Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is located on an island in the Persian (Arabian) Gulf, has a perfect balance of cultural heritage and modern infrastructure. This city has many world records – the World’s largest hand-loomed carpet, the highest High Tea, the tower with the greatest lean, the fastest roller coaster, the largest cluster of the cultural building of the 21st century. This time, I will showcase some unique, hidden natural gems in Abu Dhabi. Abu Dhabi is also blessed with amazing diverse nature and therefore you can explore many new nature attractions in Abu Dhabi – perfect picnic places. Let’s take a virtual tour on unique things to do in Abu Dhabi, UAE for a perfect weekend trip with your family and friends.
New Nature Attractions in Abu Dhabi – Perfect Picnic Places
Saadiyat Public Beach
Distance from Abu Dhabi City Center – 22 min (17.9 km) via Abu Dhabi – Al Falah Rd/Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed St/Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Hwy/E12. Click here for Google Map Co-ordinates.
One of the best beaches in Abu Dhabi with a wide stripe of white sand beach. The amazing beauty of white sand with blue waters and shore grass makes it very unique beach in UAE. To protect natural habitat raised wooden boardwalks are made for approaching the beach. The pristine white sands stretching out along the roaring waves of the Persian Gulf, it becomes the most desirable place for beach lovers. A perfect place to relax, unwind away from city life and get perfect sunshine.
TIP – Changing facilities and chair rentals are available.
ENTRANCE – Adults can enter the beach for AED 25. Children are granted entry for AED 15. Opens from 08:00 am to sunset. The beach is open throughout the week.
Things to do at Saadiyat Public Beach –
- Beach yoga classes
- Eco-friendly watersports activities such as windsurfing and sailing, with attentive staff.
- Dine at Beach Club
Al Wathba Fossil Dunes
Distance from Abu Dhabi City Center – 39 min (48.8 km) via Abu Dhabi – Al Ain Truck Rd/Al Rawdah Rd/E30. Click here for Google Map Co-ordinates.
These unique formations were shaped over the years by the forces of nature. They were created by a mix of powerful winds, eroded sediments, sand and time. These formations are made by wind-swept sand and then permeated with calcium carbonate which formed a harder form. So these structures are very distinct, varied, and abstract structures.
ENTRANCE – Free of Cost but do not touch these structures. Littering around and touching fossils are strictly prohibited
Things to do at Al Wathba Fossil Dunes
- Picnic during early morning hours
- Evening Camping
- Sunset with dunes.
- Perfect Photoshoot location
Al Wathba Salt Lake
Distance from Abu Dhabi City Center – 40 min (50.6 km) via Abu Dhabi – Al Ain Rd/E22 Click here for Google Map Co-ordinates.
One of the most trendy, viral destination on social media. Long salt lake found alongside Al Ain highway which is close to Al Bihouth is becoming the new sensation for photogenic location in Abu Dhabi. The most unique feature of this place is crystal clear waters and mushroom-like stacks of sodium chloride. This lake is scattered with salt flats or ‘sabkha’, which result due to geographical product of a hot climate and coastal location.
TIP – There’s a little off-roading involved so travelling in an SUV with four-wheel drive is highly recommended. It is located in the direction of Fossil Dunes.
ENTRANCE – Free
Things to do at Al Wathba Salt Lake
- Wander around and enjoy the beautiful nature.
- Admire the geographical and natural wonder.
- Perfect for photo-shoots
Al Wathba Wetland Reserve
Distance from Abu Dhabi City Center – Take the E22 Abu Dhabi-Al Ain road and then connect with the E30 Abu Dhabi-Al Ain Truck Road, then follow signs for the reserve. Click here for Google Map Co-ordinates.
Once upon a time this region was a coastal salt flat (sabkha), but now flourished into natural and man-made lakes that attracts Abu Dhabi’s species to thrive. Great spot to spot Greater Flamingos – with as many as 4,000 living there during autumn and spring. Not only flamingos but this regions also hosts more than 250 species of birds, 37 plant species and a wide range of aquatic life. There are two self-guided walking trails (1.5 kms or 3 kms) for visitors to explore and a bird-watching hide to observe the flamingos.
ENTRANCE – Free
TIP – Al Wathba Wetland Reserve is open to the public Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays Fridays and Saturdays every week, from 8am until 6pm. Some precautionary measures are required due to Covid which you can check on their official website.
Things to do at Al Wathba Wetland Reserve
- Spot various species
- Go for self-guided walking trails
- Spot large number of flamingos at one place – unique in UAE
- Nature wildlife photography
Al Hudayriat Island Beach
Distance from Abu Dhabi City Center – 12 min (7.0 km) via Mohammed Bin Khalifa St and Shakhbout Bin Sultan St. Click here for Google Map Co-ordinates.
Hudayriyat Island is a natural haven where once upon a time Arabian pearl divers called home. Now transformed into one of the Emirate’s most thrilling sporting destinations. It extends over 24,000 sq. meters, with 600 meters of the big open area dedicated to swimming.
ENTRANCE – Free
Things to do at Al Hudayriat Island Beach
- 361 Sports Village Bike Park,
- Circuit X,
- Cycling track,
- Fenix Life,
- Hudayriat Beach,
- OCR Park,
- Food trucks,
Jubail Mangrove Park
Distance from Abu Dhabi City Center – 22 min (22.1 km) via Abu Dhabi – Al Falah Rd/Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed St/Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Hwy/E12. Click here for Google Map Co-ordinates.
Abu Dhabi’s Mangrove Walk at Jubail Mangrove Park recently opened in 2020 and became one of the most popular attractions in the city with nature lovers. It is a perfect beautiful nature escape away from busy city life. During high tides, you can spot aquatic wildlife and even many birds.
TIP – Try to arrange your trip during high tides as during low tides, there would be less water and so minimum marine life. Pre-packed food items are not allowed inside. There is a café on site selling hot drinks and some food.
ENTRANCE – For adults the admission charge is Dhs15, Dhs10 for children under the age of 18 and free for children under seven. Family discounts are available. You need to book your slots on their official website as slots get filled very fast and they allow small amount of people at one time. To preserve ecology of the region, small groups are only allowed with prior reservations.
Things to do at Jubail Mangrove Park
- Stroll across mangroves through any one of the three pathways to walk, the longest covers a distance of 2km and the shortest is 1km.
- Spot wildlife
- Step on floating platform and spot under water marine life.
- Kayaking tours
- E-Canoe experience
- Kayaking Night Glow tour
- SUP Experience
- Walking experience with Ranger
Al Shati Lake Abu Dhabi
Distance from Abu Dhabi City Center – 43 min (60.7 km) via Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan St/E10. Click here for Google Map Co-ordinates.
Hidden gem of Abu Dhabi which not many people know about it. Peaceful beach with swaying palm trees. A perfect place to witness amazing sunset.
ENTRANCE – Free
Things to do at Al Shati Lake
- Viewing Sunset
I would love to know about your favorite New Nature Attractions in Abu Dhabi – Perfect Picnic Places. As Abu Dhabi has many wonderful natural attractions, keep exploring hidden gems. Nature lovers, marine wildlife lovers, and adventure enthusiasts would truly love these hidden gems in Abu Dhabi. Let me know your experience on unique things to do in Abu Dhabi on weekends.
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So, until then KEEP TRAVELING……………… KEEP EXPLORING……………………………………………………
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