Embrace the natural beauty of the dunes as we highlight the best desert destinations the United Arab Emirates has to offer.
Al Maha Desert Resort & Spa
Al Maha, a Luxury Collection Desert Resort and Spa, is located just 45 minutes from Dubai. This private guest-only resort is situated on the dunes of the Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve. Al Maha offers unobstructed views of the golden dunes of the royal Arabian dessert, allowing guests to delve into the culture of the desert environment. Rich with Arabian wildlife, and frequent sightings of over 130+ recognized species of birds, Arabian Oryx, Oryx and Gazelles, that roam freely around the resort, are truly a sight to behold. Surrounded by natural beauty, the iconic vistas of the sweeping plains and Hajar Mountain massif add to the sense of calm and tranquility. If you are looking for a more active stay enjoy a horse ride, camel trek or nature walk. Be sure to join a signature desert safari or practice the distinguished arts of archery and falconry.
The 5-star hotel boasts private swimming pools with majestic dune and mountain views and 42 suites combine discreet refinement with authentic regional antiques, local artifacts and thoughtful nuances. Rooms range from 37 Bedouin Suites, 2 Royal Suites, 2 Emirates Suites and 1 Presidential Suite. Bedouin Suites feature a private temperature-controlled pool surrounded by a wooden deck, handcrafted furnishings, antiques and artifacts, custom-made super king-size beds, 10 suites are equipped with large twin beds. The spacious bathroom features a walk-in shower, king-size bath, a his and hers vanity area. The mini bar offers complimentary water, tea and coffee making facilities, all rooms come with satellite TV, DVD, data ports and wireless connectivity. For sheer opulence the 530 square meter Presidential Suite is the finest of all the suites at Al Maha. This suite has three large bedrooms, handcrafted furnishings, a lavish bathroom, a large private 10×8 meter temperature controlled pool, water features in the majlis, a spacious courtyard, and a residential quarter for guests’ private staff. This Suite is designed for guests who want to experience the ultimate in sophistication and personalized service.
Dine in sophistication at Al Maha’s signature Al Diwaan fine dining restaurant. Go al fresco on the veranda with breathtaking views of the reserve, or in the privacy of your own suite as chef tailor makes a menu to your requirements. Above Al Diwaan restaurant, is the terrace bar, enjoy exciting beverages while enjoying natures wonder. Alternatively dine in the dunes under the Arabian star lit sky as the team at Al Maha creates a romantic atmosphere with flame torches and Persian carpets.
Timeless Spa signature treatments draw on Middle Eastern and South East Asian aromatherapy traditions. The spa offers a range of relaxation treatments, private massage rooms for couples, in-suite massage, a private rasoul chamber, hydrotherapy bath, a sauna and steam room, including a cold plunge pool, Jacuzzi, swimming pool and a fully equipped fitness center. With its team of talented international spa therapists who specializes in a wide range of wellness, rejuvenation and beauty therapies, a day at the spa is a must when visiting Al Maha. Alternatively, if you want to remain active, The Al Maha Resort and Spa offers a state-of-the-art fitness center.
Jumeirah Al Wathba Desert Resort & Spa
The hotel’s design draws inspiration from a historic desert village and the quintessential Arabian style resort sprawls over 22,000 sqm of tranquil desert, and comprises 13 villas each with a private pool, 90 rooms, a vast pool, six restaurants and bars including a desert camp and a destination spa. Meandering luscious courtyards and walkways allow for a sense of discovery while water features and pools, inspired by the natural falaj (a water channel used for irrigation) create a soothing energy, underlined by the constant sound of the trickle of water. Only 40 minutes from Abu Dhabi International Airport, Al Wathba is a historical location with rich Emirati resonance and home to the annual Sheikh Zayed Heritage Festival, one of the biggest cultural events in the UAE. The two-month festival takes place under the patronage of HH Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the United Arab Emirates and gives visitors the opportunity to experience rich Emirati traditions. The resort is also in close proximity to the Emirates International Endurance Village for events including the annual UAE Endurance World Cup; the Al Wathba Wetland Reserve; cycling tracks; and a series of fossilized dunes.
The hotel has a total of 103 rooms, suites and villas, the 80 Arabian Deluxe King and Twin Rooms, 6 One Bedroom Suites, 4 Two Bedroom Suites, 6 One Bedroom Villas, 6 Two Bedroom Villa and 1 Royal Three Bedroom Villa. The Arabian Deluxe King and Twin Rooms showcase serene views of the sweeping desert landscape. Rooms are decorated in neutral tones, featuring homely local details, classical artwork, and Arabesque accessories. The spacious bathroom includes a separate rain shower, free standing bath, and twin, his and hers wash basins. For ultimate luxury select the 1 Royal Three Bedroom Villa. Elevate your Abu Dhabi escape to an unprecedented level with the Royal Three Bedroom Villa, including a large master bedroom, two additional bedrooms, and four generously-sized bathrooms. Indulge in the lavish 360sqm space, complete with a separate dining room, living room, and fully-equipped kitchen, and recline on the private patio with its own plunge pool overlooking the desert.
Jumeirah Al Wathba Desert Resort and Spa Abu Dhabi excels with its six dining options. Bait Al Hanine is the hotels bright and stylish all-day dining restaurant, Terra Secca offers guests signature Italian cuisine in its sophisticated Trattoria, with exceptional food, impeccable service, and enchanting desert views, Panache a restaurant and pool bar, combines Arabic favourites, healthy dishes and fashionable beverages, Hayaakom, an intimate lobby lounge offers a welcoming space serving light fare, Arabic inspired mocktails, and fresh coffee, Al Mesayan, an extraordinary rooftop bar, and the highlight, Al Mabeet Desert Camp, a contemporary homage to Bedouin culture and an unparalleled space to unwind and dine amongst the dunes.
Talise Spa offers an enriching sensory experience, 13 treatment rooms, including two couples rooms, are built around a picturesque garden area, allowing you to relax and reflect, lulled by the sounds of trickling water and resident wildlife. Along with relaxation areas, a sauna, steam rooms, plunge pools, snow cave, and a traditional Turkish hammam, this decadent spa also features salt rooms and a unique cryo experience.
Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort By Anantara
Known to some as ‘The Most Instagrammable Hotel In The World’, Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort by Anantara was launched in October 2009 and is located in the Liwa Desert, surrounded by the spectacular golden dunes of the Empty Quarter. Just 90 minutes from the capital of the United Arab Emirates, Abu Dhabi, the resort blends traditional desert culture with signature luxury. Unwind in the unsurpassed comfort of your choice of 205 elegant rooms, suites and villas, in palatial surroundings steeped in intriguing ancient traditions. Designed to absorb the region’s distinctive custom, guestroom interiors are inspired by the simple grandeur of an old desert fortress and boast locally hand-crafted furnishings, rich carpets and embroidered fabrics to evoke ambient warmth and an inescapable sense of romance. Adorned with hints of Bedouin tradition and exquisite reminders of timeless culture, guests are assured of feeling a million miles away from the fast pace of city life.
Rooms range from Deluxe Garden Rooms, Deluxe Balcony Rooms, Deluxe Terrace Rooms, Anantara Suites, One Bedroom Anantara Pool Villa, Two Bedroom Anantara Family Pool Villa, Three Bedroom Anantara Family Pool Villa and a Royal Pavilion Pool Villa. Deluxe Garden Rooms are located on the ground floor and the room opens onto a refreshing oasis of green, with unending desert beyond. Wake up to sunrise over the dunes and take your morning espresso out on your shaded terrace. Enjoy modern comforts and technology in a regal desert hideaway. If you are looking to indulge yourselves be sure to book the Royal Pavilion Pool Villa. Lounge and dine indoors or out in an opulent haven of Arabian décor and locally handcrafted furnishings. Sunny days are spent cooling off in your plunge pool or lazing in the shade of a cabana. Call upon your villa host to serve up a bespoke dinner under the stars.
Guests have a range of dining options, highlights include, Dining by Design. The remarkable landscape deserves to be celebrated and Dining by Design provides the ultimate occasion. Stroll to a candlelit table on the dunes, whilst your butler for the evening awaits. Indulge in a choice of Middle Eastern and international fine dining or design your own menu in consultation with your personal chef. Alternatively, if you seek the privacy of your own villa you can arrange an in-villa BBQ, prepared by your personal chef. Enjoy three gourmet courses, served by your villa host. If you fancy being the chef yourself, you can take part in a cooking class. Master the fusion of spices and textures that define the region’s cuisine. Enjoy your creations for dinner and return home with some new recipes to try out.
Ancient hammam rituals contrast the heat of marble beds with an invigorating ice blast. Explore spa treatments inspired by indigenous ingredients, from desert sand to desert rose. A variety of massages, body experiences, facials and signature treatments are performed in seven luxurious treatment suites for individuals and couples. Facilities include two heated Jacuzzi, two steam rooms, an ice room and sauna. Be sure to try the signature Arabian Ritual treatment which includes a flora foot ritual, Arabian dates and coffee scrub, an Arabian massage and finish with a head and scalp massage.