Life’s too short to spend your cabana allowance on the wrong beach. So helpfully, on Yas Island, you can follow the flamingos to find the most buzzing patch of party sand in the city. Rebranded as a complete lifestyle destination, the new development is now complete with a new restaurant, Tiki bar, international DJs and even a dedicated kids’ area and mini muscle beach. Ahead of the grand openings of both the pool bar on Thursday, November 19 and Tiki Bar the day after, here’s your essential guide:
Eat & drink
Beach shack burrito holes are all very well, but if you prefer a little less sand in your guacamole, this new two-storey restaurant is for you. With a stunning, unobstructed view of the sea and mangroves, there is a cosy seating area with capacity for up to 90 beach goers or casual night diners to enjoy wholesome, fresh and authentic international dishes with generous fish platters.
Open daily from 10am-3am.
The Tiki Bar
Hula girls and bamboo-wielding boys, this is your chance to amble into Polynesian culture in your flip flops. Share specially crafted exotic mixed drinks in this island haven adorned with colourful Tiki culture decor and plenty of weird and wonderful beverage combinations on offer. There is also a stage for live entertainment and big screens for sports lovers who can’t bear to miss a moment of the key matches.
Open daily from 10am to 3am.
The Hops Bar
It’s the simple things in life that keep us happy. This pop-up bar serves scrumptious snacks, soft drinks, fresh fruit juices, house grape, tea and coffee, and refreshing beverages for parched party people.
Open daily from 10am to 3am.
The Mixed Drinks Bar
Seaweed smoothies don’t taste so good, even if they are packed with fashionable antioxidants. Wannabe mermaids can recharge instead with signature mixed drinks at this branded bar, strategically located right next to the volleyball area, to sip and spectate simultaneously.
Open daily from 10am to 3am.
Sink into the sand, chill out on the oversized beach bags, or if you need a bit comfort (well it is a super stylish beach club), then pose on the VIP beds surrounding the swimming pool with style. Table service is available, of course, but should you want to stretch your legs, you can head to the ellipsoidal-shaped bar with spectacular view of the sea. Once the sun has set, the venue is the prime place to party, and some of the world’s best DJs are lined up to perform at the venue.
Open daily from 10am-3pm.
The VIP Cabanas
Casual in look and feel, these abodes offer celebrity-style privacy for those who don't like the exposure and prefer a more comfortable hideaway. With dreamy azure curtains and comfy pillows to rest your aching limbs after a session swimming, kayaking or on the volleyball court, the cabanas are also an absolute must for those entertaining a group of friends, as mini party booths with cabana to cabana waiting service are available.
Advance booking only (056 242 0435).
The Beach Boutique
This fantastic humble enclave includes an exclusive beach clothing line that carries branded swimwear and T-shirts for both men and women, along with towels, caps and hats, beach bags, accessories and sun tan lotion. Want to pick up a few casual souvenirs of your time on the beach? This is the perfect opportunity to do just that.
Sports & activities
The Noukhada Watersports
Half the fun of Yas Beach (besides the food, drinks and non-stop house music from cool DJs) is the non-motorised water sports run by partners Noukhada located in the right edge of the beach, from kayaking, sailing and mangrove tours to snorkelling. And not only will you get some exercise and an impressive tan, but help save the planet at the same time. The eco-friendly company is known for its low environmental impact tours to several different locations around the coastal waters and inland areas of Abu Dhabi to educate and promote awareness of the region’s vital eco system. And several bite-size tours, rentals and lessons are also available at Yas Beach. Paddle yourself in a kayak accompanied by a Noukhada guide and explore the nearby island and mangroves. Or motor out, towing the kayaks to reach the far mangroves and then paddle accompanied by a Noukhada guide to explore the distant Yas mangroves, returning to Yas Beach. Our favourite? Zip out to the Ooid Shoals and nearby reef system and explore what remains of the natural coastline. It must be booked in advance and is low tide and low wind dependent.
Kayak mangrove Dhs155 adults, Dhs120 kids, Kayak/boat mangrove Dhs200 adults, Dhs150 kids; Snorkel safari Dhs300; kayak and SUP rental from Dhs40; Omega/Hobie sailing experiences Dhs420 www.noukhada.ae/rentals/yas-beach-activities
The Volleyball Court
Show that competitive streak and get on the volleyball court. Twice a year Yas Beach organizes a national volleyball championship, but if you can’t wait until then to sprint, volley and spike, then play with your friends for the price of a Dhs50 refundable deposit. Other hidden costs? Try and avoid the ‘six-pack’, aka the dizzying sensation of being hit directly in the face Meet the Fockers style.
Open daily. Free, Dhs50 refundable deposit for volleyball.
The Outdoor Gym
It’s not quite muscle beach, but it’s only a matter of time before the CrossFit community find the potential in this outdoor playground. Who says you need an expensive gym full of equipment? The vogue nowadays is to use your own bodyweight for high intensity interval training (HIIT)-style work outs. If you prefer to keep the gym for a separate day, don’t forget – it’s a useful space to knock out a few chin-ups when you spot someone you want to impress on the beach.
For the Kids
RISE: Recreation, Imagination, Socialisation and Education, is Yas Beach’s tailor-made kids’ program. "Rise your kids" at Yas Beach with many activities for all the family. Join the sandcastle competition every Friday from 3pm-5pm, simply register at reception and get creative for exciting prizes. (Please note, this is for kids only and not ultra-competitive professional artists in their ‘20s. Kidoos World also takes place from Thursday-Saturday and includes constructive and educational games and screenings inside the spacious tent area (must be supervised at all times by parents). Little sailors more keen to get on the water will love the Noukhada sailing experiences in the Omega or Hobie 18 boats, which you can book at 50 percent off every Monday for those between four and 10 years old (must be accompanied by an adult). The boutique beach shop also sells kites which are perfect for flying along the windy shoreline. And don’t forget! Ask for a free coupon at the entrance to receive free ice cream and popcorn.
Adults Dhs50 weekdays, Dhs100 weekends. Kids 50 percent discount eight-14-years-old, free for under-eight. Single membership Dhs350 monthly. Open 10am-7pm weekdays, 10am-10pm weekends. Grand opening of the pool bar, Nov 19 and Grand opening of the Tiki bar, Nov 20. Yas Island, opposite Crown Plaza, www.yasbeach.ae, for reservations, email firstname.lastname@example.org (056 242 0435).