The dreamy island getaway you never knew you needed…

Nurai Island has always enjoyed a mysterious allure, sitting just a 20-minute boat trip from Saadiyat Island, this secluded safe haven has been on our list for some time.

So with a rare burst of Sunday afternoon motivation we find ourselves aboard a water taxi and Nurai-bound for an epicurean adventure. It takes us over waves and through untouched ocean blues, tracing a line of serene mangroves.

nurai island

On arrival, we are greeted by a luscious canopy of tropical foliage, with floral pops of purple and a wooden boardwalk guiding us to the shore. This exotic oasis exudes sophistication and luxury while retaining an understated barefoot bohemian chic.

We arrive at Dusk, a charming Mexican eatery with views of the sun slowly sinking into the sea. We sit at an ocean level annex on the outdoor terrace, plush cushions to our backs. Below us, a carpet of grass catches shadows from the soporific sway of palms.

Dusk Nurai island

We decide that sharing dishes are the appropriate form for an island idyll and begin with smoked guacamole (Dhs75). It makes a magician’s entrance, brought to the table encased in a glass bell jar, and swimming with mesmerising smoke. We dig salty tortillas straight in, heaping on the greeny, smokey goodness, punctuated with bursts of lime.

We also try the aguchile de salmon (Dhs90). This small-but-mighty bowl of seared cubed salmon sits in an aromatic bath of spicy, citrusy auguachile sauce, and the array of flavours is given a welcome zest by garden-fresh crunches of onions and cucumber. Tostadas de tinga de pollo (Dhs60), come What’s On approved too. Shredded slow cooked chicken marinated in an adoboa sauce tops a fried corn tortilla. A smear of sour cream, crunchy red cabbage and sprinkling of grated cheese round off each hefty bite.

We’ve the desire for more but alas, even the most memorable adventures must end. The sun’s dying light calls us back to our water carriage home, our stomachs and hearts both full.

Dusk Lounge, Nurai Island, Dhs550 weekday pass (200 redeemable) Dhs650 weekend day pass (200 redeemable), kids 5-12 Dhs150 (Dhs50 redeemable).