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Backyard inspiration – 5 great ideas to create shade

In Dubai we have scorching sun for about four months of the year and whilst it doesn’t burn as easily as in other parts of the world it is still too uncomfortable to be out in it for too long.  The other thing we have in Dubai is great resorts so I didn’t have to look too far for inspiration on how to get shade into your backyard.  Here are five ideas for you to consider.

1. The Traditional – get an umbrella, the bigger the better and square ones tend to give you better coverage.  Think about what is most practical for your yard – a central support pole or one that is on an arm to keep the area below barrier free.  When looking at the colour coordinate with your existing furniture but don’t feel compelled to make it match.  Don’t be afraid to have a couple in your yard to give a wider coverage, check out the ones at the Sofitel Dubai The Palm Resort & Spa for this approach.

2. The Sail – these are easily accessible nowdays and can be anchored to fences, your home or a column installed in your yard.  You can cover a large area with  a single  sail or have two or three at slightly different levels to add a bit of design interest.  They are great for providing shade over a pool or barbeque area.  Have a look at the installation instructions if getting it from a hardware store – they should be quite straightforward, if you are going bigger and need it purpose made I highly recommend getting them to install it too to avoid mishaps on a windy day.  The kids pool at the Kempinski Hotel & Residences Palm Jumeriah is worth checking out for a very shady place for the kids to splash around.

3. The Pergola – a more permanent solution is to build a pergola or this very modern take on one that runs along the front of Bussola at the Westin Mina Seyahi.  Pergolas are a perfect spot to sit under and get filtered light coming through, great to grow creeping plants up to add a lush feel to your backyard and can stay in place all year around and weather the seasons.

4. The Au Naturale – if you have time to wait for trees to grow and planting to get bushy you can’t look past going green.  The lushness of having greenery around you not only provides a dappled light below but also makes the space feel fresher and cooler.  It also helps you create a destination in your own backyard that does not rely on a view to anything else.  The Conrad Dubai does this really well and is a little oasis in a busy part of Dubai.

5. The Cabana – a paired down pergola that only has the main supports and has panels of fabric to create privacy or shading.  These are a bit more simple to construct, great to build the size of a couple of lounge chairs or large enough to showcase your outdoor dining and a magic way to introduce colour through the fabric you choose.  If the panels are removable this will help give them longevity and means it is worth investing in a better quality fabric rather than replacing each year.  There are two types of cabanas at the Rixos The Palm Dubai which are great for inspiration – especially as one is more formal (being half pergola half cabana) and the other a bit more relaxed as far as style goes.

I experienced all of these hotels thanks to the team at Privilee – their membership programme is a great way to access fab beach clubs, gyms and get great restaurant discounts.  For more information on Privilee click here.

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