Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

Zaya Nurai Island

Rates per night from$808.58

Price information

If you haven’t entered any dates, the rate shown is provided directly by the hotel and represents the cheapest double room (including tax) available in the next 60 days.

Prices have been converted from the hotel’s local currency (AED2,970.00), via openexchangerates.org, using today’s exchange rate.

Style

Arabian nights

Setting

Island in the Gulf stream

On a private landmass off the coast of Abu Dhabi, Zaya Nurai Island is only accessible by boat – and day-trippers form an orderly queue behind guests to join the party. The hotel manages to be both blingy and barefoot, with supersized villas, faultless family facilities and stellar eating options, whether you want tacos and tostadas, authentic Middle Eastern fare or freshly caught seafood on the sand. It’s a 20-minute sail back to the mainland, so it’s just as well that you won’t want to leave: the outdoor cinema, watersports and pool parties at the buzzy beach club Smoking Pineapple will see to that.

Smith Extra

Get this when you book through us:

Champagne and a customised surprise; GoldSmiths will also get early check-in and late check-out, subject to availability

Facilities

Photos Zaya Nurai Island facilities

Need to know

Rooms

Fifty-two suites.

Check–Out

Noon. Earliest check-in, 3pm.

Rates

Double rooms from $808.58 (AED2,970), excluding tax at 21 per cent. Please note the hotel charges an additional government tax of AED15.00 per room per night on check-out.

More details

Rates usually include breakfast.

Also

The hotel has its own private patch of white-sand beach.

At the hotel

Free WiFi throughout, beach onsite, gym, outdoor cinema, tennis court, free valet parking. In rooms: Bose media system, Nespresso coffee machine, Molton Brown bath products, air-conditioning, flatscreen TV, free bottled water and minibar with free snacks.

Our favourite rooms

The villas are all pleasingly huge with windows for walls (ergo lots of natural light), private pools and king-size beds. We love the Beach Villas, which line the hotel’s main strip of sand and enjoy direct access to it. Families or groups of friends should book the two-bedroom options, but it’s worth noting that some of these are pretty close to the Smoking Pineapple bar and aren’t as quiet as other villas.

Poolside

Each villa has its own pool, but there are two outdoor heated infinity ones to dip into as well.

Spa

The spa has six treatment rooms, each built on the rocks right at the water’s edge for a natural soundtrack that beats any whale music. Everything from aromatherapy to Ayurveda is available, as well as personal trainers and Pilates and yoga tuition.

Packing tips

Temperatures in the Emirates can regularly reach scorchio: fill that luggage with sunhats, breezy linens and cooling cotton.

Also

There is a Beach Villa adapted for wheelchair access.

Children

All ages welcome. Extra beds and cots can be added to most rooms. Babysitting is available for 50 dirhams an hour, with a day’s notice.

Best for

Babies and up.

Recommended rooms

Each room category is big enough for extra beds; otherwise, opt for a two-bedroom villa.

Crèche

The kids’ club will give adults serious envy: it includes a treehouse, zipline, swings, kitchen, sandpit, cinema and climbing wall, as well as your average playground.

Activities

Arts and crafts, watersports, cycling, pool table, table tennis, face painting, nail art, board games, shell painting...

 

Swimming pool

Lifeguards are on duty and there are various floats and inflatables to use.

Meals

Each of the three restaurants has a child-friendly section on its menu, as well as baby-changing facilities. Staff can heat up meals and milk. Highchairs and booster seats are available.

Babysitting

Babysitting can be arranged with a day’s notice; the service costs 50 dirhams an hour plus tax.

No need to pack

No need to pack Swim nappies, black-out blinds, bottle-sterilising facilities, changing mats, socket covers, stairgates.

Also

Baby monitors can be borrowed on request.

Eco‐friendly

The hotel uses locally sourced, organic ingredients that have been grown on-site where possible; local building materials were used in the construction and design.

Food and Drink

Photos Zaya Nurai Island food and drink

Top Table

As close to the shore as you can get – a seat right on the sand at Hooked and a booth next to the glass wall in Dusk so you can see the sea.

Dress Code

These desert principalities aren’t known for their restraint: dig out the designer gear and don’t be afraid to be dripping in gold – that said, anything goes: stay in your beachwear if you like.

Hotel restaurant

There are three: Frangipani, Dusk and Hooked. Frangipani is where to find the enormous breakfast selection, which has various sections, including a bakery and cheese corner, and plenty of Arabic specialities. Dusk serves up some of the best Mexican food this side of the Atlantic: don’t miss the tamarind margaritas, soft-shell-crab tacos, salmon ceviche, tuna tostadas and king-prawn quesadillas. For something more local, head to the beachfront Hooked, which draws inspiration from the Levant; you can also order the catch of the day cooked to your liking and eat it while staring out to sea.
 

 

Hotel bar

Two: Ginger Mermaid and Smoking Pineapple, each located by one of the main pools. The former is a casual cocktail haunt, with a tempting selection of tempura, sushi and sliders. Smoking Pineapple is a little rowdier, with mainlanders day-tripping over for the buzzy beach-club vibes. The menu here has an Italian slant (ie, great pizza). Both bars serve drinks all day, 11pm at Ginger Mermaid and 10pm at Smoking Pineapple. 

Last orders

Breakfast is served in Frangipani between 7am and 10.30am. This restaurant also opens for lunch (noon to 4pm) and dinner (5pm to 10.30pm). Dusk is only open for dinner (5pm to midnight). Hooked is open from noon until 4pm and 7pm to midnight.

Room service

Meals from the assorted restaurant menus can be delivered to your villa 24 hours a day.

Location

Photos Zaya Nurai Island location
Address
Zaya Nurai Island
Zaya Nurai Island Abu Dhabi
Abu Dhabi
44235
United Arab Emirates

Planes

The Emirate’s international airport is a 25-minute drive away; Mercedes transfers arranged through the hotel cost US $105 each way. If it’s easier for you to reach the global hub that is Dubai, the 140-kilometre drive from the airport should take about an hour and 20 minutes. Contact Smith24 to arrange transfers.

Automobiles

There’s valet parking at the welcome dock, from where it’s onwards onboard the hotel’s boat.

Other

The hotel can only be reached by boat or helicopter. The journey across the water will take 20 minutes.

Worth getting out of bed for

The Smoking Pineapple beach club has all the watersports you could wish for to keep you entertained, but for a little culture head to Abu Dhabi’s Louvre outpost, a 20-minute boat ride from the hotel back on Saadiyat Island. Petrolheads can get their fix at the Emirate’s Ferrari World theme park on Yas Island, where you’ll also find Yas Waterworld.

Local restaurants

Unless you want to swim for your supper, most guests stay on the island for mealtimes – luckily there are three restaurants and two bars to choose from.

Reviews

Photos Zaya Nurai Island reviews

Anonymous review

Every hotel featured is visited personally by members of our team, given the Smith seal of approval, and then anonymously reviewed. As soon as our reviewers have returned from this beachside hotel in the UAE and unpacked their beach bags and board shorts, a full account of their boutique break will be with you. In the meantime, to whet your wanderlust, here's a quick peek inside Zaya Nurai Island in Abu Dhabi

Think of the UAE and you’re probably envisaging seven-star hotels, gleaming skyscrapers and a hell of a lot of hot sand. Zaya Nurai Island offers all the good bits and none of the bad bits. Yes, it’s had a lot of cash lavished on it: the villas are vast, with lots of gloss and glass to show off those sea views. The assorted restaurants and bars leave little to be desired, whether you want Mexican, Italian or just some plain old just-caught fish; even little palates are catered to with children’s sections on every menu. There’s fun for all ages here: big kids can use the swings in the sea, and there are ziplines, an outdoor cinema and teepees on the sand. It’s no wonder Abu Dhabi’s glitterati regularly line up to get on that boat to the beach club: with a name like Smoking Pineapple, it’s a party everyone wants a piece of.

The Guestbook

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