Your New Christmas Tradition: Festive Walks in the UAE

5 mins

Everyone loves a chance to stretch their legs on Christmas Day so here are some of the UAE’s prettiest walks for you to try with your family and loved ones

Filled with food, games and quality time with your nearest and dearest, the festive season is all about relaxing and treating yourself. But there’s only so many Christmas films you can watch, and chocolates you can eat, before you start craving some fresh air and a chance to get out for a walk.

Thankfully, whether you’re looking for a pre-Christmas dinner workout or a leisurely Christmas evening stroll, the UAE is home to lots of picturesque routes that are ideal for a festive stroll. 

Ranging from Downtown walks to nature-filled meanders by the mangroves, these are some of the most beautiful places to work off your mince pies in Abu Dhabi and Dubai.

Abu Dhabi Corniche  

walking on the promenade at sunset

The Abu Dhabi Corniche is always one of the most lively and fun places to be during a holiday, and Christmas is no different. Bringing together people of all backgrounds, the iconic 8km-long promenade hugs a seemingly endless stretch of golden beaches, cafes and ocean viewpoints. Over on the other side of the Corniche Road you’ll find a myriad of parks filled with duck ponds, playgrounds, gardens and foot paths, and during the evening you can admire beautiful artworks that form part of Manar Abu Dhabi, the free public light exhibition that’s running until January 30.

For an extra magical Christmas, head there for around 5pm to witness one of the most spectacular sunsets of your life. You’ll be left in no doubt that staying in the UAE for Christmas was definitely the right decision.

Al Gurm Corniche, Abu Dhabi

aerial view of walk in abu dhbai on cloudy day

Shorter than the Abu Dhabi Corniche, but just as picturesque, Al Gurm Corniche is one of the UAE capital’s newest waterfront promenades. Leading all the way from the Eastern Mangroves over to the main island of Abu Dhabi, it offers amazing views over the city’s enormous protected Mangrove National Park.

A great spot for bird and wildlife watching, you might even be lucky enough to see dolphins or dugongs. Taking in 3.5km of walking and cycling tracks, playgrounds, shaded picnic areas and cafes, you can also continue the adventure onto the water by renting a kayak or stand-up paddle board from one of the local water sports companies.

Burj Park, Dubai

park in dubai with couple walking

A super green space that is sure to impress and delight your Christmas guests who are visiting from overseas, Burj Park lives up to its namesake and offers spectacular vistas of the tallest building in the world. Lush, grassy and surrounded by water, it even lets you admire the Dubai Fountains without having to endure the suffocating crowds.

Home to a 5km running track that offers just the motivation you need to meet your Christmas Day step count, four-legged friends are allowed to join in the fun as well, provided they are kept on a lead.

Jumeirah Beach, Dubai

Jumeirah beach view at sunset

The jogging track that runs alongside Jumeirah Beach Road is one of the most popular running and walking spots in Dubai, and there’s many, many good reasons for this. The wide path is flat, spongy and easy on the joints, and it takes you right past some of the city’s most iconic landmarks. A welcome reminder of why Dubai is one of the most unique and exciting places in the world, the 14km-long track lets you experience three very different sides to the city.

Skirting right by the glamorous Burj Al Arab, the naturally beautiful Kite Beach and the bustling walkways of Dubai Water Canal, it’s the perfect way of spending a sunny Christmas in the UAE.

Mushrif Central Park Dubai

water mill inside mushrif park

Mushrif Park shatters every Dubai stereotype imaginable. Wild, untamed and the opposite of a concrete jungle, it invites you leave the busy Christmas crowds behind and absorb the healing benefits of nature in blissful peace and quiet. In October, it opened a new 10km hiking trail that offers routes to suit all abilities, and there’s no better time than Christmas to try it out.

Weaving between forests of ghaf trees, the national tree of the UAE, the clearly signed paths are dotted with sculptures, viewpoints and useful public amenities. Offering a refreshing way of blowing off the cobwebs, those after a more high-intensity workout can try the multiple mountain biking trails.

Reem Island, Abu Dhabi

aerial view of al reem island

The waterfronts of Reem Island are bound to be buzzing with families, joggers, friends and couples on Christmas Day. After all, its contrasting landscape of futuristic skyscrapers set against lush green mangroves and azure blue waters is always a sight to behold. Starting at Reem Central Park, you can head down past the public beach, and explore this friendly community at your leisure. For a longer excursion, you can cross the bridge over to Al Maryah Island, and maybe even stop for a cheeky drink at one of The Galleria’s many inviting bars and restaurants. 

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