What’s On has your definitive guide to beach clubs in Abu Dhabi including best budget, best for families, best for couples, best for groups.
It’s the perfect time of year to be hitting the capital’s beach clubs. Here’s a selection of the best Abu Dhabi has to offer
BEST FOR FAMILIES
Hiltonia Beach Club
The recent beach expansion by an extra 40m means this is the largest beach club along the Corniche, totaling 350m.
What’s included? Access to the beach, pools and sunbeds. There’s two large temperature controlled pools, a children’s pool with waterslide and a toddler’s option. Want time out of the water? The kids can cause chaos at a covered outdoor playground.
Extras: Gym classes, access to the sauna, stream room and Jacuzzi are only free if you’ve booked a spa treatment or are a member of the club. Water activities (like boat trips and paddle boarding) from Watercooled cost, as do refreshments from F&B outlets Vasco’s, Escape and Ocean café.
Hilton Abu Dhabi, Al Khubeirah, Abu Dhabi, 8am to 8pm, Dhs150. Tel: (02) 6924203. Taxi: Hilton Corniche. abudhabi.hilton.com
Beach Club at Emirates Palace
Home to a 1.3km stretch of private beach, this high-end beach club has an East Wing geared more to relaxing with a swim-up pool bar and Jacuzzi while the West Wing is suited more to families and includes a lazy river.
What’s included? A little bit of everything to be honest – use of the beach, gym, two pools, and access to the cricket and football pitches, tennis courts, badminton and beach volleyball court. In addition guests can use the six-kilometre bike/jogging track, get a free camel ride, henna applications and even try non-motorised watersports like snorkelling. The kids’ club, Sarab Land, is also included.
Extras: Food from one of the two cafes – Las Brisas in the East Wing and Cascades in the West. Bike rentals, gym classes and motorised watersports all cost extra.
Emirates Palace, West Corniche Road, Abu Dhabi, 7am to sunset, Dhs500. Tel: (02) 6907310. Taxi: Emirates Palace. kempinski.com
Beach Club at The Ritz-Carlton Abu Dhabi, Grand Canal
Featuring one of the largest pools in Abu Dhabi and overlooking the waters of the Grand Canal, this club is both luxurious and family-friendly.
What’s included? Use of the 1,600sqm pool, which features a dedicated kids’ and toddlers’ area and access to Ritz Kids, a special club featuring a splash park and activities in a supervised setting. Parents can also use the gym, steam, sauna and run along the jogging tracks outside.
Extras: Parents can order healthy fare from beach restaurant Al Fresco and eat it either in the restaurant or have it served to their lounge chairs. The family pool and beach experience (for a family of four) for Dhs850 includes a buffet lunch at Giornotte in addition to day pass amenities.
Ritz-Carlton Abu Dhabi, Khor Al Maqta’a, Abu Dhabi, 8am to sunset for beach and pool, Dhs150. Tel: (02) 8188282. Taxi: Ritz-Carlton. ritzcarlton.com
St Regis Saadiyat Island
Spot dolphins off the coast of Saadiyat Island here.
What’s included? Access to the adult pool, lap pool and family pool as well as to the beach. Children aged four and above can visit the Sand Castle Club. Towels are also provided.
Extras: An extra Dhs150 will give you access to the gym, sauna, steam room and indoor pool.
St. Regis Saadiyat Island, Abu Dhabi, 7am to 6.30pm, Dhs250. Tel: (02) 4988888. Taxi: St Regis Saadiyat Island. stregis.com
BEST FOR COUPLES
Zaya Nurai Island
Check out the newest ultra-luxurious boutique resort in town, just a ten-minute boat ride off Saadiyat Island.
What’s included? Swim in the infinity pool, stroll the white sands and enjoy a three-course lunch with selected beverages; inclusive of boat transfers.
Extras: At the time of publishing, the resort was still in its pre-opening stage, the spa and water sports activities will cost extra when they are opened sometime in the first quarter of 2015.
Welcome Centre for Nurai Island, Saadiyat Island, Abu Dhabi, 8am to sunset, Dhs350. Tel: (02) 5066222. Taxi: Welcome centre opposite Saadiyat Beach Residences. zayanuraiisland.com
Beach Club at Beach Rotana
Soak up views of neighbouring Al Maryah Island at this beach club in Al Zahiyah.
What’s included? Access to the 120m private beach, temperature controlled adults pool, kids’ pool, use of the steam, sauna, Jacuzzi and three tennis and two squash courts.
Extras: The Bay View Restaurant and swim up bar, exercise group classes at the Bodylines gym and watersports such as water skiing and knee-boarding.
Beach Rotana, Al Zahiyah, Abu Dhabi, pool from 7am to 10pm, beach from 9am to sunset, Dhs150. Tel: (02) 6979302. Taxi: Beach Rotana. rotana.com
Shangri-La, Qaryat Al Beri Beach Club
This club is on the small side with 150m of beach but does offer views of the Grand Mosque.
What’s included? Access to the north pool, the 30m infinity pool and use of the north beach. Water bottles, towels and use of the changing facilities (with lockers) also available.
Extras: Food from the Pool Bar and Restaurant.
Shangri-La Hotel, Qaryat Al Beri, Khor Al Maqta, Abu Dhabi, pools from 6am to 8pm, beach sunrise to sunset, Dhs250. Tel: (02) 5098555. Taxi: Shangri-la Qaryat Al Beri. shangri-la.com
Saadiyat Beach Club
This swanky and recently rebranded private beach club is built on a 39,500sqm stretch of sand on Saadiyat Island.
What’s included? Guests have access to the beach, swimming pools (the infinity pool and another suitable for children) and loungers until sunset and access to the Workout Room and spa facilities (including sauna, steam room, Jacuzzi and plunge pool) until 8pm. If you add another Dhs600 to your day pass for the pool cabana offer, you’ll get a fruit platter, welcome mocktail, Evian water and cold towels, valid for four to six persons.
Extras: There are three F&B outlets on offer – including Mediterranean inspired dishes at Safina, De La Costa and the terrace pool par, Cabana9.
Saadiyat Beach Club, Saadiyat Island, Abu Dhabi, 8am to sunset for pool facilities, 9am to sunset for beach, Dhs220. Tel: (02) 6563500. Taxi: Saadiyat Beach Club. Saadiyatbeachclub.ae
BEST FOR GROUPS
Bayshore Beach Club at InterContinental Abu Dhabi
Opened last year, this relatively new club offers 300m of sand and a private butler service.
What’s included? Use of the beach, an infinity pool with a swim-up bar, toddlers’ pool, Jacuzzi, sauna and gym access.
Extras: Exercise classes, any treatments at the day-spa and bites from the Bayshore Bar or Sea Breeze restaurant. An additional Dhs400 can see you relax in one of the seven private cabanas and includes butler service and fresh fruit.
InterContinental Abu Dhabi, Al Bateen, Abu Dhabi, 8am to sunset, Dhs150. Tel: (02) 6666888. Taxi: InterContinental Abu Dhabi. ihg.com
Beach Club at Fairmont Bab Al Bahr
Swim in the Olympic length lap pool overlooking Al Maqta Creek.
What’s included? Access to two temperature controlled pools, Jacuzzi, covered children’s pool area and two private beaches where you can play beach sports (football, badminton and volleyball) and kids can jump on an outdoor trampoline. In addition guests have access to the 24-hour mixed and ladies-only gym.
Extras: Nibbles from Poolside, which serves food from 11.30am to 5.30pm.
Fairmont Bab Al Bahr, Khor Al Maqta, Abu Dhabi, pool from 6am to 10pm, Dhs150. Tel: (02) 6543333. Taxi: Fairmont Bab Al Bahr. fairmont.com/abu-dhabi
Nation Riviera Beach Club
Part of the St. Regis Abu Dhabi, this club is accessible from the hotel via an air-conditioned private tunnel running underneath the Corniche.
What’s included? Access to all the facilities – the exercise room, wet facilities (including Jacuzzi, steam and sauna rooms), 200m beach, the temperature-controlled pool and kiddies’ pool. A water bottle and towels are also provided.
Extras: Group gym classes Tone A To Z and Terror Circuit cost an extra Dhs50 for non-members. There are three F&B options – the Asia de Cuba (currently only serving dinner from 6pm to 12am) and Cabana Bar And Grill. A new seafood restaurant and bar, Catch, opened in mid-January.
St. Regis Abu Dhabi, Al Khalidiyah, Abu Dhabi, 6am to 9pm, Dhs300. Tel: (02) 6944780. Taxi: St. Regis Nation Towers. stregisabudhabi.com
BEST FOR BUDGET
This members-only facility is an Abu Dhabi institution that first started in 1967. Non-members can use the facility only if a member accompanies them.
What’s included? There are two beaches spanning 300m of coastline, a 25m temperature controlled pool and two kids’ swimming pools. Use of the tennis, squash and badminton courts.
Extras: Food from one of 13 restaurants and gym access is an additional Dhs70.
The Club, Al Meena, Abu Dhabi, Dhs70 for non-members accompanied by members, sea swimming from sunrise to sunset. Tel: (02) 6731111. Taxi: British Club, Meena Port. the-club.com
Le Méridien Abu Dhabi
An eco-friendly Blue Flag Award means you can expect a clean and safe beach.
What’s included? Access to the 116m beach and three pools, including a 25m leisure, 14.5m training, and kids’ pool.
Extras: If you’d like access to all the facilities – Aqua medic pool, Turkish hammam, Jacuzzi, sauna, steam and – then expect to pay Dhs150 for a day pass. Use of the Squash and tennis courts are an extra Dhs70. Watersports are also charged.
Le Méridien Abu Dhabi, Al Zahiyah, Abu Dhabi, 8am to sunset for the beach, 8am to 7pm, Dhs90. Tel: (02) 6446666. Taxi: Le Méridien, Tourist Club. starwoodhotels.com
Sheraton Abu Dhabi Hotel & Resort
Even though this hotel is set a fair way off the Corniche, resort features a private beach lagoon.
What’s included? Access to three swimming pools, including one with an attached pool bar, a family pool with waterslide and toddler’s pool. In addition use of the facilities (beach, sauna, steam, gym and Jacuzzi).
Extras: Food from the swim-up pool bar, tourist excursions such as fishing, snorkelling and sightseeing trips and group gym classes. Watersports are also available for a price – and include wakeboarding, water skiing, banana and tube rides.
Sheraton Abu Dhabi Hotel and Resort, Corniche Road, Abu Dhabi, 8am to sunset, Dhs95. Tel: (02) 6773333. Taxi: Sheraton Corniche. sheratonabudhabi-hotel.com
Or how about an old-fashioned public beach?
You don’t have to pay an arm and a leg to enjoy the award-winning beaches in the capital. For those who eschew members-only joints these sandy shores are worth a try…
Saadiyat Public Beach
Operated by BAKE Abu Dhabi, there are 300 sun loungers here, which cost an extra Dhs25 to reserve. Plenty of activities are on offer from stand-up paddling, kayaking to beach yoga classes for an extra fee. And the beach bistro will deliver straight to your lounge chair, so you don’t have to move at all.
Saadiyat Public Beach, Saadiyat Island, Abu Dhabi, 8am to sunset, Dhs25, memberships available. Taxi: Saadiyat Beach. bakeuae.com
Opened two years ago, this fully licensed private beach club is located opposite Crowne Plaza Abu Dhabi Yas Island. Watersports, such as mangrove tours, snorkel safaris and kayaking, are operated by Noukhada Adventure Company and cost extra. Cabanas need to be booked in advance and shisha is available at the Beach Bar.
Yas Beach, Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, 10am to 7pm, Dhs50. Tel: (056) 2420435. Taxi: Yas Beach. yasbeach.ae
Abu Dhabi Corniche Beach
Also operated by BAKE, there are 600 sun loungers and 27 cabanas on offer. Al Sahil Beach is dedicated to singles, groups and bachelors while the Family Beach is accessible from Gate 2 and Gate 3. Sunloungers are Dhs25. Towels (Dhs10) are also available.
Corniche Beach, Abu Dhabi, 8am to sunset, Dhs10. Taxi: Corniche Beach. bakeuae.com