x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Well-heeled dig their toes in Nurai's sand

The Life: At the time of its launch in 2008, Nurai Private Island was dubbed "the most luxurious project in the world". Now, four years later - and slightly behind schedule - the first homes are being handed over to their new owners at the start of November.

Three properties remain to be sold on Nurai. Rich-Joseph Facun / The National
Three properties remain to be sold on Nurai. Rich-Joseph Facun / The National

At the time of its launch off the coast of Abu Dhabi in 2008, the private island of Nurai was dubbed "the most luxurious project in the world".

Now, four years later - and slightly behind schedule - the first homes are being handed over to their new owners at the start of next month.

The exclusive island (near Saadiyat Island) with its pristine sands and crystal waters is free from cars, so residents must arrive from the mainland via sea or air.

A helipad and private berthing are among the facilities.

The new owners are the "discerning elite from around the globe" who bought the properties as primary residences, holiday retreats, investment opportunities and client entertainment getaways, according to Nadia Zaal, the co-founder and chief executive of Zaya Real Estate Development.

Of the 40 properties, 37 have already been snapped up - but if you hurry, one of the three remaining 10,000 square feet properties could be yours.

If the US$6 million (Dh22m) to $14 million asking price is a little over your budget, there is also the island's boutique hotel. This will offer 40 one and two-room retreats when it opens at the end of this year.

There will be plenty on offer for guests to enjoy: a spa to revitalise tired bodies and souls, water sports and a gym for the more energetic, as well as fine dining.

Those who can't switch off can slink into The Lair - which accommodates a library and IT lounge. There are even executive meeting facilities. Zaya is promoting the lifestyle benefits of island living, especially for stressed executives, and highlights that the island has almost 13,000 sq ft of waterfront space.

"Research tells us that the closer a person's residence is to the coast, the more likely they are to experience good health," says Ms Zaal.

"At Zaya, our desire is to support our residents in their wish for good health and well-being. [Nurai] is a place that nourishes your body and soul."

lgutcher@thenational.ae