If you want to enjoy some time on a beach in Abu Dhabi you have two options.
- Go to a public beach
- Join a beach / Health Club
The second is the public beach on The Corniche (the City Sea Front). Actually, it’s a very nice beach which has recently been redeveloped. The sand is nice, the calm breakwater is great for swimming in and there are plenty of food outlets/toilets/changing areas etc. There is a free area in the central part, which also has volleyball and football pitches laid out for public use, and paid areas for females and families.
The Corniche Beach being redeveloped last year
Andrew Henderson / The National
You can pay to go into the family section (as long as you are not a male on your own) - I’m trying to recall but I think it is about 12Dhs (2 quid). You can also pay extra to have use of some rather nice sunbeds and umbrellas - c.30dhs (£5). You can even pay extra to have a sun bed on the “front row” by the waterside.
The beach sunbeds and umbrellas
So, now to the second option - a health/beach club. These are mainly within the hotels. Many of them are accessible to non-members on a day rate, others are either not available to non-members at all or only mid-week. Some of the prices are as follows:-
- Beach Rotana - 150 Dhs (£25)
- Intercontinental - 115 Dhs (£19)
- Le Meridien - 195 Dhs (£32)
- Hilton - 160 (£27)
- Sheraton - c.180 Dhs (£30)
We have a membership at The Sheraton, for a few reasons. First, as a member of staff at The Corniche Hospital, Caz gets a 30% discount. It’s still expensive, but with the discount it isn’t extortionate. Second, we can walk to the Sheraton in 10 minutes. Third, I can also carry out my new year resolution of going to the gym (which is included). Since the new year I have been going in the mornings midweek, when I am not going to Dubai, so 3-4 times a week. So at least we get reasonable usage from it. Although our visits to the beach will reduce when the really hot weather comes. They do however have an indoor spa with sauna, jacuzzi, steam room etc, so maybe we will chill there for a while instead.
The beach front at The Sheraton
The Pool Area