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Zaya Nurai Island
Photo: Courtesy of Zaya Nurai Island

Derived from the Arabic word “noor” – meaning light – Zaya Nurai Island was conceived by CEO Nadia Zaal to provide a sanctuary that would nourish the mind, body, and spirit. The secluded island offers the opportunity to escape the chaos of city life, minus the hassle of multiple flights to travel there and back.

Despite being a 60-minute drive from the hustle and bustle of Downton Dubai, Zaya Nurai feels a million miles away from the moment you arrive, providing a tranquil spot in which to do essentially nothing but relax. Keep scrolling to discover four reasons why the private island is the ultimate destination for a weekend well spent.

Location, Location, Location

Just a ten-minute boat ride from Abu Dhabi’s Saadiyat Island, Zaya Nurai is a small haven in the Arabian Gulf. Boats run regularly from the hotel’s welcome center, where you are greeted with complimentary drinks while waiting to be ferried off into paradise.

Upon arrival, the sandy pier and a giant installation spelling “love” are just a peek of what’s to come as no stone is left unturned when it comes to design at this resort. And if you’re lucky enough to arrive during the evening, twinkling lights add a sparkle to the already-beautiful waterfront.

Zaya Nurai Island
Photo: Courtesy of Zaya Nurai Island

Bedding Down

Boutique villas, estates, and houses are scattered along the beachfront, meaning each residence has its own slice of sandy paradise. From the outside, the rooms are designed to blend into the landscape, while floor-to-ceiling glass walls reflect the surrounding beauty and provide a special view to wake up to. The interior design is this hotel’s unique selling point – marble countertops, his-and-her sinks, and a cozy living area provide an opulent but homely space. Artwork hangs on the white walls and reads “inhale” and “exhale”, a gentle reminder to truly unwind within your idyllic surroundings.

Whether you’re a couple on a romantic mini break or a family of four, everything has been considered when it comes to accommodation options. There’s even a completely secluded villa available, which can’t be seen from any part of the island and boasts unrivalled views across the ocean. As for those who aren’t beach dwellers? A palm-fringed pool and deck mean you’ll never have to leave your villa.

Zaya Nurai Island 9
Photo: Courtesy of Zaya Nurai Island

Rest and Relaxation

The serene Nurai Spa is reason enough to consider this hotel — and to return to it time and time again. Embodying a quiet luxury amidst the stressful city in which so many of us live and work, the spa focuses on nurturing your physical, mental, and emotional health. The treatment rooms, sitting atop the water’s edge and finished with glass windows, are breathtaking. You’ll also love the sound of crashing waves providing a natural soundtrack to your preferred treatment.

Above all, the Nurai Spa offers the luxury of personalization, which sees experts compile an itinerary of wellness and relaxation that is suited to you and your travel companion’s needs – everything from gentleman’s barber services to mother-and-daughter holistic therapy can be arranged.

Zaya Nurai Island
Photo: Courtesy of Zaya Nurai Island

Blissful Beaching

The star of the the show at Zaya Nurai is the one-of-a-kind Smokin’ Pineapple beach club, which can be visited by those staying at the hotel or anyone who wants to visit for the day – no tickets required. Everything about this quirky establishment, from its design to the chilled tunes beating through the speakers, is a bohemian dream. Expect to see teepees filled with pineapple-print cushions, crochet bean bags, and dream catchers aplenty.

And for those looking for an Instagram opportunity? Hammocks and swings suspended in the ocean are just the ticket. Food comes in the form of pizzas baked in the huge pineapple-shaped wood-fired oven – hence the club’s fun name. In short, this relaxed destination, complete with an infinity pool and good vibes, is akin to an eclectic spot reminiscent of those found in Bali. Bliss.

Zaya Nurai IslandZaya Nurai Island
Photo: Courtesy of Zaya Nurai Island
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