Al Reem Island is one of Abu Dhabi’s most popular residential areas, thanks to its ample new-build tower blocks and state-of-the-art facilities. But there is actually more to this area than gleaming skyscrapers and apartments.
From breakfast to dinner: Where to eat
While there aren't dozens of restaurants on Reem Island, what it lacks in quantity it makes up for in quality. Located along the promenade beneath the Mangrove Place residential building is Coffee Architecture. This cafe has amassed something of a cult following, not just among Reem residents, but in wider Abu Dhabi. It's one of the capital's best-regarded coffee shops, known for its experimental baristas and excellent cakes. If you're looking for something slightly more substantial, head to nearby Shams Boutik, a mall where you'll find a host of eateries including Nando's, Subway, La Brioche, Smoking Doll and Leopold's of London. For authentic desi street food, head to The Kettle Corner. This small restaurant, also in the mall, is always busy and is a popular meeting spot.
The best things to do on Reem Island
The area's credentials were given a boost at the end of last year when Reem Central Park opened. The 92,900-square-metre recreational space cost more than Dh250 million, and features a beach, gym, skate park, playground and community lawn. It also hosts daily laser fountain shows and regular events, including outdoor cinemas and pop-up festivals. Abu Dhabi water sports company Seahawk has just launched a kiosk at Reem Beach, meaning you can now enjoy kayaking and paddle boarding around the island's mangroves.
Reem Island also offers an interconnected route of beach and canal-side paths, which are popular with runners and walkers, offering them more than five kilometres of traffic-free terrain. The island is now also home to dozens of rentable electric scooters, which you can find everywhere and are proving popular among residents.
Where to shop
Waitrose in Shams Boutik is the largest supermarket available to Reem Island residents. It offers a rotisserie, deli counter, butcher, bakery and fishmonger, and its aisles are full of products from the British supermarket. Elsewhere, there is a sizeable Carrefour Market located in the Marina Square precinct, while most other tower blocks are within walking distance of a convenience store. The island is set to get its very own mega-mall when Reem Mall opens in late 2020. In the meantime, The Galleria on Al Maryah Island and its new extension are just a five-minute drive away.
Where to stay
Reem Island doesn't offer much in the way of hotel accommodation, but Al Maryah Island is home to some of Abu Dhabi's most upscale properties. Located at either end of The Galleria are Rosewood Abu Dhabi and Four Seasons Hotel Abu Dhabi. The Rosewood boasts some of the most impressive bars in the capital, from cosy Hidden Bar to lively Glo, which offers great views of the Abu Dhabi skyline. The Four Seasons has upmarket steakhouse Butcher & Still, Peruvian hotspot Coya and 99 Sushi Bar & Restaurant.