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27 outdoor activities in Abu Dhabi worth exploring this season

With temperatures dropping, it’s time to head out and about in the capital.

The temperatures in Abu Dhabi are finally taking a dive and it’s almost time to break out those comfy sweaters and venture into the great outdoors. And guess what? FACT’s got you covered with a list of outdoor activities in Abu Dhabi to explore during these cooler months.

Al Ain Oasis

Nestled in the Green City of Al Ain, just a 90-minute drive from Abu Dhabi, this oasis is a slice of paradise in the desert. Stroll along shaded pathways, immerse yourself in lush greenery, and disconnect from the hustle and bustle. Marvel at over 100,000 date palm trees, diverse vegetation and ancient treasures like the Falaj irrigation system, a UNESCO Cultural Site. Best of all, it’s free to explore.

GO: Visit https://abudhabiculture.ae for more information.

attractions in Al Ain

Al Ain Zoo

This place is not just a zoo, it’s an environmental, recreational, and educational gem. Spread across a vast area, Al Ain Zoo is home to over 4,000 animals from 200 different species. Whether you’re a family or a curious visitor, you’ll be amazed by animals thriving in habitats mirroring their natural homes. It’s a unique experience that combines adventure with education while supporting endangered species. 

GO: Visit https://al-ain.platinumlist.net for tickets and more information.

outdoor activities in Abu Dhabi

Al Wathba Camel Race Track

Camel racing is not your average sport – it’s an exciting spectacle you won’t forget, so grab your family or friends and head to the Al Wathba Camel Race Track. Watch these charismatic camels zoom around the track at incredible speeds. Races happen on weekend mornings and public holidays. For the full experience, arrive early to soak in the lively atmosphere. Best part? Entry is free.

GO: Visit https://visitabudhabi.ae for more information.

things to do in March

Al Wathba Fossil Dunes Reserve

Located 45 kilometres from Abu Dhabi, head to the Al Wathba Fossil Dunes Protected Area. It’s a unique spot with over 1,700 fossil dunes, making it a treasure trove of ancient history. These fossil formations date back over four million years, and you can explore them on well-lit trails. Don’t miss the mesmerising music and light shows, best viewed from the amphitheatre. There are also food trucks and a visitor centre with viewing areas and galleries to enhance your experience.

GO: Visit https://ead.gov.ae for more information.

outdoor activities in Abu Dhabi

Al Wathba Wetland Reserve

Al Wathba Wetland Reserve is your go-to spot. A protected gem established by the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, it used to be a coastal salt flat but has transformed into a haven for Abu Dhabi’s diverse species. Imagine wandering along self-guided trails, spotting flamingos, and observing over 250 bird species, 37 plant varieties, and aquatic life. It’s a birdwatcher’s paradise. Plus, it’s a quick 30-minute drive from Abu Dhabi city centre and best of all, it’s free.

GO: Visit www.ead.gov.ae for more information.

outdoor activities in Abu Dhabi

Desert Safari

Head on over for an evening desert safari adventure. With a Bedouin-themed campsite filled with activities like dune bashing, camel riding and ATV rides, live shows, and more, this experience has it all. Plus, savour a delicious meal with drinks. It’s a half-day escape from city life, where you’ll experience authentic Arab culture in the heart of the desert.

GO: Visit https://abu-dhabi.platinumlist.net for bookings and more information.

Desert Safari

Eastern Mangroves National Park

Kayaking is the perfect way to explore the capital’s stunning natural wonders and get up close to its surprising wildlife. One of the hottest kayaking spots is the Eastern Mangrove National Park. This biodiversity hotspot features salt marshes, mudflats, and algal communities. Whether you’re exploring with friends, and family, or going solo, you’ll be captivated by the beauty of nature as you gaze upon the water channels, dense trees, wildlife, and more.

GO: Visit https://abu-dhabi.platinumlist.net for more information.

outdoor activities in Abu Dhabi

Ferrari World Yas Island Roof Walk

The thrilling roof walk experience is back at  Ferrari World Yas Island, Abu Dhabi this winter. Make like FACT’s editor-in-chief and embark on a sky-high journey atop the iconic red roof. The roof walk takes adventurers onto the 200,000 square meters roof that carries the largest Ferrari logo ever created – clocking in at a whopping 65 meters by 48.5 meters. While up there, you’ll be treated to panoramic views of Yas Island, Abu Dhabi. Available daily, from 3pm to 8pm. AED 195 per person (roof walk only, no park access).

GO: Visit https://abu-dhabi.platinumlist.net for tickets and more information.

Editor's letter

Hili Archeological Park

Are you looking for a fascinating historical adventure? Look no further than Hili Archaeological Park. This park is a part of the Hili Cultural Site and falls within the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Al Ain. You’ll step back in time to explore the villages, burial sites, and agricultural marvels. It’s a journey into the past you won’t want to miss.

GO: Visit https://abudhabiculture.ae for more information.

outdoor activities in Abu Dhabi

Hili Fun City

Located just an hour and a half from the city, this popular park opened in 1985 and was the first theme park in the Arabian Gulf region — and it’s been a favourite ever since. With 28 attractions for all ages, a family show amphitheatre, and picnic and play areas, there’s something for everyone. Plus, there’s an ice rink.

GO: Visit www.hilifuncity.ae for more information.

Hudayriyat Island

For a great day out, look no further than the Hudayriyat Island, a hub of fun and connection. Gather your friends and family for a day filled with exciting challenges, relaxation, and skill-building. The friendly vibe here is perfect for making memories and forging new friendships. Once home to pearl divers, this place is now a thrilling sports hotspot. With cycling and jogging tracks, a bike park, and an aerial rope course. Expect top-notch facilities in a stunning setting including a beautiful public beach. 

GO: Visit www.hudayriyatisland.ae for more information.

glamping in the UAE

Jahili Fort

Built in the late 19th century by Sheikh Zayed bin Khalifa the First, Al Jahili Fort served both as a symbol of power and a royal summer retreat. Originally, it featured a square fortified enclosure and a distinctive four-storey circular tower. It was constructed to control the tribes in the area and used as a summer residence by Abu Dhabi’s rulers. The fort fell into disrepair but was later used by British forces in the 1950s. Now, it’s been restored with a visitor centre and exhibitions for visitors to enjoy.

GO: Visit https://abudhabiculture.ae for more information.

DAZ festival

Jebel Hafeet

Head to the top of Jebel Hafeet for stunning sunrise and sunset views — the second-highest peak in the UAE. This mountain, bordering Oman, boasts significant fossil discoveries that shed light on the city’s rich history. After soaking up the views, make your way to the nearby restaurants for a satisfying meal. And at the mountain’s base, you’ll find the family-friendly Jebel Hafeet Desert Park where you can hike, mountain bike, or enjoy horse and camel rides while uncovering archaeological treasures and historical remains. For a memorable stay, the park offers camping experiences as well.

GO: Visit https://visitabudhabi.ae for more information.

Jebel Hafeet

Jubail Island

Nestled in a breathtaking natural environment, Jubail Island is a haven for wildlife enthusiasts. Jubail Mangrove Park represents the first self-contained educational, nature and leisure destination in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, where visitors can meander along boardwalks and discover avian and marine species. Aside from the phenomenal photo opportunities, Jubail Mangrove Park also educates visitors on the important ecological function of the city’s mangrove habitats.

GO: Visit https://jubailisland.ae for more information.

Jubail Island

Long Salt Lake

The Long Salt Lake has become a social media sensation and for good reason. Imagine a stunning stretch of aqua-blue water adorned with mesmerising salt formations – it’s a true UAE wonder. For the best shots, head to a specific spot with three massive salt plates. Or hop from salt pad to salt pad in the water. 

GO: Visit https://visitabudhabi.ae for more information.

outdoor activities in Abu Dhabi

Pura Eco Retreat

Pura Eco Retreat is a destination for immersing oneself in nature. This eco-friendly sanctuary ensures total tranquillity during your stay. Choose from chic eco-domes or native tents and surround yourself with natural beauty and unique wildlife. Go biking along the beach or enjoy a spot of birdwatching.

GO: Visit www.staypura.com for more information.

Pura Eco Retreat

Qasr Al Mawaji

This historic site is a window into the past and a prime example of early 20th-century mudbrick architecture. Built during the reign of Sheikh Zayed bin Khalifa Al Nahyan, it later became the residence and administrative hub for the UAE’s Founding Father. His eldest son, Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, was even born here. Now, it’s a historic site in Al Ain that you need to explore.

GO: Visit https://abudhabiculture.ae for more information.

outdoor activities in Abu Dhabi

Reem Central Park

Make your way to the Reem Central Park on Reem Island. This playground offers something for everyone. Explore beautiful gardens, hit the skate park, conquer an adventure trail, find peace at the mosque, and relax by the beach. And if you’re hungry, there’s a variety of restaurants too.

GO: Visit www.aldar.com for more information.

Reem Central Park

Saadiyat Beach Club

Saadiyat Beach Club seamlessly blends unspoiled natural beauty with contemporary design. From top-notch services to breathtaking views, the FACT Award winning beach club sets the stage for legendary hospitality. With a luxurious and exclusive vibe and a dash of island charm, Saadiyat Beach Club is the perfect place to let time slip away while you indulge in the beauty of your surroundings — the perfect way to spend the outdoors this season.

GO: Visit www.saadiyatbeachclub.ae for more information.

things to do in July

Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque

Discover the awe-inspiring Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, a monumental masterpiece that stands as one of the world’s largest mosques. This architectural marvel seamlessly blends diverse Islamic styles with 24-carat gold chandeliers and the world’s largest hand-knotted carpet. Built by the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, this mosque serves as a symbol of historical significance, promoting the Islamic message of peace, tolerance, and diversity.

GO: Visit www.szgmc.gov.ae for more information.

Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque

Sheikha Fatima Park

The Sheikha Fatima Park has tons in store for you. Venture into the Adventure Zone’s Skate Park to unleash your inner athlete. Whether you’re a beginner or a pro, it’s a buzzing hub for skaters to showcase their skills. Or make your way to the Splash Pad where your little ones can climb, slide, and make new friends. And for a well-deserved break, head to the Experience Zone, to visit concept stores and refuel for more fun. And last but not least, take a stroll along the Discovery Zone’s pathways. 

GO: Visit www.sheikhafatimapark.com for more information.

outdoor activities in Abu Dhabi

Soul Beach 

Soul Beach, a stretch of paradise on Saadiyat Island’s shores, offers unrivalled views of the Arabian Gulf. Once you’ve settled in here, there’s no need to lift a finger, even for snacks. Order everything digitally and before you know it, our friendly beach buggy staff will deliver your treats. Now that’s a luxurious way to spend your day.

GO: Follow @soulbeachsaadiyatisland on Instagram for more information.

beach clubs in Abu Dhabi

Tal Moreeb

Tel Moreeb, the dune that stands tall at over 300 metres, earns its title as the world’s tallest, making it a must-visit spot, especially for motorsports enthusiasts. Why you ask? Because of its daring 50-degree incline. Head on over to catch all the action. Thrill-seekers and their powerful four-wheel drives, quad bikes, and dirt bikes gather for the Moreeb Hill Climb event, which is a must-see for an authentic Abu Dhabi experience.

GO: Visit https://visitabudhabi.ae for more information.

outdoor activities in Abu Dhabi

Umm Al Emarat Park

Abu Dhabi is a city of numerous parks and the pristine outdoor spaces are an absolute blessing in the colder months, especially for those with young children. Umm Al Emarat Park has been designed for people in the capital to connect in a safe and secure environment. With plenty of areas to explore, the park features an elevated shade house, the tranquil Wisdom Garden, an amphitheatre and an animal barn which is home to camels, goats and tortoises.

Umm Al Emarat Park

Yas Links Golf Club

Set against the stunning backdrop of Yas Island, Yas Links Golf Course, with its rolling hills and seashore greens, offers a luxurious clubhouse, gym, swimming pool and spa. And if that isn’t enough to make your golfing day shine with glory, we don’t know what is. Top your day off with a dining experience at Crafty Fox or Hickory’s Restaurant, which offers breathtaking views over the mangroves.

GO: Visit www.viyagolf.com for more information.

Yas Links

Yas Marina Circuit

Rev up your excitement at the Yas Marina Circuit, the one-stop destination for thrill-seekers. Whether you’re into driving experiences, karting, or eagerly anticipating the upcoming F1 Grand Prix, this place lets visitors unleash motorsport mayhem both on and off the track.

GO: Visit www.yasmarinacircuit.com for more information.

brunches at Yas Marina

Yas Waterworld Yas Island, Abu Dhabi

You haven’t truly experienced a water park until you’ve dipped into Yas Waterworld Yas Island, Abu Dhabi. This mega water park in the UAE is a paradise of water fun, featuring over 40 exhilarating rides, twisting slides, and thrilling experiences suitable for the entire family. With cooler temperatures on the horizon, get ready for some great fun.

GO: Visit https://abu-dhabi.platinumlist.net for tickets and more information.

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