Abu Dhabi might not sound like a windsurfing destination. This buzzing urban metroplis is capital of the United Arab Emirates, and most often associated with oil and money. But Abu Dhabi’s position right on the Persian Gulf means there is plenty of water around too. And water, means windsurfing. This is our guide to the best Abu Dhabi windsurfing spots.
Abu Dhabi isn’t the windiest of cities, but there is enough breeze to power a sail – wind speed tends to hover around the 10-15 knots mark. It can be a great place to learn to windsurf or to practice skills. Those seeking more of a thrill should head on to the water during the Shamal winds: strong winds that blow off the desert when conditions are right, usually during summer.
Abu Dhabi’s coastline is attractive, with much more green than many visitors expect, and mangrove swamps near the shore. There are huge sandy beaches and many uninhabited islands along the coast, which make wildlife havens.
Yas Island is the best place to head for windsurfing, with windsurfing hire and lessons available on Yas Beach. It is a long, attractive sandy beach which is easy to reach from the city.
Another option for those seeking higher wind speeds and bigger thrills is to head to neighbouring Oman. This is the best windsurfing location in the region, and attracts windsurfers from Europe as well as the Middle East. Masirah Island is the place to go, with strong winds (especially over summer) and some great wave sailing.
Take a an Abu Dhabi windsurfing trip and enjoy easy windsurfing in the shadow of the big city’s bright lights.