Abu Dhabi is turning out to be one of the UAE’s prime spots for sports and adventure fanatics.
On Tuesday, plans were revealed for Hudayriat Island that includes transforming about 51 million square metres of it to a residential and leisure attraction.
The island already houses a number of activities that cater to thrill-seekers, from cycling lanes to courts and beaches. In December, a 15km mountain bike trail was inaugurated.
Aside from residential communities, the new mega project that is being led by developer Modon Properties, will add 53.5km of coastline to the city's landscape, including 16km of beaches.
New amenities are also underway, such as Velodrome Abu Dhabi and Surf Abu Dhabi, as well as a wide range of sport, commerce, and leisure amenities, such as the largest urban park in the emirate and a 220km-long network of cycle tracks.
What is Al Hudayriat Island?
The 3,000-hectare island is a community with a focus on fitness and nature. Cycling and jogging tracks, a sprawling obstacle course, courts and other action-packed areas can be found on the island.
The island is connected to Abu Dhabi via a suspension bridge that is an extension of Sheikh Shakhbout Bin Sultan Street. Aside from the main road, the island can also be accessed through cycling lanes.
The recently unveiled attraction is for those who enjoy mountain biking or off-roading, with a facility set on a rough terrain.
The trail spans 15km and offers visitors four difficulty levels coded in colour: green (for beginners and casual riders), blue, red and black (for advanced riders).
For a more laid-back cycling experience, the island offers a stretch of five to 10km cycling tracks. The primary cycle network offers north-south and east-west connections along major road paths and green spaces. Shared cycling facilities can be found on the secondary network, which is embedded in local communities.
Those looking for a leisurely run can make use of the island's serene jogging tracks. Several venues across the island have such paths, including 321 Sports, Bike Park, as well as the Hudayriat Beach for a seaside jogging experience with a view.
The island offers 600 metres of swimming space on the beach, which also has other facilities for a variety of sports and activities. The beach features a cycling track, a running path, as well as four courts for football, volleyball, basketball and tennis.
The island boasts 23 courts that adhere to international specifications and standards — including four beach football fields, four football pitches, two beach volleyball courts, four volleyball courts, four basketball courts and four tennis courts.
The park is home to the largest permanent obstacle course site in the UAE. It features an adult track with eight obstacles and eight fitness stations between each obstacle, as well as a children's track with six smaller obstacle challenges. There is also a welcome centre with changing rooms.
The facility, which is sponsored by Sabco Sports, hosts classes and boot camps that people of all ages can enrol in, to be trained by qualified personal trainers and instructors. The facility is also people-of-determination-friendly.
Passes for adults are Dh150 during weekends, and Dh100 on weekdays. For children, passes cost Dh75 on weekends and Dh50 on weekdays.
The park is open from 9am-3pm and 6pm-midnight (weekdays), and 6am-noon and 7pm-1am (weekends).
The bike park has three trails: the inner one is designed for beginners, built from asphalt and designed in a loop. It is recommended for children who are being introduced to cycling.
The intermediate trail is for more experienced riders. It is also built using asphalt.
The outer dirt trail is for advanced off-road cyclists, and features a number of tunnels and rest areas.
Four unique facilities can be found in Circuit X.
The BMX park offers two types of tracks for experienced and advanced riders. Various water-themed attractions can be seen at Splash Park.
The Skate Park caters to new and experienced skateboarders and scooter riders, where they can try obstacles and get tips from coaches on site. Adventure rope courses await visitors at the High Ropes Park.
Circuit X also features a wall climbing area, as well as a zip line.
Soon to open
Surf Abu Dhabi
Surf Abu Dhabi is scheduled to open by the end of the year. It is set to be “the biggest and most advanced artificial wave facility in the world”, according to Abu Dhabi Media Office.
The attraction has its sights set on breaking records with rides, barrels and wave pools. Both seasoned surfers and novices can enjoy the venue, which could also play host to major international surfing events.
Velodrome Abu Dhabi
Due to open to the public in 2025, the facility will feature the region's first Union Cycliste Internationale category one indoor cycling track, suitable for staging global competitions.
It will include a rooftop track, connected to the ground via a 600-metre cycling ramp winding around the outer walls, giving 360-degree views of Hudayriat Island and the Abu Dhabi skyline.
Emirate's largest urban park
A new green space will span more than 225 hectares, making it the largest urban park in Abu Dhabi.
It will feature a variety of amenities, including an elevated cycling track, an eco-tourism platform and a mangrove walk. There will also be an eco-farm, food and beverage outlets, playgrounds and events valley.