Swimming is a popular pass time in Dubai, particularly in the summer months where temperatures approach the 50⁰C mark. There is no better way to beat the heat than taking a dip in a chilled pool, not to mention the thrill of being able to swim in a large mass of water set in the desert!
Although there are hundreds of hotels in the city, nearly all of them with their own pools, there are very few places in Dubai where you can swim for free. Access to pool hotels or those in sports clubs and complexes usually requires a hefty fee of AED 200 or more; this fee typically allows access to the pool as well as fitness clubs and other poolside services such as tennis courts.
Most of the hotel pools here in Dubai are infinity-edge or vanishing-edge pools designed to appear as if the pool has no boundaries. These look even more spectacular when set adjacent to a beach making it look as if the water flows endlessly to the horizon. Below are the best swimming pools in Dubai, chosen for their aesthetics, settings, size and depth, affordability as well as other services such as pool bars. Also included is the cost of using pool services; costs are based on daily usage unless otherwise specified.
The Bab-Al-Shams Desert Resort and spa features three pools, of which the infinity pool is the most spectacular. Set almost midway between Dubai and Abu Dhabi this resort, although a bit of a drive, is located amongst rolling sand dunes, providing the perfect day getaway. The heated infinity pool is equipped with bubble seats that allow you to lounge waist-deep in the pool as you take in the breathtaking views of the desert beyond. Although not cheap, a day pass to use pool facilities will set you back AED 500, including lunch, on weekends and AED 350, including lunch, on weekdays.
As classy and elegant as the hotel itself, the infinity pool at The Address, Downtown Dubai is designed with five different levels, offering unbeatable views of the Burj Khalifa, the Dubai Fountains and the Souk al Bahar. The pool also includes a children’s area as well as a bar, where you can lounge on one of the pool rocking chairs and sip a cool drink as you enjoy the views. Day access to the pool will cost you AED 300.
Al Maha resort in the desert boasts not just one, but forty three free-form infinity pools with each suite having its own private mini-pool. Temperatures can be controlled by guests and the main pool is set amongst majestic palms with wonderful views of the desert. A day pass will cost you AED 550 and includes lunch as well as access to the pool and spa facilities.
The exclusive 59-meter infinity edge pool at the Jumeirah Zabeel Saray is a resort style pool set in a lush tropical paradise with sweeping views of the Palm Jumeirah overlooking the Arabian Gulf. The dedicated children’s pool is great for families with children, while two Jacuzzis provide ample opportunity to relax and enjoy the magnificent settings. A day pass costs AED 250 with access to the private beach and a beach butler service that will bring you food and drinks wherever you are.
The lap pool on the eighth floor of the Ibn Battuta Gate Hotel is 30 meters long and well worth the price of AED 75 for a weekday pass and AED 100 for a weekend day pass. Kids under the age of six can be dropped off at the kid’s club and a day pass to the pool also allows guests access to the gym. Don’t expect spectacular views here as the hotel is situated adjacent to the main highway.
If you don’t fancy shelling out big bucks for the luxury of hotel pools, Mushrif Park and Mamzar Park both have pools open to the public for just AED 10 for adults and AED 5 for children in addition to the park entry fees. Both parks have plenty of shaded areas and changing rooms although there are no views to boast of and the pools are not always in pristine condition. Also open to the public is the pool at the Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Sports Complex, with a 25 and 50 meter lap for serious swimmers. You can access the pools for just AED 20 per day or AED 200 per month. If you’d also like access to the very well equipped fitness center and sauna, you can get a day pass for AED 30 or a monthly membership for AED 300. The only disadvantage is that the club is closed on Friday which is the main holiday in the Emirate.