Described by Conde Nast as “One of the world’s most incredible island resorts”, if you are looking for a little piece of heaven on Earth not dissimilar to the Maldives then head to Zaya Nurai Island, Abu Dhabi.

This little-known gem is known as the Maldives of the United Arab Emirates, a small, natural, previously uninhabited private island that’s the epitome of luxury, tranquillity and seclusion. If you love beautiful and luxurious places to stay, then add this magical island with its stylish boutique hotel to your wish list.

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Zaya Nurai Island Resort in Abu Dhabi, nicknamed the Maldives of the Emirates


How to get to Zaya Nurai Island

A 90-minute drive from Abu Dhabi airport will bring you to Saddiyat Island. From here you can get to Zaya Nurai Island by speedboat, seaplane or helicopter in just a few minutes. Whichever one you choose, I think you’ll agree, it’s a pretty stylish arrival.


What to expect once on Zaya Nurai Island?

32 stunning one-bedroom villas with private pools line a sweeping bay of sand in the north of the island. Interiors are crisp, bright and white with clean sleek lines and floor to ceiling windows. Each villa has a small garden and private beach area while inside you’ll find a king-sized bed, lounge area, large bathtubs and walk-in rainfall showers.

View from the one bedroom Beach Villas, Zaya Nurai Island

On bedroom Beach Villa by night, Zaya Nurai Island

Zaya Nurai Island

Room view at Zaya Nurai Island

Zaya Nurai Island

There are also a number of exclusive four bedroom water villas.

Recommended for you: The elegant Ritz-Carlton on Jumeirah Beach, Dubai

Things to do on Zaya Nurai Island

Once you have grown tired of the beautiful soft white sand lapped by translucent turquoise waters, and the swimming pools, hop on one of the white bicycles that are provided free of charge or a buggy and explore. Mind you, the island only takes about an hour to walk around. With ziplines, treehouses, an outdoor cinema, a myriad of water sports and an excellent beachside spa, there’s plenty to keep all the family amused.

Arzo Travels on Zaya Nurai Island

The amin swimming pool at Zaya Nurai Island

Spa at Room view at Zaya Nurai Island, Abu Dhabi, UAE

Dining at Zaya Nurai Island

There are several restaurants and bars, including the fun Smoking Pineapple and Olive, offering Mediterranean fine dining, as well as Hooked, pictured below, so you have plenty of dining options if staying here for a few days. Service is excellent if a little fussy at times.

Hooked. one of a number of restaurants on Zaya Nurai Island, Abu Dhabi

Hooked. one of a number of restaurants on Zaya Nurai Island, Abu Dhabi

A stay at this beautiful and luxurious boutique hotel is a great choice if you are looking for an exclusive and peaceful location – don’t you think so?

Read more from ‘Arzo Travels’: Best things to do in Abu Dhabi


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