Welcome to Abu Dhabi’s new Adventure Island…

Just a short drive away from Al Bateen Beach, over what used to be a humpback ‘bridge to nowhere’, sits Hudayriyat Leisure and Entertainment District. Now, very much, a significant somewhere.

After a dramatic transformation by developers Modon, the island-sized activity hub is open to the public and adds an exciting level of adventure XP to our emirate’s outdoor offering.

The experiences are split between two distinct destinations, the luxe amenity-packed waterfront, Marsana and the authentic adrenaline thrills offered at Marvista.

We’re living in a post-fact world, so we felt it best to explore the Abu Dhabi atoll’s many adventure opportunities for ourselves. It’s pure coincidence that also meant us swapping the office for a day at the beach.

Sporting Adventures

One of the strongest focuses of the Hudayriyat redevelopment project was on creating the ultimate environment for an active outside lifestyle. Mission accomplished. There’s a genuinely impressive range of ways to elevate your heartrate, from sick lip-tricks at the Circuit X skate park in Marsana, to the four separate free-to-use bike tracks (including the overwater loop) of Marvista. The island is also home to getting gains on grains at the fee-less beachfront outdoor gym, a multitude of sports courts, an indoor 321 Sports activity centre, a rock climbing wall and an elevated rope assault course. In Marvista you’ll also find OCR, the UAE’s largest permanent obstacle course, now open for alfresco cross-fit beastings.

Food Adventures

It’s highly likely you’ll work up an appetite on Hudayriyat, but thankfully there are plenty of tasty solutions to that situation. Cafes and restaurants currently open for island dining include Shrimp Pot, Muncheeze, Projeto Acai and Drvn Coffee. There’s also a selection of drive-through food truck slots too, offering both light and more substantial eats. We spotted Japanese cuisine at Sushic, Italian at La Patchouli, and Americana at Route 10 and The Burgurry.

Beach Adventures

Yes, there’s now another free, gorgeous stretch of public beach to top up our winter tans on, and in addition to all the aforementioned leisure and entertainment — there’s the option to get wet and wild with a range of watersports. And if you do choose to take to the calm coastal waters in a giant swan-shaped peddle boat, we suggest you make your way to the offshore Hudayriyat sign for an expert level selfie.

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Cultural Adventures

It is officially the perfect weather right now for a breezy walk across the raised-boardwalk of the Hudayriyat Heritage Trail, beset with sculptures, relaxation nodes and fascinating facts about local history and ecology. The meandering struts take you all the way between Marsana and Marvista, passing scattered mangroves on the one side, and the gleaming towers of the distant corniche on the other.

Camping Adventures

The island’s own private campsite, Bab al Nojoum is an attraction all of itself. There are an impressive 124 units of glamping accommodation to rent, including oceanfront tents, duplex tents and vintage campervans. Guests can revel in the alfresco life with barbecue and bonfire facilities, kayak hire, a beach cinema, kids playground, hammocks and assorted beach-based fun.

Open daily, facility hours vary, hudayriyatisland.ae

Images: Provided / What’s On Archive