In the cooler hours of the day, the Corniche, with its parks, shops, hotels, restaurants and the extensive Corniche Beach, is Abu Dhabi's most popular promenade.
Until the 1970s, Abu Dhabi's Corniche was the port of the former fishing village, where dhows anchored and freighters unloaded their goods. Today, with walkways, parks and the picturesque Corniche Beach, it offers the perfect setting for a relaxing day of holidaying in Abu Dhabi.
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PICTURES: Corniche of Abu Dhabi
Places of interest on the Abu Dhabi Corniche
A walk along the magnificent beach promenade should not be missed on any Abu Dhabi trip (preferably in the morning or evening, because as long as the sun is blazing on the white cobblestones, the heat is almost unbearable). On its length of around 8 kilometres, the beach and sea stretch out on one side, while the other side is lined with cafés, restaurants, green spaces and children's playgrounds.
The best hotels in Abu Dhabi
The tallest buildings and most luxurious hotels in the city are also to be found along the idyllic Corniche. The end of the promenade is marked by the Mina Fish Market and the Iranian Market, where all kinds of kitsch and junk are sold.
Tip: For a small fee, bicycles for up to three people can be rented directly at the Corniche, with which the beach promenade can be comfortably explored, always surrounded by a light sea breeze.
Corniche Beach stretches from the main entrance on Al Khaleej Al Arabi Street to the Hilton Hotel and is ideally equipped with sunbeds and parasols for a day at the beach. In addition to the free public area, there are also two segregated paid areas on Corniche Beach that are only accessible to families or singles.
The water quality at Corniche Beach is excellent and has been awarded the Blue Flag several times. However, it is not possible to swim far out at Corniche Beach. After about 40 metres from the shore, the sea is closed off and numerous lifeguards additionally ensure the safety of the beach guests.
With an average temperature of around 30°C, the sea in the Arabian Gulf hardly cools down in the summer months. Heated minds are better served at the cooler hotel pools.
Tip: If you don't like a lot of hustle and bustle, you should avoid Corniche Beach at the weekend (Friday and Saturday), as many locals also spend a day by the sea here.
Opened in March 2001, Marina Mall is one of Abu Dhabi's largest shopping centres and was named the city's top shopping mall by Forbes Magazine in 2017. With four floors and 122,000 square metres of space, the mall features countless stores, an observatory, an ice skating rink, a bowling alley, a multiplex cinema and musical fountains for shopping and entertainment at its best.
By the way, at the Marina Mall, the flag of the United Arab Emirates flies on one of the highest flagpoles in the world.
Emirates Palace Hotel
The pompous Emirates Palace Hotel can also be described as a sight to behold. Once the most expensive hotel in the world, it is one of the top hotels in the United Arab Emirates, along with Dubai 's Burj al Arab on Jumeirah Beach and the Atlantis Hotel on the world-famous Palm Island.
Lulu Island is an artificial island that was built in the Arabian Gulf off the coast of Abu Dhabi from 1988 to 1992. Residential and office buildings were to be built on the 4 square kilometre island. Since 2009, however, access to the island has only been possible by private boat. It is not yet clear how the island will be used in the future.
In 2002 and 2003, sand was also filled in on the mainland to extend the Abu Dhabi Corniche.