Travel guidesFive Abu Dhabi islands you ought to visit

Over 200 islands are sprinkled along Abu Dhabi’s shimmering coastline

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Dalma Island

Best for: history enthusiasts

This tiny island, 26 miles off Abu Dhabi’s coast, is easily reached by ferry and has been inhabited for over 7,000 years, making it one of the oldest settlements in the UAE. Explore its ancient geological treasures, and its now-dormant volcano, set in natural surroundings that have barely changed for centuries. History buffs will also enjoy finding out about its time as one of the Gulf's most important pearl diving centres and the island’s strong maritime heritage.

 

Yas Island

Best for: families and adventure seekers

Yas Island is dedicated to the pursuit of fun, with everything from spectacular water sports to live concerts and theatre. Experience aquatic thrills at Yas Waterworld and hair-raising  motor-themed rides at Ferrari World and on Yas Marina Circuit’s Formula One race track. Otherwise, simply soak up the sun on the tranquil shores of Yas Beach, or visit the Yas Mall, which offers everything a shopper could wish for.

 

Sir Bani Yas Island

Best for: safari adventurers

See giraffes, cheetahs and hyenas roaming free at the Arabian Wildlife Park, or hop over on a boat and take the guided ‘4×4 Nature & Wildlife Drive’ accompanied by an expert guide. There are plenty of other activities too, such as hiking and snorkelling, should you be keen to see life underwater. 

 

Al Maya Island

Best for: partygoers

Famed for its legendary pool parties and marine life, Al Maya Island is a great escape for visitors seeking respite from the urban metropolis of Abu Dhabi. Just ten minutes away by boat, the island presents prime snorkelling spots and plenty of places to relax. After sundown, top DJs play poolside at Al Maya Resort, the perfect place to enjoy some fresh beats over a refreshing drink.

 

Saadiyat Island

Best for: culture vultures

Home to the beautiful Jumeirah at Saadiyat Island Resort, this island is undergoing a cultural transformation. The Louvre Abu Dhabi, Saadiyat Island is Abu Dhabi’s gateway to arts and culture. Easily accessible by road, you can spend the day here immersing yourself in the finest Arabian arts and history, contemporary works and classic pieces. 

Translated as ‘A place of enlightenment,’ Manarat Al Saadiyat houses three galleries that present permanent and temporary exhibitions from local artists, along with Saadiyat island’s rich history. 

Located on Abu Dhabi’s main beachfront, Jumeirah at Etihad Towers is perfectly positioned to explore the beautiful islands of Abu Dhabi. Alternatively, check into Jumeirah al Wathba Desert Resort and Spa.