Nestled along the pristine shores of the Arabian Gulf, Saadiyat Island is one of the most attractive parts of Abu Dhabi.
There is an array of things to do on Saadiyat Island, ranging from exploring museums to relaxing at luxurious beachside retreats to playing a round of golf or indulging in some of the best food in the Emirate.
Saadiyat Island is considered the Cultural District due to its dedication to the arts. From the Louvre Abu Dhabi to Manarat Al Saadiyat, there is always an array of ever-changing artistic events and displays.
Whether you want to hang out on the beautiful aqua-blue beaches with pristine white sand or do something exhilarating like kayaking, there is plenty to enjoy. Let’s dive in to discover the best things to do on Saadiyat Island.
Things To Do In Saadiyat Island
1. Immerse In The Architectural Wonder Of
The Louvre Abu Dhabi
Visiting The Louvre Abu Dhabi is a quintessential experience when looking for things to do on Saadiyat Island.
Based on the edge of the Arabian Gulf, the museum is built over the seawater that flows into the museum.
The Louvre Abu Dhabi’s dome is adorned with geometric shapes inspired by traditional Islamic architecture.
This architectural marvel not only showcases an impressive collection of art and artefacts but also serves as a connection between different cultures.
As you enter the museum, you’re welcomed by rays of light and space, taking you on a journey through creativity. The ocean flows around and through the museum, making it a truly unique landmark.
From ancient masterpieces to contemporary art, the Louvre Abu Dhabi has plenty to discover.
Within The Louvre Abu Dhabi, there are restaurants and bars. We highly recommend Art Lounge, a stunning open-air rooftop bar, perfect for sundowners and nibbles after a day of exploring.
If you fancy a more fulfilling meal, head to Fouquets, the ultimate French fine dining experience, followed by a visit to Marta Bar afterwards to unwind.
It’s worth noting the museum is closed on a Monday.
2. Kayak Beneath The Louvre Abu Dhabi
Kayaking at the Louvre Abu Dhabi offers a unique experience, allowing visitors to explore the museum’s surroundings from a different perspective. It’s one of the most exciting things to do on Saadiyat Island.
As you paddle along the calm waters surrounding the iconic dome, you can take in the views of the museum’s architectural marvels and the picturesque coastline of Saadiyat Island.
Gliding past the museum’s reflective pools and lush gardens, you can’t help but feel relaxed. The evening is a fantastic time to take a kayaking trip as the sunset is beautiful at The Louvre.
Another fantastic time to take a kayaking trip is on the full moon!
3. Relax At One Of The Glorious Beaches
Soul Beach and Kai Beach on Saadiyat Island are the options for a day at the beach. Both have a fee to enter, however for that reason, you can expect a pristinely clean beach with an umbrella and lounger as well as fantastic changing and washroom facilities.
Soul Beach is right in front of Mamsha Al Saadiyat and a number of the restaurants deliver to your lounger if you fancy something to eat whilst relaxing.
Soul Beach is a stunning stretch of coastline and the water is mostly relatively calm for kids to enjoy.
Kai Beach has an adventurous vibe, offering watersport activities from paddleboarding and kayaking to jet-skiing and parasailing.
Not to mention some delicious food options served to your lounger. Kai Beach also often has ladies-only days. It’s usually on a Friday but dates can change.
Weekend and weekday entry fees to both beaches differ, so check out their website for more information.
4. Watch A Performance At NYU Arts Center
The Arts Center at NYU Abu Dhabi on Saadiyat Island serves as a cultural hotspot, offering a diverse range of performances and arts programming all year round.
With its state-of-the-art facilities and professional production crew, the center hosts events such as theatre, music, film, visual arts, and interactive media activations.
5. Delve Into Art Displays At Manarat Al Saadiyat
Manarat Al Saadiyat, located in the heart of Saadiyat Island, is Abu Dhabi’s premier destination for art, culture, and community engagement.
Offering a dynamic lineup of exhibitions, talks, and events, this vibrant venue invites visitors to explore diverse artistic expressions and celebrate the region’s rich heritage.
From showcasing the history of civilizations to supporting local talent through Emirati expressions, Manarat Al Saadiyat serves as a hub for creativity.
Whether you’re a seasoned art enthusiast or simply looking for a place to connect with the community, Manarat Al Saadiyat offers something for everyone to enjoy and be inspired by.
6. Spend The Day At Saadiyat Beach Club
Spending the day at Saadiyat Beach Club is ideal for a day of relaxation. Featuring a beautiful pool, direct access to a white pristine beach, restaurants and fitness amenities, there is plenty to enjoy during the day.
7. Play A Round Of Golf
The championship course boasts immaculately manicured fairways and lush greens against the stunning backdrop of Saadiyat Island’s pristine coastline.
Whether you’re a seasoned golfer or a novice looking to improve your game, the club offers top-notch facilities and amenities, including professional instruction and equipment rental.
You’ll have stunning views of the Arabian Gulf as you navigate the course. After your round, relax at the clubhouse, where you can enjoy delicious cuisine and refreshing drinks.
8. Stroll Along Mamsha Al Saadiyat
Strolling along Mamsha Al Saadiyat is perfect just as the sun sets. The promenade runs along Soul Beach and features tens of restaurants and cafes.
Featuring manicured palm trees, a beautiful view of the ocean and a perfect walkway for a stroll, it’s perfect with kids or a baby in a pushchair.
Many of the restaurants spill outdoors during the cooler months from November to March offering al fresco dining.
Some of the nice restaurants include:
- Black Tap Craft Burgers & Shakes: Offering award-winning craft burgers, including vegan and regionally-inspired options.
- Alkalime: A conscious dining experience with a changing seasonal menu, popular for breakfast.
- Beirut Sur Mer: A Michelin Guide Bib Gourmand winner, serving inventive Lebanese-Levantine fare and fresh seafood.
- Pickl: Known for great burgers made with freshly-made sauces and pickles, including Impossible burgers and shakes.
- Raclette Brasserie and Café: Featuring French fare with Amazonian vibes, specializing in raclette cheese dishes.
- Niri Restaurant & Bar: A fully licensed Japanese dining spot offering sushi and yakitori in stylish interiors.
- Antonia Restaurant: Serving light and tasty pizzas made with a 50-year-old sourdough starter, alongside Italian cuisine classics.
- Local: A lifestyle brand cafe offering quality products and services, with a menu featuring regional flavours and sourdough sandwiches.
9. Explore Abrahamic Family House
Discover the Abrahamic Family House, a remarkable symbol of unity and one of the latest things to do on Saadiyat Island.
This unique complex embraces diversity while fostering peace among different religious traditions.
Explore the mosque, church, synagogue, and Forum for gathering and dialogue through pre-booked guided tours, available Tuesday to Sunday from 10am to 5pm.
Worshippers can also participate in daily prayers according to their faith’s timings without requiring prior booking.
Whether joining educational initiatives, attending religious services, or engaging in interfaith discussions, this sacred space offers a profound opportunity for learning and growth.
Find out more about the Abrahamic Family House
10. Indulge in A Weekend Brunch As One of The Top Things To Do On Saadiyat Island
Experience a culinary adventure like no other with the limited-edition Brunch at Park Hyatt Abu Dhabi on Saadiyat Island.
From an innovative twist on breakfast classics to live oyster shucking and VIP (Vegans in Park), this brunch is meticulously curated to showcase the culinary team’s finest creations.
Indulge in a lavish buffet brunch featuring live stations, complemented by house beverages or champagne.
With live entertainment, an elaborate kids fair, and a dedicated kids bar, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.
It takes place on Saturdays from 1:00pm to 4:30pm for an unforgettable dining experience, booking is required.