New sports island a hit among UAE residents as temperature dips
On the island, cyclists can rent bicycles for Dh50 per hour.
The newest outdoor hangout spot in Abu Dhabi has been drawing crowds of sport enthusiasts as the UAE's winter weather is setting in.
A massive island spanning 3,000 acres near Al Bateen Beach, Al Hudayriat Island features a Dh184-million bridge with two loops of running and cycling tracks, measuring 5km and 10km respectively.
A project that was first announced in 2009 and took almost 10 years to be completed, Al Hudayriat Island was an outdoor leisure hub that many Abu Dhabi residents have long wished for.
Cyclists, in particular, were delighted to have a new venue where they can safely ride their bicycles as tracks were limited in Abu Dhabi and roads were often too dangerous for them.
"I love Al Hudayriat Island, mostly for its safe and huge cycling tracks," said Zainab Al Adhami. "Since the weather has cooled down a lot, my friends and I have been making our way to the cycling track more often."
On the island, cyclists can rent bicycles for Dh50 per hour. The machine also allows people to pay for the use of bicycles by cash or credit cards.
Other residents hailed it as a welcome addition to Abu Dhabi's leisure and entertainment destinations.
"Abu Dhabi has a lack of outdoor hangout areas, when compared to Dubai, but with this island opened, we now have new areas for sport and leisure," said Mohammed Al Fahim.
Enjoy the beach, too
Al Hudayriat also has a public beach that is over 600 metres long, complete with life guards ready for rescue incidents. Plenty of sun chairs line the beach and anyone may use them for free.
Kids may opt for the playground with swings, slides and learning activities, while other sports buffs can choose from four volleyball courts, five football fields, four beach football courts, and four basketball courts.
There is also an area for those who would like to jet ski, with a slipway conveniently located under the main bridge.
More sites will soon be open on the island, including mountain-bike courses, kite-surfing areas, a zip line, kayaking spots, and camping grounds. Mobile dining with various food truck facilities are also in the pipeline.
In the future, Al Hudayriat Island is set to hold world-class triathlons and most of the sporting facilities are free of charge.
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