Al Bahar on Abu Dhabi’s iconic corniche represents the latest beachfront development to open on the shores of the Arabian Gulf. Following hot on the heels of Dubai’s popular La Mer, the capital now has it’s own lifestyle destination in the form of A’l Bahar from Miral Holdings.
This new development takes pride of place on a sweeping patch of sand at the far end of Abu Dhabi’s corniche. Presenting some of Abu Dhabi’s top landmarks and tourist attractions as a backdrop – Emirates Palace, Nation Towers, Marina Village and the Marina Eye – all of which can be spotted from this secluded patch of sand.
Entry to the 80,000 SQM A’l Bahar is completely free and can be found at numerous points along the corniche road. Parking is available in the external carpark at Nation Towers and in the parking area adjacent to the Al Hilal bank building and Spinneys supermarket. We would recommend the latter option for those looking to use the sports and recreation facilities.
Away from the road you’ll barely notice the sounds of the traffic with A’l Bahar taking on a serene vibe that is only accentuate with the onset of sunset. Much like La Mer, A’l Bahar looks to create an Instagrammable lifestyle destination in the very heart of the capital and visitors can easily leverage the illuminated hearts and huge hashtags for likes, comments and follows.
Recreation: In the cooler months we fully expect visitors to flock to A’l Bahar to use the outdoor recreational facilities which include beach volleyball and basketball courts (easily the most picturesque location in the capital to play ball), a forthcoming Body Tree yoga studio and an outdoor gym situated right upon the sand. We also hear that a branch of Adventure HQ will be opening here in the near future.
Similar developments have gained traction with residents and tourists alike in Dubai’s JBR and Kite Beach and we hope to see the same enthusiasm shown towards A’l Bahar.
Following the blueprint of JBR, A’l Bahar brings us AquaFun, Abu Dhabi’s largest inflatable waterpark. Moored offshore in the shallow waters, AquaFun is a hybrid of bouncy castle, obstacle course and fun house all rolled into one. If viewed from an aerial perspective the buoyant course spells out ‘I ♥ AD’ and those looking for some fun in the water must navigate an 85 piece course made up of monkey bars, trapeze swings, steps, ropes, trampolines and slides. After much slipping and sliding the pinnacle of the course is an elevated section from which you must either slide or JUMP into the ocean.
AquaFun is undeniable family fun and brings something new entirely new to Abu Dhabi’s leisure landscape. It’s inevitable you’ll end up in the water, but fear not because lifeguards are on hand and lifejackets are required to participate.
At a cost of AED 105 per person per hour (or AED 157 for the day) the pricing feels acceptable and AquaFun opens from 9am — 6:20pm daily for those aged five and upwards.
F&B: What of the food, we hear you ask? While not all the proposed 48 dining, retail and leisure options are open yet, for now there are a number of dependable options scattered along the waters edge in what appear to be up-cycled shipping containers (regular visitors to the Mother of the Nation festival will know what we mean).
A multitude of cuisines from all over the globe are available with team Out & About favourites Depresso, Eat Sol and Cupagahwa all present. Depresso brings their quirky blended ice coffees topped with mini donuts to Abu Dhabi’s beachfront, while Eat Sol produce not only burgers to rival Abu Dhabi favourite Salt but incredible milkshakes with way more calories than we’d hazard to guess (the lotus one would be our recommendation). Continuing with caffeine and the UAE”s obsession with coffee culture, Cupagahwa’s concept revolves around traditional Arabian flavours. Think karak teas, milk cakes and a unicorn frappe topped with candy floss that has to be seen to be believed!
Don’t miss the kunafa wrapped prawns or lobster rolls at Urban Seafood! While authentic Mexican flavours can be found at the third location of popular homegrown concept Barbacoa, or for those searching for French fancy try Pascal Tapper. If dessert is more your thing then A’l Bahar’s options include international ice-cream parlor Haagen Dazs and Crepe De Licious for all your pancake, waffle and crepe requirements.
Featuring a 500m promenade leading directly onto the sand, A’l Bahar marks a great new family-friendly addition to the capital. Little ones are likely to be enamoured by the beach, inflatable waterpark, playground and carnival games. While adults will appreciate the strong promotion of health and wellbeing in the capital. These combining factors make A’l Bahar a lifestyle destination worth checking out this weekend – enjoy!
All views are our own and all photographs are © Out & About UAE with the exception of the cover image used courtesy of Al Bahar