If there's one thing the UAE has plenty of, it's pools. Whether at apartment buildings or the country's hundreds of hotels, you are never short of options for cooling off and taking a dip.
But there are some pools across the Emirates that really stand out from the crowd. Some offer incredible views of city landmarks, some are set against the backdrop of the glistening Arabian Gulf, and some are just downright luxurious.
So, if you are looking for the wow factor for your next pool day or staycation, here are 17 of the UAE's most incredible pools to dive right into ...
1. Ce La Vi Dubai
When it comes to views, not many places can beat Ce La Vi's rooftop infinity pool. Perched on a 54-storey-high ledge between the two towers of the recently opened Address Sky View in Downtown Dubai, the pool looks directly on to Burj Khalifa and the dancing fountains below, with views stretching beyond across the city skyline. With poolside loungers and private cabanas available, there's plenty of space to relax out of the water if you can tear your eyes away from the view. Ce La Vi's pool is still closed, but is expected to reopen at some point in August.
Best for: wowing visitors with the best view of Dubai
Cost: Dh250 per person for poolside sunloungers, cabanas are Dh1,000 for a maximum of four guests, with Dh500 redeemable on food and drink.
Daily, from 10am; from Dh250; Address Sky View, Downtown Dubai; 056 515 4001, celavi.com/en/dubai
2. Burj Al Arab
If you are looking for the ultimate luxury pool day, head to Dubai's famous "seven-star" hotel. As you would expect, it has many pools to choose from, including infinity pools with in-water sun loungers overlooking the Arabian Gulf and smaller secluded pools away from the crowds. We'd say that Burj Al Arab's best pool, however, is actually found inside the impressive structure. On the 18th floor and surrounded by floor-to-ceiling windows, the pool and Jacuzzi is the perfect spot to watch the sun set over the sprawling sea below. The tranquil space is beautifully designed, featuring ornate pillars covered with gold and turquoise tiles that glow in the reflection of the afternoon sun.
Best for: sheer luxury
Cost: Most pool access is for hotel or spa guests only, however there are sometimes day pass deals at the terrace pool. Stays at Burj Al Arab start from Dh4,592 per night, excluding taxes. The hotel is currently taking bookings for October onwards.
Daily; from Dh4,592 for an overnight stay; Umm Suqeim 3; 04 301 7777, jumeirah.com
3. Bab Al Shams Desert Resort & Spa
Dubai’s desert resort Bab Al Shams boasts three spectacular pools that will leave you feeling a million miles away from city life. Set among the golden dunes, the low-lying resort is a long-time staycation favourite with UAE residents, but it also offers a number of pool day deals. The hotel’s pools offer sprawling desert views and a relaxed atmosphere, with separate children’s pools and shaded in-pool cabanas for those looking to escape the midday heat. Its main pool features Jacuzzi areas and a swim-up bar, and the spaces have traditional Arabic design touches.
Best for: escaping the city
Cost: A weekday pool day pass for Bab Al Shams costs Dh250 for adults and Dh125 for children between the ages of 6 and 12. Entry is free for children under 6. Weekend passes cost Dh350 for adults and Dh175 for children.
Daily; 8am-8pm; from Dh250 for adults, Dh125 for children; Bab Al Shams, Al Qudra Road, Dubai; 04 809 6100, babalshams.com
4. Anantara The Palm Dubai Resort
It’s the winding lagoons at this Palm Jumeirah resort that make its pools some of the best and most unique on offer in the emirate. Away from its main pool and expansive beach, the resort’s private villas open out to flowing lagoons that offer a tranquil escape – and plenty of spots to sit quietly and soak up the sun. All guests and visitors to the hotel can access the lagoons via steps nestled between the villas – just be sure to remember where you left your shoes.
Best for: something a little different
Cost: Pool day passes are Dh270 for adults and Dh105 for children between the ages of 3 and 15.
Daily, 8am-8pm; Dh270; Anantara The Palm, East Crescent, Palm Jumeirah, Dubai; 04 567 8888, anantara.com/en/palm-dubai
5. Al Maha Desert Resort
If you want to make the most of the UAE's natural landscape in the height of luxury, Al Maha Desert Resort is the ultimate getaway. Although this is a guest-only resort, each of the hotel's suites features its own private plunge pool, so you can relax in a tranquil and secluded setting, with nothing but the dunes and passing Arabian oryx to keep you company. Each pool offers shaded, unspoiled views of the sweeping plains of the Hajar Mountains massif, as well as private decking and sun loungers.
Best for: the ultimate desert luxury
Cost: Pool use is for villa guests only. A stay at Al Maha Desert Resort starts from Dh2,107 per night.
From Dh2,107; Dubai-Al Ain Road; 04 832 9900, marriott.com
6. Address Dubai Marina
Swim among the skyscrapers of Dubai Marina at Address Marina’s elevated infinity pool. With unrivalled views of the sprawling Marina below, this pool day in the heart of one of the city’s most buzzing areas will allow you to take the neighbourhood in from a new perspective. The oval-shaped pool is surrounded by plenty of sun loungers, so you should have no problem finding a space to while away the day, and there are cabanas available for a little more privacy. Stay until the evening, and you are perfectly angled to catch a glorious sunset peeking through the gaps in the Marina’s surrounding towers.
Best for: marina views
Cost: Until Monday, August 31, Address Dubai Marina is offering pool access for Dh150, with Dh100 fully redeemable on food and drink.
Daily, 7am-10pm; Dh150; Address Dubai Marina, Al Marsa Street, Dubai Marina; 04 436 7777, addresshotels.com
7. InterContinental Dubai Festival City
As well as offering a picture-perfect view of Dubai’s world-famous skyline, there’s something else about the pool at this hotel that warrants its place in the list – and it’s not for the faint-hearted. The InterContinental’s infinity pool features a glass-bottomed square platform that juts out over the edge of the building, offering swimmers a view of the sheer drop below. The Instagram savvy will have someone waiting beneath with a camera to capture the ultimate pool day snap, and the rest of the day can be spent relaxing and enjoying the views in the palm-lined waters.
Best for: thrill seekers
Cost: A day pass including pool access is Dh99, which is fully redeemable against food and drink. For Dh249, you can enjoy use of a deluxe room at the hotel for the day.
Daily, 7am-8pm; Dh99; Dubai Festival City; 04 701 1111, ihg.com
8. W Dubai – The Palm
The pool at W Dubai – The Palm is uniquely set out across four staggered levels, each of which is separated into smaller sections to create mini pools. There are a number of chic cabanas on offer here, as well as in-water sunloungers. The hotel's pink and white aesthetic, set against the turquoise of the water, makes for an envy-inducing Instagram snap. There's also the separate, lively Wet Deck on the top level, which hosts regular pool parties and brunches.
Best for: a lively atmosphere
Cost: weekday pool and beach access is Dh100 per person, while at weekends, a day pass costs Dh200 per person.
Daily, 9am-7pm; from Dh100; W Dubai – The Palm, West Crescent Palm Jumeirah; 04 245 5555, marriott.com
9. The Meydan Hotel
For fans of horse racing, pool views don't come much better than those at The Meydan Hotel. Its rooftop infinity pool overlooks the racecourse below, and is completely glass-fronted to really make the most of those views, with a waved front that allows you to swim right up to the edge. The hotel is a 15-minute drive out of the city, so a day here feels like a little escape.
Best for: horse-racing fans
Cost: The Meydan Hotel is currently offering a daycation deal that costs Dh249 for two adults and two children.
Daily, Dh249 for a family of four; Meydan Racecourse, Nad Al Sheba; 04 381 3333, themeydanhotel.com
10. Rosewood Abu Dhabi
Located above the Galleria Mall on Al Maryah Island, the Rosewood Abu Dhabi's pool is one of the capital's best. It offers spectacular views over the water and skyline of downtown Abu Dhabi, and the pool itself is fitted out with huge decorative lanterns and palm trees, giving it an Arabian vibe. The pool is surrounded by a number of great bars and restaurants, making it a great day-to-night spot.
Best for: an all-day experience
Cost: The Rosewood's pool is currently only available to hotel guests and Privilee members due to Covid-19 restrictions.
Daily, 6am-8pm; Al Maryah Island; 02 813 5550, rosewoodhotels.com
11. Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort by Anantara
The resort was voted the most Instagrammable hotel in the world, and for good reason. The five-star property sits on the edge of the Empty Quarter – the world's largest sand desert – and is surrounded by dramatic dunes as far as the eye can see. The palm-covered pool is an oasis among the dunes, offering plenty of space to relax and enjoy your surroundings. The pool has covered areas in case the desert sun becomes too much, and there are plenty of loungers for those who want to soak up some rays. Stay for sunset and you'll witness exactly why this hotel earned its Instagrammable title.
Best for: an authentic desert escape
Cost: Qasr Al Sarab's pool is for the resort's guests only. Stays at the property start from Dh901 per room per night as part of its Summer Surprise reopening package.
Daily; from Dh901; Al Mirayr, Abu Dhabi; 02 886 2088, anantara.com
12. Shangri-La Hotel, Qaryat al Beri
The best thing about the pool at the Shangri-La Hotel Qaryat Al Beri is its location, facing out directly on to the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque. A day here is the perfect way to relax and take in the incredible structure from a new angle, plus it makes for a pretty spectacular backdrop for your pool day pictures. Stay until the evening to watch it light up as the sun sets. Aside from the views, the pool is surrounded by comfortable sunloungers and shaded cabanas.
Best for: mosque views
Cost: weekday pool passes cost Dh195 for adults and Dh95 for children between the ages of 6 and 15. At weekends, it's Dh295 for adults and Dh195 for children. Children under 6 go free.
Daily, 9am-8pm; from Dh195; Khor Al Maqta; 02 509 8888, shangri-la.com
13. Saadiyat Beach Club
Saadiyat Beach Club has long had a reputation for having one of the capital's best pools, and it's a reputation that is well earned. With the white sands of Abu Dhabi's Saadiyat beach as a backdrop, the serene and upmarket pool will leave you feeling a million miles away from the bustle of the capital. The pool itself is wide and sprawling, with plenty of space to enjoy a dip. A number of over-water shaded cabanas line the side of the pool, if you want to enjoy the ultimate beach club experience. Otherwise, there are plenty of plush sunloungers around the pool's edge. In true beach club style, expect laid-back vibes and the odd live saxophonist, plus stay until sundown to catch a beautiful sky over the Arabian Gulf.
Best for: laid-back luxury beach club vibes
Cost: weekday passes cost Dh250, or Dh350 for couples. Entry for children between the ages of 7 and 17 costs Dh100, while children aged 6 and under go free. Weekend passes are Dh375 for singles, Dh525 for couples, and Dh150 for children.
Daily, 8am-7.30pm; from Dh250; Saadiyat Island; 02 656 3500, saadiyatbeachclub.ae
14. Zaya Nurai Island
It might only be a 15-minute boat ride away, but a trip to Zaya Nurai Island will have you feeling like you’ve escaped the UAE for more tropical climates. This private island paradise features two pools at either side, which you can flit between by hitching a ride on a golf cart if you fancy chasing the sunset. Its bigger infinity pool looks out at unspoiled views of the Arabian Gulf, while on the other side of the island, there’s a small deck pool overlooking the chic bamboo umbrellas and sea swings on the beach below.
Best for: an island escape
Cost: Day passes for Zaya Nurai Island cost Dh480, Dh420 of which is redeemable on food, drink and spa treatments. The cost includes boat transfer.
Daily, from 9.30am; Dh480; Zaya Nurai Island, Abu Dhabi; 02 506 6222, zayanuraiisland.com
15. Emirates Palace
It should come as no surprise that Emirates Palace's pool is every bit as luxe as the seven-star hotel within which it sits. First off, it's huge, with plenty of little nooks and crannies to find a peaceful moment away from the crowds. Perhaps the best feature, however, are its incredibly comfortable in-pool lounger hammocks, which make a day at the pool enjoyable even in the height of summer. It also has a water park and lagoon pool to keep the children busy while you focus on relaxation.
Best for: in-pool sunloungers
Cost: a day pass costs Dh295 per adult on weekdays, with Dh100 back to spend on food and drink. For children, it's Dh150 with Dh50 back in resort credit. At weekends, prices start from Dh390 for adults and Dh195 for children aged 4 to 12.
Daily, from 7am; from Dh295; Corniche Road West; 02 690 9000, mandarinoriental.com
RAS AL KHAIMAH
16. Hilton Ras Al Khaimah
If you are looking for options, Hilton Ras Al Khaimah has plenty of them, with six pools to choose from. There's a dedicated children's pool and one for adults, featuring a swim-up bar. But perhaps the most impressive is its huge lagoon pool, framed by a golden pavilion with stunning ocean views lying beyond. It is made even grander thanks to the rows of pristine palm trees that line either side, providing the perfect backdrop for plenty of postcard-perfect staycation snaps.
Best for: choice
Cost: weekday passes cost Dh85 for adults and Dh50 for children. On weekends it's Dh120 for adults and Dh50 for children.
Daily, 9am-6pm; from Dh85; Al Maareedh Street; 07 228 8844, hilton.com
17. InterContinental Fujairah Resort
Set against Fujairah’s rocky landscape, the pool at the InterContinental Fujairah Resort offers views on all sides. The thing that sets this resort apart from the emirate’s ample other pools are its in-water cabanas, which make lazing a day away all-too easy. A row of palm trees separates the pool’s edge from the ocean below, offering idyllic views out to sea.
Best for: a mountain escape
Cost: A daycation including use of a room between the hours of 10am and 7pm is Dh350 for two adults.
Daily, 8am-8pm; from Dh175 per adult; Al Aqah Beach Dibba Road; 09 209 9999, ihg.com