Photo by Nicole López Del Carril/TheGazelle
Hiding in plain sight along the highway to the Eastern Mangroves hotel is one of the loveliest stretches of the Abu Dhabi corniche, perfect for a stroll with friends or a midday picnic. The long stretch of corniche, less crowded than its northern counterpart, is quiet and peaceful, lined with families fishing and smoking shisha in the February breeze.
The walkway faces the UAE’s first national park, the Eastern Lagoon Mangrove National Park, and is a wonderful escape for an afternoon promenade. The mangroves breathe life into the beautiful creek, and if you are lucky, you can catch a glimpse of flamingos flying overhead.
There is no nicer way to enjoy a Friday afternoon in Abu Dhabi than by joining the families who flood the park with footballs, frisbees, shishas and fishing poles, ready to enjoy their day off.
Grab a few friends and head over to Lulu’s Hypermarket. Pick up some hummus, naan, labneh, olives, halloumi and tomatoes for thirty dirhams. Then take a taxi over to Eastern Mangroves Corniche. Walk along the water and breathe in the fresh air, a nice change from Sama’s ventilation. Pick a gazebo to picnic in or sit on the grass, enjoying the warm sun.
Photo By of Nicole López Del Carril/TheGazelle
Once full, pack up and wander along the water, heading north. At the end of the park, past the dolphin fountain, there is a stretch of palm trees planted in the sand. Get your feet dirty. Walk through the shaded area, enjoying the sounds of birds. Along the creek bank, families have propped up chairs, basking in the sun while waiting for the fish to bite.
Alternatively, for an afternoon of work mingled with the outdoors, take some fold-up chairs and a shisha. Sit along the water and silently pass the shisha from friend to friend while reading the latest novel for class or writing in your journal. There are few places in Abu Dhabi where you can find peace, but the serenity of the Eastern Mangroves Park and Corniche is incomparable.
To get to the Eastern Mangroves Park and Corniche, take a 18-20 AED taxi toward the Eastern Mangroves hotel. As you drive along Salaam Street and highway, you will begin to see the overpass bridges that lead to the corniche. Ask the cab driver to pull over on the side of the road by one of these staircases. Cross over to the corniche and enjoy your afternoon walk.