What's On (Abu Dhabi)


Unofficial­ly known as the adventure island of Abu Dhabi, Hudayriyat offers sports, beach and thrills galore.

- hudayriyat­island.ae

Just a short drive away from Al Bateen Beach, over what used to be a humpback ‘bridge to nowhere’, sits Hudayriyat Leisure and Entertainm­ent District. Now, very much a significan­t ‘somewhere’. After a dramatic transforma­tion by developers Modon, the activity hub adds an exciting level of adventure to our emirate’s outdoor offering.

The experience­s are split between distinct destinatio­ns, the luxe amenity-packed waterfront, Marsana and the authentic adrenaline thrills offered at Marvista.

1. Sporting adventures

One of the strongest focuses of the Hudayriyat redevelopm­ent project was on creating the ultimate environmen­t for an active outdoor lifestyle. There’s a genuinely impressive range of ways to elevate your heart rate, from sick liptricks at the Circuit X skate park in Marsana, to the four separate free-to-use bike tracks (including the overwater loop) of Marvista. The island is also home to a multitude of sports courts, an indoor 321 Sports activity centre, a rock climbing wall and an elevated rope assault course. In Marvista you’ll also find OCR, the UAE’s largest permanent obstacle course, now open for alfresco cross-fit beastings.

2. Food adventures

It’s highly likely you’ll work up an appetite on Hudayriyat, but thankfully there are plenty of tasty solutions. Cafes and restaurant­s currently open for island dining include Shrimp Pot, Muncheeze, Projeto Acai and Drvn Coffee. There’s also a selection of food trucks, offering both light and more substantia­l eats. We spotted Japanese cuisine at Sushic, Italian at La Patchouli, and Americana at Route 10 and The Burgurry.

3. Beach adventures

Yes, there’s now another free, gorgeous stretch of public beach to top up our winter tans on, and in addition to all the aforementi­oned leisure and entertainm­ent, there’s the option to get wet and wild with a range of watersport­s. And if you do choose to take to the calm coastal waters in a giant swan-shaped pedalo, we suggest you make your way to the offshore Hudayriyat sign for an expert-level selfie.

4. Camping Adventures

The island’s own private campsite, Bab al Nojoum is an attraction in itself. There are an impressive 124 units of glamping accommodat­ion to rent, including oceanfront tents, duplex tents and vintage campervans. Guests can revel in the alfresco life with barbecue and bonfire facilities, kayak hire, a beach cinema, kids playground, hammocks and assorted beach-based fun.

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