Abu Dhabi kids
The capital boasts plenty of recreation for your rug rats. Explore the city’s parks, gardens, islands, beaches, kids’ clubs and mums’ groups Discuss this article
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By the seaside
The UAE is not short of sand, but the majority of the beaches charge fees. By far the most popular in the city is Corniche Beach, a man-made stretch of sand. It has quickly won over a flock of admirers and at only Dhs10, it isn’t very expensive. The only free beaches are those on the surrounding islands or the old public beach, out past Emirates Palace. However, unless you want to get active with the kitesurfers and boot camp enthusiasts, there are no real facilities. Man-made islands such as Bahraimi and Lulu Island (opposite the corniche) are likewise free, but then you also have to get to them – they are also often littered with rubbish. Boats and charters can be hired from Abu Dhabi Marina (at Marina Mall) and Al Bateen Marina, although it can be pricey. If your kids are a bit older, rent a Jet Ski from the InterContinental and explore the islands by yourselves.
Parks and gardens
Plenty of parks dot the city, speckling the urban chaos with dabs of horticulture. A great number of the best parks sit across from the corniche, with areas set aside especially for barbecues and picnics. The most family friendly is, unsurprisingly, Family Park, near the Hilton Baynunah. It has plenty of activities for kids, including a maze and a giant pirate ship to light up the eyes of any youngster. Meanwhile Khalidayah Park has theme park-style rides, as does Khalifa Park, near the Abu Dhabi Exhibition Centre. For peace and quiet, head to Zalamat Garden, near the InterContinental. Shady, a bit wilder and usually quieter too, it offers something a bit different to the rest of the city’s odes to nature.
Time Out Abu Dhabi,