10 fab things to do on Saadiyat Island in 2023

Explore Abu Dhabi’s hidden gem of pristine beaches.

Thinking of travelling abroad to explore exotic island filled with pristine beaches, wildlife and more? Well don’t!

Instead, go no further than Saadiyat Island that has everything the Maldives has but even more.

Overlooking the azure waters of the Arabian Gulf, Saadiyat Island offers captivating natural surroundings, pristine white sandy beaches, luxurious resorts and a vibrant culture and entertainment scene.

Located a short drive from Abu Dhabi’s downtown, and 20 minutes from Abu Dhabi International Airport, Saadiyat Island is the place to expand your horizons, revitalise your senses, and even nourish your soul… We promise!

So instead of heading to the airport to fly out to you paradise island, just browse down the list below and make your dreams come true right here in Abu Dhabi.


Soak up the sun


Saadiyat Island Beach

With expansive white sand beaches, Saadiyat Island is the perfect place to relax by the tranquil, turquoise waters of the Arabian Gulf. Saadiyat Beach has a well-deserved reputation as one the best beaches in the UAE which is accessed via a wood boardwalk in order to protect the beach’s native wildlife including hawksbill turtles.

For a more luxurious beach experience, head to Saadiyat Beach Club which offers guests access to a private beach, along with a selection of restaurants, an outdoor swimming pool with private cabanas, day spa and gym.

Newly opened Kai Beach will transport you to a dreamlike ambience to rest, reconnect with your soul and rejuvenate. Expect white sands, turquoise waters and mesmerising sunsets. Or stop on by Soul Beach – the picturesque beach features parasol-flanked sunbeds, guaranteeing a day to remember.


Book in and unwind


St Regis Saadiyat Island

Bag yourself a weekend getaway at Saadiyat Island and have your pick from a plethora of hotels on the island. Expect lushness a -go-go, stunning beaches and time away from the hustle and bustle of the city.

Choose from Jumeriah at Saadiyat Island Resort, Park Hyatt Abu Dhabi Hotel & Villas, Rixos Premium Saadiyat Island, Saadiyat Rotana Resort & Villas, The St. Regis Saadiyat Island Resort and Nurai Island.


In the wild


Saadiyat Island Wild Animals

Saadiyat Island is a protected haven for wildlife and marine life, with the island home to an abundance of beautiful animals, including Arabian gazelles, which are often spotted roaming around Saadiyat Beach Golf Club.

If you’re lucky you might spot a Hawksbill turtle which seasonally nest on Saadiyat’s pristine beach. Beautiful bottlenose dolphins make frequent appearances too, leaving you in awe with their playful nature. Look up to the skies and catch a kaleidoscope of vibrant birds can flying across Saadiyat Island.


Iconic art


Louvre Abu Dhabi

Saadiyat Island is the home to the first international outpost of the iconic Louvre Abu Dhabi. With stunning architecture and a thought-provoking collection, the Louvre Abu Dhabi has been described as ‘one of the seven wonders of the urban world’.


Dine in style


Mamsha Al Saadiyat

Foodies are  spoilt for choice at Mamsha Al Saadiyat, a beachfront community with a wide array of restaurants and cafes stretching across a beautiful promenade with breath-taking views of the Arabian Gulf.


Immerse yourself in culture


Manarat Al Saadiyat

Set in the heart of Saadiyat Island’s Cultural District, Manarat Al Saadiyat is a place and space for creative artistic expression. Visitors can experience a whole range of cultural activities, from interactive exhibitions, art classes and community events to performances, workshops and film screenings, all year round.


Relax and rejuvenate


Reward Yourself With An Experience At The St. Regis Saadiyat Island Resort

Saadiyat Island is an iconic wellness destination, offering premium yoga and wellness offerings. The spas across Saadiyat Island are an innovative, all-encompassing collective of health, fitness, and beauty. Witness a unique blend of sophistication and quality services with authentic, honest and genuine care.


Tee off


Saadiyat Beach Golf Club

The Par 72 Saadiyat Beach Golf Club is the Gulf’s first beachfront golf course, offering golfers an unparalleled experience with views of the glistening Arabian Gulf. The meandering, 18-hole, eco-conscious golf course has been designed with amateurs and professionals in mind ensuring that everyone, regardless of their skill, can experience this stunning golf course.


Island hopping


Nurai Island

Located a mere 15-minute boat ride away from the shores of Saadiyat Island, Nurai Island is the ultimate luxury hideaway. The boutique private island resort offers a piece of paradise with a world-class oceanside spa, fine-dining and casual restaurants, a beach club, and a calendar of exceptional activities on land and sea.


Walk that catwalk!


Saadiyat Island Beach

With its exquisite natural landscape and stunning architecture, Saadiyat Island makes the perfect backdrop for a photoshoot session for those seeking beautiful wedding photographs or simply wishing to capture lasting memories against turquoise seas and white beaches.


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Image source Nurai Island Instagram, The St. Regis Saadiyat Island, Saadiyat Island, Manarat Al Saadiyat



Derek Issacs

A Brit in the Middle East for 25 years and counting, Derek loves scouring the streets for those under-the-radar cultural gems. And when he’s not putting Yalla – Abu Dhabi magazine to bed, you’ll find him working out at the gym.