Wednesday, 7 June 2017

Abu Dhabi Corniche Beach Running Route

Click here for route map
Length 7.2 km (4.4 miles), terrain: flat

Now, with the summer heat baking the Emirates, it might seem a bit crazy to even try a run, but for the winter half of the year, you can do some nice morning runs in the milder weather. And if you're in downtown Abu Dhabi, the best place to run is the waterfront promenade along Corniche Beach.
The promenade
The Corniche is the waterfront road along the north shore of town, and for its entire length, there is a nice pedestrian promenade, embedded in a narrow, park-like setting.
Flowering tree along the way
This route follows the nicest part of the promenade, along the two artificial beaches, where the curvy promenade winds through trees and shade canopies, a bit removed from the nearby traffic. The Corniche promenade continues to both the east and west of this route, but those sections lie directly next to the road, so they aren't as nice.

So, if you're ready to get up early and head out for a nice morning run, get yourself to Corniche Road, at 6th Street. The promenade here has a little bandstand in a semicircular lawn. Across the water, you can see the huge new Marina development.
View to the Marina
Now, the route is simple: just turn right and run northeastwards along the curvy promenade with the water to your left side, avoiding the sidewalk directly next to the road.

This is one of the town's favorite spots to hang out and enjoy cool mornings and evenings, so it can be a bit crowded in the evening or on winter afternoons, so the early morning is always best for running. The beach itself is full of spa buildings and shade-tents, so you don't really see much sand or water along this part.
More of the promenade: nice spot!
After a kilometer, you'll round another semicircle and then continue along the landscaped promenade.

To the left, you'll now see the brown sand dunes of Al Lulu Island across the water. And to the right side rise the modern skyscrapers of the ever-changing downtown.
Al Lulu sand dunes
At the 2-km-mark, the first beach ends, where Murbarak bin Mohammed Street merges into Corniche Road. Across the road is the Family Park, with all its playgrounds and water attractions.
In the Family Park
After a short ways, the shorter Abu Dhabi Beach begins. This beach is simpler: just sand and water.
Abu Dhabi Beach
Just keep running until this beach also ends, at about the spot where Sheik Rashid Bin Saeed Street enters the Corniche. This is the turn-around spot, at 3.5-kilometers.

NOTE: you could continue northeast for a long way, for another 3.5 km, if you want to add distance. If you do, you'll come to the dhow harbor, with dozens of the fascinating wooden Arab sailing ships tied to the quays.
The dhow harbor

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