Abu Dhabi’s Corniche Public Beach

Dousing myself into cool azure beaches is one thing that I enjoy a lot. I’m sure everyone would agree that it is so relaxing and definitely it relieves one’s stress whether from work or in life. I was in Abu Dhabi for Eid break and since I heard about its open beaches at its corniche area (there are more in other locations), I headed there together with Syaoran and Vaj. It was worth the time and what we got into did not disappoint us. In fact, we really had fun that afternoon and our stay lasted for more than 3 hours. Originally, our plan was to stay only less than an hour so that we could spend the rest of the evening roaming around the city center. The open beach is located at the west part of the corniche just across ADCO (Abu Dhabi Company for Onshore Oil Operations) building. I think it is one of the safest public beaches I’ve been to in both UAE and KSA. There are security guards stationed around. Lifeguards are visible and checking the swimmers from time to time. Beachgoers, men and women alike, who are clad in beach attires (bikinis) act properly as they were enjoying the water. Respect to everyone is observed. It is far from what we experienced in Dubai’s public beach where other nationalities ogle like hungry vultures. (please read my post: http://clecstrotter.com/2013/08/10/night-swimming-at-jumeira-beach/)

The beach is well taken care of. The white sand that stretches hundreds of meters is regularly raked. The swimming area is cordoned with buoys as marking suggesting that swimmers are warned not to go beyond. It is clean. I had not seen any trash at all. There is an area that exclusive for families. Mosque is near while restaurants, snack kiosks and children’s playgrounds are just within reach. Changing rooms and showers are also available. They have the basic amenities beachgoers need. But I hope they would add more facilities like water sports to delight those visitors and local residents alike who love water adventure.

The beach front at the Open Beach in West Corniche where we dipped into its blue water.

The beach front at the Open Beach in West Corniche where we dipped into its clear water.

The beach rules are posted in prominent areas to inform beach goers of the do's and dont's.

The beach rules are posted in prominent areas to inform beach goers of the do’s and dont’s

Beach map

Beach map. Corniche beach, the ultimate experience.

One of the kiosks in the area that sells soft ice cream.

One of the kiosks in the area that sells cold drinks and soft ice cream.

Dipping into its clear water is something I truly enjoyed.

Dipping into its clear water is something I truly enjoyed a lot.

The towering buildings serve as backdrop of corniche beach.

Background of the corniche beach is a cluster of Abu Dhabi’s towering buildings.

Syaoran and Vaj reminiscing child hood days, playing a Pinoy game they both enjoyed.

Syaoran and Vaj reminiscing child hood days, playing “kingking baka”, a Pinoy game, they both enjoyed.

Across the beach is where Marina Mall and the highest flag in UEA are located. That was our destination after the swim.

Across the beach is where Marina Mall and one of the tallest flagpoles in UAE are located. That was our destination after the swim.

Abu Dhabi’s corniche beach serves its purpose i.e. a public beach that is accessible and free for everyone. It is one of the treasures that Abu Dhabi could offer to its guests and also to Emiratis who desire a healthy life, a better quality of life above all. As visitors, let us do our part to ensure that cleanliness and orderliness are maintained at corniche beach or at any beach for that matter. Let us not deprive others of the same fun we too experienced, because afterall in this world everyone, like us, deserves to enjoy the nature.

Escape to Kuda Bandos

Escaped to this small island lying south of the bigger Bandos, this is what I can say:

Its pristine, azure-colored beaches soothe the restless soul. Its pearl white sand lined up with deep green beautiful vegetation kissing the waves is a perfect place to rest the wandering heart. The cool breeze from Indian ocean continuously touching your body is getting through your nerves swaying you to a deep sleep. And the golden rays from the smiling sun send happy thoughts and reinvigorate you to keep going. In totality, the place is stunning!

Kuda (literally means small) Bandos is uninhabited island frequented by tourists. A tour is usually arranged by resorts for their guests to enjoy a tranquil and peaceful environment.  Kuda Bandos has lots to offer to its visitors which include but not limited to swimming in its clear cool water, snorkeling in its marine rich ground, having a romantic dinner date by the beach with loved one, enjoying a barbecue party  after sun down, or simply sitting down and relaxing with a book on one hand and a refreshing drink on the other, or communing with nature and feeling its energy. Whatever the purpose is, Kuda Bandos is the right place.

These photos are testament to how beautiful  Kuda Bandos is.

Approaching Kuda Bandos is the stretch of white sand ideal for sun bathing, beach game, party and more.

Who does not want to have a life like this? Reading a book in a quiet place far from the hassle of urban life.

Kuda Bandos invites you to go wading into its cool water.

A romantic dinner by the beach awaits lovers here. Someday we will have our own.

I was glad I did not have a second thought spending my afternoon in Kuda Bandos. It was such a wonderful experience putting all the pieces together. Life is beautiful, indeed! #

My Bandos Experience

Maldives beauty is eternal. It captivates every visitor’s heart by its deep blue seas, turquoise reefs, rich marine resources, long stretch of white beaches and green scenery.  It provides a perfect hideaway for an idyllic retreat. It simply is the best.

Maldives has 99 island resorts. One of which is Bandos Island Resort located in North Male Atoll. Bandos was opened in 1972 and was one of the first few resorts in Maldives then. The resort is strategically located with a distance of only 7 kms from Male International Airport. It boosts itself of 225 fully airconditioned rooms  (standard, deluxe, garden villas, beach and water villas), sports amenities, restaurants and cafes, Anggerik spa, a pool, convention center, a mosque among others that its guests can enjoy to the fullest. Bandos is likewise proud to claim that they have one of the best house reefs in North Male atoll. Dive school is available for those who want to learn diving, to see the underwater beauty of Bandos which has 40 dive sites around. Tours and excursions are also offered for those who like night fishing, island hopping or want to experience Male for a day.

Aerial view of Bandos Island Resort. (photos from http://www.bandosmaldives.com)

Aboard their speed ferry No.34 from Male International Airport, we jumped the splashing waves after the other to get to the resort. At 57 knots per mile, we crossed the sea for only 10 minutes and arrived earlier than expected.

A refreshing drink welcomed us at the lobby. A resort staff then approached us and briefed about the resort- the dos and donts and the amenities it offers. A voucher was given to us for a complimentary 10-minute massage at Anggerik spa. Since my room was available, I got an early check in Room 201. My room is simple yet elegant, and most importantly comfortable. I like the location. It is few meters away from the beach front.

Without wasting my time, I began to explore the place walking to every nook I passed by- beach front, water sports, Sundowner’s bar, water villa. The island is 183,180 square meters, thus it would probably take a whole day to go around completely.

The water was so inviting. I could not resist its call. I took a splash and swim until I had enough. Other guests were likewise in the beach either resting beside the shrubs or under palm trees, sunbathing, or dipping in the cool water.

Come afternoon, I went with a group to a smaller island called Kuda Bandos. It took 3 minutes to go the island costing a passenger 5USD for a round trip. (see post Escape to Kuda Bandos – https://clecstrotter.wordpress.com/2011/10/21/escape-to-kuda-bandos/)

It was already evening when we got back to Bandos. I went straight to Sundowner’s bar and grabbed a bottle of beer before joining the other guests for a buffet dinner in Gallery restaurant.

After dinner, I stayed in the lobby to get connected to check my mails (internet is only available at the resort lobby). I met Jessi, a Chinese resort staff, who has been working as an intern for three months. It was her last night at work in the resort as she planned to return to China to work as tour guide. Asked her for a drink and I was delighted she accepted my invitation.

The Anggerik spa was visited the next day to avail of the free 10-minute massage. The spa has Southeast Asian theme and architecture. Cabanas and villas offer privacy and total relaxation. Services range from from facial treatment to Balinese therapies to Thai maassage to volcanic stone massage to facial and foot reflexology.  Spa attendants, mostly from Indonesia and Thailand, are very accommodating, smiling widely while greeting every guest coming in.

Lunch was at Sea Breeze Cafe. The ambiance is definitely a winner. It has a perfect view of Kuda Bandos. Chin, a Pinay resort staff, I met at the lobby joined me by then. We had a talk about her work experiences in the paradise especially on handling recalcitrant and unruly guests. She’s definitely a good buddy with full of stories to tell.

“Goodbye Bandos, till we meet again”, were the last words I uttered upon embarking the boat bound for Male International Airport. My stay was definitely awesome. It was a break from monotony, an escape from the scuffle in corporate world, a profound  retreat, a  spiritual rejuvenation. Now, I am ready for Kandy.

Below is the resort map provided to guests upon arrival. Also, you may visit Bandos Island Resort website, www.bandosmaldives.com for more information and booking.