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Desert

Beyond the dunes: Dubai’s best desert getaways

Tue, May 18, 2021

Turn to Dubai's dunes for memorable stays filled with desert safaris, rustic luxury and starry nights aplenty.

Turn to Dubai's dunes for memorable stays filled with desert safaris, rustic luxury and starry nights aplenty.

1

Al Maha, a Luxury Collection Desert Resort and Spa

A treasure deep in the Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve, Al Maha, a Luxury Collection Desert Resort and Spa presents an exclusive experience. Stays are full-board with a premium tent for lodging, complete with a private pool and two complimentary activities such as a camel trek, horse ride or desert safari. The emphasis here is on making more time for memories, with just the two of you. If you manage to tear yourself away from your suite, stop by the five-star spa for signature treatments and the terrace lounge for more incredible bites and views.

2

Sonara Camp

Combining an unconventional desert dining experience and private camp under the stars, Nara provides a twist on local luxury across its Sonara Camp and Nara Desert Escape concepts. There are tailored options to suit couples and families, with memorable fire shows and pulsating live entertainment, gourmet menus that delight, and even adventure activities such as sandboarding to keep adrenaline levels high. Thanks to its prestigious location in the Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve, you’ll feel one with nature as curious Arabian oryx and gazelles wander by.

3

Bab Al Shams Desert Resort & Spa

Nestled in the sweeping dunes of Al Qudra desert, Bab Al Shams is one of Dubai’s most popular resorts and has been a favourite since opening back in 2004. This five-star escape offers everything from camel rides to desert tennis, as well soothing pools for those that want to slow down the pace. One of the many highlights here is the Satori Spa, where guests can book a private cabana for soothing massages with views of the desert. There really is something for everyone here, making it an adaptable, unforgettable desert getaway.

4

Platinum Heritage

Desert

A desert safari company that champions ecotourism, Platinum Heritage delights with an array of sustainability-led adventures. Whether you're looking for a fast-paced drive careering around giant dunes, travelling back in time to follow in the footsteps of local bedouins or staying overnight in a luxury camp and enjoying a sunrise hot air balloon ride over the desert in the morning, there's so much to experience. Get in touch with the team to see what's available during your time in Dubai, and they'll recommend the perfect itinerary. Their overnight camp is a chic choice thanks to their traditional Arabic stone dwellings.

5

Arabian Adventures

Premium tour company Arabian Adventures has an all-inclusive glamping experience that is an absolute must-try in winter. From dune drives and camel rides, to a delicious dinner under the stars, desert wildlife spotting and more, this is an all-in-one treat that takes all the hassle out of planning. Afterwards you'll settle in for the night in your own comfortable tent, surrounding a gazebo and bonfire, right in the heart of the protected Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve. Available to book only in the cooler winter months – from 1 October to 30 April – it's worth the wait.

6

Starlight Camp

A pop-up desert camp that’s been delighting visitors since 2019, Starlight presents a minimal, peaceful stay. The non-permanent camp is set up exclusively for guests, with the location only divulged shortly before arrival. Fitted with a cozy bonfire lounge and dining area, barbecue facilities and stocked with all the necessities, you are guaranteed for a serene stay with friends and family (yes, that includes pets too!). While closed during the warmer summer months, plan ahead and book your next winter stay today.

7

Meliá Desert Palm Dubai

Palm

Just a short drive from Dubai’s city centre, Meliá Desert Palm Dubai is a desert oasis dream come true. Located in Al Warsan, this high-end hotel has transformed dunes to lush greens with its 160-acre polo estate setting. You can expect everything from luxury spa rituals and destination dining experiences, to equestrian activities and more. We recommend booking the one-bedroom villa that features a private pool, views of the polo field and Dubai skyline in the distance, and your very own private terrace and courtyard. It’s understated luxury at its very best.

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