.
The island’s natural beauty. If you’re lucky you might spot dolphins off the coast, while hidden Hawksbill turtles nest in the sand dunes.
With five miles of white sand and azure waters to enjoy, Saadiyat Island is the ultimate beach destination – it even has an exclusive beach club.
From world-class art at Louvre Abu Dhabi to local exhibitions and film festivals at Manarat Al Saadiyat, Saadiyat Island has it all.
Add Louvre Abu Dhabi to your itinerary and be transported through the global history of human art and innovation. The museum’s 12 galleries guide you from the first villages to the modern-day, showcasing preserved sculptures, ethnographic objects, original paintings and contemporary art installations.
Manarat Al Saadiyat hosts a captivating programme of creative workshops and exhibitions for you to enjoy. Explore the on-site art fairs, visit the latest showcase or catch an alternative film at the cinema.
Saadiyat Island is constantly adding to its list of cultural experiences, the latest being the Zayed National Museum – so keep an eye out for exciting developments.
Make the most of Abu Dhabi’s year-round sunshine with a trip to one of Saadiyat Island’s stunning beaches.
Saadiyat Public Beach offers prime access to the white sands and glittering azure waters, while Soul Beach has the Mamsha Al Saadiyat cultural district on its doorstep. Catch some rays on your very own sun lounger, then grab a bite to eat from the nearby snack bars.
For a touch of glamour, purchase a day pass for Saadiyat Beach Club. This exclusive sandy stretch features floating cabanas and spacious daybeds where you can soak up the sun, plus a stunning infinity pool for a cooling swim.
From eco-friendly water sports to championship golf, there’s plenty of activities to keep visitors of all ages entertained on Saadiyat Island.
Rent a kayak or paddleboard from the beach and venture out on the glistening Arabian Gulf. You might even meet some friendly dolphins along the way.
Golf lovers will feel at home during a visit to Saadiyat Beach Golf Club. This 18-hole course incorporates parts of the natural landscape into its design, with three saltwater lakes and sand dunes adding to the challenge. Whether you’re a beginner or pro, it’s well worth having a go.
Saadiyat Island’s five miles of sand has become a protected habitat for the critically endangered Hawksbill turtles. It’s rare to spot them as they occupy the quietest parts of the beach. Elevated boardwalks guide guests over the dunes, ensuring you won’t disturb any eggs or nesting females.
Just a 10-minute drive from Saadiyat Island on Al Jubail Island, Jubail Mangrove Park also offers a world of nature to explore. Hike along the boardwalks or kayak through the mangroves to discover Abu Dhabi’s native wildlife, including herons, flamingos and gazelle.
Where to stay
Saadiyat Island is known for its beautiful beachfront resorts. Think tranquil spas for relaxing, fitness suites for workouts and rooftop bars overlooking the Arabian Gulf.
So, whether you’re planning a group getaway or a romantic retreat, Saadiyat Island ensures a five-star stay for all. Choose a spacious suite that fits the whole family or opt for an exclusive villa with beach access.
Upon arrival at Abu Dhabi International Airport, you’ll be a 30-minute drive away from Saadiyat Island. Opt to rent a car from the airport, take a taxi or book a private transfer with Etihad Airways.
Leave the airport via Al Diyafah Street, then turn right on to Al Mireef Street and Al Rahah Street before joining the E10. Follow signs for Yas Island and take exit 34 onto Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Highway (E12). Continue for around 14 miles (22 kilometres) until you reach Saadiyat Island.
Downtown is only a 15-minute drive from Saadiyat Island. Head south-west on the Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Highway (E12), across the Sheikh Khalifa Bridge.
From here, you’ll have easy access to the Corniche, Emirates Palace, Marina Mall and Umm Al Emarat Park.
It takes around 20 minutes to drive from Saadiyat Island to Yas Island, where you’ll find Abu Dhabi’s thrilling theme parks and the popular Yas Mall.
Follow the Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Highway E12 across Saadiyat Island and Al Jubail Island, then continue straight on to Yas Island.
To get to Sir Bani Yas Island, take the E12 towards Yas Island and Abu Dhabi International Airport, then follow Sheikh Khalifa Bi Zayed International Road E11 to Al Ruwais. This journey takes around two hours and 45 minutes.
From here, follow signs to the port and take a 20-minute ferry to Sir Bani Yas Island.
An architectural marvel designed by Jean Nouvel, Louvre Abu Dhabi documents the history of human creativity through an international collection of more than 600 artworks.
This exclusive beach club on Saadiyat Island comes complete with private cabanas, globally inspired restaurants and an Instagram-worthy infinity pool.
Located in The St. Regis Saadiyat Island Resort, Sontaya showcases delicious Thai dishes in a romantic setting, surrounded by pools and palm trees, plus sea views.
If you’re planning a trip to Saadiyat Beach Club or Louvre Abu Dhabi, make sure you pre-book your tickets or day passes online to secure entry.
Most places get busier as the day goes on, particularly indoor attractions that offer a break from the afternoon sun, such as Louvre Abu Dhabi.
The best way to get around Saadiyat Island is by car or taxi. You can also organise a transfer to and from the airport with Etihad.
All of Saadiyat Island’s beaches stay open for sunset. So, find a good spot along the shore to watch the pink and orange hues reflected in the glimmering Gulf.
No, Saadiyat Island is a natural island. It used to be an uninhabited stretch of desert until it was turned into the city’s thriving cultural district. However, nearby Yas Island is man-made – it was originally part of mainland Abu Dhabi until some land was dredged to form the canal.
Tickets for Louvre Abu Dhabi cost around 60 AED for adults. Children under 13 can explore the gallery for free, while older kids and students at the UAE educational institution can enjoy half-price entry. Check the website for latest prices and to book ahead.
Louvre Abu Dhabi displays a variety of artwork in its main galleries from different eras, countries, cultures and art movements. You can see ancient Greek statues dating back to 600 BCE, alongside Chinese vases from the 8th century and 19th-century oil paintings by Impressionists like Alfred Sisley and Gustave Caillebotte.
The museum itself is a work of art, designed by Jean Nouvel. As you wander through the different galleries and exhibitions, admire the contrasts of light, concrete and water. You can even kayak around the building for a unique perspective.
Day passes at Saadiyat Beach Club cost between AED 250-375 for solo adults or AED 350-525 for couples. Children under six go free, while those aged seven to 17 will cost between AED 100 and AED 150. Visit their website for up-to-date prices.
Both Saadiyat Public Beach and Saadiyat Beach Club are open every day from 8am until sunset – so, you can get your “sun, sea and sand” fix any day of the week. Arrive early to get a good spot along the shoreline or make the most of the evening hours for sensational views of the ocean.
Spend your morning surrounded by sun, sea and sand at Saadiyat Beach Club.
The beach is open daily from 8am, so get down early to secure a prime spot along the shore. There are loungers for sunbathing, plus daybeds and private cabanas surrounding the pool.
Fancy a swim? Take a dip in the sea and spot dolphins in the distance making a splash. The stunning infinity pool is the perfect place to cool down and snap a few holiday photos too.
If you start feeling hungry, there are plenty of restaurants and lounges on-site where you can grab a bite to eat. Head to the Saadiyat Bakers Club for breakfast pastries or enjoy a freshly made smoothie under the shaded veranda.
After a morning of swimming, sunbathing and smoothies, it’s time to explore Saadiyat Island’s cultural hub with a trip to the Louvre Abu Dhabi.
The shaded setting of the museum offers a welcome break from the afternoon sun. Explore 12 galleries featuring global masterpieces, from an ancient Egyptian sarcophagus to Modernist paintings by Piet Mondrian and Edouard Manet.
There are plenty of workshops, lectures and classes to try if you fancy channelling your inner artist. You could even join an evening yoga class under the main dome.
Once you’ve had a look inside the museum, it’s time to explore outside. Book on to one of the evening kayak tours for an alternative view of the Louvre Abu Dhabi. Watch as the sun sets over the geometric dome and creates a pattern of light across the water – a truly mesmerising experience.
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All imagery provided by © Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi