Seaside casual luxury has arrived in the capital…


Dubai’s prized beach club concept, SAL, has arrived in the capital, after establishing a robust reputation as a long-stay resident at the prestigious Burj Al Arab with our neighbours in Dubai. The Abu Dhabi iteration is in a locale no less mystical, opening its doors to beach-goers and island-hoppers at the sublime Jumeirah at Saadiyat Island.

Look and feel

It’s that time of year when we’re alternating between sunny mornings, cool evenings, and rainy weekends. While what the weatherman has in store at the next bulletin is anyone’s guess, islanders in the capital, both residents and visitors, have just been introduced to the shiniest new gem on Saadiyat Island.

Amid signature white sands and turquoise waters like nowhere else in the capital, SAL arrives on Saadiyat as an addition to a property that showcases shorefront luxury like few others do. The

chic pool and beachside restaurant is located seconds away from the shoreline, where you can sip on refreshing beverages, indulge in endless varieties of sea-inspired fare and watch the sun traverse through a cloud-splattered sky before bathing both the property, and you, in a vermillion glow as a sunset spring breeze sets in.


When you’re done drinking in its views, SAL puts out a feast of shareable comforts. You can dine both indoor and alfresco, amid blue and white hues. As plush and regal as the interior is, it’s a near-no brainer for us to dine by the beach.

Southern Mediterranean cuisine and refreshing tropical beverages are the SAL way. We order off their a la carte menu, beginning with the tuna tartare with caviar (Dhs158) with ponzu sauce and the yellowtail crudo (Dhs110), which packs in the kick you want with hints of jalapeno gazpacho, and oregano lingering long after you’ve polished off your starter. SAL’s menu has you immersing yourself in Mediterranean seafood flavours throughout your time by the beach, smartly portioned so you have room to keep flipping the pages of the menu. We go with a third starter, the octopus carpaccio (Dhs120), and this generous portion of oceanic white meat begins to feel like a main. The tapas-style Portuguese sardines, at a very reasonable Dhs50, are a bite a portion, and you really feel like you’ve enjoyed an array of seafood classics here.

We deliberately go heavy on our tapas and starter courses, opting to follow a non-traditional route. When we finally get to our main, we’re going with the wild seabass filet (Dhs230), a perennial favourite on Mediterranean menus in Abu Dhabi. We decide to skip dessert and let the seafood flavours linger, opting for a light, late afternoon cappuccino (Dhs33) instead.


The sub-head says it all: arrive at SAL prepared to lounge around all afternoon, or even all day, on their neat yet expansive arrangement of blue and white sunbeds, love beds and more, starting at Dhs400. With their DJ’s beats keeping you entertained, you can also order off their pool menu if you plan to linger.

What’s On Verdict: Barefoot luxury and breathtaking vistas mean you can lose an hour, a day, or even a week here. Guilt free.

SAL, Jumeirah at Saadiyat Island, Saadiyat Island, Abu Dhabi, Mon to Fri 12.30pm to 11pm, Sat and Sun 12.30pm to 11.30pm. Tel: (0)2 811 4342. @sal_saadiyatisland