kayaking at mangrove national park

Mangrove National Park

Abu Dhabi

All about Mangrove National Park

Set just outside Abu Dhabi’s main hub, Eastern Mangrove Lagoon National Park is a scenic escape of luscious mangrove trees and calming channels of water. 

Guests can walk along the boardwalk among the shelter of the magnificent mangroves, or book a kayak to move through the waterways. Get an even closer look at the wildlife that resides here, from colourful birds to turtles and dolphins.

Mangrove National Park isn’t just a serene spot to spend the afternoon – it’s also a crucial contributor to the city’s atmosphere and environment. Mangrove trees both protect the coastline from tidal surges and remove carbon dioxide from the air. 75% of the country’s mangroves are found in this tranquil park. 

Visit the Environment Agency, Abu Dhabi for more information about this wonderful habitat. 

kayaking at mangrove national park kayaking at mangrove national park

Reasons to visit Mangrove National Park

Mangrove National Park is a sanctuary for some of Abu Dhabi’s brightest birds and marine life. Take your camera for a chance to capture the diverse wildlife in its natural habitat.

Travelling by kayak is the best way to spot these beautiful creatures, with around 60 species of birds calling this diverse habitat home. Traverse the various channels with your eyes on the shallow banks to spot herons and flamingos along the water’s edge.

There are also mottled crabs, turtles and tropical fish residing in the waterways, so have your camera at the ready. If you’re really lucky, you might even catch a dolphin or dugong in the deeper parts of the park.

The massive mangroves themselves also make for great camera subjects, with some reaching up to 15 feet in height. 

birds at mangrove national park

Mangrove National Park is just off Al Salam Street to the east of the city centre, close to the Anantara Hotel. 

Head on Corniche Road along the coast then join the E10 inland following the signs for the airport. The park will be on your left, but you’ll need to continue on the E10 to loop around. 

At the airport you’re only 20 minutes away from the park. Join the E20 towards the city to merge onto the E22 and E10 to your destination. 

This national park is around 30 minutes from Saadiyat Island via the E12 and E10. Cross over Sheikh Khalifa Bridge and take in the spectacular views of the water before heading inland. 

Things to know before you go

Mangroves play an important role in our environment

Mangroves are an important part of the UAE’s ecosystem and Abu Dhabi’s coastline. Not only do they create the perfect habitat for lots of different wildlife to thrive, but they also work as a natural windbreaker from tidal waves.

On top of all this, mangroves also remove carbon dioxide from our air, helping to limit the effects of global warming. 

Mangrove National Park holds around 75% of the total mangrove forestry in the United Arab Emirates and is protected by the Environment Agency Abu Dhabi (EAD). So there’s nowhere better to see these beautiful, beneficial trees and shrubs.

Take plenty of water and sunscreen 

Eastern Mangrove Lagoon National Park spans seven square miles (19 square kilometres) of narrow waterways and luscious mangroves, so you will need a few hours of exploring. For this reason, it’s important to take plenty of water with you to keep yourself hydrated.

The mangroves also don’t provide much shade from the Abu Dhabi sunshine, with the highest mangrove only reaching around 15 feet. While the donut boats and cruises offer a shady spot, kayaks and canoes don’t. If you’re planning on renting a kayak, remember to take a hat and sunglasses and keep your skin topped up with sunscreen.

Mangrove National Park: FAQs

A day at Mangrove National Park

man stood on paddleboard man stood on paddleboard

Soak up the views

Arrive at Mangrove National Park bright and early to wander the boardwalk. This quiet spot is perfect for soaking up the views of the luscious mangroves. 

Once you’ve had a glimpse of what this amazing park can offer, head back to the promenade for a bite to eat at one of the many cafes and restaurants.

Fun on the water

After lunch, head to the rental centre and book your kayak or canoe rental for a few hours on the water. Paddle through the narrow channel ways among the sprawling mangroves and have your camera ready to snap the various wildlife. 

For a more relaxing way to spend the remaining afternoon, stock up with supplies for a picnic and rent a donut boat. These shaded boats are electric driven, so you can cruise down the waterways and find the perfect spot to watch the sun set. 

Where to next?

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Al Ain Oasis

This haven just hours from the city offers a unique look into the region’s traditional agriculture. Walk among the shaded canopy of date palms and fruit trees. 

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Corniche Beach

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All imagery provided by © Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi