Secret UAE beaches
We're familiar with Dubai, but what about the beaches in the rest of the UAE? Here's what we found 11 Comments
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Lulu is the most accessible of all Abu Dhabi’s man-made islands, stretching practically the length of Abu Dhabi’s corniche. Regular boat trips used to run to and from the mainland for a minimum fee; alas these were stopped last year after plans for the island’s redevelopment were announced.
But for the time being you can still enjoy its pristine sands if you want to charter a boat. However, unlike some of the other islands, you can’t camp here and you will be asked to leave after 8pm.
One of the larger of Abu Dhabi’s islands, Bahraini Island (aka Al Maya Island) is also among the few that are not off limits to the public. At 7km in length there are plenty of peaceful spots to be found here, which is handy as its surrounding waters tend to fill up quickly from Friday morning onwards.
Charter companies like Belvari Marine (050 661 2176) will happily drop you off overnight should you wish to extend your stay. Camping and barbecues are allowed, but sadly many of the visitors abuse this and the island’s beaches are all too often used as a dumping ground, so be sure to take any rubbish with you.
Occasional island dance events are also becoming more common, so be warned: a couple of hundred clubbers could quickly descend on your oasis of tranquillity depending on which evening you choose.
Admittedly, Al Futaisi Island is more of a structured resort than a desert island, but unlike Sir Bani Yas Island, which requires that you stay in the hotel, Al Futaisi has no such requirement and a Dhs100 fee per person is all that is required in order to get a ferry across from its office opposite Al Bateen Marina (02 666 6601).
This entitles you to use its private beach and swimming pool, but bear in mind boats run at 10.30am and 5.30pm with nothing in between so be sure to arrive promptly or you’ll literally miss the boat. The obligatory sports (beach volleyball, football, Jet Ski hire) can all be found here and the resort offers tours (Dhs200 per person) as well as horse and cycling trips around the island.
Belevari Marine offers chartered boat hire to both Lulu and Bahraini Island for Dhs300 per hour. Contact Captain Berend van Rijn on 050 661 2176. Boats are available from Al Bateen Marina, or visit www.futaisi.com. A weekday stay at the chalet costs Dhs1,000; weekends Dhs1,200.
By Jeremy Lawrence
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