It's easy to see why: the serene area is known to be a self-contained educational and leisure destination.
While it is primarily a mangrove sanctuary, it is also home to a variety of wildlife, including fish and birds, all of which can be easily spotted from a two-kilometre boardwalk that runs through the site.
While at the park, Prince William and Sheikh Khaled bin Mohamed, Member of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council and Chairman of Abu Dhabi Executive Office, planted mangrove saplings with pupils and discussed the importance of young people leading the charge for sustainable development for years to come.
Abu Dhabi also set out ambitious plans to establish the emirate as a global hub for research and innovation, in support of the conservation of mangroves, during Prince William's historic visit. The Abu Dhabi Mangrove Initiative will be carried out by the Environment Agency Abu Dhabi and has already secured its first partnership with the Zoological Society of London, a charity that has Queen Elizabeth II as its patron.
Jubail Mangrove Park opened to the public on January 30, 2020, and has since become a favourite spot for nature-loving residents of the capital.
The aim of the park and mangrove walk is to provide cultural and ecological information on the trees, which have been in the region “since the early days of the emirates”, while focusing on the protection and preservation of the natural environment and all the wildlife connected to it.
Everything you need to know before your visit to the Jubail Mangrove Park:
Location: Jubail Mangrove Park is on Abu Dhabi's Al Jubail Island. It is a 22-minute drive from Abu Dhabi International Airport and less than 25 minutes from Yas Island, Reem Island and Al Khalidiya. It is a 60-minute drive from Dubai Marina.
Timings and parking: The park is open daily from 7am, with the last entry at 9pm. It closes at 10pm. Free parking is available on the site.
Best time to visit: This depends largely on the tides. A visit during high tide will give guests water views. Those visiting during low tide may find the attraction dry. For more information on the tides, see the forecast here.
Price: The cost of entry to the boardwalk begins at Dh5. There are also walking experiences with a ranger, priced from Dh25. For adventurous guests, there's also an electric dragon boat experience, with fares starting at Dh80. Kayaking starts at Dh90, and yoga sessions cost from Dh80 onwards.
Children aged 6 and under go free for the boardwalk experience.
Who can visit: While the park is open to all, children under 12 should be accompanied by an adult. Al Hosn green pass is required to enter the park. Advance booking through the website is highly recommended as tickets on arrival are not guaranteed. Also do note that there might be a queue to access the boardwalk.
Amenities: Services available include a visitor's centre, with toilet and shower amenities, and a cafe that serves teas, coffees and baked goods. There are also various activities such as sunset kayaking and stand-up paddle boarding.
Wildlife: Throughout the park, visitors can get up close and personal with wildlife such as birds ― herons and flamingos are some of the species found — fish and crustaceans.
What to expect: The main attraction at Jubail Mangrove Park is its boardwalk, which consists of three different routes. The longest one stretches two kilometres, the mid-range one is 1.6km and the shortest is 1km. A ranger said, depending on the pace, the longest route can take anywhere between 35 to 90 minutes.
There is no fixed time limit for one to leave the attraction.
“Some people might want to take a brisk walk, some would want a leisurely stroll and there will be people coming in to take pictures as this is a photographer’s paradise,” a ranger said.
“There are opening and closing hours but we don’t want to rush anyone.”
Those taking the routes will encounter educational nodes along the way, each with a teaching aspect to it. These areas include:
- The floating platform: A platform with a net through which one can catch a closer glimpse at marine life
- Power of the sea: A viewing space with greater access to the water
- Roots of the mangrove: An area dedicated to observing the roots of the trees
- Viewing tower: Located at the centre of the park for those who want a higher vantage point
- Salt collector: A node with "water collectors" at different levels that highlight the changing tides
- Beach tower: A low-level platform that gives visitors a chance to get their feet wet
The boardwalk also has viewing platforms for those who want to sit down and enjoy the views.
Meet the rangers: The mangrove park has several rangers, all of whom have a background in various aspects of ecology. Some rangers move through the park, while others are stationed at the nodes, and all will be happy to answer questions and share information about the park, its trees and wildlife. They also give occasional talks.
What not to do
The park is an ecological site first, so it has a number of rules in place. These include:
- No swimming
- No littering
- No smoking
- No food or beverages on the boardwalk
- No pets allowed
- No fishing
- No toys, skating, or use of scooters or bicycles.
- No touching plants or wildlife
- Appropriate attire must be worn
- The park also reserves the right to remove any persons according to its rules or because of inappropriate behaviour.
For more information, visit park.jubailisland.ae
A version of this article was originally published in February 2020.