It’s officially spring in the northern hemisphere but for Dubai, it marks the start of the perfect beach weather – the precious 2 months when the all the elements- humidity, heat and wind are JUST right, before the hot, sultry summer sweeps in. I did say precious, didn’t I? So I’ve decided to hit the beach on the weekends for as long as the weather allows it and my first stop was the much talked-about Riva Beach club, Palm Jumeirah.
Out of all the things the stunning, buzzing club had to offer, I was most excited to go SUP-ing or Stand –Up Paddling at the Ignite Surf School. SUP-ing is known to be an excellent form of exercise and is extremely popular among expats in Dubai but for me, it was more about having fun.
And fun, it was! After an express training session, we wandered off into the ocean with our paddle boards and oars, balancing, rowing and exploring the waters of the Palm. I was a bit nervous about falling off at first, after spotting more than a comfortable number of jellyfish in the waters, but I grew more confident in my 45 minutes in the sea. Simple, easy to learn and whole lot of fun- paddle boarding has found a new fan in me.
As with all forms of exercise, this one also made me work up quite an appetite. After a quick change, I stepped into Riva’s poolside restaurant for something deliciously Italian. There was a pretty impressive line-up of cocktails and fresh beverages but even more impressive was the mixed menu, offering everything from fast food (burgers and pizzas) to wholesome Italian meals and even steaks.
I still can’t get over how stunning the shrimp cocktail looked- almost too good to eat! But then, I’m glad I did because it actually tasted just as good. I dug into my Penne Arabiata to find a sumptuous, creamy, if slightly spicy concoction ( but I think it was my extra black pepper) meal. I’ve found in that in Dubai, it takes a lot of trials and errors to find the right pasta – and the one at Riva hit the spot. Now I know where to go to satiate those sudden pasta cravings… good thing it’s just 9 minutes away from home in JLT and a stone’s throw away from Media City.
The music added to the relaxed, laid-back feel of the club and I found myself trying to Shazam most of resident DJ Carlos’ tracks- loved the music! If I wasn’t that tired, I would’ve loved to hang around by the pool bar and maybe take a dip in the stunning pool as well. I’m definitely coming back for some quality pool-time very soon.
Definitely recommended for the Dubai weekend prowlers for its gorgeous setting – high on the style factor and light on the wallet- The paddle boarding session was just AED 85 for an hour while the three course lunch with cocktails was billed at AED 400 with free access to the pool and beach for the entire day. Now that’s a weekend well spent for sure.