Al-Hudayriat beach is located on Abu Dhabi Island, some 45 kilometers away from the Abu Dhabi International Airport. It has white sand that stretches along the coast of the Al-Wahiyah area of Abu Dhabi. The island is called Hulaylah which means little sister in Arabic. Al-Hudayriat Beach is part of the Bateen district on the island and it’s one of seven artificial beaches created by Sheikh Hamdan Al Nahyan to beautify this part of the island for residents and visitors.
The vision was to turn Abu Dhabi into a showpiece destination and provide recreational opportunities not only to residents but also to visitors and tourists in general throughout all year round. A series of small islands were created as far as 50 kilometers from the Abu Dhabi International Airport.
Al-Hudayriat Beach is a beautiful stretch of soft white sand with shallow and gentle waters, surrounded by mangroves which form an area rich in fauna and flora, making it a haven for birds and marine life.
The beach provides a wide range of water sports activities, such as diving, snorkeling, windsurfing, and swimming. Powered boats are permitted near the shoreline only. Visitors may also engage in horse riding at certain designated areas on this beach. A boat club with speedboats is also situated here so visitors can enjoy watersports activities all year round without having to leave the island or transfer beaches.
There’s a large number of local and national restaurants, coffee shops and fast food outlets open all day long offering diverse cuisines. These include two major hotels located on the same road that runs along the beach.
Marsana At Al-Hudayriat Beach
In the center of the island is Marsana, a waterfront with more than a dozen food and beverage outlets.
In addition to the skate park and the children’s park and playground, there is easy access to the public beach, bike paths, and a marina with a wooden pier.
“We have an outdoor gym where everyone can enjoy a different training [in front of the sea],” said Mr. Al Zaabi.
The gym includes basic equipment, war ropes, and a climbing net.
Bab Al Nojoum At Al Hudayriat Beach
The camping section of the island will allow visitors to book accommodation in a standard, two-person tent, or a luxurious tent. Luxury tents can accommodate groups of four or six people but a two-story tent with access to the private beach is available.
Bab Al Nojoum also includes a family camping area, as well as camper van options.
Standard tents can be rented at Dh150 to Dh300 per night, depending on size. Campers will also have access to toilets, showers, and BBQ grills set up in the area.
Luxury tents are also available for about Dh1,000.
Some of the tents are attached to the vans, which can accommodate beds and have a seating area.
And the luxurious tents are in the form of beach cabanas, with their own small swimming pool.
Only registered visitors to Bab Al Nojoum can access the sea at the site, said Mr. Al Zaabi.
A restaurant that offers a new grill and bonfire is available on site.
Shows Held At Al-Hudayriat Beach
A dolphin show is held at Al-Hudayriat Beach every weekend, providing visitors with an opportunity to watch these majestic creatures perform tricks. A special area has been set up for this purpose within which visitors can also see some other sea animals like turtles or even sharks if they arrive there on time during feeding hours.
The island offers many activities catering to different interests including camping, water sports, biking tours, and more besides offering breathtaking sights of sunrises and sunsets over the beach. The waters here are so shallow that one can walk a long way from shore.
The beach’s orientation makes it a perfect setting for watching the sunrise and set over the sea, as well as providing a great backdrop for photos of families and friends playing together or couples enjoying romantic moments under starlight.
With its fine sand, gentle waters, and proximity to Abu Dhabi City, Al-Hudayriat Beach is an ideal area for camping at night by removing all non-essential items from cars before driving onto the sand where visitors can pitch their tents or sleep in their vehicles.
In alignment with the vision of H.H Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan – President of UAE – to turn Abu Dhabi into one of the best cities in terms of environmental sustainability and tourism, H.E Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan – Deputy Prime Minister of UAE and Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority (ADTA) issued an executive directive to establish a camping facility at Al-Hudayriat Beach for both Emiratis and expatriates which will be an added value to this beach’s tourist facilities.
What’s New At Al-Hudayriat Beach
The new camping site is located within the regular beach area on its western side in the Al-Wahiyah area. The site covers around 11,000 square meters including 5,500 square meters of concrete areas that can accommodate 120 vehicles with trailers up to 28 feet long. An underground parking area has also been built under the concrete surface for 60 cars with trailers up to 23 feet long.
The site has been designed in accordance with international standards to provide added value to the beach’s tourism facilities. The area is equipped with lighting and road signage systems, as well as power outlets for water supply at all available spaces within the site.
ADTA ‘s Strategic Plan
As per ADTA ‘s strategic plan to develop holiday resorts throughout various tourist areas of Abu Dhabi, Al-Hudayriat Island Beach Camping will enhance the country’s tourism infrastructure. It also comes within ADTA ‘s efforts to develop beach camping facilities at five beaches which were announced by H.E Sheikh Sultan bin Tahnoon Al Nahyan – Chairman of ADTA.
Activities that can be performed include swimming, sailing, windsurfing, jet-skiing, fishing and more depending on visitors’ choices.
Many other restaurants, fast food outlets, and coffee shops have been set up at Al-Hudayriat Island Beach to offer a wide variety of cuisines to visitors from morning to evening every day. Visitors may also purchase drinks from hotels or buy them from any of the shacks that dot the beach here.
In addition, special recreational activities are organized at certain times throughout summer including camel shows, horse riding for adults and children as well as camel riding carts (dromedaries) for people who want to enjoy a ride in the desert away from traffic. Regular events like Friday’s fish market provide families with an opportunity to socialize while watching fish being sold at low prices.
Al-Hudayriat Island is located on the western side of Abu Dhabi Emirate within the Al-Shahama area which stretches along some 32 kilometers. The island has a total land area of over 20,000 hectares while its coastline accounts for 36 kilometers stretching from east to west. As indicated by archeological findings, the island was amongst the first areas that were inhabited in the UAE during pre-historic times. Historical evidence also suggests that Al-Hudayriat Island was probably used as a natural port during the pre-Islamic period since it had access to many trading ships through an inlet on its northeastern side known as Khor Al Beidha (an inlet of the Late Neolithic Period). The island is believed to have been named after the Al-Hudayriat tribe that used to inhabit its eastern coast.
Exploring the island as a tourist destination began as early as the 1980s when Emirati families and residents of other nationalities started camping on its sandy beaches during summertime. Later on, more facilities were added such as water towers, shacks, and cafes for night entertainment. Moreover, many campsites were built by the authorities and private investors including Al-Wathba and Salam Campsites. As a result, the number of visitors increased significantly every year. However, poor services, lack of bathrooms, and camping equipment prevented holidaymakers from settling there for long periods despite having the opportunity to benefit from the natural beauty surrounding the island.
Distance From Dubai To Al-Hudayriat Island Beach
Al-Hudayriat Island Beach is located within the Abu Dhabi Emirate. It lies about 120 kilometers to the south of Dubai, which makes it approximately two hours drive away from the city. Visitors can reach Al-Hudayriat by taking E 11 highway that leads to Abu Dhabi, then following the coastal road ‘E’ past Umm Al Nar town towards Masdar City and finally turning right to take Hwy 55 in direction to Dafna. Visitors are advised not to miss this turn-off since they will end up at Zayed Military City otherwise. It takes around 30 minutes by car from this point on before reaching the beach campsite.
Those who prefer public transport can take a bus from Dubai to Abu Dhabi. These buses leave every hour from the Rashidiya Metro Station in Dubai, which is near Burjuman Center. Upon arrival at Abu Dhabi Bus Station, visitors need to take a taxi or private vehicle in order to get to Al-Hudayriat Island Beach.
Other Tourist Activities In Abu Dhabi
Al-Hudayriat Island Beach is, undoubtedly, the most popular among local residents and tourists who come to Abu Dhabi for camping and other activities during summertime. The increasing number of visitors every year makes it necessary for the authorities and private investors to open new campsites and tourist facilities in order to meet this demand. There are many such sites which offer a lot of varied facilities including Al-Shahama Beach (10 minutes’ drive away from Al-Hudayriat campsite) proposing beach chairs and tent rental services, Arabian Village (20 minutes away) which has various restaurants offering different cuisines, Bani Yas Park (30 minutes away), Umm Al Nar Park (35 minutes away) and Khalifa Park (40 minutes away).