Are you looking for outdoor activities in Abu Dhabi for the whole family to indulge in? Why not try kayaking in Abu Dhabi at the picturesque Eastern Mangroves where you can take in the spectacular views of the natural environment! Ever since Netflix’s latest release ‘Our Planet’ has taken the world by storm by depicting the wondrous beauty and diversity of nature, more and more nature lovers are wanting to explore the rich biodiversity of the desert. If you are a fan of such natural unspoilt beauty, there is no better place to get close to nature than the Eastern Mangrove forest in the UAE’s capital city, which presents a unique side to the otherwise sandy and stark environment. We have put together a helpful guide for kayaking in Eastern Mangroves, so you can have a better understanding of the location, timings, dress code and more.
Mangrove kayaking is a scintillating experience that you ought to experience at least once in your life. These kayaking tours in Eastern Mangroves have gained popularity in the last few years. There are a number of tour operators offering such experiences in Abu Dhabi. While the inclusions will differ based on the provider, there are a few things to keep in mind before kayaking in Abu Dhabi at the Eastern Mangroves forest.
Popular Companies for Booking Kayaking Tours in Abu Dhabi
While many travel agents offer kayaking packages in Abu Dhabi, these are the more well-known options in the capital city.
- Sea Hawk
- Arabian Adventures
- Rayna Tours
Everything you need to know about Eastern Mangrove Kayaking
Kayaking in Eastern Mangrove is all about fun and adventure. Here is what you need to know about Eastern Mangrove Kayaking.
How to get to the Eastern Mangroves kayaking spot?
If you are driving from Dubai, you will have to take the new Zayed Bridge. When on the bridge, keep to the right side. After 1.2 kilometres, take the right turn to the Eastern Mangrove site. There will be sign board to help you as well. Depending on where you are driving from in Dubai, the journey could take between 1.5 to 2 hours.
In case you plan to drive from Abu Dhabi, Al Salam St (from Tourist Club Area) is the best route to take. The Eastern Mangrove site will be on the left side. Take the new underpass at the 31s street junction. Exit at the Ministries Complex and Khalifa Park and make a U-turn at the next signal for Abu Dhabi Corniche. Take a right turn at the blue sign for East Road. Again, depending on the area of Abu Dhabi and congestion levels, it might take you a little under 30 minutes to reach Eastern Mangroves.
What is the cost and duration of kayaking tours in Eastern Mangroves?
There are several tour operators who offer single, double or family kayaking services in Abu Dhabi. The approximate cost starts from AED 160 (double kayak). As the facilities provided and kayaking time increases, the expense goes up. Some tour operators charge less for children under 12. These tours are generally for a period of 2 hours.
Are there parking facilities at the Eastern Mangroves kayaking spot?
There are some public parking spots in the vicinity, although these are limited. However, if you are staying in a hotel or a spa in the area, you would get free parking. Similarly, your tour operators may also provide you with a parking space.
What are the things to carry while planning a kayaking trip in Eastern Mangroves, Abu Dhabi?
For kayaking in Eastern Mangroves, you would need a towel, change of clothes and appropriate footwear. However, only a few tour operators have proper changing room facilities, which you should check before your visit. Carrying a sunscreen and a waterproof bag will also come in handy.
What is the best time to go kayaking in Eastern Mangroves?
During low tide, you can see a lot more of marine life and when the tide is high, you can see the thickset forests of the mangroves. Also, it’s recommended to either kayak early in the morning or later afternoon to avoid the harsh rays of the sunlight. Some tour operators have started offering sunset kayaking tours in Eastern Mangroves, which offer beautiful views.
Which are the restaurants near Eastern Mangroves?
If you are feeling a little peckish after all the heavy duty paddling during the kayaking tours, there are quite a few eateries in the area. Luckily, there are many quality restaurants in the area. You can get a portion of wholesome Italian food, Japanese Sushi or Indian curry. Below is a list of restaurants you could select from:
- Peppermill (Indian)
- Royal Biryani Restaurant (Indian)
- Samurai Japanese Restaurant
- Camacho (Italian)
- Healthyway (Organic)
Are there hotels and spas in the area?
There are many luxury hotels and spas in the area. You could book any hotel, spend the night, Kayak for the day and come back for a gentle relaxing massage. What would be more pleasing?
Below is a list of hotels you could from:
Anantara Eastern Mangroves Hotel & SpaOpens
Located close by, Anantara Eastern Mangroves Hotel & SpaOpens is one of the most luxurious hotels in the vicinity.
- Contact: +971-2-6561000
- Room rent: AED 370 (approximately)
Andaz Capital Gate Abu Dhabi
Andaz Capital Gate Abu Dhabi is also nearby. After a day of kayaking, you can rest for the night and recuperate.
- Contact: +971-2-5961234
- Room rent: AED 310 (approximately)
Hotel Ibis Abu Dhabi Gate
Hotel Ibis Abu Dhabi Gate is about 12-15 minutes drive but it is relatively cheaper than other alternatives in the area.
- Contact: 971-2-5090999
Room rent: AED 160 (approximately)
Grand Continental Flamingo Hotel
Grand Continental Flamingo Hotel is another relatively less expensive option for you. It also has a wonderful spa, which you might need after kayaking.
- Contact: 071-0-2690-4000
- Room rent: AED 160 (approximately)
Holiday Inn Abu Dhabi
The famous chain of Holiday Inn is also in the neighbourhood. A reputed name of the industry, one can expect high-quality service.
- Contact: 971-2-6574888
- Room rent: AED 180 (approximately)
Is it safe to go kayaking in Eastern Mangroves?
Rest assured, sea conditions are calm and even if you are a first-timer, there is no danger. You’ll be given a life jacket or vest to ensure your safety. Kayaking is a very popular activity in Abu Dhabi, and you’ll plenty of kayaks at a time.
Can you cancel tours after booking?
Cancellation policies are laid out by each individual company. However, generally, if you intend to change the dates of the tour 48 hours before your trip, it is possible without any charge by most companies. If its less than 48 hours, some companies do impose a fine.
Are there kayaking tours exclusively for women in Abu Dhabi?
If you want to have women-only kayaking experiences in Abu Dhabi, some companies are offering that service. This is usually offered to larger groups and will have to be booked in advance (48 hours or more). You could wear your abaya as well.
Where can you find cheap deals for kayaking in Abu Dhabi?
Tour operators do offer discounts from time to time, which you can keep track of on their website. You can also look at popular discount apps in the UAE such as Groupon and Cobone for discounted offers and packages.
Other activities at Eastern Mangrove
Beside kayaking in the Eastern Mangroves, there are a bunch of activities one can engage in here. Some of the popular activities in the area include:
- Water sports (Waterskiing & Jetskiing)
- Fit Solar Tech Boats Trading
- Desert tours
- Spa treatment
Animals you can spot while kayaking in Abu Dhabi mangroves
Like most life forms, marine life also depends on sunlight. It is estimated that 40% of marine life lives in coastal areas. So, when you go kayaking in Abu Dhabi, don’t be surprised to see the indigenous animals in action. As you paddle, your exercise could come at an abrupt stop. Because at a short distance, you might see a wide-winged heron gliding just below the water surface to fetch a dinner treat.
Mangrove Kayaking in Abu Dhabi is full of such surprises. The shallow and crystal clear waters are home to unique marine life. Dozens of bird species caw and chirp away through the day. But everything is not above ground. It is like being in an unexplored aquarium. But the real treat of mangrove kayaking in Abu Dhabi is, of course, the sight of unhindered, and thriving mangrove trees.
Abu Dhabi’s Eastern Mangroves district is a protected area, allowing visitors to enjoy the uninterrupted beauty of this natural phenomenon. This means that visitors are strictly prohibited from fishing in the area. If you’re keen to make a fresh catch, there are certain spots where you can fish in Abu Dhabi.
Biodiversity at Eastern Mangroves
As you kayak through the beautiful mangroves, expect to catch glimpses of some beautiful creature every few minutes. The shallow waters are seething with shoals of fish. Black crabs are in abundance too. Bottlenose dolphins and dugongs also make appearances year round.
You can expect to see fish, crustaceans, shellfish, mammals and reptiles. The presence of marine species attracts birds from different regions. These include pink flamingos, cormorants, herons, crab plovers, shrimps, sea snakes, egrets and sandpipers. Moreover, you will find mammals on shore as well.
Because of the kayak’s narrow shape, you can maneuver through mangroves, and get a close look at diverse marine life. Often, these lanes have unique animals hiding away from predators in their cosy holes just above water level.
There are several reasons a visit to this picturesque mangrove forest. It is a fun-filled experience for the entire family. Moreover, if you have little ones, it’s a great opportunity to explain biodiversity and the need for sustainable progress in a fun and unique way.
People are also eager to stay in this vicinity as air quality around the Eastern Road and its vicinity is better than most other the localities in Abu Dhabi. Hence, rental flats in Eastern Mangrove Complex and similar complexes are also highly sought after.
So, if you are a tourist visiting Abu Dhabi, this spot should be at the top of your list. If you’re an animal enthusiasts, there are many other animal attractions in Abu Dhabi you can visit during your trip. If you are a UAE resident looking for a quick getaway, these are our top 7 staycations deals in Abu Dhabi. For kayaking fans in Dubai, Hatta Kayaking Dubai is the spot for you.