4 Reasons Why You Should Visit Saadiyat Island in Abu Dhabi

Aside from being the capital of the United Arab Emirates, Abu Dhabi is also home to a combination of ancient and modern-day attractions. On this island, people from all walks of life – from the frugal travelers to history buffs – have something they may be interested in.

One particular island promises a wonderful, once-in-a-lifetime experience filled with heritage, culture, and nature, packed in one massive low-lying body of land located just half a kilometer off the coast of Abu Dhabi.

On this island, you will get to enjoy the rich culture, modern architecture, natural tourist attractions, and different types of international cuisine. Below is a summary of the four key reasons why you should visit Saadiyat Island on your next out-of-town trip:

1.   Culture and Heritage

Saadiyat Island is a place where modern architecture and cultural heritage meet as it is home to several renowned museums.

Lauded as one of the best sites to visit for art and culture enthusiasts, people who were lucky enough to visit the Saadiyat Cultural District consider it the “second Louvre.” Saadiyat Island also houses a partially submerged museum as well as a place called Manarat Al Saadiyat or “The Place of Enlightenment” where tourists get to enjoy beautiful galleries.

And then, there’s the world-renowned Musee du Louvre. This iconic tourist destination serves as the first universal museum that cultivates openness of cultures in the Arab World.

2.   The Pristine Beaches and Hawksbill Turtles

Often compared to The Maldives and Croatia, the Saadiyat Island’s beaches have also gained fame among tourists for its crystal blue waters and pristine white sand. Home to Saadiyat Island beach clubs and resorts,  the island is surrounded by stretches of one of UAE’s most desirable pearl white beaches.

It features a delicate balance between modern resorts and the unspoiled beauty of nature. Local authorities maintain strict policies limiting tourist visits to dune protection zones while offering access to the beach with the help of a wooden boardwalk.

Fortunately, their efforts bore positive consequences as wildlife were able to keep the beach as their nesting ground. One creature that resides on the island is the Hawksbill sea turtle. They are listed as “critically endangered animals” on the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List, with a staggering 80 percent decline in population worldwide because of poaching and the destruction of their natural habitat.

Known as Saadiyat Island’s original “guests,” these species of sea turtles create nests along the island’s sweeping nine-kilometer beachfront every year. To make sure they don’t go extinct, Hawksbill turtles are protected by the Abu Dhabi government through stern policies and regular patrols on areas where they typically nest in.

3.   The Delicious Cuisine

When visiting a place like Abu Dhabi, trying the local cuisine is a prerogative. Instead of munching on your usual fast-food combos, you must try these two local dishes the UAE capital is proud of:

  1. Harees – A simple dish made from chicken meat, wheat, and salt traditionally served during special occasions, like weddings and the Ramadan.
  2. Machboos – Also called, Makboos or Majboos, this is another simple dish from Abu Dhabi that features a special blend of spices. It can be made out of any kind of meat, except pork.

Aside from the local cuisine, Abu Dhabi also has a number of dining options for those who are looking for international dishes. Offering diversity as the appetizer, many restaurants and food shops in the country serve food originating from Japan, Australia, the United Kingdom, and even the United States. Why else would a Friday brunch in Abu Dhabi be so popular for both tourists and locals alike?

4.   The Exciting Night Scene

After indulging in mouthwatering food, you and your pals might want to venture into the exciting evening scene when in Abu Dhabi. In this aspect, you can never go wrong with Saadiyat Beach.

Home to numerous clubs and party hubs, St. Regis Saadiyat Island can cure your party fever without the need to set one foot off the island. These establishments pride themselves with incredible live parties and a vast collection of delicious cocktails.

Saadiyat Island is Ready for You

As a tourism-cultural project, Saadiyat Island has been developed into a hub where generations and different cultures convene. If you’re still unsure whether visiting the island is the right vacation for you, try researching more about the different attractions this place offers. After all, there’s always something for everyone in Saadiyat Island.


Soraya Abdul Azis is the Marketing Manager for Saadiyat Beach Club in the UAE, the very first beach club on Saadiyat where guests can enjoy and celebrate a world of fine living, health and well-being. Soraya has worked in Design, Advertising and PR in Dubai and Beirut for the past 4 years.