How Much of the Gulf have you explored? Make 2017 the year to venture around this exciting region and check out what’s on offer;here are just few things to get your list started! Happy New Year…
CONQUER YOUR FEAR OF HEIGHTS OR SIMPLY GO FOR A ONCE-IN-A-LIFETIME EXPERIENCE AND ELEVATE YOUR 2017 TO A WHOLE NEW LEVEL OF ADRENALIN RUSH!
GRAVITY INDOOR SKYDIVING, BAHRAIN
When Bahrain got its very first indoor skydiving destination, the island and its thrill seekers were buzzing! Gravity Indoor Skydiving lets you feel the excitement of what it would be like to fly across the skies with an incredible illusion of freefall in one of the tallest wind tunnels in the world; with an overall height of 12 meters, constructed with tempered glass. Jump in and enjoy a bodyflight experience like no other – we think you should go for the “Belly Fly” option! The awesome instructors will make sure you fly safe, so get their an hour before your flight for some useful tips! Hey, if it’s good enough for pros like Lewis Hamilton, it’s good enough for us!
GO: Located in Zallaq, prices for the Gravity Indoor Skydiving experience vary depending on how much time you want to spend flying. Visit www.gravitybah.com for more information.
PUSH THE LIMIT
SEAWINGS, ABU DHABI
Seawings has fast become the word in adventure and luxury sightseeing in the UAE, taking tourists up on breathtaking aerial tours of the Emirates, from Dubai to Abu Dhabi, Sir Bani Yas, Ras Al Khaimah and all the stunning landscape in between. Arrange a trip into the clouds on a Cessna Caravan 208 Amphibious aircraft, which operates on both land and water and seats up to nine passengers and one pilot. A trip on one of Seawings’ light passenger aircrafts is far from a luxury jet experience; the roar of the turbo-prop engines and the white spray of the water as you barrel down Yas Marina’s yacht channel for take-off is an all-encompassing sensation. Once airborne, you’ll feel every wind, breeze and air current whilst onboard the seaplane, making for a truly exhilarating experience. However, it’s the spectacular aerial views of the mangroves, coves, islets, landmarks and city skylines that will dominate your memories of the flight.
GO: Book the Abu Dhabi ‘Scenic’ or ‘Aerial’ tour with Seawings today. Visit www.seawings.ae or call (0)4 807 0708 for more information.
GO HARD OR GO HOME
Of course! Whether you’ve been in the gulf just a few months or for many years, you’ll likely know or have heard of someone’s recent trip to Dubai for the ultimate fear-fighting experience – Skydive Dubai. It’s just as you thought – you’re JUMPING out of a PLANE! Firstly, there’s a waiting list of a few months, so you’ve got a good build up and mental-prep time. On the day, you’ll have all the safety procedures explained before being taken up in a plane and taking the leap with an instructor, freefalling at 120 miles per hour with Dubai’s vast and beautiful landscape underneath – how’s that for a heart-racing time?! Most people opt for The Palm DZ, which is a tandem skydive from 13,000 feet above the Palm Jumeirah. This is an incredible experience that you won’t forget in a long time – you’ll even get photos and a video for memories, bonus!
GO: Book your Skydive Dubai experience today. Visit www.skydivedubai.ae for more information.
NO DOUBT, ONE OF THE BEST REASONS TO TRAVEL AROUND THE GCC IS THE LIMITLESS FOOD OPTIONS. THIS YEAR, THINK (OR RATHER EAT) OUT OF THE BOX AND HEAD TO SOME OF THESE COOL RESTAURANTS FOR OUT-OF-THIS-WORLD CUISINE.
FIRST TO GO RAW
THE RAW BAR, THE ST. REGIS DOHA, QATAR
One of the biggest food trends to hit the gastronomy scene has made its way to Doha. The Raw Bar, a completely new and inventive collaboration by two culinary extraordinaires, Chef Elias Gemayel and Celebrity Chef Gordon Ramsay, offers more than just your standard maki rolls; it takes the definition of “raw” to a different class of dining. There’s a range of seven small food sections; Oysters, Caviar, Carpaccio, Sushi, Sashimi, Tartare, Ceviche, and Tataki to savour, served with the finest vino, bubbly and exclusive gastronomic signature cocktails including Mango and Jalapeno Mojito, Pisco Sour and Oyster Shots, to accompany. The Oyster Fine De Clair, Beef Tartare and Caviar Beluga are just some of the standouts at dishes here, alongside a rare collection of spirits from around the world. This is where to go for a distinctive culinary and mixology experience!
GO: Visit The Raw Bar by Gordon Ramsay at The St. Regis Doha. Call +974 4446 0105 or go online to www.rawbardoha.com for reservations and more information
ROBERTO’S, ABU DHABI
There’s plenty of street food and quirk out there to curb your cravings, but what about when all you want is a mind-blowing, luxury dining experience? Abu Dhabi’s newest high-end venue has to be on your list of places to try for 2017! Why? Well, Roberto’s is a classic and polished indoor and outdoor venue offering up Italian gastronomy like nothing you’ve tasted before (trust us, the food is IN-SANE). The absolute top dish to try is the creative Polpo, Cacio E Pepe, E Carciofi, which is slow-cooked, roasted octopus. It’s a tribute to Abu Dhabi, mingling modern techniques with Ancient Roman ingredients: artichoke and cacio e pepe sauce, made of Pecorino cheese, milk and black pepper. Hands down, it’s the best octopus dish we’ve tried in the entire GCC. And for those who shy away from anything that says octopus – THIS is going to be your bucket list best!
GO: Visit Roberto’s Abu Dhabi at The Galleria Mall, Al Maryah Island. Call (0)2 627 9009 for reservations and more information.
HAPPY HUMP DAY
HARVESTERS, CROWNE PLAZA BAHRAIN
You might have already tried camel milk chocolate, but have your taste buds ventured so far as camel meat? When in Bahrain, take up the challenge of chewing down on a tasty camel burger. One place has become popular for its unique and fun spin; Harvesters Pub & Terrace at Crowne Plaza Bahrain will serve up a large camel burger with French fries and coleslaw for anyone who’s ready to tuck in! Even your bun will be shaped like a hump or a camel’s foot. But, surprisingly, it’s the free t-shirt with a picture of the burger and the outline of a camel, headed by the wordis ‘Believe it…I just ate a whole Camel burger’ that really encourages guests to go for it! This is one to try with a group of friends – who wouldn’t want matching t-shirts?!
GO: Visit Harvesters Pub & Terrace at Crowne Plaza Bahrain. Call +973 1753 1122 for reservations and more information.
THIS ONE’S EASY AS FAR AS BUCKET LIST GOES, IT’S JUST FINDING THE TIME TO DO IT! THE GCC ISN’T SHORT OF EXQUISITE SANDY SHORES; HERE’S WHERE YOU NEED TO GO AND TOP UP THE TAN IN 2017…
BANANA ISLAND RESORT DOHA BY ANANTARA, QATAR
This stunning tranquil island has a beautiful 800-metre white-sand beach. Gently float in the vast 100-metre lagoon pool overlooking the Arabian Gulf and you could easily feel like you’re in paradise. tons of outdoor activities, from a huge range of water sports, to beach volleyball and tennis! And when you’re done being active, bask in the sun or chill by the water – whatever your heart desires! The outdoors not for you? The endless spa treatments will keep you busy, as will the numerous restaurants plus everything from bowling to golf and beach games by day, and a VIP cinema at night. The resort is alcohol-free, making it the ideal option for families or travellers who love to lap up the luxury with a mocktail in hand. Put it on the travel bucket list and go all out in a pool or over water villa!
GO: Visit www.doha.anantara.com or call +974 4040 5050 for reservations and more information.
ZAYA NURAI ISLAND, ABU DHABI
Possibly the closest thing you’re going to get to the Maldives, right here in the GCC; spot dolphins playing in the Gulf waters as your private speedboat whisks you off to the pristine shores of Zaya Nurai Island. This place is all about exclusivity and a real private island feel; every room is like a home and includes the most picturesque views of the surrounding beach and/or waters; sunsets are just magic here! The Beach Retreats are built onto the beachfront with a small jacuzzi-sized pool; the Beach Villas blend into the surroundings with their very own private pool; whilst the Beach Houses were made with young families and couples in mind. A private pool surrounded by decking and palm trees is perfect for quality family time or watching the sunset over the ocean. The Water Villas are the ultimate accommodation choice – but the great thing about Zaya Nurai is that every room is about serenity and getting some me-time in! A spa and excellent dining options mean that you can take welcomed breaks from the beach too – need we say any more?
GO: Visit www.zayanuraiisland.com or call (0)2 5066 212 for reservations and more information.
ONE&ONLY RESORT SEEF, BAHRAIN
The term New Year, New… couldn’t be more fitting than it is for the One&Only Resort Seef. Set to open its doors in early 2017, this resort will feature approximately 150 luxurious guest rooms, suites and villas, and offer access to a private beachfront. World-class dining and retail options, plus a sublime Givenchy Spa and a host of unique sporting and entertainment facilities will also give you enough to avoid boredom. The resort, which is nestled on the northwestern coast of Bahrain, is a must-visit choice for GCC staycationers and anyone who wants the same luxurious private-island experience with all the benefits of being at a hotel. Exclusive luxury villas and secluded estates are perfect for large families and the resort will evoke a ‘sense of place’, showcasing Bahrain’s rich history and reflecting the local culture, so you’ll really feel like you’re getting a true luxury Arabian hospitality experience.
GO: Visit www.oneandonlyresorts.com for more information.
SOMETIMES A TREAT IS IN ORDER, AND THERE’S NO BETTER PLACE TO SPLASH OUT ON A WEEKEND OF PURE LUXURY THAN THE GCC. THIS YEAR, TAKE OUT A FEW DAYS AND LIVE LIKE THE OTHER HALF DO…
ABU DHABI, UAE
Arabian opulence doesn’t get better than this! If you like monumental hotels with grand décor and architectural wonder, then Emirates Palace will exceed your expectations. It’s hard not to be mesmerised by this extravagant property with its 114 breathtaking 18-metre-high domes, 302 ornate hotel rooms, and 92 luxury suites, all decorated in gold and marble. Dining choices are abundant, recreational facilities plenty and the staff and service impeccable. This really is unparalleled luxury at its best, right on the Corniche, and only a 25-minute drive from the airport, making it the ideal choice for both leisure and business travellers. Palatial quarters, exquisite eats, a 1.3km private beach and a sprawling spa are all part of the experience. Dine at the stunning beachfront BBQ Al Qasr in the cooler weather and let your surroundings transport you to a whole new world – this place is the ultimate in luxury!
GO: Call (0)2 690 9000 for reservations and more information.
FOUR SEASONS HOTEL
BAHRAIN BAY, BAHRAIN
Set on its own exclusive island – close enough to the airport as well as most major Bahrain attractions and areas of exploration – this hotel has everything from innovative facilities, lavish amenities and some of the best food you’ll eat in the Gulf. Plush rooms are the definition of state-of-the-art elegance, there are an impressive seven restaurants and bars that can cater to your foodie needs. Enjoy elegant dining at one of three venues by Wolfgang Puck – re Asian Cuisine is our favourite. There are spas, and then there’s The Spa at the Four Seasons. The infinity pool is just one of many outdoor spots to sunbathe and take in the views of the Manama skyline whilst The Spa is one of the biggest and most tranquil in the region – encompassing four interconnected buildings woven together with pathways and gardens. Modern luxury done perfectly!
GO: Call +973 1711 5000 for reservations and more information.
MARSA MALAZ KEMPINSKI,
THE PEARL-DOHA DOHA, QATAR
From the palatial corridors and public spaces, to the luxuriously appointed 281 rooms and 69 suites, and a selection of the finest restaurants and lounges, this hotel is the epitome of bespoke luxury in Doha. Additionally, the hotel also features a secluded beach located in a private bay along with outdoor swimming pools, water sports facilities, a yachts’ jetty, tennis courts and plush gardens. Visitors can select from six different restaurants, two cafés, al fresco pool-side dining, a sophisticated bar and a rooftop nightclub. Indulge in a European spa featuring the legendary products and treatments by Clarins. This is a family-friendly resort that will cater for every age and all interests. The great entertainment at Porto Arabia and Medina Centrale is just a stones throw away too!
GO: Call +974 4035 5555 for reservations and more information.
AL BUSTAN PALACE, A RITZ-CARLTON HOTEL
Located between the foothills of the Hajjar Mountains and the breathtaking Sea of Oman, is a hidden jewel that brings the celebrated traditions and the unparalleled beauty of this GCC country to life. This Muscat hotel is surrounded by lush gardens and palm trees, picturesque peaks and a spectacular shoreline. As far as accommodation goes, expect nothing short of the best and most comfortable rooms and suites here with fabulous amenities and, best of all, impressive panoramic views of the ocean ahead, the hotel gardens on one side, and the mountains on the other. A pristine sandy beach that’s perfect for sunbathing, strolling and having a game of volleyball (if you’re feeling active!), is right on the hotel’s doorstep. There are plenty of sun loungers and cabanas to accommodate guests, set around the stunning pool area, the pretty green gardens, and on the beach too. This is the luxury choice for those who want a scenic change from the Gulf’s skyscraper-filled cities!
GO: Call +968 2 479 9666 for reservations and more information.
IF YOU HAVEN’T GONE CAMPING, DUNE BASHING OR ON THE
FAMOUS EVENING SAFARI IN TO THE DESERT, YOU’RE MISSING OUT ON
ONE OF THE GULF’S MOST POPULAR AND FAVOURITE PASTIMES.
LET US TELL YOU WHY 2017 SHOULD BE A SANDY ONE…
For thousands of years, camping was a way of life for the Bedouin of the Gulf, as tribes kept on a constant move across the vast desert, setting up tents and following herds of camel and sheep to greener pastures. Today, there is very little left of that world, and like most long-established traditions, camping has matured with time. Taking a trip into the desert is more of a must-have experience or a result of the need to escape mundane daily tasks and the city bustle, and to seek solace in the vast emptiness. And there are many different ways to go about planning and visiting the desert. Tour companies offer some of the best and safest packages, custom designed to suit specific time frames and budgets. Desert safaris are most popular; where people are whisked away in a 4×4 for a thrilling ride over massive sand dunes, followed by dinner, dance, and activities in the desert, or an overnight stay. The UAE and Qatari deserts are some of the best in the region, housing a number of camping options.
WHERE TO SET UP CAMP
Located north of Dukhan, the Ras Abrouq peninsula is a favourite spot for weekend campers who come to enjoy the golden sands and pretty limestone scenery. The place is full of wildlife with plenty of animal sightings including hedgehogs, kangaroo mice, and the sand gazelle. An hour’s drive from Mesaieed is Inland Sea (Khor al Adaid), Qatar’s most famous and popular camping destination. The
country’s southernmost point, the area is only accessible by 4-wheel drive vehicles. The scenery there is breathtaking with towering sand dunes soaring from the water’s edge. At the opposite side of Qatar is Umm Tais National Park which has some the most beautiful sandy beaches, and is where Doha’s kite surfers can be found on the weekend. Offshore, a few small islands surrounded by mudflats can be reached by vehicle when the tide is low, where you can find nesting turtles and stunning mangroves. While you’re in Umm Tais don’t forget to check out the pearling city of Al Zubara, which is only a few kilometers away.
WHERE TO SET UP CAMP
The UAE desert is full of wonderful places to pitch your tent and gaze the stars. Don’t expect great facilities in many of these spots but do get ready for space and freedom, and for an experience that will give you a real taste of the country’s outdoors. A two and a half hour journey will get you to the Ras Al Khaimah desert. Here, the true nature of camping comes to life as you can set up near one of the small farms (be sure not too disturb the locals!) surrounded by sand dunes, little oasis farms and camel pens. Take an early morning drive and you might just see some Arabian Oryx, wild birds and pretty banyan trees too. Make sure to take everything, including lots of food and drink, because there are no everyday facilities in the area. The epic slice of Rub Al Khali (the empty quarter) deserves at least a two or three day trip! Liwa is 200km southwest of Abu Dhabi and though it might seem quite a trek, it’d the world’s biggest sand desert, so it’s well worth the drive. These sand mountains are relatively accessible by 4×4 and the whole region is scattered with curved sand dunes and dramatic plunges so if you’re there for a spot of dune bashing (you’d be crazy not to) make sure you’ve got an experienced driver at the wheel. There are plenty of great spots in this desert, dotted with freshwater pools and date plantations; all you have to do is take any road from Liwa oasis or follow the signs for Tal Mireb (Moreeb Hill). If you’re new to this whole desert camping thing then something a little closer to Abu Dhabi like Shwaib near Dubai would be the perfect choice. This is where you’ll find fairly easy access to hidden campsites where stargazing from the top of a dune will wipe away all your worries. It’s close enough to civilisation
that you can get your friends to drop off a Starbucks coffee in the morning, but it’s faraway for you to you enjoy and appreciate the stunning scenery of mountains, flat plains and wadis! Shwaib borders Oman so it’s always a good idea to bring your passport!
SIR BANI YAS ISLAND
THOUGH IT’S NOT AS SECRET AS IT ONCE WAS, MANY PEOPLE IN THE GULF HAVE STILL NOT HEARD ABOUT THE SPLENDOUR THAT IS SIR BANI YAS ISLAND. FROM THE WONDERING WILDLIFE TO THE PANORAMIC VIEWS, THE SALT-DOMED HILLTOPS AND DISTINCTIVE DESERT LANDSCAPE, IT VERY NEARLY FEELS LIKE YOU’RE IN THE HEART OF AFRICA, AND IT SHOULD DEFINITELY MAKE YOUR 2017 GCC BUCKET LIST…
Natural charm is all around at Anantara Sir Bani Yas Island Al Sahel Villa Resort – the perfect place to stay during a trip to this breathtaking Arabian Wildlife Park. Sir Bani Yas Island, Abu Dhabi boasts open plains encompassing a 4,100 hectare wildlife park, and the stunning resort of Anantara Al Saleh sits amid the island’s rugged surroundings with over 10,000 free-roaming animals. It’s an elegant oasis where you can relax by the pool to the gentle lull of a desert breeze, or head to the Anantara Spa for pure pampering. For the more adventurous, there’s a ton of activities to keep boredom at bay; from archery, kayaking, mountain biking, to snorkelling, horse riding, scenic seaplane flights and, more importantly, the nature and wildlife drives where you can get up close to some of the most fascinating animals on not just the island, but the planet. Afternoon with the giraffes anyone?
The resort is made up of 30 luxury villas, from where you can catch a rare glimpse of grazing gazelles and other island life. With traditional thatch-roofed design, each villa offers the best of luxury amenities with an authentic touch of elegance and comfort. Having your own private hot tub or plunge pool (depending on which villa you choose) is also a huge bonus!
The real question is, why not? Anantara Sir Bani Yas Island Al Sahel Villa Resort, is one of the very few destinations in this part of the world that truly offers something exclusive; it’s location to begin with is reminiscent of real world Africa, with cheetahs, giraffes, gazelle and oryx, amongst its varied inhabitants. The care and attention, as well as the service and welcoming hospitality we experienced, was above and beyond many other 5-star resorts in the region. And we love the fact that it’s one of the best eco-friendly travel options so close to Abu Dhabi. Couples, this is one with romance written all over it; singletons, you and your friends will be well-catered for too with so many exciting activities on offer. A long weekend at this resort is just the perfect getaway for a quick relaxation fix!
GO: Call (0)2 801 4300 for reservations and more information
MUCH LIKE THE DESERT CAMPING CONUNDRUM, WE KNOW THAT SO MANY OF YOU OUT THERE ARE YET TO VISIT SOME OF THE MOST FUN PLACES IN THE GULF. ONE OF OUR FAVOURITES HAS TO BE YAS WATERWORLD, ABU DHABI…
Thrill seekers, waterpark enthusiasts, families, friends and anyone looking for an adrenalin kick should head straight over to Yas Waterworld! With 45 thrilling waterslides, rides and attractions, the 15-hectare area offers an exciting entertainment complex for children, teens, young adults and parents too. There’s 45 temperature controlled rides and slides (yay to keeping cool!) as well as a bunch of permanently shaded dining and lounging areas, ideal for families and friends to hang out and relax after a full day of excitement.
Adrenaline junkies stand up! You’ve got a range of heart-thumping rides including the monstrous Jebel Drop with the best vantage point in the park; the high-intensity Liwa Loop; the tornado-twisting Dawwama; the mammoth Falcon’s Falaj and so many more cool rides and slides.
Guests looking for a one-of-a-kind attraction can take part in the Yas Pearl Diving Experience. Exclusive to Yas Waterworld, the experience is based on the Emirati heritage of pearl diving and gives guests the chance to plunge to the depths of an underwater tank to collect three oysters, which contain precious pearls. You will then discover the techniques of opening the oysters and have the opportunity to get the pearls set into jewellery as a memorable keepsake (knowledge and fun, sounds like a winner to us!). If you’re looking for a more relaxed experience, there are air-conditioned cabanas available to rent out that make for a perfect setting to celebrate birthday and special occasions in a cool outdoor setting. Just another reason for a family or friends day out!
GO: Visit www.yaswaterworld.com or call (0)2 414 2000 for more information.
ANOTHER YEAR, ANOTHER FIRST FOR DUBAI! THE EMIRATE HAS JUST BECOME HOME TO THE LARGEST THEME PARK DESTINATION IN THE MIDDLE EAST, AS DUBAI PARKS AND RESORTS OFFICIALLY OPENED FOR BUSINESS LAST MONTH.
Dubai Parks and Resorts is a mega new destination comprising three separate theme parks, a water park, a uniquely themed dining and retail district and a Polynesian themed family hotel covering 30.6 million square feet: The destination includes Legoland Dubai, a Hollywood-inspired park called Motiongate Dubai; and Bollywood Parks – the world’s first Bollywood theme park based on some of its biggest blockbusters. The entire destination is connected by Riverland Dubai – a uniquely themed retail and dining district. Guests will be able to stay at the Lapita Hotel, a Polynesian-themed family hotel part of the Marriott Autograph Collection. Now that the GCC has its very own unique theme park universe, there’s no need to venture across the pond! Here’s what awaits right on your regional doorstep:
LEGOLAND DUBAI & LEGOLAND WATER PARK
Legoland Dubai is the ultimate world of year-round Lego themed adventures for families with children aged two to 12-years-old. Legoland Dubai will feature over 40 interactive rides, shows and attractions and 15,000 Lego model structures made from over 60 million Lego bricks. It is designed to provide a full day’s interactive, theme park experience. Legoland Dubai will feature six themed lands, each unique in their experience, entertainment and educational offering, including: Lego City, Kingdoms, Imagination, Adventure, Miniland, and Factory.
Located adjacent to Legoland Dubai, Legoland Water Park is the only water park in the region designed specifically for kids aged two to 12-years-old and their families. Children can slide, splash and build their way to a full day of fun. With a variety of water slides and attractions, the Legoland Water Park is designed to provide a full day’s interactive experience for the whole family to enjoy together. The water park will feature more than 20 water slides and attractions, each offering a different and fun-soaked experience including the highly anticipated Build-A-Raft River where children of all ages can customise their own raft using Lego soft bricks, before floating down a lazy river with views of the entire park.
Motiongate Dubai is the place for Hollywood-inspired fun and adventure in the Middle East, inviting guests of all ages to step into the magical, mythical worlds of some of cinema’s most beloved movies. Uniting three legendary film studios in one theme park – Sony Pictures Studios, DreamWorks Animation and Lionsgate – visitors will go beyond the screen and immerse themselves in the magic of Hollywood, ensuring fun for the whole family year round and creating memories to last a lifetime.
Spread across five zones, guests of all ages will be entertained by 27 key rides and attractions including roller coasters, multi-media dark rides, interactive play labs, media-based theatre shows, plus a full program of roaming entertainment and live dance performances. Inspired by 13 of Hollywood’s most beloved live action and animated films, visitors will be transported into the world of movies including Shrek, Ku Fu Panda, Hotel Transylvania, Ghostbusters, The Smurfs and The Hunger Games.
With nine family-friendly restaurants, 15 themed retail outlets and a multi-purpose theatre, seating 1,000 guests, as well as multiple kiosks offering light bites and merchandise throughout the park, visitors have a full range of choices for dining, entertainment and relaxation beyond the rides and attractions. As part of its full-service offering, Motiongate Dubai is enhanced with smart technology, smart queuing, shaded walkways and offers full access for visitors with mobility impairments.
Bollywood Parks Dubai is a first of its kind theme park showcasing the authentic Bollywood experience. Bollywood, the Hindi language film industry based in Mumbai, India is one of the largest centres of film production in the world.
Located near the Dubai-Abu Dhabi border in the United Arab Emirates, the park will feature cinematic rides, thrilling attractions and entertaining live shows that bring to life the action, music, dance and drama of Bollywood. Bollywood Parks Dubai will recreate the Bollywood experience through themed attractions and rides spread across five zones: Bollywood Boulevard, Mumbai Chowk, Rustic Ravine, Royal Plaza and Bollywood Film Studios featuring Hall of Heroes. Visitors will experience bold action, colourful story-telling and captivating dance sequences inspired by nine popular films or IPs: Rock On!!, Don, Lagaan, Sholay, Dabangg, Mughal-e-Azam, Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara, RA.One and Krrish. Bollywood Parks Dubai is also home to the stunning 850-seat Rajmahal Theatre that will house a separately ticketed Broadway-style, Bollywood themed musical. During the day, the park will have up to 20 live shows across five stages: Rock On!!, Crossroads, Mumbai Express, Rangmanch and Stars on Steps The park will also offer six themed restaurants that capture India’s mouth-watering culinary offerings and eight retail outlets stocking quintessential filmy fare. Bollywood Parks Dubai will cover 1.7 million square feet.
GO: Visit www.dubaiparksandresorts.com for more information.
FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO ARE SHORT ON TIME OR LOOKING FOR A MORE POCKET-FRIENDLY OPTION, A DAY AT ONE OF THE REGION’S BEST BEACH CLUBS WILL DEFINITELY CUT IT WHEN IT COMES TO FINDING YOUR VERY OWN PIECE OF POOLSIDE HEAVEN. FACT CHECKS OUT SAADIYAT BEACH CLUB, ABU DHABI – HERE’S WHY YOU SHOULD VISIT THIS STUNNING HIDEAWAY…
You might have seen it in instagram pictures and your friend’s snapchat from their weekend away, but, let us tell you, nothing quite prepares you for a day at the gorgeous Saadiyat Beach Club. Inside, you’re met with friendly staff who are happy to assist with even the smallest of requests. After you’ve checked in, head straight to the sprawling changing rooms where a hot Jacuzzi, an invigorating sauna, steam room and plunge pool, all await. If you’re planning on visiting the spa, these facilities are amazing to use before and after the treatment.
However, those of you who are here for the main attraction (we’re talking poolside cabanas and breathtaking sand beach), we suggest you get into your swimwear and head straight for the outdoor fun. You’ll have already spotted the pool on arrival from the reception area; be prepared, because the excitement will only heighten when you come face-to-face with the 650-sqm, chilled pool. IT’S MASSIVE! Floating private cabanas surround this H2O playground like miniature islands atop shimmering water – it’s the most impressive, insta-worthy sight to hashtag #2017BucketList and make all your followers hit that heart! (note: there is absolutely no filter needed).
The cabanas are so spacious and comfy that two people will easily have space to lounge and sunbathe, and when the heat gets the better of you, you need only take one step and you’re in the pool! It’s, honestly, as relaxing and enjoyable as that. In fact, pretty much every need is catered to right at your cabana. Want a drink? Order your delicious liquid concoction from the extensive drinks menu, which features everything from thirst-quenching cocktails and mocktails to energy drinks, fresh juices, smoothies, milkshakes and a variety of spirits, ales, pitchers and more premium beverages. A jug of peach iced tea as well as water in an ice bucket is what kept us going through the last of the hot UAE days.
For lunch, you’ve got nothing but choice! We’d highly recommend the yummy food from the poolside menu; the creamy Burrata Cheese, beautifully-cooked Salmon and the generous fresh fruit bowl – served straight to your cabana, THIS is what you call 5-star service! After a dip in the pool or a leisurely lunch, take a stroll on the other-worldly natural beach and laze around in your very own cocoon of peace and calm. Lay a while on a beach lounger or take a swim in the sea – you’re surroundings are seriously stunning and, unless you’re constantly looking at the very distant skyline, it’s easy to forget that you’re in the Emirates!
From start to finish, Saadiyat Beach Club will make your day an unforgettably fabulous time. You don’t need to bring anything except your swimwear and extra change of clothes as the beach club has everything from hair dryers to make up wipes and complimentary towels! Food and drinks are reasonably priced, so you won’t be spending a fortune for this slice of paradise in Abu Dhabi – although, every dirham is well worth it! ✤
GO: Day Pass and Cabana rates vary depending on dates. Daily guests have access to the Beach, Swimming Pool and Loungers until sunset; the Workout Room until 8pm; and access to the Spa facilities including the sauna, steam room, Jacuzzi and plunge pool until 8pm. Visit www.saadiyatbeachclub.ae for more information.