Travel 3 minutes 21 February 2024

The 5 Best MICHELIN Guide Beach Resorts in Abu Dhabi

Explore five Abu Dhabi beach resorts offering unique experiences to every kind of traveller.

Turquoise waters, soft, sandy shores, golden rays, and impeccable service – and no, we’re not talking about the Maldives, Ibiza, Cannes or the Bahamas – we’re talking about the ever-so opulent UAE capital, Abu Dhabi. This urban beach destination gives travellers everything they look for in typical island and coastal getaways. Their collection of beach resorts uniquely offers Arabic charm with a splash of luxury, ranging from locations in the middle of the city to remote islands located almost three hours away.

In this article, we delve into five of Abu Dhabi’s must-visit beach resorts perfect for anyone looking to recharge their batteries by the sea.

READ MORE: What is a MICHELIN Guide Hotel?

Desert Islands Resort & Spa by Anantara

What was once a private holiday palace for the country’s founder has now become a resort on a nature reserve, boasting incredible wildlife and heritage sites. Located on Sir Bani Yas Island, guests will either need to drive around two and half hours from Abu Dhabi’s international airport, then take a boat to reach the resort or take a 50-seat Dash-8 aircraft flown directly from the airport. While getting there is an adventure in itself, the property’s unique features are what truly make it stand out.

The resort’s Arabian design is complemented by a large pool and pristine beach, but its exotic leisure activities keep guests entertained daily. They have the choice of going on a safari around the island to view a number of different species such as giraffes, cheetahs, hyenas and ostriches, going for a diving trip near the island to explore local aquatic life such as manta rays and dolphins, enjoying a game of tennis or archery, or even visiting well-preserved monastery from 600 AD to name a few.

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Park Hyatt Abu Dhabi

Saadiyat Island is known to being one of the more glamourous and cultural zones in Abu Dhabi, so it’s no surprise that we find world-renowned hotel, Park Hyatt, nestled in this premium location. The massive resort is the perfect spot for family and couples alike. Not only does it have a private beach on white, sandy shores the Island is known for, but it also has five pools, including one of the largest in the city, surrounded by emblematic palm trees. The resort’s welcoming and light atmosphere allows guests to escape from the outside world with relaxing views of the Arabian Gulf.

Golf enthusiasts will particularly enjoy their stay thanks to the Saadiyat Beach Golf Course, located right next door. They will be able to tee off and hit a few rounds after a day well spent by the water. For those looking for a cultural excursion, the Saadiyat Island is home to the Louvre Abu Dhabi and Abrahamic House, while those looking to dig into homegrown restaurants can enjoy quite a few MICHELIN recommended restaurants in Mamsha Al Saadiyat, such as Les Dangereux, NIRI and Beirut Sur Mer.

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Emirates Palace Mandarin Oriental Abu Dhabi

This massive palace in Abu Dhabi’s West Corniche is exactly the kind of hotel you would expect from the city. Right in the heart of the city, the landmark/resort’s jaw-dropping interiors and exteriors celebrate the country’s Islamic heritage through symmetrical patterns and proportions but applied with modern technique. The property features a private beach, private harbour and many pools catered to guests of all ages, as well as a humble vegetable farm and bee farm, producing ingredient used across the various dining spots around the stay.

From the gastronomic side, the resort houses two out of four of the one MICHELIN star restaurants in Abu Dhabi. Talea by Antonio Guida offers modern Italian cuisine, while Hakkasan delivers on authentic Cantonese flavours. The starred eateries are joined by MICHELIN-selected Indian restaurant, Martabaan by Hemant Oberoi, and various food outlets and cafes. The resort also organises an elevated picnic experience on a sand bar in the middle of the Arabian Sea, for those with more of an adventurous spirit.

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The St. Regis Saadiyat Island Resort, Abu Dhabi

A slice of the Mediterranean comes to the shores of Saadiyat Island at the St. Regis Resort. Light and airy tones across the interiors and exteriors pair beautifully with the azure sea and sky that surround them. This escape transports guests to a world of rest and relaxation with its five separate pools, including an adult only pool, its athletic club, the Saadiyat Beach Golf Course and of course, its noteworthy spa.

Guests can enjoy some fun water activities by the private beach or continue to indulge in the Mediterranean theme in MICHELIN-selected restaurant, Mazi, where they can get a taste of elevated Greek cuisine in a contemporary, bohemian setting, surrounded by olive and palm trees.

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Fairmont Bab Al Bahr

Meaning “gate of the sea,” this beach resort, located 20 minutes away from the city centre in the Abu Dhabi Creek, gives guests a chance to soak up the sun while getting a dose of the capital’s culture. From the private beach and pool area, panoramic views of the city’s architectural gem, the iconic Sheikh Zayed Mosque, and breathtaking sunsets treat guests from the comfort of their sunbeds.

While you can enjoy a holiday fully spent at this beach stay, you can opt to roam around the surrounding area. Not too far from the resort is Al Qana, a waterfront promenade full of gastronomic delights. There, guests can savour in the city’s diverse culinary scene, boasting cuisines including Mediterranean and Contemporary Japanese in Bib Gourmand restaurants, Oii, ťazal, Otoro, and MICHELIN-selected terra.

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