Sweeping along the coast of Abu Dhabi is The Corniche. Follow this impressive road, which curves along 5 miles (8 kilometers) of manicured waterfront, past cycle and pedestrian pathways, playgrounds, cafés, restaurants and popular Corniche Beach.
For residents of Abu Dhabi, The Corniche is an integral part of their everyday lives. As well as being an important thoroughfare, it offers a relaxing contrast to the city’s frenetic business and shopping districts. Cool off amid the lush and immaculately manicured gardens that line the boulevard. Join local joggers and cyclists as they use the dedicated pathways, or mingle with Emirati families in the many playgrounds.
At the eastern end of The Corniche sit some of the city’s tallest and most impressive skyscrapers including The Landmark and Nation Towers. Emirates Palace, a luxury hotel, also sits at the southern end. Lulu Island, a man-made island that is reachable only by private boat, sits opposite.
For visitors, Corniche Beach is the main attraction along The Corniche. The beach has the coveted Blue Flag status, an internationally acclaimed award for beaches with exceptionally clean and safe water. While you can’t swim very far, the water is calm and there are always lifeguards on duty. After a swim, join in a game of beach volleyball or try your hand at watersports like kayaking or waterskiing. Take advantage of the beach’s many amenities including changing facilities, restrooms and showers, playgrounds and umbrella rentals. When it’s time to take a break from the sun and sand, visit a variety of cafés and shops.
The Corniche gets fairly crowded during rush hour, but it is a great way to see the city in transit. If you wish to stop and explore the area on foot, there is plenty of free parking within a 5-minute walk of Corniche Beach. Another popular way to explore the area is by bicycle. There are a variety of bicycles available for rent, including mountain bikes and even tandems.