Lace up your sneakers and get ready for action – Abu Dhabi is an open-air playground waiting to be explored. Let’s get active!
We did the research for you and here’s a round-up of some of the best outdoor activities in Abu Dhabi.
Embark on a cycling adventure
Cyclists are spoiled for choice in Abu Dhabi, where miles of designated cycle tracks along the coast and in the endless desert provide great and safe ways to explore Abu Dhabi. All of these tracks offer bike rental for adults and kids. November to May are the best months for cycling weather. The remainder of the year is a bit more arduous due to the heat, so wait until after 6pm to go on your escape. So, slip into your lycra outfit and get pedalling! Here are some suggestions for the best cycle tracks:
- Corniche bike track; a leisurely, scenic drive along the coast
- Al Hudayriat Island track; a sea view track on an island
- Al Wathba Desert cycle track; a loop desert track
- Qasr Al Sarab tour; dune cycling with fat bikes through the Empty Quarter
- Fairmont pedal power; a Mercedes bike ride through the city
- Yas Marina Circuit; night cycling on the original Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Track
Hike up Jebel Hafit
This hike takes you to the beautiful area around Al Ain and up the slopes of the mountain Jebel Hafit with open views of the desert and the green oasis town of Al Ain. The total distance is 8.4 km and it takes about 3-4 hours to complete. The route grade is moderate and suitable for families and kids.
Get active in the desert
Contrary to common belief, there are loads of activities to get into in the desert, whether you want to break a sweat or just discover the desert at a leisurely pace. You can go dune bashing in a 4WD jeep, quadbike riding, dune buggy riding, sand boarding or camel riding. Various safari companies can arrange a single activity or a full desert safari with tasters of a little bit of everything.
To experience the true wilderness of the Empty Quarter, saddle up and gallop into the world’s largest desert with a local guide, and learn the secrets of the silent dunes. In addition to horse riding, Qasr Al Sarab also organizes archery, fat bike rides and camel trekking in the desert.
Get your swing on
Abu Dhabi Golf Club, in Khalifa City, is home to a 27-hole championship course and a par-36, nine-hole garden course. Thanks to state-of-the-art floodlights, you can play after the sun goes down. Besides golf, the club offers family-friendly dining options, social events and leisure activities in evenings.
Yas Links Abu Dhabi, on Yas Island, features a Kyle Phillips designed 18-hole golf course and a fully floodlit 9-hole par-3 course as well as practice facilities for all abilities. The clubhouse is set alongside the water’s edge and houses two restaurants.
Saadiyat Beach Golf Club is the region’s first ocean golf course. The Gary Player designed 18-hole championship course and top of the range practice facilities ensure an unparalleled golfing experience with views of the Arabian Gulf.
Al Forsan International Sports Resort
Head to Khalifa City and you can sample a variety of motorsports, water sports, shooting, archery, paintball, football, basketball, volleyball and tennis. There is also a riding school with 165 air-conditioned stables. In addition, the sports resort features the region’s first water cable park. The cables travel between 29-35 km/h, pulling you around the lake on either wakeboard, knee board or water ski.
At the Nation Riviera Beach Club, St Regis, you can try a variety of sports, including scuba diving. They offer scuba diving courses, open water diving courses as well as an advanced diving course where you dive at night and explore shipwrecks.