Adjacent to Abu Dhabi city centre in the waters of the Arabian Gulf lies the sprawling Mangrove National Park, a jewel in the UAE capital’s crown. The mangroves are free to visit, although there are some great tours and excursions worth checking out. A two-hour kayak tour would cost roughly AED 160, however, the Anantara Eastern Mangroves Hotel, where tours operate, has more information about ticket prices.
The Mangroves National Park is an ideal place for families, bird watchers and photographers looking to escape the bustle of the city for a few hours. The breathtaking reserve is one of the UAE's most important ecological assets, protected by the Environment Agency Abu Dhabi (EAD). The park constitutes about 75 per cent of the total mangrove forest area in the UAE and is a biodiversity hotspot that includes salt marshes, mudflats, and algal communities.
The mangrove’s indigenous trees protect the region against tidal surges, purify the surrounding water and effectively remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. And while the mangrove protects life outside its borders, there is an also abundance of life inside. Crabs, turtles, herons, flamingos and fish live alongside larger creatures like foxes, dugongs and dolphins.
There are many ways you can experience the Abu Dhabi mangroves. Browse our recommendations below to experience the wildlife and fauna to the fullest.