Visiting Abu Dhabi is nothing short of an escape to the land of fantasies and ‘fantastic things’! It’s the time to beat the boredom of mundane life. It’s the time to skip crowded destinations and of course, it’s the time to soak up the warm sun as much as you want.
There’s something more Abu Dhabi has for holiday-makers though, which is the string of pristine coastal beaches. Unlike the beaches in Dubai, Abu Dhabi beaches display more natural and secluded settings with lesser crowds.
Today we take a deep dive into the famous Corniche Beach from Abu Dhabi. This is certainly one of the best places in the city that no beach-lover would like to miss. Let’s take a good look at what awaits there with this short but comprehensive Corniche Beach Guide.
Corniche Beach Location & General Information
Located on the west side of the city, Corniche Beach is one of the best places to enjoy Abu Dhabi’s famous year-round sunshine. With turquoise water and powdery white sand, the beach stretches for around 2 kilometres, overlooking the gorgeous Arabian Gulf.
This immaculately spotless beach runs along the Corniche Road starting from the iconic Hilton Hotel to the Al Khaleej Al Arabi Street. You can reach the beach easily once you spot any of these famous landmarks – the Marina Mall or the Presidential Palace.
Open all days of the week from 6AM until sunset (sea swimming hours permission)
Entry to public beach is free. The Entry Fee to Corniche Family Beach is AED 10 per adult, AED 5 per child (up to the age of 12) and free for children below 5 years.
Beach Privacy Segregation
This 2-kilometre beach is divided into three sections. Al Sahil (Gate 4, free entry) is for singles and larger groups. Gate 2 is ideal for families and it features its own quiet zone while Gate 3 is also great for families and kids. The two latter beaches are guarded from view with a fence.
Dress Code at the Beach
Beach-goers must be dressed in modest swimwear and it should only be worn on the beach. As soon as you leave the beach area, you must be dressed appropriately. Swimming in undergarments or topless sunbathing is strictly prohibited at this beach.
- Children playground
- Volleyball court
- Football playground
- Beach library
- Jogging track
- Cycling path
- Men and women prayer rooms
- Mini Mart
- Food outlets
- Vending machines
- Abu Dhabi City Municipality Office
- Changing rooms
- Water showers
- First Aid room
- Signboards & facilities for Differently Abled People (Floating Chairs)
- Car parking area
- Lifeguard team
- Security personnel
- Cleaning staffs
How to get to Corniche Beach from Abu Dhabi Centre
You don’t need to look into a map to reach Corniche Beach. Yes, it’s that famous! The beach stretches along the equally famous Corniche Road. There are plenty of private cars and other means of transport are available to take you to the beach from any corner of the city.
If you wish to avail the public bus services to get there, you can hop into either bus route number 33 or 34 from Abu Dhabi Iranian Private School bus stop. You have to get off at the Abu Dhabi – Commercial International Bank bus stop and your destination is at a stone’s throw away.
How to get to Corniche Beach from Dubai
When you are planning to visit Cornice Beach from Dubai, it will take a couple of hours. The road distance to this beach from Dubai is about 145 kilometres via Al Shahama – Abu Dhabi Road (E11)/Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Street (E10).
Hiring a cab will cost you around AED 250 from Dubai centre to Corniche Beach, Abu Dhabi.
Bus routes 63, 101, 104, 110, 120, 130, 155 and 400 from Dubai can help you to get off at Khalifa Bin Zayed Street/Capital Garden or Mandan Street/Sultan Bin Zayed Street or Sultan Bin Zayed Street/Khalifa Street. From any of these bus stops, Corniche Beach is just a 10/15-minute walk.
Things to do at Corniche Beach Abu Dhabi
Corniche Beach displays one of the most scenic settings of the region. This sandy beach is immensely popular across all age groups particularly the families with kids.
There are loads of activities to choose from depending on how you like to spend your leisure time at the beach. We can give you some clues with our list of our favourite things to do at Corniche Beach below.
1. Chill Out and Enjoy the View
Thanks to its turquoise water, sparkly white sand and a great view of the Lulu Island along with the iconic urban structures of Abu Dhabi, Corniche Beach always remains the number one spot to plan for a laid-back beach vacation.
If you find the sun too hot to bear for several hours, you can take shelter under cabanas, sun loungers and umbrellas available right at the beach. Hiring them will cost you around AED 25 which is pretty reasonable.
2. Have Fun in the Water
If you’re a typical ‘water baby’ who is always ready to get into some action on the beach, there are several adventure water sports available at Corniche Beach. This beach is literally heaven for water sports enthusiasts as they get the chance to try kayaking, ballooning, jet ski’s and more.
3. Cycle Around the Promenade
Corniche Beach features an excellent cycling path. So, don’t worry about missing your exercise sessions. You can still burn the calories at Corniche Beach while having a good time. All you need to do is to take a bike for rent and cycle your way around the beach promenade.
This beach is long enough to cover all of it only by walking. Therefore, cycling is the best way to explore everything from the area without involving too much of your time, money and effort.
Tip: There is a bike renting station just opposite the Nation Riviera Beach Club and you can spot many others too near the area. You have to pay around AED 30 for adults and AED 20 for children per hour.
4. Go for a Swim
Corniche Beach authority allows visitors to swim into the deep blue water of the Arabian Gulf. From the morning till the sunset, you have enough time to swim around. However, swimming beyond 40 metres from the shore is not allowed.
Tip: You don’t have to worry about a thing after taking a plunge into the deep sea because the beach comes with facilities like bathrooms and changing rooms. You can even rent towels in case you have forgotten to bring one.
5. Go on a Yellow Boat ride
The Yellow Boat ride is a 60-minute cruise across the sea that offers the best of Abu Dhabi’s mesmeric skyline including some iconic landmarks.
This riveting cruising experience will introduce you to the majestic Emirates Palace and don’t forget to click some Insta-worthy selfies with this striking structure in the backdrop.
Then you will behold Corniche Abu Dhabi with a completely different panoramic view than the shore. Watching timid wooden fishing boats in the fishermen’s village is a simple yet intriguing sight to cherish.
The boat leaves twice a day at 10.00 Am and 2.00 PM. Cost is AED 200 per adult and AED 150 for children.
6. Eat, drink, Read and Repeat
Corniche Beach is loaded with so many good cafes and restaurants that you may feel puzzled which ones to choose.
Once your tummy growls for some refuelling, you can order your platter with some amazing local and international delicacies from any of these eateries.
All these cafes and restaurants come with beautiful views of the beach. You can have your meal while watching people playing around in the sand and sea.
To our utter surprise, Corniche Beach houses a beach library. A beach day with a book is a wonderful combo. If you wish, you can always visit this library and pick anything that you like to go through on a sunny day at the beach.
7. Do Something Exclusive on New Year Eve
If you are celebrating the last day of the year at Corniche Beach in Abu Dhabi, then you are bound to behold something spectacular. It’s time for the bedazzling New Year Eve fireworks at Corniche Beach.
Of course, you can’t watch this spectacle anytime except for such special occasions or festivities but once is enough to leave a mark on your memory forever. For that, you need to plan your Abu Dhabi vacation meticulously and also well ahead of time.
Places to Visit Near Corniche Beach Abu Dhabi
Looking for more? Well, there’s more for you. There are so many nearby attractions to Abu Dhabi Corniche that you will never have a dull moment even when you’ve technically left the beach. Let’s see what you can explore around the area.
1. Emirates Palace
The most picturesque tourist attraction near Corniche Beach has to be the magnificent Emirates Palace. Painted in golden hues and fitted with astonishing landscaped gardens, this is undeniably the most celebrated spot around the beach where visitors flock in large numbers.
Beautiful water fountains, the grand halls, breathtakingly decorated domes and thousands of chandeliers are enough to cement your way back in time. This building is nothing like anything you will see in Abu Dhabi.
Emirates Palace allow guests to book a room or reserve a table in any of their restaurants but if you choose only to be a part of the guided tour, then also it’s fine to understand the grandeur of this place.
Distance from the beach: 1.4 Kilometres
Location: W Corniche Road, Al Ras Akhdar, Abu Dhabi
2. Qasr Al Watan Palace
Qasr Al Watan Palace is another splendid place to be enchanted by everything magnificent and impressive. The vibe of this palace is truly unmatched. When you are ready to know more about the royal history of the region, this place must be on your bucket list.
Qasr Al Watan gives a little preview of the royal lifestyle with its wisely curated exhibits. There is a sprawling garden at the palace where you can take a stroll just like the royals do. You can buy either a combo ticket (palace and garden) or just a garden ticket to enter the property.
Distance from the beach: 4 Kilometres
Location: Al Ras Akhdar, Abu Dhabi
3. The Founder’s Memorial
Abu Dhabi is the city that depicts the grand vision of the late H.H. Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan. He was the man behind the exponential development and growth of this city. To pay a tribute to this legendary figure, the Founder’s Memorial was erected.
A look at its beguiling architecture is enough to realise how his vision has enlightened and influenced millions and still it is the leading force. Founder’s Memorial makes visitors aware of this visionary leader’s ideas through stories, multimedia presentations and artworks.
Distance from the beach: 1.5 Kilometres
Location: Founders Memorial, Abu Dhabi
4. Heritage Village
You don’t have to be a history fanatic to enjoy the fascinating alleys of the Heritage Village that sits pretty close to Corniche Beach.
Your visit to this place is going to be an entirely enthralling experience with a good chance to peek into the region’s cultural heritage and history.
Heritage Village is one of the top tourist attractions in Abu Dhabi because of its simple yet intriguing depiction of ‘desert’ way of life. There’s no entry fee to explore the place. Moreover, there’s a gift shop where you can buy some exclusive hand-made pieces at reasonable prices.
Distance from the beach: 2.5 kilometres
Location: Al Alam Street, Abu Dhabi
5. Observation Deck at 300
The best way to call your day at Corniche Beach is to make the Observation Deck at 300 your final destination. This is where your eyes will meet the most surreal view of the city from a staggering height of 300 metres above the ground.
Located on level 74 of Etihad Tower’s second building, this deck is the highest and most ethereal vantage point in UAE’s capital city. You can take some impressive shots of the city skyline coupled with the beach and the Arabian Gulf. An afternoon high-tea looks promising at the deck. It will cost you around AED 250 for one person.
Distance from the beach: 2 kilometres
Location: Tower 2, Corniche W Road Street, Abu Dhabi
Places to Eat at Abu Dhabi Corniche
After a long and satisfying day under the sun and sea by the side, you will surely look for nearby restaurants and cafes to order some delicious food and refreshing drinks to refuel your exhausted system. There is no shortage of good eateries at Corniche.
You can spot most of them near Gate Number 4. Here is the list of some popular places to order your platter.
- Asia de Cuba
- Nova Café
- Rosina Bellina
- Café Brasiliera
- Baskin Robbins
- Cold Stone Creamery
- Special Juice Bar
Hotels Near Corniche Beach, Abu Dhabi
Corniche Beach is lined by a hoard of world-class hotels. You need to pick the one that fits your pocket as well as your travel requirements. We are mentioning here the ones that sit close to the beach and offers an excellent view of this gorgeous neighbourhood.
- Etihad Towers: This is a high-range hotel offering best-in-class service and fabulous view
- The St. Regis Abu Dhabi: This 5-star hotel overlooking the beach is a favourite among holiday makers
- Radisson Blu Hotel & Resort: A mid-range hotel that comes with exceptionally good service level and wisely placed guest rooms
- Bab Al Qasr Hotel: A luxurious time is guaranteed
- Royal M Hotel & Resort Abu Dhabi
- Corniche Hotel Abu Dhabi
- Sheraton Abu Dhabi Hotel & Resort
- Oryx Hotel
Not just the immaculate shoreline, Corniche Beach also flaunts a stunning seaside broadwalk, well-maintained walkways homes, perfectly manicured gardens and benches overlooking the most picturesque view of the Lulu Island and city skyline.
This is the place that has got something for everyone. So, you should never skip this beach while enjoying your Abu Dhabi vacation.