With pet resorts, pet spas, animal-friendly cafes and hotels, and even dog gyms, the UAE’s luckiest furry residents are able to enjoy a blissfully pampered lifestyle that is just as comfortable and desirable as our own.
Here are all the useful, fun and quirky dog-centric services that every UAE pet owner needs to know about.
Bookmypet is a homegrown app and marketplace that compiles all the UAE’s top pet care services in one place. Offering a quick and easy way for pet owners to find and book boarding, grooming, day-care, and veterinary appointments, every center has been thoroughly vetted to guarantee only the best standards of care. Users can even view the facilities virtually before hand, and browse genuine reviews from other pet owners.
Pet With It
The Pet With It Instagram page and website should be a permanent fixture on every UAE pet owner’s bookmark bar.
Covering everything from training and healthcare tips, to dog-friendly events, cafes and places to visit, it’s a treasure trove of useful information that even includes a market place for second hand equipment and pet accessories, and a whole library of do-it-yourself ‘pet recipes’.
An award-winning, homegrown pet food specialist, FURCHILD’s nutritionally balanced, ethical raw products are made from organic vegetables, free-range meats and 100-percent ‘human-quality’ products. Particularly recommended for cats or dogs with allergies or health issues, the range is proven to improve digestion, lead to softer fur and fresher breath, and generally boost health and happiness.
The notion of insect pet food might seem a bit wild and whacky, but Percuro’s tasty and balanced mix of clean-insect protein and vegetables is helping to make the pet industry more sustainable. When you consider that livestock farming is a large contributor to climate change, and that more than 20 percent of the world’s meat, poultry, and fish goes into cat and dog food, insect feed is a far more planet-friendly alternative.
Al Khubeirah dog park, Abu Dhabi
Only opened last year, this clean and modern park includes dedicated spaces for large and small dogs, play equipment and plenty of open green spaces.
The Greens Dog Park, Dubai
Free to enter, this is a great place to let your pet run loose and burn off some energy.
JBR Dog Park, Dubai
This enclosed park invites dog parents to free to relax on a bench and watch as their furry friends mingle and play safely on a whole jungle of obstacles, ramps and play equipment.
Al Hamra Beach, Ras Al Khaimah
Most of the beaches in the UAE’s most wild and rugged emirate are dog friendly, but Al Hamra is arguably one of the prettiest. Dogs just need to be on a lead at all times.
Kite Beach Center, Umm Al Quwain
Not to be confused with the Kite Beach in Dubai, this trendy beachfront club is an idyllic place to enjoy a refreshing dip in the waves with your pooch. Dog access is Dh75.
Kite Beach, Abu Dhabi
Coincidentally sharing the same name as the above, Kite Beach on Yas Island is one of the UAE capital’s hidden gems. Free to enter, dogs can run free off the lead and bound around in the waves as they please.
Places to adopt
Stray Dogs Center – straydogscenteruae.com,
Furrballs Animal Welfare Organisation – @furrballs_dogs
House of Hounds – houseofhoundsuae.com
Nine Lives – ninelives.ae.
The Street Kittens – @the_street_kittens
RAK Animal Welfare Centre – rakawc.com
Abu Dhabi Animal Shelter – abudhabianimalshelter.com
The fun stuff
My Second Home
This chic luxury pet resort and spa boasts play areas, indoor and outdoor pools, and everything that pampered cats and dogs could possibly desire.
Urban Tails Dubai
Living up to its home city’s reputation as the world’s most lavish holiday hotspot, Urban Tails Dubai keeps dogs well entertained with an outdoor pool filled with toys and inflatables, regular fancy dress parties and a whole menu of other entertaining and enriching games.
Active dogs (and owners) will be in their element at this fun doggy daycare center in Al Quoz, Dubai. Along with more common-place services such as boarding and training, it also offers owner-dog kayaking trips, stand-up paddle boarding sessions, cruises, hikes and even specially organized dog runs.
Dubai’s most quirky dog boarding and daycare center is proving that pool parties aren’t just for the UAE’s socialites. The daycare packages come complete with regular doggy pool parties, including dedicated sessions for dogs of all sizes, and even ones where owners can join in too. It’s all riotous good fun.
The Petsitting Co. Abu Dhabi
This team of trustworthy animal experts will make sure your special friend is well looked after while you’re adventuring overseas, or away at work for the day. Services include home visits, dog walking, pet taxis and relocation assistance.
Dog yoga at Sacral Grounds
Yogi’s will be delighted to hear that Sacral Grounds, one of Abu Dhabi’s newest and most exciting yoga studios, is launching a series of dog yoga classes. Letting owners ‘paws’ and reflect with their best friend out in the studio’s private garden area at Mina Port, a percentage of each class fee is donated to local rescue centers. Priced start from dhs120 per class.
Dog gym at Posh Pets
Found in the heart of Abu Dhabi’s bustling Reem Island, Posh Pets is the UAE’s first indoor dog gym.
The specially made dog treadmills offer a very clever and cute way for pooches to stay healthy and active (particularly during the stifling summer months), whole onsite ‘posh’ pet spa offers haircuts, nail trims, blow dries, conditioning and more.
An indoor pet-friendly bistro and pet spa all rolled into one, Pawdy Neighbors dog owners to sit back, relax and savor healthy and delicious dishes while their four-legged companion is pampered and preened.
Spill the Bean
Declared ‘one of the best coffee shops in the world’ by the Financial Times, family-run Spill the Bean is also a big hit with dogs. A casual, bohemian and inspiring hangout, everything on the menu is 100 percent organic, Fairtrade and totally homemade (even down to the nut milks).
The Social Company
Dogs are welcome throughout Jumeirah Zabeel House the Greens, and this cozy cafe is the perfect place for a wholesome breakfast, lunch or dinner, or to do a spot of work in the company of your favorite housemate.
Yas Marina’s well-established Spanish/Mexican fusion restaurant makes pets feel right at home. The views over the moored yachts and Yas Marina Circuit from the two-tier terrace are stunning, and the menu of tapas, pizzas and paella offers plenty to like. Afterwards, why not complete your trip out by taking a walk along the pretty waterside walkways of Yas Marina, or the equally dog-friendly Yas Bay?
The Third Place
This veteran café offers a cool and shaded dog-friendly outdoor terrace, located just steps from the pretty seaside boardwalks of the Abu Dhabi Corniche. Serving a superb selection of fresh juices, organic coffees, sandwiches, salads, curries, pastas and more, it’s ideal for a post or pre-walk refuel.
This hippy-chic glamping spot in Ras al Khaimah welcomes cats and dogs of all sizes, and its rustic take on modern luxury includes everything from simple tents, to three-bedroom chalets with private pools.
Surrounded by the undulating golden dunes of the Empty Quarter, both humans and pets will be left amazed by the spectacular views from Tilal Liwa Hotel. More affordable and less exclusive than some of Abu Dhabi’s other desert resorts, animals are invited to stay for free in the special pet-friendly rooms. There’s also a dedicated pet garden, and pet beds, toys and pet-sitting services are all provided free of charge.
W Abu Dhabi – Yas Island
Arguably the most Instagrammable pet-friendly accommodation in the UAE, the W Abu Dhabi — Yas Island lets any pet weighing under 18 kilograms enjoy living life in the fast lane above Yas Marina circuit. Pets are provided with their own five-star standard bed, bowls, complimentary snack and even a pet-friendly in-room dining menu, while dogs can stretch their legs in the adjacent Palm Garden. Pet sitting services can also be arranged.
Harriet Shephard is an Abu Dhabi-based copywriter and freelance journalist with a particular focus on fitness, travel and lifestyle, which, along with good food, also happen to be her main passions when she's not typing away at her laptop.