Touring the mangroves from an eco-friendly vessel

We get out on the water aboard a sustainable boat to see how you can check out the shores of the capital without negatively impacting the environment


What is it? 

At ADW we’re always looking at ways to be more sustainable. From reducing the use of plastic in our workplace to taking part in local clean-up campaigns, it’s fair to say that we’re an eco-centric bunch. 

Eager to understand more about other environmentally friendly initiatives going on around town, we decide to see what the solar-powered eco donut tours at the mangroves are all about. 

The round vessels, powered entirely by the sun, allow guests to navigate their way around the mangroves to spot wildlife, enjoy the peaceful surroundings and, of course, take a few pictures for Instagram, too. #InAbuDhabi.

Propelled by the electric engine, which is powered by solar energy absorbed by three panels on the roof, the vehicle offers an emission-free way to travel through the mangroves and explore the natural beauty
of the capital. 

Travellers are permitted to bring food and drink along on their journey but are reminded to dispose of their garbage responsibly and not damage the ecosystem by throwing it into the water where it can seriously harm and even kill local wildlife. 

What do you do? 

These seaworthy donuts are a breeze to drive and can be operated with just one hand by your nominated captain, so everyone, including children, can take a turn steering the small boat along the way. 

With the ability to choose the speed and change direction, you can take a trip along the mangroves at a glacial pace or push ahead a little faster – but don’t expect to break any speed records. 

Travelling at a top speed of four knots (that’s 7.4 kph), the sustainable vessels are less likely to disturb wildlife or damage the mangroves should you veer wildly off course, but it’s unlikely that you’ll lose control. 

What’s it like? 

Having previously kayaked through the mangroves on a number of occasions, we enjoy being on board the eco donut as a more relaxed way to enjoy the scenery, though you won’t be able to go deep into the mangroves as the ship could harm the trees and wildlife. 

With the slow speed and warm weather, it’s also a great option for young children and people who aren’t confident in the water to try something new and see a different side to the city. 

Are you a nature lover? During our trip we see a range of local seabirds including a few Western reef heron diving into the water on the hunt for fish. It’s also not uncommon to spot fish and mottled crabs that can be seen foraging at the base of the mangroves at low tide. 

Just remember to bring water with you, especially in the hotter months, and be responsible with your garbage. 

Sadly ,we spot some discarded plastic along the way, so if you get the chance, don’t be afraid to grab it out of the water and take it back to dry land to dispose of it responsibly.

eco donut ride in the eastern mangroves abu dhabi

How can I get on board? 

Booking starts from AED 300 for one hour for up to six people, AED 500 for two hours. You can hire boats daily between 9am and 11pm from the Eco Donut location at Eastern Mangroves Promenade. Booking is advised but not essential. Contact: 056 480 0427, ecodonutboats.com

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