x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 18 January 2018

Splash out on fun at Abu Dhabi's Monte Carlo Beach Club

This newly opened beach club on Saadiyat Island brings a touch of Riviera glamour to the UAE capital, plus more of what's new this week in travel.

Cabanas line the pool area at the newly opened Monte-Carlo Beach Club on Saadiyat Island. Courtesy of SBM
Cabanas line the pool area at the newly opened Monte-Carlo Beach Club on Saadiyat Island. Courtesy of SBM

Saadiyat Island, Abu Dhabi

The Monte Carlo Beach Club has opened its doors on Saadiyat, one of the first of properties to become operational on Saadiyat beach. Based on the Monte Carlo Beach on the French Riviera, the club sits on a 39,500-square-metre site with a natural beach that stretches for nine kilometres.

Designed to accommodate around 300 people, the club features spacious poolside cabanas, a spa and treatment rooms. There will also be a children's zone called the Turtle Club. The club has four restaurants, including Le Deck, which offers all-day dining, and the chic Sea Lounge. Annual membership starts at Dh35,000 per person and includes year-round access to the club as well as membership to the original property in Monaco. Non-members can avail of the club's amenities for a daily cover charge. For more information, visit www.montecarlobeachclub.ae or email info@montecarlobeachclub.ae.



Track snow leopards high in the Himalayas or explore the hidden cave systems of the eastern Indian state of Meghalaya.

The 13-day "snow leopard explorer" tour begins in Leh, Ladakh, before moving on to Husing Camp in the Hemis National Park, with trekking in Rumbak and Tarbung, areas famous for snow leopards, wolves and the rare golden eagle. Trails follow the Indus River to the village of Ulley and back to Leh, before ending in New Delhi. From US$2,180 (Dh8,000) per person, based on two sharing, with meals, accommodation and park entry fees. Departure on November 3.

The 15-Day "Meghalaya caving adventure" begins in Kolkata, followed by a domestic flight to Guwahati and on to Shillong, the capital of Meghalaya, with birdwatching, wildlife spotting and trekking along the Shnong Rim of the Jaintia Hills District, before venturing into the network of 500 limestone caves spread over more than 1,000km. The trip ends with visits to the ancient ruins of Nartiang and Cherrapunjee, the wettest place on earth. From $2,252 (Dh8,271) per person, all inclusive. Departure on December 8. Prices don't include international airfare. For information, visit www.planetwildlife.com.


The Galapagos

Enjoy one of the world's most unique wildlife experiences while cruising on a yacht around the Galapagos islands off the coast of Ecuador. Look out for blue-footed boobies, frigate birds, flightless cormorants, the Galapagos Waved Albatross, sea lions and fur seals, marine iguanas - the only sea-going lizard in the world - and the famous giant Galapagos tortoise.

The nature trails are carefully marked and all tour groups led by expert naturalists and guides. The trip includes plenty of diving, snorkelling and swimming. An eight-day cruise costs from £1,999 (Dh11,850) per person, based on two sharing, including domestic return flights from Quito to Galapagos, meals, sightseeing, treks and local transport. Book through www.responsibletravel.com.


South Africa and Botswana

This cycling holiday lets you explore Botswana's highlands, ancient elephant trails and the Northern Tuli Game Reserve, and the rugged valleys of Mount Anderson Reserve in South Africa. From £1,800 (Dh10,670) per person, based on two sharing, for a nine-day trip with all accommodation and meals, local transport and the services of a guide. Departures this month, October and November. The October 6 trip has a 10 per cent discount per person. For more information, visit www.cyclemashatu.com.