Written by Jen Scully
There are more than 37 miles of coastline featuring sandy beaches, mangroves and a picturesque cityspace.
Stand Up Paddle Boarder tours with the Emirates Palace in the background. Photo Courtesy: Jen Scully.
ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates - Sitting on an island surrounded by water with near perfect temperatures nine months of the year, it's only natural that people would see Abu Dhabi as an excellent place to stand up paddle (sup). As the sport continues to catch on in just about every part of the world, here too a community of stand up paddlers is being born. Sharing the stoke of SUP has been contagious and will undoubtedly continue to grow. With a large expat population coming from all over the world, this truly will become one of the most diverse groups of SUP'ers in a city. (Join the Destination Group on Supconnect.)
Touring & Occasional Surf
Touring in front of Heritage Village in Abu Dhabi
Abu Dhabi Island has plenty of flat-water to paddle on, but it's the diversity of the landscape that proves so many great opportunities to SUP. Abu Dhabi offers more than 60km (37 miles) of coastline (which has already been circumnavigated by 2 Abu Dhabi SUP'ers for charity) that includes sandy beaches, mangroves and a picturesque cityscape. Include the outer islands that sit just off the coast of the mainland and there is more to explore with even a chance to find a few rideable waves on occasion.
Abu Dhabi's City Skyline in the Background
Vast Mangrove Forests & Their Wild Animal Life
Sheikh Zayed Mosque Protrudes in the Horizon Line
Plenty of Luxury Hotels and Tourist Attractions
1. Corniche Beach
The Corniche beach, the island's main beach, is a great paddling location with turquoise blue waters in front of the city skyline. On one end you have a great view of Emirates Palace and on the other skyscrapers line the water all the way down to the port. The waters are mostly calm and glassy and paddlers can easily access the man-made Lulu Island that sits just a short distance away.
2. Eastern Side
On the eastern side of the island you'll find a vast mangrove forest perfect for exploring by SUP. With an abundance of wildlife including blue and white herons, flamingos and even foxes that call this area home, it's a close refuge from the daily hustle and bustle and great way to get out and experience nature up close.
3. The Channel
The narrow channel that separates Abu Dhabi island from the mainland provides an opportunity to take in not only some of the best 5 start hotels Abu Dhabi has to offer, but also the cultural aspects of the city including the impressive Sheikh Zayed Mosque and the old Maqta Fort.
4. Yas Island
Yas Island, home of the F1 Grand Prix and Ferrari World, sits just off the start of Abu Dhabi island and while very little exploration by SUP has taken place here, this too will become a popular place to paddle in the future as development and access grows. (Join the Destination Group on Supconnect.)
Seasons & Other Paddlers
Pioneering in Middle East
Jen Scully has helped lead the way for sup
The summers are hot, really hot reaching up past 50 degrees Celsius (122 Fahrenheit), so best to take in the daily sunshine October to June.
About Jen Scully
Jen Scully started the Abu Dhabi SUP Club in 2009 along with the Stand Up Paddle UAE blog and continues to spread the SUP love. She also is highly involved in promoting UAE SUP, the first SUP-only company in the Middle East based in Abu Dhabi and founded by H.H. Sheikh Ahmed Bin Hamdan Al Nahyan and Taimeir Abdelrazek. Find them both on Facebook. Together they are dedicated to growing the sport of SUP in Abu Dhabi and the entire UAE. UAE SUP will host the first ever SUP race in Abu Dhabi on January 28th, 2011. See the Sup Connect Events Page for more events.
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