Pool, beach, dinner, drinks: Dubai’s best poolside restaurants
Can’t decide between a lazy lunch or a beach day? Experience both at one of Dubai’s iconic infinity pools, beach clubs or corporate plunge pools. Nab a sun-lounger at one of Dubai’s many swim and dine-friendly venues.
Burj Al Arab Terrace and Scape
Specially designed, imported and affixed to the side of the seven-star hotel, the Burj Al Arab Terrace was never going to be anything short of spectacular. As exclusive as the hotel itself, the expanse of ocean-grazing infinity pools, swim-up counters and sun loungers are reserved for hotel guests and VIP membership holders only (who pay from AED2,500 a day for the privilege). While the 32 luxury beach cabanas are each stocked with a full mini-bar, fresh fruits and gourmet coffee, it’s the California-cool menu from the adjacent Scape restaurant that will tempt you to order your meal directly to your lounger.
After a summer of renovations, the landmark beach club has relaunched even bigger and better than before, adding 2,000 sqm of leisure areas. Boasting a 39-metre-long glass-fronted infinity pool and an expanse of private beach-front, the venue is also home to fresh-focused kitchen, serving an international menu that includes everything from Lebanese mixed grills to lighter salads. Known for its ability to attract major music acts (Fat Boy Slim’s recent set was the gig to be seen at), day loungers are encouraged to linger into the evening, with the poolside still open for a dip long after sunset.
Purobeach Urban Oasis
An entire floor of an open-air wet area high above the hustle of Sheikh Zayed Road, Purobeach manages to make the heart of Dubai’s business center feel like a sunny patch of the Mediterranean. Nestled among the lush greenery and timber decking, the azure tiled pools tempt on a sunny Dubai winter day, but there’s also a strong case for booking one of the bed-style cabanas, and stretching out with a good book and one of their grazing platters for a luxe lazy afternoon.
Stretching across the Palm’s Crescent foreshore, and with the iconic seashell-pink Atlantis, The Palm looming in the background, the Royal Pool strikes a balance between a family-friendly destination and a relaxing spot for the unaccompanied grown-ups. The oversized five-star pool is perfect for a dip, with or without younger family members. Or take the kids down to the private beach, the nearby jungle gym or the lawn badminton court to totally tire them out before dinner. We recommend the signature grilled tiger prawns.
Perhaps one of the last places you’d expect to find a sun lounger, the financial centre’s Four Seasons has squirreled away a glass-walled infinity pool on its seventh-floor rooftop, overlooking the towering Burj Khalifa. A well-kept secret, we’ve spotted business guests pop in for a swim in-between meetings, along with the less strictly scheduled vacationers and locals enjoying a day off. The Luna Sky Bar will keep guests both fed and watered, or opt for a healthy smoothie from the poolside pop-up juice bar.
Dubai Polo & Equestrian Club
Not just for pony fans, the Polo Club is also home to a host of leisure facilities, for an American country club-style experience. The palm tree-lined temperature-controlled pool is fitted with the Splash Pool Bar, which offers made-to-order cafe-style meals for guests enjoying the club’s idyllic surrounds. After your swim, head to the in-house spa for a soothing post-sun facial and signature detox marine algae wrap.