Jumeirah at Saadiyat Island Resort – Abu Dhabi
The stretch of water just off the beach at Saadiyat Island is home to the largest known population in the world of the endangered humpback dolphin, and sharing the seas with them are seven different species of turtles, many of which come to nest on the surrounding beaches. The wonder of this resort is its proximity to a truly 21st century city and incredible nature.
Sitting on a long stretch of soft white sand, with its very own private section, and a stone’s throw from the glamour and endless spectacles of Abu Dhabi, the resort is one of the region’s most stylish. And its eco credentials are to be lauded.
At A Glance
Why We Love It:For the peace and quiet on its 9km stretch of powdery white sand in a marine park conservation area – with no motorised water sports.
Style:Contemporary minimalist chic.
Location:On the eastern stretch of Saadiyat Beach, just 10 minutes from the centre of the city and 20 minutes from the airport.
Rooms:293 rooms, suites and private villas with ocean views.
Swimming:Three infinity pools and a private beach.
Children:Most definitely! There’s a kid’s club and pool.
Accessibility:There are rooms adapted for guests with limited mobility.
Open From:All year round.
Price:£450 per room, per night.
Bright, breezy and stylishly and sophisticatedly simple, the rooms, suites and villas, all large floor to ceiling windows and shaded outside space. The rooms feature king size or twin beds, and can accommodate two children under the age of 11. Some of the larger suites are set amongst the resort’s lush gardens, others have extensive terraces or balconies, and nearly all have expansive ocean views. More spacious still, are the two, three and four bedroom duplex villas, with their private pools and self-contained living.
With a choice of seven restaurants and bars, you can dine on Middle Eastern dishes and cuisine from the Mediterranean and beyond. Each is elegantly styled and in beautiful surroundings, with Mare Mare sitting right on the beach, whilst the Lounge’s roof top spot has 360 degree panoramic views. Swim up to the Pool Bar for a cool drink or a light snack.
A sojourn here absolutely must involve a trip out on the water in search of the exceptional marine life. The resort has a resident marine biologist, which really enhances the entire experience. A tour through the Saadiyat mangroves and wetland forests will often prove fruitful. For culture, visit the often forgotten ancient tombs found out in the desert.
Recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, these are set in spectacularly stunning landscape between rock escarpments and shady oases – a complete juxtaposition of the modern Abu Dhabi. For glitz and glamour, the city itself offers a wealth of attractions to see, from a branch of the Louvre, to many international sporting events throughout the year. For golfers, the Gary Player designed Saadiyat Beach Golf Club is set right on the coastline, for which the resort concierge service will happily book a teeing off time. Back at the resort, there’s tennis and an array of water sports (although nothing motorized), and if you’re lucky you may even have a dolphin or two accompany you. Or just rest your weary limbs at the Moroccan themed Spa with its wide range of therapies and treatments.
There’s no shortage of things to do as a family here, and there’s something for all ages. Ferrari World is an adrenalin fueled theme park, with go-karting and G force roller coasters. There’s a host of rides and fun at Yas Waterworld, including Bubble Barrel, the world’s largest artificial sheet wave. For some adult time out, book your children into the very well-run kid’s club (aged from four years old) which has a daily programme of activities, or book a babysitter.
The resort’s eco credentials can’t be disputed. It was the first place in the Emirates to install an on-site water filtration system, and the first hotel in the Middle East to be recognized by the Oceanic Standard for its plastic-free and sustainable initiatives. There are extensive recycling practices in place for water and packaging, and bathroom amenities are marine degradable.
Saadiyat Beach, Abu Dhabi
On the eastern stretch of Saadiyat Beach, just 10 minutes from the centre of the city and 20 minutes from the airport.