x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Monte-Carlo Beach Club to open on Saadiyat Island

Exclusive European resort will be the first development to open on Saadiyat Beach on September 1.

The Sea Lounge is one of the big attractions at Saadiyat's Monte-Carlo Beach Club, which is the first property under the brand outside Monaco.
The Sea Lounge is one of the big attractions at Saadiyat's Monte-Carlo Beach Club, which is the first property under the brand outside Monaco.

ABU DHABI //The opportunity to take a dip in the Gulf on one of the UAE's few natural beaches is only a month away.

The exclusive Monte-Carlo Beach Club, with four restaurants and lounges, and a 650-sq-metre pool and spa facilities, is opening on Saadiyat Island on September 1.

It will be the first property to become fully operational on Saadiyat Beach.

One of the luxury destination's main attractions is the 9km of natural white sand beach stretching behind the club.

"This is the only real beach in Abu Dhabi that is like this, that is natural," said Patrick Nayrolles, the general manager of the beach club.

"That idea is wrapped up in everything we have here. We like to be as close to the sea and the sand and nature as we can."

The environment has been worked into the interior design and architecture of the capital's version of the Monte-Carlo Beach Club. The Saadiyat resort will be the brand's first outside of Monaco.

Seashell and coral decorations line the walls in the changing rooms and along the corridors. A huge driftwood sculpture stands just outside the exit to the lounge area, which is decorated in beige and white, with wood accents.

The beach club will cover 39,500sq metres on Saadiyat Island, the future site of branches of the Louvre and Guggenheim museums.

The island, developed by the Tourism Development and Investment Company (TDIC), is expected to be completed by 2020.

"The Monte-Carlo Beach Club, Saadiyat will kick start the exciting openings we have this year on Saadiyat Beach," said Simon Venison, the director of operations for TDIC. "The Monte-Carlo brand is synonymous with luxury and impeccable service, and we believe it will bring an air of exclusivity to Saadiyat Beach, which is set to be the island's tourism hot spot."

Membership prices at the private beach club are being finalised, Mr Nayrolles said, but a single membership was expected to cost about Dh35,000 a year. Day passes would be available to non-members.

The Monte-Carlo Beach Club will have an all-day restaurant and three lounges. Le Deck, an indoor restaurant open to the public, and Sea Lounge, a poolside lounge area with a DJ, are based on venues at the Monaco club.

Eight pool cabanas and six private beachfront bungalows will be available for members. Up to 70 loungers will be placed on the waterfront.

"We want to be part of a community," Mr Nayrolles said. "This club will be for the Saadiyat Island locals. You can come for a day getaway, or it can be the place to relax before or after work."

TDIC and the beach club's operator, Société des Bains de Mer, have integrated environmental protections into their plans.

The coastal sand dunes will be off limits, and offshore coral reefs and seagrass beds are protected. Motor boats will not be allowed on the beach.

The hawksbill sea turtle, an endangered species, nests on the island's dunes in the summer. The eggs are expected to hatch next month. In time, the club might set up viewings so members can try to get a glimpse of the hatchlings.

The club will also include a 257-sq-metre fitness room and studio and spa facilities, including two treatment rooms, sauna, steam room and plunge pool. There will be a children's pool and play area along the western side and a kids club is under development.

A launch party is to be held at the site in October.

The Société des Bains de Mer also plans to open a hotel in the Saadiyat Cultural District "at a later stage".

jthomas@thenational.ae