Page 12 - Simply Abu Dhabi Magazine III

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Saadiyat Beach
Picture it if you can – a nine kilometre arc of immaculate golden sand stretching as far as
the eye can see. Home to Hawksbill turtles and pods of playful dolphins, Saadiyat Beach
is an idyllic setting for five star hotels, a private beach club and a championship golf
course. It sounds almost too good to be true but we witnessed it first-hand. We couldn’t
fail to be mesmerised by the warm sea breezes as we arrived at this laid back tourist
retreat. Fringed by unspoilt white sands merging blissfully into sparkling azure waters and
with uninterrupted panoramas of the Arabian Gulf we knew we were part of something
very special. Capturing all that epitomises relaxed island life, Saddiyat Beach is located on
the island’s North Western coast and is set to become big news in the tourism industry.
The nine highly landscaped five star resorts at Saadiyat Beach are certain to become
renowned for their tranquil ambience and first-rate branding and will be opening from
this year onwards. The original vision to create a district on a par with the world’s finest
established resorts is one that is already being achieved as big names flock to the island
to be part of the success story. Many upmarket and glamorous hotel operators have been
attracted to the Saadiyat Beach proposition, charmed by its distinctive magnetism and
character. The district will pride itself on the Middle East’s first St. Regis hotel, a five-star
property by Rotana Hotels and Resorts as well as featuring definitive resorts such as Park
Hyatt, the Shangri-la owned by the Al Jaber Group and Mandarin Oriental. And this is
only the story so far with plenty other big name brands set to be attracted to the subtle
glitz and relaxed appeal of the area in the future.
At one with nature
Saadiyat Beach may be being developed as an enticing international tourist destination
packed full of unparalleled facilities and attractions, but with TDIC’s commitment to
environmental sensitivity, any urbanisation is being woven flawlessly into the natural
eco-system. Developers working on the resort are adhering to strict guidelines which
present them with the huge challenge of creating a sought-after destination at one with
nature whilst also providing the most superb hospitality, entertainment and amenities
that discerning guests could wish for. It is much to their credit that the most incredible
resorts in terms of opulence and allure are being built with due care and consideration
to the natural dunes and fauna located on the beachfronts that lie in close proximity to
them. With this in mind, the nine five-star hotels and international resorts that will sit
at the heart of Saadiyat Beach have been designed to blend effortlessly into their physical
surroundings and to respect the natural balance of this beautiful unspoiled island. To
achieve such a balance is a remarkable feat, but one we saw already under transformation
as the district takes shape and the finest pedestrian-friendly atmosphere is created. Where
families play, couples cavort and socialites gather, turtles also nest and dune grasses are
caught blowing in the warm sea breeze.
Rest, relax, revive, recharge
Set beside stunning sapphire waters, the Saadiyat Beach District invites countless
possibilities for rest and recreation. In a magical setting under the sun, a laidback leisure
orientated lifestyle will appeal to both residents and tourists. Whether you want to
laze by the pool, relax over a coffee, mooch around the shops or work up a sweat at the
treadmill, a choice of private and public beach clubs will cater to your needs offering
an array of sport facilities, high-tech gyms and indulgent day spas. If like us, you visit a
beach resort expecting fine restaurants, lively shore-front cafes and bars, enticing spas,
beautiful boardwalks you simply have to stroll along, the picturesque backdrop of
golden sand dunes and sparkling azure waters, then Saadiyat Beach can’t fail to exceed
expectations. A high quality camera is a must as although these are beautiful images that
will be imprinted on your mind, you’ll simply have to show loved ones back home. The
very essence of island living, Saadiyat Beach will draw in visitors who wish to pursue their
hobbies and live their dreams. This is exactly what we did when we paid a fantastic and
memorable visit to the Saadiyat Beach Golf Club.
A champion experience at Saadiyat Beach Golf Club
Golfing legend Gary Player, the designer of the Saadiyat Beach Golf Club stated “our
vision is to have a golf course of many seasons. We’ve got to do something very, very
special here”. Away from the fast-paced bustle of everyday life, he has certainly achieved
that. During our visit we saw first hand how he has created a club that successfully
achieves his goal to “make golfers feel like champions.” As golfing fans what could be
better than a championship golf course set next to the ocean? This is truly the stuff that
dreams are made of and we simply couldn’t stop smiling throughout our day spent at this
heavenly club. Gary Player has created one of the world’s most alluring golfing projects
with first-class amenities where visitors can enjoy a unique golfing experience whilst
also soaking up the truly awe-inspiring views of the immaculate white sandy beach.
We are pleased to report that Saadiyat Beach Golf Club serves golfers of all abilities so
everyone can par off and enjoy putting their skills to the test. We certainly did just that
as we signed up for the ‘Member for a Day’ experience – the only golfing pay and play
facility in the Middle East. We were able to practice our backswing on several beach-front
holes as we moved around the figure eight course which has been organically designed
so you don’t have to play the same hole twice. The friendly, courteous staff couldn’t
have done more to put us at ease and we relaxed into our game as we were made to feel
like champions! As with the development philosophy of Saadiyat Beach as a whole,
the course has been designed to reflect stringent eco-guidelines. With a golf academy,
excellent practice facilities and an iconic clubhouse that makes the most of stunning
views, Saadiyat Beach Golf Club is posed to provide the social and recreational focus of
Saadiyat Beach.
It’s fair to say we had worked up something of an appetite and were feeling rather peckish
by lunchtime and boy were we in for a pleasant surprise! Far from the usual golf club
grub, in the Hawksbill Restaurant, our mouths watered as we were presented with a
comprehensive menu offering a tantalising selection of culinary delights from around
the globe. Jordana opted for delicious fresh tagliatelle pasta with succulent prawns and
arriabiata sauce. My Saadiyat Salmon more than satisfied my hunger with its subtle
avocado and garlic undertones and we shared some garlic and mozzarella bruschetta –
the perfect accompaniment to a tasty and leisurely lunch. As we tucked in we chatted
animatedly about the thrilling plans for Saadiyat and we looked out from the terrace at
the glorious views of emerald green fairways and the glistening blue waters of the gulf. If
this is what just one little corner of one district of Saadiyat has to offer, we’re in for a real
treat when the incredible project is completed.
Our first impressions of Saddiyat Beach – a completely natural environment on the
doorstep of our luxurious hotel that appealed to all our senses. Our lasting impression of
Saadiyat Beach – pure beauty at its intrinsic finest – a place that has captured our hearts
and will be firmly in A&J’s diary for a return visit in the not too distant future.
a new chap t e r i n the s t o r y o f the UAE