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Zaya Nurai Island

Size isn’t everything at this discreet little charmer well away from the concrete and glass of the city

Smothered in date trees but with a distinctly Asian vibe at its core, the Zaya Nurai is located on one of the most alluring of Abu Dhabi’s array of more than 200 off shore islands. With just 32 beach villas of colossal dimensions, this is a rare UAE attempt to prioritise an atmosphere more suited to the beachcomber than the bellicose. Each villa comes with day chairs so comfy it can be a serious challenge to even rouse yourself to take a dip in the private infinity pool. The on site restaurants (there’s five of them) specialise in biodynamic wines and sustainable fish and, if you really want to arrive with flourish, then helicopter transfers are available from Saadiyat.


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