Are you considering a beach holiday in Abu Dhabi? In this guide we round up the best beaches in Abu Dhabi from the best public and private beaches to the best places to go for a private island experience.
Where to Stay For An Abu Dhabi Beach Holiday
It is surprising but for me in the contest of Dubai Vs Abu Dhabi beaches for me Abu Dhabi is the winner. If you want an Abu Dhabi Beach Holiday with access to a private beach I then I definitely recommend at staying at an Abu Dhabi Beach Resort for the duration of you Abu Dhabi stay.
The two main areas of the city where you can find beach resorts are:
- Saadiyat Island and
- Yas Island
Out of the two my personal preference is to stay on Saadiyat Island. I think this has the best beach in Abu Dhabi has on offer and you can easily walk to the beaches straight from your hotel as they are on site.
Yas Island on the other hand has a series of hotels that have access to a public beach accessible by a free hotel shuttle. As such I just find the beaches at Saadiyat more convenient as they are beach resorts and are some of the most beautiful places in Abu Dhabi in my opinion. However if you want to add more to your Abu Dhabi Itinerary than just the beach and want to also be in walking distance to theme parks and malls then Yas Island might be convenient for you.
My top picks for a beach resort on Saadiyat Island are:
However these do tend to be pricier than their Yas Islands counterparts therefore if budget is a concern I would consider one of the below Yas Island Hotels:
The Emirates Palace Hotel also right in the centre of the city and one of Abu Dhabi’s most luxurious hotels also has a beach and for those that want a more Maldives style experience you could consider staying at Zaya Nurai.
However even if you don’t stay at a beach resort there are plenty of beaches to visit in the city.
Best Beaches in Abu Dhabi
Saadiyat Island – Best Beaches Abu Dhabi has on offer?
Of all the places in Abu Dhabi for me Saadiyat Islands is home to the best beaches in Abu Dhabi. The great thing about Saadiyat Island is that there is a combination of public and private beaches.
Saadiyat Public Beach
The public beach on Saadiyat Island is great for those on a budget. The Saadiyat Island Public Beach fee is as low as 26AED for adults. However on Saadiyat Island you are not permitted to bring on your own umbrellas, tents, chairs etc. so that fee literally just allows you to out a towel on the sand. However there is an all inclusive rate which includes use of sun lounges extra for 52AED for adults on a weekday and for around 80AED at a weekend.
Children are also required to purchase a reduced rate entrance fee of around 15AED and is required for children aged 6-14.
There is also a cafe near the entrance of the beach where you can purchase food and drinks.
Saadiyat Island Beach Club
This is my number one place to spend time at the beach in Abu Dhabi. Saadiyat Island is a private members club but they also have day passes that Abu Dhabi Holiday makers can use or if you are a resident you could consider a membership or Privilee Beach Membership (our review of the Privilee Membership is here but please check current participants)
At the Saadiyat Beach Club you will have access to sun loungers and towels on the beach where there is also usually a lifeguard present but also have access to an amazing infinity pool and a kids pool.
There are also restaurants on site and beach bar service as well as indoor changing rooms with spa.
As always prices are cheaper on a weekday to a weekend. The entrance prices are:
Weekday: Single: AED 250 Couple: AED 350
Weekend: Single: AED 375 Couple: AED 525
Please note the round pool beach beds are an additional charge.
Saadiyat Island Beach Hotels
The following hotels on Saadiyat Island all have beaches:
Some may offer day passes at their discretion but please check with the hotel for details and availability before arrival.
The Corniche Beach might be most convenient for those staying in downtown Abu Dhabi. The Beach itself is actually split into three distinct areas:
- Al Sahil – For Singles and Groups
- Gate 2 – Family and Quiet Beach
- GAte 3 – A family beach particularly great for kids.
As this beach is in the centre of Abu Dhabi it is surrounded by loads of amenities such as children’s playgrounds, cafes and sporting facilities such as outdoor gyms.
This is a great beach for those that want to be in the centre of things and perhaps only wants to spend a few hours on the beach with a great view of the Abu Dhabi skyline at the same time.
This is also great for those on a budget as it only costs 10AED for Adults and 5AED for kids over 5. There is an additional charge for sun loungers.
Note: The corniche Beach is man made.
Hotel with Private Beach on Abu Dhabi Corniche: If you want to stay in the Corniche Area in a hotel with a private beach then you could consider staying at The Sheraton.
Yas Island Public Beach
The Yas Island Public Beach is completely free for those staying at one of the Yas Island hotels just be sure to collect your voucher from your hotel reception before going as this is how you will be admitted and provided with a complementary sun lounger. The Yas Island Hotels include:
However you can still use the public beach at YAs Island even if you are not a resident. The Yas Beach entrance fees for non Yas Island Hotel guests are:
Week Ticket: Adults AED 50, Kids AED 25 (aged 8-16 )
Weekend Ticket: Adults AED 100, Kids AED 50 (aged 8-16)
during the week, and AED 100 for adults and AED 50 for children during.
There are facilities such as toilets, showers and cafes on site but I always recommend carrying water with you wherever you go in the Middle East.
Zaya Nurai – best beach to go in Abu Dhabi?
If you are looking for a truly luxurious beach in Abu Dhabi then consider a day trip over to Zaya Nurai private Island. To get to Zurai Nurai hope on a speedboat from Saadiyat Island and after a short 10 minute ride through mangroves (in Winter you might see flamingoes on your journey) you arrive on the paradise island of Zaya Nurai.
I have ofter said this is the closest you can get to a Maldives experience in Abu Dhabi. There are two main beaches on Zaya Nurai a family beach and one I would consider more a party beach with beach bar and instagram hot spots. There are also a couple of pools on site and you can switch between all of these during your visit.
There are also several restaurants on site but we always head to the Lebanese restaurant that overlooks the dock.
If you are not staying on Zaya Nurai you can go on a day trip but be sure to ring the hotel in advance as the numbers are capped to maintain luxury and exclusivity. Book early to avoid disappointment.
Best of the Rest Beaches in Abu Dhabi
We tended to stick to the above whenever we wanted a beach day in Abu Dhabi but there are a few more beaches we never tried including:
- Al Bateen Beach on Hudairiyat Island
- Mifra beach in Al Dhafra
What do you think is the best beach to go in Abu Dhabi?
FAQs about Abu Dhabi Beaches
Can you swim in Abu Dhabi beaches?
The sea isn’t very deep just off the shore at Abu Dhabi beaches. I personally find it easier to swim in pools in Abu Dhabi though often take a dip in the sea. As a Western Woman I personally enjoy the private beaches or public beach on Saadiyat best.
For more information on the Abu Dhabi dress code click here!