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Saadiyat Island Abu Dhabi – The Best Things To See & Do


Modified: January 3, 2024

by Norean Glaser



Welcome to Saadiyat Island, a stunning destination located off the coast of Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. This unparalleled island paradise offers a wealth of attractions and activities for visitors of all ages and interests. Known for its pristine beaches, cultural landmarks, and world-class amenities, Saadiyat Island has become a must-visit destination for both locals and tourists from around the globe.


Whether you’re a beach enthusiast, art appreciator, or avid golfer, Saadiyat Island has something to offer everyone. Immerse yourself in the vibrant cultural scene at the Saadiyat Cultural District, home to the world-renowned Louvre Abu Dhabi. Unwind on the white sandy shores of Saadiyat Public Beach or indulge in a round of golf at the prestigious Saadiyat Golf Club. Embark on a journey of discovery at the inspirational Manarat Al Saadiyat or explore the captivating exhibits at the NYU Abu Dhabi Art Gallery. With so many remarkable attractions, Saadiyat Island is sure to leave a lasting impression on any visitor.


As you explore Saadiyat Island, you’ll also have the opportunity to witness the conservation efforts taking place to protect the island’s delicate ecosystem. Marvel at the Hawksbill turtle nesting site and learn about the importance of preserving this endangered species. Saadiyat Island is not just a place of beauty and leisure; it is a destination that embraces sustainability and environmental consciousness.


For those seeking a luxurious and relaxing getaway, indulge in the renowned Jumeirah at Saadiyat Island Resort. This five-star beachfront resort offers unparalleled hospitality and world-class amenities, ensuring an unforgettable stay.


With its combination of natural beauty, cultural marvels, and recreational activities, Saadiyat Island is truly a gem in the United Arab Emirates. Join us as we take a closer look at the best things to see and do on Saadiyat Island, and get ready to embark on an extraordinary adventure.


Louvre Abu Dhabi

The Louvre Abu Dhabi is a cultural landmark that stands proudly on Saadiyat Island. This architectural masterpiece is a collaboration between the United Arab Emirates and France, combining the world-renowned brand of the Louvre with the rich cultural heritage of Abu Dhabi. The museum exhibits a fascinating collection of artworks and artifacts from different civilizations and time periods, offering visitors a unique journey through history and culture.


As you enter the museum, you are greeted by the iconic “Rain of Light” dome, an intricate geometric structure that filters sunlight and creates a mesmerizing play of light and shadow within the building. The museum’s galleries showcase a diverse range of artworks, including paintings, sculptures, decorative arts, and manuscripts. Each piece tells a story, allowing visitors to explore the universal nature of art and its impact on humanity.


One of the highlights of the Louvre Abu Dhabi is its thematic galleries, which are organized based on various topics, such as “The First Villages” and “A Global Stage.” These galleries provide a comprehensive overview of human history, tracing the development of civilizations and showcasing the beauty and diversity of artistic expression.


Additionally, the museum hosts an array of temporary exhibitions, featuring works from renowned international museums and private collections. These exhibitions provide a unique opportunity to experience art from different cultures and eras, further enriching the visitor’s understanding of the world’s artistic heritage.


With its stunning architecture, exceptional collection, and thought-provoking exhibitions, the Louvre Abu Dhabi is a must-visit destination for art enthusiasts and cultural explorers. It offers a captivating blend of tradition and innovation, fostering cross-cultural dialogue and promoting a deeper appreciation for the arts.


When planning your visit to the Louvre Abu Dhabi, make sure to check the museum’s website for any upcoming events or guided tours that might enhance your experience. Whether you’re a seasoned art enthusiast or simply curious to expand your horizons, a visit to the Louvre Abu Dhabi is sure to leave you inspired and awestruck.


Saadiyat Public Beach

Saadiyat Public Beach is a pristine stretch of shoreline that offers a serene and idyllic escape from the bustling city of Abu Dhabi. With its crystal-clear turquoise waters and soft white sand, this beach is considered one of the most beautiful in the region.


As you step onto the soft sand, you’ll be greeted by a tranquil atmosphere and breathtaking views of the Arabian Gulf. Whether you prefer lounging under the sun with a good book, taking a refreshing swim in the azure waters, or enjoying a leisurely stroll along the shore, Saadiyat Public Beach provides the perfect setting for relaxation and rejuvenation.


The beach is equipped with various amenities to ensure a comfortable visit. From clean and well-maintained showers and changing facilities to beach umbrellas and lounge chairs available for rent, everything you need for a day of seaside bliss is readily available.


In addition to its natural beauty, Saadiyat Public Beach is also committed to environmental sustainability. The beach is a designated Hawksbill turtle nesting site, and efforts are made to protect and preserve these endangered creatures. If you visit during nesting season, you might have the incredible opportunity to witness baby turtles making their way to the ocean.


For those seeking a bit of adventure, the beach also offers an array of water sports activities. From stand-up paddleboarding to kayaking, there are options for both beginners and experienced water enthusiasts. You can even take a guided snorkeling tour to explore the vibrant marine life that lies beneath the surface.


If you’re feeling peckish, there are several beachfront cafes and restaurants where you can indulge in a delicious meal or enjoy a refreshing beverage while taking in the breathtaking views. Whether you crave a light snack or a full meal, there are options to satisfy every palate.


For a perfect day at Saadiyat Public Beach, it’s advised to arrive early to secure a prime spot and make the most of your time in this tranquil oasis. Don’t forget to pack sunscreen, a hat, and plenty of water to stay hydrated under the Arabian sun.


Whether you’re a local resident looking for a weekend retreat or a visitor seeking a slice of paradise, Saadiyat Public Beach is a must-visit destination. With its natural beauty, inviting waters, and abundant recreational opportunities, it offers the ultimate beach experience in Abu Dhabi.


Manarat Al Saadiyat

Manarat Al Saadiyat is a cultural center located on Saadiyat Island that serves as a hub for art, creativity, and education. This vibrant venue offers a multitude of experiences, exhibitions, and workshops designed to engage visitors of all ages and inspire a deeper appreciation for the arts.


As you enter the center, you’ll be welcomed by a modern and airy space that is home to a variety of galleries and exhibition halls. These spaces showcase a diverse range of art forms, including paintings, sculptures, installations, and multimedia presentations. The exhibitions at Manarat Al Saadiyat aim to highlight the works of both local and international artists, providing a platform for cultural exchange and creative exploration.


The center also hosts a range of educational programs and workshops, offering visitors the opportunity to learn about different artistic techniques and engage in hands-on activities. From painting and photography workshops to interactive exhibits that stimulate creativity, there are activities suitable for individuals of all ages and skill levels.


In addition to its exhibitions and workshops, Manarat Al Saadiyat is also home to a number of cultural events and performances throughout the year. These events include live music concerts, theater performances, film screenings, and poetry readings, creating a dynamic and vibrant arts scene on the island.


If you’re in need of a break, the center also houses a café where you can relax and enjoy a cup of coffee or a light snack. The café provides a cozy atmosphere where visitors can reflect on the art they have experienced and engage in meaningful discussions.


When planning your visit to Manarat Al Saadiyat, it is advisable to check the center’s website for information on current and upcoming exhibitions and events. This way, you can tailor your visit to coincide with any particular showcases or performances that pique your interest.


Manarat Al Saadiyat is more than just a gallery or exhibition space – it is a place of inspiration, creativity, and community. Whether you’re a seasoned art aficionado or simply have a curiosity for discovering new artistic expressions, a visit to Manarat Al Saadiyat is sure to leave you feeling inspired and enriched.


Saadiyat Cultural District

The Saadiyat Cultural District is a unique and unprecedented cultural enclave located on Saadiyat Island. This visionary project aims to cultivate a vibrant arts and cultural scene, attracting global attention and positioning Abu Dhabi as a cultural hub in the region.


The district is home to several world-class cultural institutions, each offering a distinct experience and contributing to the diverse tapestry of art and heritage. Here are a few notable highlights:

  1. Louvre Abu Dhabi: As mentioned earlier, the Louvre Abu Dhabi is a standout feature of the Saadiyat Cultural District. The museum’s collection spans thousands of years of human history and showcases masterpieces from various civilizations. It provides a unique journey through art, fostering cross-cultural dialogue and understanding.
  2. Zayed National Museum: Currently under construction, the Zayed National Museum will honor the legacy of Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the founding father of the United Arab Emirates. The museum will explore the rich heritage and values of UAE through interactive exhibits, immersive storytelling, and state-of-the-art technology.
  3. Guggenheim Abu Dhabi: Another much-anticipated addition to the Saadiyat Cultural District is the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi. Designed by renowned architect Frank Gehry, this museum will showcase contemporary art from around the world, creating dialogues between different cultures and artistic practices.
  4. Performing Arts Center: The Performing Arts Center will be a gathering place for local and international performers, offering a space for theatrical productions, concerts, ballets, and other live performances. It will provide a platform for cultural exchange and showcase the diversity of performing arts.

With its distinct architectural designs, these institutions not only house extraordinary collections and exhibitions but also serve as architectural marvels themselves, adding to the visual allure of the island.


The Saadiyat Cultural District is not only a collection of museums and institutions; it is an ecosystem that fosters creativity, collaboration, and innovation. The district nurtures emerging talents through artist residencies, educational programs, and cultural festivals, creating a dynamic environment that encourages artistic expression and exchange of ideas.


Whether you’re a lover of art, history, or simply have a curiosity for cultural exploration, the Saadiyat Cultural District offers a wealth of experiences that will captivate your imagination and deepen your understanding of the global arts landscape.


The Collection Saadiyat

The Collection Saadiyat is a unique development on Saadiyat Island that showcases the finest in luxury living and world-class amenities. This residential community offers a mix of sophisticated villas and spacious apartments, set within beautifully landscaped surroundings and providing residents with an unparalleled lifestyle experience.


The Collection Saadiyat features a diverse range of architectural styles, all designed to blend seamlessly with the island’s natural beauty. From contemporary and modern designs to traditional Arabian-inspired villas, there are homes to suit every taste and preference.


One of the primary attractions of The Collection Saadiyat is its proximity to the island’s cultural landmarks. With the Louvre Abu Dhabi, Guggenheim Abu Dhabi, and Zayed National Museum just a stone’s throw away, residents have easy access to world-class art and cultural experiences right at their doorstep.


In addition to the cultural attractions, The Collection Saadiyat offers a wide range of amenities for its residents. These include state-of-the-art fitness centers, swimming pools, children’s play areas, and beautifully landscaped parks. The community also boasts a selection of dining options, cafes, and retail outlets, ensuring that residents have everything they need within reach.


The Collection Saadiyat is designed with sustainability in mind, incorporating energy-efficient systems and environmentally friendly practices. The community is focused on creating a harmonious and sustainable environment, promoting a sense of well-being for its residents.


Living in The Collection Saadiyat provides not just a home, but a lifestyle. Residents have the opportunity to enjoy leisurely walks along the waterfront promenades, engage in outdoor activities, and participate in community events and activities. The community fosters a strong sense of belonging, creating a close-knit neighborhood where residents can form lasting friendships.


Whether you are looking for a permanent residence or a vacation home, The Collection Saadiyat offers an exceptional living experience. The combination of luxurious amenities, convenient location, and a vibrant cultural scene makes it an ideal choice for those seeking a refined and cosmopolitan lifestyle.


Experience the epitome of luxury living at The Collection Saadiyat and immerse yourself in the beauty and sophistication of Saadiyat Island.


Saadiyat Golf Club

Situated on the pristine Saadiyat Island, Saadiyat Golf Club is a golfer’s paradise that offers an exceptional golfing experience amidst breathtaking natural surroundings. Designed by renowned golfer Gary Player, this championship golf course is as visually striking as it is challenging, making it a must-visit destination for golf enthusiasts of all levels.


The golf course spans 7,806 yards and features stunning ocean views, undulating fairways, and well-manicured greens. Each hole is thoughtfully designed to blend seamlessly with the island’s natural landscape, creating a visually stunning and immersive experience. The course’s strategic bunkering, water hazards, and challenging greens provide a test of skill for golfers of all abilities.


Aside from its exceptional layout, Saadiyat Golf Club is also committed to sustainability and environmental conservation. The course is Audubon certified and utilizes recycled water for irrigation, ensuring a minimal impact on the local ecosystem.


For those looking to refine their skills, Saadiyat Golf Club offers a range of world-class facilities, including a luxurious clubhouse, state-of-the-art practice facilities, and a golf academy. The academy is staffed by PGA-qualified professionals who are dedicated to helping golfers improve their game, offering lessons and tailored programs for players of all ages and skill levels.


After a round of golf, players can relax at the clubhouse, which offers stunning views of the course and the Arabian Gulf. The clubhouse features a restaurant serving delectable cuisine, a golf pro shop offering top-of-the-line equipment and apparel, as well as locker rooms and lounges for a well-deserved rest and relaxation.


Whether you’re a seasoned golfer looking for a memorable round or a beginner eager to learn the game, Saadiyat Golf Club provides an unforgettable golfing experience against a backdrop of natural beauty. The combination of world-class facilities, breathtaking views, and impeccable attention to detail makes this golf course a true gem on Saadiyat Island.


Make sure to book your tee time in advance to secure your spot on this extraordinary golf course and indulge in a remarkable golfing experience that you’ll cherish for years to come.


Saadiyat Public Park

Saadiyat Public Park is a lush green oasis located on Saadiyat Island, offering a serene escape from the bustling city life. With its expansive lawns, shaded areas, and beautiful walkways, this park provides a tranquil and family-friendly environment for residents and visitors alike.


Spread across acres of land, Saadiyat Public Park features a variety of recreational facilities that cater to different age groups and interests. The park offers a playground area where children can enjoy swings, slides, and climbing structures, providing hours of fun and entertainment.


For fitness enthusiasts, Saadiyat Public Park offers jogging and cycling paths, allowing visitors to stay active while enjoying the picturesque scenery. The park also has outdoor gym equipment for those looking to engage in strength and cardio workouts amidst the refreshing outdoor ambiance.


In addition to its recreational facilities, the park is adorned with vibrant flower beds, trees, and shrubs, creating a soothing and inviting atmosphere. The well-maintained lawns are perfect for picnics, family gatherings, or simply lounging under the shade of a tree, enjoying a book or a picnic basket filled with delicious treats.


Saadiyat Public Park is also a popular spot for community events and festivals. From outdoor concerts to cultural celebrations, the park serves as a venue for a range of activities that bring the community together and foster a sense of belonging.


With its focus on sustainability, Saadiyat Public Park incorporates eco-friendly practices such as water conservation and organic landscaping. The park provides a serene and eco-conscious space, allowing visitors to connect with nature and appreciate the beauty of their surroundings.


Whether you’re seeking an active outdoor experience, a peaceful retreat, or a place to connect with friends and family, Saadiyat Public Park offers an inviting and rejuvenating setting. Embrace the tranquility of nature as you unwind in this green oasis on Saadiyat Island.


NYU Abu Dhabi Art Gallery

The NYU Abu Dhabi Art Gallery is a dynamic and influential platform dedicated to showcasing contemporary art from around the world. Located on Saadiyat Island, this gallery is a vibrant cultural hub that fosters artistic expression, fosters critical thinking, and sparks meaningful dialogue.


The gallery features a diverse range of contemporary art exhibitions, highlighting both established and emerging artists from different cultures and disciplines. The curatorial approach focuses on thought-provoking and socially relevant themes, allowing visitors to engage with art that challenges conventions and provides unique perspectives on contemporary issues.


As you explore the NYU Abu Dhabi Art Gallery’s exhibitions, you’ll encounter a wide array of artistic mediums, including paintings, sculptures, photography, installations, and multimedia works. These thoughtful and engaging presentations inspire introspection, encourage dialogue, and invite visitors to consider the intersections between art and society.


In addition to its regular exhibitions, the gallery hosts a range of events, including artist talks, panel discussions, and workshops. These interactive sessions provide opportunities for visitors to engage directly with artists, curators, and scholars, gaining deeper insights into the works on display and the creative processes behind them.


The NYU Abu Dhabi Art Gallery is not only a space for showcasing art; it is also an educational resource. The gallery collaborates with NYU Abu Dhabi’s academic programs, offering students and scholars the opportunity to conduct research, organize exhibitions, and contribute to the local and international art discourse.


Beyond its commitment to the arts, the gallery occupies a significant role in the overall cultural landscape of the UAE. It contributes to the development of an inclusive and vibrant cultural scene, fostering cross-cultural collaborations, and nurturing a spirit of artistic exploration and discovery.


When planning your visit to the NYU Abu Dhabi Art Gallery, be sure to check their website for information on current and upcoming exhibitions and events. Embrace the opportunity to immerse yourself in thought-provoking contemporary art and engage in meaningful discussions on the power and relevance of art in today’s world.


Whether you’re an art enthusiast, a curious visitor, or a student of the arts, a visit to the NYU Abu Dhabi Art Gallery is sure to broaden your perspective and ignite your imagination.


Jumeirah at Saadiyat Island Resort

Jumeirah at Saadiyat Island Resort is a luxurious five-star beachfront resort that offers an unparalleled blend of relaxation, luxury, and natural beauty. Situated on the pristine shores of Saadiyat Island, this resort provides a transformative vacation experience for those seeking a tranquil escape.


The resort boasts stunning contemporary architecture that seamlessly blends with the island’s natural landscape. With its chic interiors, stylish design, and thoughtful details, Jumeirah at Saadiyat Island Resort sets the stage for an unforgettable stay.


Guests can choose from a variety of room types, from spacious guestrooms to lavish suites, each elegantly appointed and equipped with modern amenities. Many rooms offer breathtaking views of the Arabian Gulf, allowing guests to wake up to the soothing sound of the waves and relish in the beauty of the azure waters.


At Jumeirah at Saadiyat Island Resort, relaxation and rejuvenation take center stage. The resort features a serene spa where guests can indulge in a range of treatments and therapies inspired by ancient Middle Eastern traditions. Additionally, there is an inviting pool surrounded by lush gardens, providing the perfect spot to soak up the sun and unwind.


For dining, the resort offers a selection of restaurants serving a diverse range of cuisines. From fresh seafood to international flavors, each dining venue promises a culinary journey that delights the senses. Guests can enjoy casual beachfront dining or indulge in fine dining experiences created by talented chefs.


Jumeirah at Saadiyat Island Resort also caters to families, with a dedicated kids’ club offering a range of activities and entertainment for children of all ages. From arts and crafts to outdoor adventures, little ones are sure to have an unforgettable vacation and make lasting memories.


Beyond the resort’s amenities, a highlight of staying at Jumeirah at Saadiyat Island Resort is its proximity to the island’s cultural attractions. The Louvre Abu Dhabi and other cultural landmarks are just a short distance away, allowing guests to easily explore the arts and heritage of Saadiyat Island.


Whether you’re seeking a romantic getaway, a family vacation, or simply a serene retreat, Jumeirah at Saadiyat Island Resort offers an exceptional destination that combines luxury, natural beauty, and world-class hospitality. Experience a truly transformative escape where every moment is designed to create lasting memories.


Hawksbill Turtle Nesting Site

Saadiyat Island is not only a haven for luxurious resorts and cultural attractions but is also home to a significant ecological gem – the hawksbill turtle nesting site. Located along the pristine beaches of the island, this protected area plays a crucial role in the conservation efforts of this endangered species.


The hawksbill turtle is a majestic sea creature known for its beautiful patterned shell and its importance to marine ecosystems. Saadiyat Island serves as a nesting ground for these remarkable turtles, providing a safe environment for them to lay their eggs and contribute to the survival of their species.


During the nesting season, which usually takes place between April and August, visitors have the rare opportunity to witness the nesting process and, if lucky, the hatching of the baby turtles. Watching the mother turtles emerge from the sea, meticulously digging nests, and delicately laying their eggs is an awe-inspiring sight that leaves a lasting impression.


While visiting the hawksbill turtle nesting site, it is essential to respect the regulations and guidelines set in place to protect these vulnerable creatures. Visitors are advised to maintain a safe distance, avoid using flashlights or any other bright lights, and refrain from touching the nesting turtles or their eggs. It is crucial to let nature take its course and ensure the undisturbed development and survival of the hatchlings.


The conservation efforts on Saadiyat Island also include monitoring and protecting the nests from predators and natural threats. Environmental organizations and volunteers work tirelessly to safeguard the turtle eggs, ensuring their survival and successful hatching.


By visiting the hawksbill turtle nesting site, not only do you witness a remarkable natural phenomenon, but you also contribute to the protection and conservation of these endangered creatures. Your presence helps raise awareness about the importance of preserving their habitat and supporting research and conservation efforts.


Saadiyat Island’s commitment to environmental sustainability and the preservation of its unique natural heritage is evident through the conservation efforts at the hawksbill turtle nesting site. This remarkable experience offers a rare glimpse into the wonders of nature and serves as a powerful reminder of the need to protect and cherish our marine ecosystems.


Explore the hawksbill turtle nesting site on Saadiyat Island, and be part of the journey to conserve and protect these magnificent creatures for generations to come.



Saadiyat Island in Abu Dhabi is a destination that combines natural beauty, cultural richness, and world-class amenities to create an extraordinary experience for visitors. From the iconic Louvre Abu Dhabi to the stunning Saadiyat Public Beach, from the vibrant Manarat Al Saadiyat to the prestigious Saadiyat Golf Club, there is something for everyone on this remarkable island.


The Saadiyat Cultural District, with its renowned museums and art institutions, showcases the power of art and culture in connecting people and bridging cultural divides. Whether you’re exploring the thought-provoking exhibitions at the NYU Abu Dhabi Art Gallery or immersing yourself in the captivating exhibits at The Collection Saadiyat, you’ll be transported to a world of creativity, inspiration, and cross-cultural understanding.


For those seeking relaxation and tranquility, Jumeirah at Saadiyat Island Resort offers a luxurious escape where guests can unwind and rejuvenate amidst idyllic surroundings. And let’s not forget the important ecological gem on the island – the hawksbill turtle nesting site. Observing the nesting process and being a witness to the successful hatching of these majestic creatures highlights the importance of conservation and reminds us of the delicate balance of nature.


Saadiyat Island is a testament to Abu Dhabi’s commitment to sustainability, cultural preservation, and providing unforgettable experiences for its residents and visitors. The island showcases the harmonious blend of natural beauty, cultural heritage, and modern development, making it a unique and captivating destination.


Whether you’re an art enthusiast, a nature lover, a beachgoer, or simply seeking a luxurious retreat, Saadiyat Island has something to offer you. Take the opportunity to immerse yourself in the vibrant cultural scene, indulge in the breathtaking natural scenery, and create lasting memories in this dynamic and enchanting destination.


Experience Saadiyat Island, where art, nature, and luxury converge, and embark on an extraordinary journey that will leave you inspired, rejuvenated, and longing to return.