Abu Dhabi's very own culture club

One of the capital’s most enduring social hubs is also an unlikely hive of cultural activity Discuss this article

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You might not even know it, but Abu Dhabi is home to its very own culture club. What you will know, however, is the venue. The Club, a beloved leisure, beach and social club all rolled into one, is a renowned capital institute that is older than the UAE itself.

Launched by an intrepid team of expats back in 1962 on land in picturesque Mina Saadiyat donated by the late, His Highness Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, The Club is home to a wide variety of restaurants, a sailing centre and a whole host of sporting and recreational facilities, allowing members to try everything from football and tennis to diving and squash.

But, and this is the cool part, the venue also plays host to a library with a massive collection of more than 15,000 books, including a separate children’s section for budding bookworms, thespians can tread the boards at the Abu Dhabi Dramatic Society and there is even an impressive art gallery dedicated to the creative works its members have come up with.

The children’s corner even boasts a weekly Story Time section run by one of The Club’s in-house librarians, helping to inspire young minds.

While some may expect The Club to be a place where you are more likely to soak up the sun on a lounger looking out at the facility’s private beach than to soak up culture, general manager Mike McGrath says it is all part of their ongoing effort to ensure all sections of the loyal membership are catered for.

McGrath explains: “From the outside it might seem a bit surprising that we have a library and art gallery, but it is not to us. The club has grown organically over the years are we listen to and respect what our members want.

“A shining beacon of The Club’s cultural significance in the capital is the striking red and white coloured Al Nadi Tower, which was designed by Swiss architect Andre Meyerhans to commemorate The Club’s 50th anniversary in 2014 and features an impressive viewing area to take in Abu Dhabi’s skyline.”

Even in a city such as ours, bursting with culture, featuring an array of art galleries, museums and landmarks, you can still unearth the odd hidden gem. So we say it’s time to join The Club.

The Club, Mina Saadiyat, www.the-club.com (02 673 1113).

By Chris Maxwell
Time Out Abu Dhabi,

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