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16 great outdoor things to do with the kids this weekend in Abu Dhabi


01-March-2021

The stunning Abu Dhabi weather is full of promise from parks, cycling, and running and walking tracks, there’s so much to do. 

Stand away from those screens.  Grab the kids and head into the sunshine for the great outdoors, breathe in the energy-boosting cool morning air and dwell in the (relatively) gentle sunlight and feel your vitamin D levels and soul soar.

 

On your bike

 

Bicycle

 

Abu Dhabi is steadily developing its cycling network and there are no signs of this new-found fascination fading any day soon. With UAE Team Emirates winning the Tour de France last summer, biking is set to blossom in the capital.

 

Al Hudayriat Leisure and Entertainment District

 

Arguably, this is one of the top places in the city for cycling. You can choose between the 5km and 10km tracks depending on how much your legs can manage. The surroundings will probably take your mind off any saddle soreness. Top tip – try taking in a sunset spin; you won’t regret it.
For more information, visit hudayriyatisland.ae

 

The Corniche

 

It’ll only take an hour to spin from one end of the Corniche to the other, and back again. Don’t fret – there are plenty of distractions and cafes along the way to coax you off the cogs. You won’t be alone either – there is space dedicated for walkers and runners too. Bike rental stations can be found in several locations along the Corniche boardwalk.

 

Yas Marina Circuit

 

On Sundays and Tuesdays, 6pm to 10pm, you can test your mettle on a world famous race track. Impressively, it’s free to enter; just make sure that you register first with Train YAS.
 For more information visit yasmarinacircuit.com

 

Al Wathba

 

A more remote choice, but what a choice all the same – flanked on all sides by desert. For the real enthusiasts, there are loops from 8km all the way up to 30km. Located near the camel race track, and open 11am to 11pm, this is definitely one of the most memorable cycling spots in the entire UAE.

 

Putting your best foot forward

 

 

Abu Dhabi is a delight for strollers and runners alike. Just take a long, lingering look at the Corniche, and all your pedestrian doubts will evaporate

 

The Corniche

 

Undoubtedly, the Corniche is the jewel in the city’s crown. You get almost 10km of extraordinary promenade – a dramatic skyline backdrop, grassy and tree-lined verges, and of course the shoreline. If you need to ease up, you can stop anywhere along the way and refresh.

 

Al Raha

 

Starting in Al Zeina, you can run all the way to Bandar, almost 4km away. The reward for stretching your legs is the waterside track, which is very easy on the eyes if not the feet. Energy-permitting, you have another 2km of path if you wish to make it all the way to Al Raha beach Hotel. And it’s absolutely free.

 

Yas Marina Formula 1 Track

 

Walkers, joggers, and serious runners alike can all gather on this vast circuit and they do. With 5.5km of open road, there’s more than enough for everyone to enjoy navigating the curved track, gradual inclines, and lengthy straights. Just as for the cycling, the track is open on Sundays and Tuesdays, 6pm to 10pm, just don’t forget to register ahead of time with Train YAS. For more information, visit yasmarinacircuit.com

 

The Eastern Mangroves Promenade

 

A plum promenade taking you off-road, the Eastern Mangroves is right next door to the National Park. While strutting your stuff, you’ll spot some kayakers for sure and be spoilt by the natural beauty of the location. The 9km route will take you from Al Seef Village area, Al Murouj Street, to Dolphin Park. Well-lit at night, you can stop for refreshment or avail of the facilities along the way.

 

Al Kasir Island

 

Starting on the island gives you an 8km-loop, which takes in Marina Mall and the Marina Eye Ferris Wheel. The sight of the city skyline makes it all the more worthwhile too, not to mention a glimpse of the once-largest flagpole in the world, bearing over you at 122 meters. To add a few more clicks to your walk or run, you can simply take the Corniche path across the bridge.

 

Saadiyat Island

 

Just off the coast of downtown Abu Dhabi, Saadiyat Island is a sandbar with a rich bounty of running opportunities, extending to all of 9km. You can choose soft sand or get a little closer to the water’s edge and avail of a firmer flat sand. The sight of the Louvre Abu Dhabi at the western end might also inspire your athletic endeavors. Access to Saadiyat Public Beach: AED25.

 

Al Wathba

 

Although already heralded for cyclists, it’s one tough-nut run! You can take the fun-size five-mile circuit, or brave it out all the way up to full marathon grade. The natural beauty of the dunes will wow you and the super well-maintained road surface will help you glide along.

 

Zayed Sports City

 

Although there isn’t a dedicated running or walking track, Zayed Sports City has an Olympic village feel to the place. The pitches, green embankments, flood lighting, and stadium all combine to persuade you to up your training game. Just park the car, and get going. For more information, visit zsc.ae

 

Picnic in the Parks

 

 

Abu Dhabi may is renowned for its high-end tourist attractions, from theme parks and beach clubs to luxurious award-winning restaurants and hotels. Yet, there’s lots more to do too.

 

Al Fay Park

 

The 27,500 square metre park located on Reem Island has just opened. It is the first urban park focusing on bio-diversity in the emirate. It features 2,000 local flora, including the national tree, the Ghaf, landscaped to sustain a forest-like ecosystem. It also has the usual facilities you’d expect in a park.

 

Khalifa Park

 

One of the oldest parks in the UAE, it hosts its own maritime museum, aquarium, cultural library, and Murjan Splash Park. Built for families and set on 45 hectares, you can barbecue here to your heart’s content, which might just explain its huge popularity. Opp ADIB – Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan St – Zone 1

 

Corniche Park

 

Voted the world’s best public park in 2018, this waterfront family amenity, all of 5km-long and a whole 50 hectares, is immense and can probably be best appreciated by bike. Celebrated for its services, facilities, and sheer serenity, it’s a mood-maker in the heart of the city.

 

Umm Al Emarat Park

 

Almost 40-years-old, and once known as Mushrif Park, Umm Al Emarat is now one of Abu Dhabi’s finest amenities. The park is choc-full of family-oriented features, from the children’s garden to the 1,000-

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