Pristine white beaches, island wildlife, a museum district, luxurious resorts, diverse dining venues and sport opportunities await you on this island off Abu Dhabi's coast Image Credit: Supplied/Saadiyat Island

Abu Dhabi: For the 11th consecutive year, Saadiyat Island Abu Dhabi has been crowned as the “Middle East’s Leading Beach Destination” by the World Travel Awards, reaffirming its spot as the Middle East’s Best Beach destination. 

Counted among the top islands with the highest concentration of museums in the world, Saadiyat Island is the epitome of history meets culture, leisure meets luxury. The natural island is located 500 metres off-the coast of Abu Dhabi.

The island is best recognised for its pristine white sandy beaches and azure waters. In an area of 27 sq. kilometres, the island has several museums, resorts, sports clubs and beaches. While historically and culturally significant to Emiratis, this destination has also become a hub for business and tourism.

‘Saadiyat Island’ translates to ‘island of happiness’ in Arabic. Here’s how you can find happiness on your visit to this iconic destination.

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Wildlife and nature

Saadiyat Island is home to a protected ecosystem which visitors can appreciate on their trip there.

Given that this is a natural island, visitors can appreciate the protected ecosystem here. From spotting a pod of dolphins and seeing the Hawkbill sea turtles to catching a glimpse of gazelles roaming freely through the island, the destination offers unique opportunities to enjoy local wildlife.


Located less than 10 minutes from downtown Abu Dhabi, Saadiyat Island houses Louvre Abu Dhabi. Manarat Al Saadiyat is also worth a visit. Saadiyat island is also the planned location for several other museums such as Zayed National Museum, the Frank Gehry designed Guggenheim Museum and the Natural History Museum. These four museums, once complete, will make up the cultural district of the island.

A fun family activity would be kayaking through the canals surrounding Louvre Abu Dhabi

Another landmark construction coming up here is the Abrahamic Family House – an ode to the UAE’s globally lauded tolerance policy.

As of now, you can only visit Louvre Abu Dhabi but that is bound to make your day. The architecture, the canals surrounding the structure and of course, the art of the masters on display – a visit is well worth your time. In the winter, you could rent a kayak to enjoy the structure while rowing through the canals.

Lap of luxury

The Saadiyat Island houses several resorts and hotels, all of which capitalise on its unique ecosystem, natural treasures and cultural attractions

Enjoying the beaches, sports

The island is home to several beach clubs and resorts, offering luxurious escapes

The quintessential Saadiyat photo features pristine white sandy beaches in beautiful juxtaposition with the vibrant clear blue of the sea. This is the perfect reason to visit the island as well, and make sure you enjoy a sunset or sunrise at one its beaches.

Kai Beach, Saadiyat Island's public beach, is accessible to the public at Dh75 for adults and Dh35 for kids on weekdays. Weekend rates are Dh95 for adults and Dh60 for children.

Touted as the region's first beachfront golf course, Saadiyat Beach Golf Club is an 18-hole, par-72 golf course designed by Gary Player

Along with water sports and golf on ‘an ocean course’, and dining, you may also catch a glimpse of Hawkbill sea turtles.