In search of an unspoiled island beach getaway in Abu Dhabi? It’s easy to forget when we get caught up in city life that Abu Dhabi itself is actually a series of islands. And one of the best things about that, is the chance to get out and explore those amazing blue waters. I took to the water with Abu Dhabi based company Captain Tony’s in search of an untouched island paradise (which is much closer than you might think!)…

With my very excited three year old in tow (he loves pirate stories lately so we told him we were going on a boat trip to a pirate island!), we met the boat at Yas Marina and set out on their ‘Island Beach Getaway’ half day trip.

It’s a group trip (private ones can be arranged) though there were only two other people joining on the day we went. It’s a pretty small boat so even if the boat is full you can still be sure you’ll get a real deserted island experience.

Setting off from Yas Marina it was around 30 minutes before the boat started to slow and we pulled up at what appeared to be a tiny, but very beautiful sandbank with shallow and beautifully clear waters.

Still close enough to see the city, but so quiet and calming, it feels like a world away!

The shallow waters around the sandbank meant it was brilliant for my three year old son, he was happy to run and splash around without us having to worry. And with the tide on its way out, the size of the sandbank slowly increased leaving more channels to splodge our way through and also leaving an easy walk to the nearby island open.

The nearby island is quite large and was easily reached by a short walk, though it’s further than it looks! If you’ve got particularly sensitive feet, you might like to bring water shoes as the walk over was quite shelly in places.

After a good walk and a brief exploration around the ‘pirate island’ (armed with water pistols as protection 😀 ), we headed back to the sandbank to get down to some serious sand play.

Armed with a giant bag of beach toys to keep the little one entertained, he happily pottered about in the sand and shallows. Fuelling his imagination with our talk of pirates, he happily dug away, hoping to find some pirate treasure along the way!

And although I can confirm we sadly didn’t find any pirate treasure, we did have a really lovely morning out in a beautiful location in what felt like the middle of nowhere!

Bring your own towels to dry off, and any snacks and drinks you might want – water is provided on the trip but anything else you want to take to eat or drink is up to you.

The trip times vary, dependent on the tides. We set out from Yas Marina at 9am on a Friday morning, and were due to return by 1pm so that gave us three hours to make like Robinson Crusoe on our own island adventure.

Once you’re there, there’s time to explore, play, relax, swim – do whatever you want! As well as exploring the big island we really enjoyed just pottering about and playing on the sand, though with such shallow waters between the sandbank and the big island it’s also a lot of fun with little ones to hunt for crabs and see what other creatures you can spot hiding in the ripples and pools!

Beach umbrellas and deck chairs are provided, and stand up paddle boards are available to rent for an extra cost if you want a more active adventure.

Although we went as a family I also thought it would be a great trip for a group of friends to do together – or for some serious brownie points it would make an amazing romantic surprise for a special occasion with a bottle of bubbles!

Captain Tony’s operates numerous water based excursions, cruises and trips including the four hour ‘Island Beach Getaway’ adventure that we chose. Find out more on their website.