Boats and cruises in Abu Dhabi
What’s On profiles some of the best boats and cruises in Abu Dhabi, including Lulu Island, Seawings, Eco Tour, snorkelling and Yellow Boat.
About 40 minutes out from Yas Island lies ooide shoals around which shelter some pretty spectacular shallow water coral reef systems. Noukhada offers four-hour tours of the various reef habitats in the area, but you will need to bring your own reef shoes, snorkel and facemask.
Noukhada, Yas Beach, Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, Dhs300, availability depends on tides and a minimum booking of four people. Tel: (02) 5581889. Taxi: Yas Island, near the Crowne Plaza Yas Island hotel. noukhada.ae
The Abu Dhabi Pearl Journey
A century ago, pearl fishing was an important source of income for many people in Abu Dhabi. Fortunately, the authentic pearling Jalboot used on this cruise is far more luxurious than the boats back then. You won’t have to dive down to lung-bursting depths in search of shellfish here, but you will learn how to open a pearl-bearing oyster. And you get to keep the pearl as a momento.
Eastern Mangrove Hotel and Spa by Anantara, Al Markaziyah, Abu Dhabi, daily 9am to 8pm, Dhs500, Dhs400 children. Tel: (02) 6419914. Taxi: Eastern Mangroves hotel. adpearljourney.com
Cruise around Lulu Island
We’ve all seen Lulu Island from the Corniche, but how many of you have seen its entire coastline from the water? Check out some of the most exclusive, and as yet undeveloped, waterfront real estate in the capital and compare it to the Corniche’s striking skyline on this 60-minute cruise through the capital’s waters.
The Yellow Boats, Emirates Palace Marina, Emirates Palace, Ras Al Akhdar, Abu Dhabi. Booking required, Dhs200, Dhs150 children. Tel: (0800) 8044. Taxi: Emirates Palace Marina. theyellowboats.com
Fly with Seawings
For a higher altitude tour, you can always take to a seaplane. With round trips along the Abu Dhabi coast taking in Yas Marina, downtown, Emirates Palace and the new Presidential Palace, you get to see the city from the sky and enjoy the unforgettable experience of taking off and landing on water.
Sea Wings, Emirates Palace and Yas Marina, Abu Dhabi. Dhs895. Taxi: Emirates Palace and Yas Marina. seawings.ae
Dolphin Bay Eco Tour
Hosted by the Park Hyatt’s marine biologist Arabella Willing, the Dolphin Bay tour can’t guarantee you will see any cetaceans, but it will give you a greater insight into the lives of Abu Dhabi’s various aquatic residents, from dugongs to dolphins. The three-hour trip includes complimentary snacks and a visit to the Dolphin Bay sandbar, where you can snorkel and swim with the fishes (not in that way).
The Park Hyatt Abu Dhabi Hotel & Villas, departing Yas Marina, Gangway 3, Abu Dhabi. Saturdays, timing dependant on tides. Dhs400, Dhs300 children. Tel: (02) 6507175. Taxi: Yas Marina. abudhabi.park. hyatt.com
Belevari Marine offer sunset sail cruises in its massive 74-foot catamaran, the largest in the capital. It can host 70 people.
Belevari Marine, Intercontinental Abu Dhabi Marina, Abu Dhabi. Fri to Sat 1pm to 5pm, Dhs350, Island Cruise Dhs 450. Tel: (02) 6431494. Taxi: Intercontinental. belevari.com
The RYA (Royal Yachting Association) is a British-based but internationally recognised sailing organisation, and their courses offer an introduction to the world of sail. Coastal Sea School provides RYA accredited training in the UAE. Their two-day Level 1 and Level 2 courses are ideal for absolute beginners.
Coastal Sea School, Emirates Palace Marina, Emirates Palace, Abu Dhabi, daily 9am to 5pm, Dhs2,000. Tel. (050) 3743369. Taxi Emirates Palace Marina. coastalsafety.com