Abu Dhabi is an archipelago made up of over 200 islands, many of which are accessible to visitors. Each island has something special to offer and whether you’re on a solo trip or travelling with the family, myriad discoveries await. So, let’s go island hopping.
This is a fun, family-friendly entertainment island with activities galore, just a 30-minute drive from the city of Abu Dhabi. It’s the perfect place to bring the kids, from toddler to teenager, for a fun-filled holiday by the sea. YAS Island is home to an array of attractions including a Formula1 racetrack, an 18-hole championship golf course, a marina and world-class theme parks and water parks including Warner Bros. World, Ferrari World, Yas Waterworld and CLYMB, an indoor climbing and skydiving center. Here’s your check list:
- Yas Marina Circuit, the F1 racetrack
- Ferrari World Abu Dhabi
- Yas Waterworld
- Warner Bros Abu Dhabi
- Yas Links golf course
- W Abu Dhabi Hotel
- Yas Beach
- Yas Marina
- Yas Mall
This island is dedicated to art, culture, beaches, hotels and a golf course. Ringed by white sand beaches and clear blue water, Saadiyat Island feels like a tropical island. This is where you will find some of Abu Dhabi’s finest beaches, and the nests of the critically endangered Hawksbill sea turtles. Also located here is French architect Jean Nouvel’s monumental masterpiece Louvre Abu Dhabi, the first outpost of the legendary Parisian art museum, and the Manarat Al Saadiyat cultural space.
- Louvre Abu Dhabi
- Manarat Al Saadiyat arts and cultural center
- Saadiyat Beach Golf Club
- Saadiyat Beach Club
- Saadiyat Public Beach
- Guggenheim Abu Dhabi (under construction)
- The Sheikh Zayed National Museum (under construction)
Sir Bani Yas Island
A conservation park and protected wildlife reserve, Sir Bani Yas Island is home to 17,000 free-roaming animals such as the Arabian oryx, gazelles, giraffes and cheetahs. Here you can go on a guided safari into the Arabian Wildlife Park, spend the night at one of the island’s luxury lodges, go for wildlife walks or explore the wadis on a mountain bike. The ancient island is also home to the UAE’s only discovered Christian monastery, dating back to around 600AD, as well as state-of-the-art stables, offering horse riding and lessons for the whole family.
Zaya Nurai Island
A quick boat ride off the shores of Abu Dhabi lies the secluded Zaya Nurai Island, a little piece of paradise. This private island is home to a luxury resort with villas and beachfront retreats, all with private pools and butlers, an oceanside spa and a calendar of exceptional activities on land and on sea. There is a variety of dining options, all of which serve local, authentic produce, and where possible, sustainably sourced from the island’s own kitchen garden. If you book a table here, boat transfers will be included.
Al Maryah Island
This upmarket island is ideal for sybarites. The island houses several up-scale hotels with dramatic sea views and the Galleria shopping centre with more than 400 shops.
Inhabited for over 7,000 years, and one of the Arabian Gulf’s most important historical pearl-diving centres, the historical Delma Island boasts some of the region’s earliest evidence of date-palm cultivation, along with Mesopotamian pottery and stone tools. You can get to Delma Island by ferry from Jebel Dhanna.