10 things to do on Saadiyat Island, UAE’s hidden gem of pristine beaches, wildlife

Take advantage of the great weather over the weekend to enjoy time with family and friends


A Staff Reporter

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Published: Fri 27 Jan 2023, 3:02 PM

Last updated: Fri 27 Jan 2023, 4:43 PM

Saadiyat Island, the hub of Abu Dhabi’s cultural scene, has captivating natural surroundings, pristine white sandy beaches, world-class resorts and museums too.

Located a short drive from Abu Dhabi’s downtown, and 20 minutes from Abu Dhabi International Airport, the Capital’s leading beach destination offers enriching experiences. The weather over the weekend is perfect to enjoy your time with family and friends.

Here is a list of what visitors can expect from the island:

Soak in the sun on beaches

With expansive white sand beaches, Saadiyat Island is the perfect place to relax by the tranquil, turquoise waters of the Arabian Gulf. One the best beaches in the UAE can be accessed via a wood boardwalk in order to protect the beach’s native wildlife including hawksbill turtles. Saadiyat Beach Club offers guests access to a private beach. Then there are newly opened Kai Beach and Soul Beach with amazing ambience.

Unwind at one of the hotels

Book a weekend getaway at Saadiyat Island and have your pick from a plethora of hotels on the island. Expect lush greens, tranquil turquoise beaches and time away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Choose from Jumeirah at Saadiyat Island Resort, Park Hyatt Abu Dhabi Hotel and Villas, Rixos Premium Saadiyat Island, Saadiyat Rotana Resort and Villas, The St Regis Saadiyat Island Resort and Nurai Island.

Immerse yourself in culture

Set in the heart of Saadiyat Island’s Cultural District, Manarat Al Saadiyat is a place and space for creative artistic expression. Visitors can experience a whole range of cultural activities, from interactive exhibitions, art classes and community events to performances, workshops and film screenings, all year round.

Visit the iconic Louvre Abu Dhabi

Saadiyat Island is the home to the first international outpost of the iconic Louvre Abu Dhabi. With stunning architecture and a thought-provoking collection, the Louvre Abu Dhabi has been described as ‘one of the seven wonders of the urban world’.

Explore the restaurants and cafes

Foodies will be spoilt for choice at Mamsha Al Saadiyat, a beachfront community with a wide array of restaurants and cafes stretching across a beautiful promenade with breath-taking views of the Arabian Gulf.

Rejuvenate with wellness offerings

Saadiyat Island is an iconic wellness destination, offering premium yoga and wellness offerings. The spas across Saadiyat Island are an innovative, all-encompassing collective of health, fitness, and beauty. Witness a unique blend of sophistication and quality services with authentic, honest and genuine care.

Marvel at the wonderful wildlife

Saadiyat Island is a protected haven for wildlife and marine life. The island is home to an abundance of beautiful animals, including Arabian gazelles, which are often spotted roaming around Saadiyat Beach Golf Club. If you’re lucky you might spot a Hawksbill turtle which seasonally nests on Saadiyat’s pristine beach. By the beach, beautiful bottlenose dolphins make frequent appearances at the beach. A kaleidoscope of vibrant birds can be seen flying the skies across the island.

Take a swing at golf club

The Par 72 Saadiyat Beach Golf Club is the Gulf’s first beachfront golf course, offering golfers an unparalleled experience with views of the glistening Arabian Gulf. The meandering, 18-hole, eco-conscious golf course has been designed with amateurs and professionals in mind ensuring that everyone, regardless of their skill, can experience this stunning golf course.

Stay at Nurai Island

Located a mere 15-minute boat ride away from the shores of Saadiyat Island, Nurai Island is the ultimate luxury hideaway. The boutique private island resort offers a piece of paradise with a world-class oceanside spa, fine-dining and casual restaurants, a beach club, and a calendar of exceptional activities on land and sea.

Unleash your inner model

With its exquisite natural landscape and stunning architecture, Saadiyat Island makes the perfect backdrop for a photoshoot session for those seeking beautiful wedding photographs or simply wishing to capture lasting memories against turquoise seas and white beaches.


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