Refresh your body and your thirst at these poolside spots
Time Out Dubai staff
Staying in the UAE as temperatures soar doesn’t have to mean you have to spend four months a hot sticky mess. Some of the nation’s hotels and beach clubs have the coolest ways to take respite from the sun. You can dive into a chilled pool and surface to a refreshing ice-cold drink without even having to grab a towel. Whether you stay in Dubai this summer or visit one of the neighbouring emirates, there are plenty of places where you can backstroke to your beverage.
Le Royal Méridien Beach Resort & Spa Marina The pool bar here serves refreshing exotic mixed drinks and a wide selection of salads served until 6.30pm. This is a busy spot during the weekends, so pop in during the week for a more relaxed visit. Day pass rate: Dhs250 per adult, Dhs125 per child Sun-Thu, Dhs350 per adult, Dhs175 per child Fri, Sat. Includes access to pool and beach. Free for hotel guests. 9am-8pm. Le Royal Méridien Beach Resort and Spa, Al Sufouh Road, JBR www.leroyalmeridien-dubai.com (04 399 5555).
Habtoor Grand Beach Resort & Spa Marina With a temperature-controlled pool, the pool bar here offers a slew of soft drinks, house beverages and ice-creams so you can really cool down, There are daily drinks offers and classic burgers, pizzas and sandwiches to munch on, too. Day pass rate: Dhs150 per person, Sun-Wed, Dhs250 Thu-Sat. Free for hotel guests. 8am-8pm. Habtoor Grand Beach Resort & Spa Pool, Dubai Marina, www.grandjumeirah.habtoorhotels.com (04 399 5000).
Sofitel Dubai Downtown Downtown Look out at iconic Dubai landmarks while picking at a Lebanese food mezze and drinks at the Mosaic pool and lounge. This is a new addition to the Downtown’s hotel scene, you’ll get to see the Burj Khalifa in all its glory as you backstroke in the 60-metre infinity pool. Day pass rate: For hotel guests only. 9am-3am. Sofitel Dubai Downtown, Sheikh Zayed Road, www.sofitel.com (04 338 7521).
Le Méridien Dubai Hotel & Conference Centre Garhoud The 18-metre oval-shaped pool is located among the hotel’s 38 acres of landscaped gardens. Surrounded by trees and flowers, the bar offers plenty of shade from the sun, and an all-day dining menu. Be sure to try out the lobster salad or a plate of fresh sushi. Day pass rate: Dhs200. Includes one dish and one regular drink and use of the spa or fitness pool. Free for hotel guests. 6am-10pm. Le Méridien Dubai Hotel & Conference Centre, Garhoud, www.lemeridien-dubai.com (04 217 0000).
JA Jebel Ali Golf Resort Jebel Ali This resort has three swim-up pool bars for you to try out. All three offer a range of refreshments and views of the private beach. The pool bars are shaded and there are sun loungers surrounding them. The La Fontana infinity pool is a relaxing tiered infinity pool with a bar where you can perch on small stools in the pool and sip your drink of choice. Day pass rate: Dhs250 per adult, Dhs110 per child Sun-Thu. Includes access to the pool and beach facilities. Free for hotel guests. 8.30am-6pm. JA Jebel Ali Golf Resort, Jebel Ali, www.jaresortshotels.com (04 814 5555).
Raffles Dubai Wafi Surrounded by lush private gardens on one side and overlooking the stunning Dubai skyline on the other, Raffles’ pool restaurant and bar offers great views while you relax. The 22-metre long pool has a wave- shaped pool deck that is temperature-controlled, so even when the heat rises, it will always be cool enough to walk on. Day pass rate: Dhs150 per person Sun-Thu, Dhs200 Fri, Sat. Includes access to pool, steam room, sauna, Jacuzzi, and fitness centre. Free for hotel and spa guests. 9am-7pm. Raffles Dubai, Wafi, Oud Metha, www.raffles.com/dubai (04 324 8888).
Anantara Dubai The Palm Resort & Spa Palm Jumeirah The hotel’s position on the Palm’s outer frond should ensure great views over the Arabian Gulf while you take a seat at its swim-up bar. There’s also the resort’s three lagoon pools that encircle the premier and deluxe rooms. The Mai Bar also serves drinks and snacks. Day pass rate: Dhs250 per adult, Dhs100 per child. Includes access to pool and beach. Free for hotel guests. 9am-9pm for drinks. Food served from 10.30am-6.30pm Anantara Dubai The Palm Resort & Spa, Palm Jumeirah, www.dubai-palm.anantara.com (04 567 8888).
Emirates Palace Abu Dhabi The swim-up bar at this grand hotel is surrounded by palm trees, African themed loungers and hammocks. A popular spot in the late afternoon, the laid-back bar serves mocktails, juices, mixed drinks, as well as bar snacks. The vast pool consists of one large gazebo Jacuzzi, three smaller in-pool bubble pools and a deck level leisure pool. Day pass rate: Dhs500 per adult, Dhs300 per child Sun-Thu. Dhs700 per adult, Dhs400 per child Fri-Sat. Includes access to all beach club facilities. Free for hotel guests. 7am-9pm. Emirates Palace, Abu Dhabi, www.emiratespalace.ae (02 690 9000).
Fairmont Bab Al Bahr Abu Dhabi Facing out to the beach, this Olympic length pool (50 metres) has views of the Abu Dhabi Creek and Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque. The poolside is surrounded by the contemporary design of the hotel and is a full house on weekends. Paddle up and order classic mixed drinks or coolers and there’s a happy hour between 4pm and 6pm daily. Day pass rate: Dhs100 per adult, Dhs50 per child Sun-Thu. Dhs160 per adult, Dhs70 per child Fri, Sat. Free for hotel guests. 11am-7pm. Fairmont Bab Al Bahr, Abu Dhabi, www.fairmont.com/abu-dhabi (02 654 3238).
Nation Riviera Beach Club The St Regis Abu Dhabi In contrast to the formal luxury of this hotel, the beach club is a relaxed yet attractive place to catch the sun and enjoy a spot of lunch. Guests can relax by the swim-up beverage counters and order fruity bespoke drinks. Day pass rate: Dhs200 per person Sun-Thu, Dhs300 per person, Fri, Sat. Free for hotel guests and children under four. 8am-8pm. Nation Riviera Beach Club, The St Regis Abu Dhabi, Nation Towers, www.nationrivierabeachclub.com (02 694 4444).
Azure, Waldorf Astoria Ras Al Khaimah If you’re after a getaway in RAK, the Waldorf Astoria is a luxe choice. Its Azure bar is a relaxed affair with woven wicker chairs and pendant lights and tropical foliage creating a casual vibe. The swim-up-bar is a great spot for enjoying sundowners in the evening. The pool is the largest in the hotel and is the main family area and guests can grab a sparkling mocktail and tuck into Mediterranean cuisine throughout the day. For hotel guests only. Dhs1,200 per night half-board for two people. 8.30am-7pm. Waldorf Astoria, Ras Al Khaimah, Vienna Street, www.waldorfastoria3.hilton.com (07 203 5555).