Friday, 18 November 2016

A Day Trip to Zaya Nurai Private Island, Abu Dhabi.


Zaya Nurai Island is one of the most luxurious private island resorts in the Middle East. But did you know you can go just for the day on one of the UAE's popular 'day pass' rates? While I was in Dubai, Nigel was obsessed with going to this island. So Gohei and I humoured him and said we'd go along with him on the Sunday I was there to make him stop talking about it. This actually did the opposite, because it was so amazing that all three of us couldn't stop talking about it when we returned, and even now, over a month later, we're still messaging each other with cries of 'TAKE ME BACK!' every single week.

Zaya Nurai Island Abu Dhabi

We booked our day passes the day before we went, and after our night out at the Burj Khalifa the night before, we woke up rather late on the Sunday and hurriedly got everything together and jumped in a taxi. Just under an hour later we reached Abu Dhabi, and after paying the very reasonable 250AED fare (around £55), 'checked in' to the Zaya Nurai reception. The reception was located in a cool air-conditioned hut, with fresh iced-water filled with lemon and cucumber, and tea and coffee facilities. Less than ten minutes after we arrived the speed boat was there to collect us and the other guests.

We sped across the ocean, my hair flying everywhere, and then we saw it...the island already looked incredible and we weren't even on it yet! Huge contemporary villas overlooking the ocean, perfect for large groups of friends or families.

After disembarking the boat we were led round to the pool area and shown where the restaurants were. The cost of the day pass is 450AED per day, and it's a minimum spend, so that 450AED covers all your food and drink, and then you just pay extra if you spend anything over that. This works out at around £90 for lunch, drinks, and dinner, and full use of the resort for the whole day. We thought it was amazing value, as the food was just incredible!

Zaya Nurai Private Island Abu Dhabi
Zaya Nurai Private Island Resort Abu Dhabi
Zaya Nurai Private Island Resort Abu Dhabi
Zaya Nurai Private Island Resort Abu Dhabi
We chose to have lunch at the restaurant just across the path and beach from the swimming pool, and the meal we had was pretty amazing...

Zaya Nurai Private Island Resort Abu Dhabi


We started perusing the menus while sipping on fresh watermelon juices and taking bites from a huge loaf of bread, split into three sections, with each section being a different flavour. The tomato part was my fave, but the others were pretty great too!

Zaya Nurai Private Island Resort Abu Dhabi
Zaya Nurai Private Island Resort Abu Dhabi
Zaya Nurai Private Island Resort Abu Dhabi

We started with salads; I chose a tomato and buratta salad, which was utterly delish and perfect for such a hot day!

Zaya Nurai Private Island Resort Abu Dhabi
Zaya Nurai Private Island Resort Abu Dhabi
Zaya Nurai Private Island Resort Abu Dhabi

For mains we all had Surf & Turf; a mouthwatering chunk of steak wrapped in bacon (we think it was bacon, it tasted like bacon...but as UAE is an Islamic country it could well have been faux bacon), with a huge king prawn resting on top and thick crispy chips. Naturally we had sides of bernaise sauce to coat the steak and chips in!

Zaya Nurai Private Island Resort Abu Dhabi
Zaya Nurai  Island Abu Dhabi

And then there was dessert. The menu was difficult to choose from, but as it was so hot we all decided to go for the refreshing mango sorbet. It was without a doubt the most impressive sorbet I've ever had!

Zaya Nurai  Island Abu Dhabi
Zaya Nurai  Island Abu Dhabi


After lunch we jumped in a golf buggy and headed over to the beach on the other side of the island. Now, let me tell you, Zaya Nurai is a bloggers dreeeeeam! Everything looked as though it had come straight out of a Pinterest board or Instagram! There were teepees, big comfy bean bag chairs, a bar with copper pineapples and swings for seats. On the beach there were big comfy cushion blocks that wouldn't have been out of place in Ibiza.

Zaya Nurai Island Abu Dhabi


And then there was the piece de resistance... the water swings.

We headed straight for them, only I had a little trouble getting on. I've never had very good upper body strength, so while Nigel swung himself up and on, I was desperately kicking my legs and trying to pull myself up. It was tough you guys!!

Zaya Nurai Island Abu Dhabi
Zaya Nurai Island Abu Dhabi


It  took quite a while, and although the resulting experience of 'omfg I'm on a swing in the ocean' was so worth it, and naturally went down quite well on Instagram, I just had to tell you and show you what actually happened behind that 'perfect' Instagram shot...



It was so funny though that the three of us couldn't stop laughing as Nigel was trying to tell me how to pull myself onto it and I just kept screaming "I CAN'T" "MY BODY WON'T SWING ROUND BECAUSE MY ARSE IS TOO BIG", and then I couldn't get the muscle power in my arms to lift myself because I was shaking with laughter.

It was hilarious. Nigel got a video of a little bit of it, so I thought I'd let you see it. Don't judge me guys.



When I finally got on I felt totally exhausted, and felt like I had to stay there for a decent length of time because of the time it had taken for me to get onto the damn thing!

Zaya Nurai Island Abu Dhabi
Zaya Nurai Island Abu Dhabi
Zaya Nurai Island Abu Dhabi

 I  even managed to twist myself round for a hair photo...hahaha! I tried to swing on the swing...but it wouldn't swing. Sad times.



When we finally did leave and swim back to the beach, everyone was laughing at me, including the barmen, so I said "You guys need to put those things in shallow water", and they told me it was high tide so usually they are in shallow water. Apparently we'd just chosen a bad time of the day to try and get on them, haha. 

It was almost 5pm by this point and we had to leave to get back to Dubai around 6pm as I was staying at the Four Seasons Jumeirah Beach that night, so we hailed a golf buggy and got a ride back to the pool area.

Zaya Nurai Island Abu Dhabi
Zaya Nurai Island Abu Dhabi
Zaya Nurai Island Abu Dhabi Sunset
Zaya Nurai Island Abu Dhabi UAE


We had a lovely relaxing half hour or so chilling in the pool as the sun went down, and then paid our 450AED and hopped on the boat back to Abu Dhabi. Unfortunately we didn't get to see any more of Abu Dhabi as we just didn't have time, but I'd love to spend a couple of days there next time I stop over!

Zaya Nurai is honestly total paradise, it's such a special place, and only an hour away from Dubai, yet it looks like it's straight out of the Caribbean! If you have more than 48 Hours in Dubai, I'd definitely recommend setting aside a day for relaxing on this picture perfect island.

Check out my Dubai and Zaya Nurai vlog below!



PIN FOR LATER:

PIN FOR LATER: A Day Trip to The Paradise of Zaya Nurai Island, Abu Dhabi. This island is such a dream and when you're there you would never guess you were in the Middle East, and so close to the huge cities of Dubai and Abu Dhabi!


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6 comments

  1. Haha I completely sympathise with the no upper body strength thing and that video is hilarious! This place looks like a complete paradise! xxx
    Lucy @ La Lingua | Life, Travel, Italy

    ReplyDelete
  2. I think those swings are the best thing ever and the salads look delish!

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  3. OMG I love the behind the scenes video of the swing. I've tried to do something similar before and 3 men had to push my arse cheeks on! It looks like a great place to spend the day though - bookmarking for my next stopover!

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  4. How luxurious does this all look, everything looks so aesthetic! Amazing that places like this exist in the world! x
    www.flareaforte.com

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  5. is the day trip pass available now?

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  6. This looks like an amazing day trip.
    We are building an app to reserve luxury hotels & resorts day passes, on the go, the Zaya Nurai would make a great option.
    You can check it out at http://daypassapp.com Hope you'll like it
    See you at the Pool 😎

    ReplyDelete

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