Chilled swimming pools are the norm in the UAE and while that’s great for most of the year, when summer hits, the scorching heat and red-hot loungers that come alongside a pool day can be more than enough to put people off.
Indoor swimming pools are a great alternative, allowing visitors to enjoy some fun in the water without having to deal with desert heat.
Here are 10 hotels in the UAE where you can enjoy an indoor swim this summer.
1. Four Seasons Resort Dubai at Jumeirah Beach
Escape the summer sun at the Four Seasons in Dubai with a visit to the hotel’s fitness centre. Take a chilled dip or work out with a few laps in the climate-controlled indoor pool. Set under a glass dome, the sun’s reflection on the water will make you feel like you’re still outside, but without the searing summer heat. The marble columns, artistic blue tiles and stylish lounge chairs also help to remind you that you’re in a swanky five-star retreat.
Free for in-house guests; www.fourseasons.com
2. Bulgari Resort Dubai
One of Dubai’s sleekest hotels is also home to one of the city’s prettiest indoor pools. Bulgari Resort Dubai is located on a seahorse-shaped island in Jumeirah Bay and has chic nautical vibes and views over the ocean. It’s also where guests will find the Bulgari Spa, a 1,700 square-metre experience with a large 25-metre indoor pool and a vitality pool, inspired by the ancient Caracalla Roman baths. Serene and tranquil, the indoor pool comes with floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the turquoise waters of the Arabian Sea so you can still enjoy the views, but away from the glare of the sun.
Free for in-house guests and those booking a spa treatment; www.bulgarihotels.com
3. Jumeirah Zabeel Saray, Dubai
One of Dubai’s largest indoor swimming pools can be found at the Talise Ottoman Spa at Jumeirah Zabeel Saray. The palatial spa is based on the traditional hammam concept and has a huge thalassotherapy pool at its centre. Open to both male and female visitors, there are day beds, loungers and private alcoves that guests can unwind in. The water is perfectly temperature controlled, the sun streams through stained glass windows and there’s even a twinkling night sky effect on the ceiling. Guests can also make use of the Jacuzzis, sauna, steam bath, snow room and heated marble beds.
Free for in-house guests, Dh250 for a day pass; www.jumeirah.com
4. Marjan Island Resort & Spa, managed by Accor, Ras Al Khaimah
With not one but two indoor swimming pools, one for ladies and the other for gents, Marjan Island Resort & Spa has you covered for all your summer bathing. Each pool is more than 10 metres in length, making it large enough to fit in a few laps. There’s also a Jacuzzi located next to each pool, perfect for some extra relaxation. It’s only open to those aged 16 and over, but children can enjoy their own 16-metre outdoor children's pool instead.
Free for in-house guests; www.marjanislandresort.com
5. The St Regis Saadiyat Island Resort, Abu Dhabi
Nestled in one of the capital’s most pristine locations, The St Regis Saadiyat Island Resort is known for its unspoilt private coastline but what most people don’t know is that it’s also home to a generously-sized indoor swimming pool. Located inside the Athletic Club, the 25-metre pool is open daily from 6am until noon, and then again from 2pm to 7pm, and welcomes both in-house guests and day visitors.
Free for in-house guests, from Dh158 for a day pass; www.marriott.com
6. Miramar Al Aqah Beach Resort, Fujairah
Swimmers in Fujairah can make a beeline to the Miramar Al Aqah Beach Resort for a dip in the hotel’s temperature-controlled indoor pool. Backed by the Hajar Mountains, the hotel's indoor pool is open daily until 9pm for in-house hotel guests above the age of 16, and there are also ladies-only timings on weekends. For those who want to brave the sunshine, there’s also an outdoor main pool and a children's pool, plus 200 metres of private shoreline.
Free for in-house guests; www.miramaralaqah.com
7. Dukes The Palm, a Royal Hideaway Hotel, Dubai
Dukes The Palm has its own indoor swimming pool, located on the 14th floor of the hotel meaning it comes with great views over the ocean, as well as the hotel’s private beach and Palm Jumeirah. The temperature controlled pool is a great place to enjoy a pleasant swim at any time of the year, and is lined with comfortable sunloungers and day beds. There’s even a fully-stocked bar at the pool so that you don’t need to brave the heat to get your favourite poolside beverage.
Free for in-house guests; www.barcelo.com
8. The Ritz-Carlton Ras Al Khaimah, Al Wadi Desert
If you’re looking for an oasis in the desert, then The Rainforest at The Ritz-Carlton Ras Al Khaimah should be on your list. Combining European hydrothermal culture with Middle Eastern bathing rituals, the indoor facility includes 16 different water-dd experiences. Try out ice igloos and a rain walk or brave the drench shower as you journey through the facility, before ending up at the vitality pool. This ultimate indoor pool is loaded with water massage jets and maintained at 30ºC year-round. Ultimate bliss.
From Dh159 for a 60-minute visit; www.ritz-carlton.com
9. Raffles The Palm Dubai
The first Raffles resort in the Middle East is located on Palm Jumeirah and comprises a 500-metre stretch of private beach and a palm tree-surrounded swimming pool, plus a luxury indoor pool that’s part of the Cinq Mondes Spa. Tranquillity is of the essence in this spot where guests swim under chandelier-style lighting and Arabian trellis panels. If privacy is what you seek, there are also secluded beachfront villas available to book, each of which comes with its own swimming pool and private built-in spa room.
Free for in-house guests, day visitors must book a treatment at the spa to access the pool; www.raffles.com
10. Burj Al Arab, Dubai
They say to save the best for last, so the UAE’s only "seven-star" hotel seems like a fitting way to end this round-up. The famed sail-shaped hotel is best known for its fine-dining restaurants, private beaches and expansive Burj Al Arab terrace, but it's also one of only a handful of resorts in the country that boasts an indoor swimming pool. On the 18th floor, the pool is part of the Talise Spa and comes with lashings of gold, a separate Jacuzzi and spectacular views over the Arabian Gulf and the Dubai coastline, ideal for summertime dips.
Free for in-house guests, day visitors must book a treatment at the spa for access; www.jumeirah.com