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Equestrian & horseback riding

Abu Dhabi’s history and love of horses goes back centuries, with the Bedouins (nomadic Arab people) relying heavily on this loyal and majestic animal. Horse riding can be a stunning way to explore the emirate – with family, friends, colleagues or even on your own. With this in mind, the equestrian-loving UAE capital is home to a variety of indoor and outdoor training areas, from fully floodlit polo fields to world-class stables. Special beach rides and desert hacking are on offer, with beginners and experienced riders who want to polish their skills being able to take riding lessons tailored to meet their individual abilities and needs.

Horse lovers will not want to miss out on an opportunity to visit the beautiful Rahal Ranch, just outside of Abu Dhabi, located amongst the towering dunes of the gorgeous Al Wathba Desert.

Rahal Ranch was established in 2005 and offers a variety of exciting equestrian adventures. Owner, Ali Al Ameri, is an internationally acclaimed horse trainer and an expert in rehabilitating all types of problem horses.

Whether you’re a first-time horse rider, or have more experience, you can rest assured you’ll be in good hands at Rahal Ranch. Each instructor is a certified British Horse Society trainer and they will teach you all the basics of riding, horsemanship, grooming, tacking-up, behaviour management and more. Children from as young as three years old can take part. For more competent riders, desert hacks are available too, but you’ll need to do a riding assessment beforehand. If you’d like to spend a few blissful days at Rahal Ranch, for residential training or a fully-immersive riding holiday, you can book at the ranch chalets which offer all amenities including a kitchen, satellite TV, WiFi, an en-suite bathroom and a king size bed.

Other lessons that Ali and his team offer include Liberty Training, where they teach humans how to develop an intimate connection with their horse; Breaking in and Restarting Horses, where they teach horses to understand ‘stop’ and ‘go’ instructions; Starting Gate Problems, where they teach race horses proper race behaviour; and Trick Riding, where more experience horse riders can learn riding stunts and acrobats!

At Rahal Ranch, horse owners are also able to make use of the full livery service.