The water is the most gentle hue of blue, unassuming but striking, the humble star of the island. I watch the tiny fishes that come upon the ripples of the water as the wind blows. Then there are the mangroves, that flora of those salty ripples, as deeply green as any high summer foliage. Who can resist the shy trees that whisper so sweetly into the gusting breeze?
I’ve never understood how people visit the United Arab Emirates and only ever visit Dubai. The other emirates have so much to offer particularly Abu Dhabi. Even though it’s been a few years since I lived there, I returned to see all of the new developments that have happened and was so excited to find this one. In recent years, Abu Dhabi has managed to position itself in the prime position of showcasing their natural attractions. One of these is Al Jubail Island which is home to Al Jubail Mangrove Park. Similar to Purple Island in Qatar, this is a park bordered on all sides by pristine blue-and-green colored water and emerald mangrove trees. A closer look will show you aquatic animals swimming swiftly darting in between the trees. In short: it’s peaceful and picturesque.
What is it?
The main attraction of visiting Jubail Mangrove Park is its boardwalk, which consists of three different routes. The longest one is 2 kilometres, the mid-range one is 1.6km and the shortest route is 1km. Depending on your pace, the longest route can take anywhere between 35 to 90 minutes. The boardwalk takes visitors into the mature mangrove forests and tidal lagoons of Jubail Island and winds through a variety of ecosystems including mangrove habitat, intertidal mudflats, salt marshes, lagoon channels and unique sandstone geological formations.
DO I NEED A 4 WHEEL DRIVE VEHICLE?
No not at all. The roads leading to the Island are well developed despite some ongoing construction. There is a parking lot close to the entrance.
WILL IT COST ME MONEY?
Yes! It costs 15AED per person just to walk around and explore. You can pay and book beforehand or do it upon arrival.
We also opted to do 1.5 hours of kayaking which cost us 110AED each. We booked this and chose a time slot before arrival.
HOW DO I GET THERE?
Google Maps is fairly accurate but as you get closer, you should start to rely on the road signage and not the GPS because due to construction, it can get a bit confusing.
WHAT CAN I DO THERE?
Visiting Al Jubail Mangrove Park offers visitors a wider array of activities to do starting with simply meandering the boardwalks to kayaking to stand up paddling to yoga and meditation. Each has a different price so please consult their official website for more information.
If you wish to just walk around, I advise going at sunset time because the lighting is stunning!
The setting sun met the water edge as if they were happy in some eternal game, no matter the winner, loving one another all the same.
WHAT ARE THE RATINGS ON PANDA’S RATING SCALE?
Give yourself enough time to explore this island! We rushed through it and didn’t have enough to maximize our times there. So give yourself 1-2 hours to walk around and another 1.5 hours if you’re kayaking! This is definitely a great spot and you don’t want to hurry through it.
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Have you considered visiting Al Jubail Mangrove Park? Or have I just put it on your list? Let me know in the comments below!