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Al Raha Beach

Al Raha Beach, Abu Dhabi

If you’re looking for a central location, but want to enjoy the best of seaside living, head to Al Raha Beach. Home to three distinct communities – Al Bandar, Al Muneera and Al Zeina – there’s something for everyone.

The area.

Ideally situated, Al Raha Beach is just across the water from Yas Island with its theme parks and mega-mall; a 10 minute drive from Abu Dhabi International Airport; and close to the main road access to both Abu Dhabi and Dubai. It’s also home to the iconic Aldar headquarters building, the first circular building of its kind in the Middle East. Built along 5.2 million metres of natural beachfront, this community offers a laidback, resort-like lifestyle, with every convenience available.

It’s the perfect choice for those who want a relaxed setting, with fine facilities, yet still want to be centrally located. There are three different communities: Al Bandar, Al Muneera and Al Zeina. Al Bandar boasts a marina and is the most exclusive precinct. It also offers the most in terms of nightlife and, as such, may most appeal to singles and couples. (Mediterranean restaurant and bar Pacifico TIKI, which juts out into the Yas Island Waters, is a popular spot with locals.) Al Muneera and Al Zeina have more to offer families. They’re both quite similar, with each offering a private beach, restaurants and a supermarket. (Tawa Bakery is a great spot for a lazy breakfast with a view in Al Muneera, while Café Firenze is the place for a coffee in Al Zeina.) The main difference between the two areas is the apartment sizes – if you’re looking for more space, choose Al Zeina.

Getting around.

With bus routes and taxis available everywhere on the island, it is easily accessible and caters well to families. Yellow Submarine Nursery is located within Al Raha Beach, while there are plenty of nurseries and schools in Khalifa City A, which is a 15-minute drive from Al Raha Beach. These include Reggio Emilia-inspired Learning Spaces Nursery; GEMS American Academy, which offers an American/International Baccalaureate programme; Raha International School, an International Baccalaureate World School; and Al Yasmina School, with its British curriculum. As well as offering a self-sufficient community, the neighbourhood boasts a beautiful environment.

Meet the neighbours.

“I love the sea view from my balcony, especially during sunset,” says Jozefa Melo, who lives with her husband in a one-bedroom apartment in Al Bandar. The couple has a boat moored in the marina and regularly enjoy an evening cruise. “I love the lifestyle that I get to enjoy. You can often find my husband and me in our favourite local restaurant NoLu’s, which offers Californian-style food with an Afghan twist.”