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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 20 June 2018

Five things to do on Abu Dhabi's new Hudayriat Island

It was the bridge to nowhere that now takes you to somewhere – Hudayriat that is.

The enormous island is now open to the public, who can cycle or drive across the suspension bridge.

Almost the size of Abu Dhabi's main island in length, there are grand designs to one day make it a leisure and entertainment destination.

Here's what we know so far:

ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES. 27 MAY 2018. Opening of Hudayriat beach next to Al Bateen beach. Beach facilities with life guards pre opening. (Photo: Antonie Robertson/The National) Journalist: Haneen Dajani. Section: National.
ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES. 27 MAY 2018. Opening of Hudayriat beach next to Al Bateen beach. Beach facilities with life guards pre opening. (Photo: Antonie Robertson/The National) Journalist: Haneen Dajani. Section: National.

Hit the beach

A long stretch of beach opened to the public on Monday with loungers and lifeguards on hand.

The whole island is not accessible quite yet, but there are 600 metres of open and combed beach ready to be used.

Swimmers, however, will have to wait until after Ramadan when the guard rope around the swimming section is in place.

Major housing developments are planned in the coming years, so it's unlikely you'll be able to explore the whole island.

The cycle path runs across Hudayriat bridge and onto the island. Courtesy: Abu Dhabi Police
The cycle path runs across Hudayriat bridge and onto the island. Courtesy: Abu Dhabi Police

Cycle over the bridge and on to the island

There aren't that many places to safely cycle within the city, and enthusiasts often head to Yas Island in the evenings.

But the new bridge has a dedicated cycle lane and riders can head around some of the island at present.

Loops of running and cycling tracks‎ are open, and 5km and 10km tracks are planned.

Other athletic attractions include five football fields, four basketball courts, four volleyball and four beach football courts.

The island also has food truck facilities. Antonie Robertson / The National
The island also has food truck facilities. Antonie Robertson / The National

Food trucks galore

Everyone's favourite mobile dining experience is back, with mobile kitchens providing food to families on an island excursion.

A number of food trucks were open during the opening ceremony on Sunday evening and it is expected that will fill up at the weekends.

The beach and island also have playground facilities for kids. Antonie Robertson / The National
The beach and island also have playground facilities for kids. Antonie Robertson / The National

Camping but not quite yet

At the opening of the island on Sunday, sport council officials said there will soon be a camping area along with zip line, kayaks, kite-surfing and a mountain-bike course.

But there is no firm timeline on the site's arrival yet.

It's also not clear if the island will be open overnight yet, and it is likely it will wind down by late evening if there is no accommodation yet.

The new slipway at Hudayriat Island. Courtesy Abu Dhabi Municipality
The new slipway at Hudayriat Island. Courtesy Abu Dhabi Municipality

Watersports

Kayaking and kite-surfing are planned for the waters off the island, and a boat and jet ski slipway is already open underneath the main bridge.

Loading and offloading of boats and jet skis is free of charge if owners do it themselves.

The island will eventually add 30 kilometres of waterfront to Abu Dhabi.

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Read more:

Hudayriat Island beach opening a 'gift' to the people of Abu Dhabi

Boat and jet ski slipway opens underneath Abu Dhabi's 'bridge to nowhere'

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