Time Out enlists the help of Dubai health experts to bring you information about the benefits of sea salt over chlorine, and where to experience it
We know that the temperature of the sea at this time of the year in Dubai is about the same as a hot bath. But experts believe that swimming in salt water comes with a host of benefits.
Aside from giving natural waves to otherwise lifeless tresses, a dip in the salty sea is believed to increase your white blood cell count and thereby improve the immune system. According to research published in the medical journal Skin Research and Technology, sea water is also good for some skin conditions such as psoriasis, as it’s thought that the salt and potassium chloride found naturally in it seals the damaged skin and speeds up the healing process.
Dermatologists also believe that sea water may lessen the symptoms of hay fever, as the naturally salty water washes out the irritating pollen. But without so much pollen in these climes (phew!), what benefits can we expect from going for a dip in the 32°C water off Kite Beach? “Minerals play an important role for our immune system and by swimming in a chlorinated pool, you’re negatively impacting those minerals as chlorine kills them in our bodies,” says Hur Salo, recreation supervisor at Hilton Ras Al Khaimah Resort & Spa, which offers guests a salt water pool. “Salt water helps ease breathing, resulting in improved circulation, specifically for those who suffer from allergies. It strengthens the respiratory system because sea water is cleaner.”
Submerging in sea water has been found to help promote the skin’s moisture. Research conducted by International Journal of Dermatology found that bathing in a magnesium-rich Dead Sea salt solution helps people with dry skin and significantly reduces inflammation, redness and roughness, when compared to tap water.
Salo says that if you’re serious about converting to salt water to improve your health, but don’t fancy making the Arabian Gulf your go-to swimming spot during the summer months, you should find yourself a salt water swimming pool.
The 828 square-metre pool at The Burj Al Arab, part of the hotel’s new terrace extension is temperature-controlled and features four Jacuzzis, a picturesque vantage point and a stretch of sand to help recreate that beachy vibe. Members get unlimited access to the pool, though membership will set you back a cool Dhs100,000 per person, per year, while a family of four – with two children under the age of 16 – will pay Dhs125,000. See you at the salt water pool… (Maybe).
Salt water terrace pool, Burj Al Arab, Umm Suqeim (04 301 7600); Salt water flotation, Talise Spa, Jumeirah Emirates Towers, Sheikh Zayed Road (04 330 0000); Salt water pool, Hilton Ras Al Khaimah (07 228 8844).