Luxury stays just outside the city limits are perfect for couples wanting to unwind, recharge and reconnect
You’ve made the most of every minute in Dubai. You’ve seen the sights, shopped till you dropped, sampled the multicultural cuisine. So now it’s time to recharge and relax at one of several luxe getaways, no further than an hour away. Read on for our guide to luxury stays with that special spark.
Meliá Desert Palm
Known for its well-heeled polo competitions, spa hotel Meliá Desert Palm is just twenty minutes from Downtown Dubai, making it a favourite with both the locals looking for a refreshing night away and the horse-loving crowd. The boutique-sized establishment has just 38 guest rooms, with visitors able to enjoy an abundance of peace and quiet thanks to suites that don’t get in the way of each other and 65 hectares of lush lawns and greenery. For an especially memorable afternoon, request a private picnic for two in the grove, and toast your good health beneath the 300-year-old Tuscan olive trees.
Al Awir Road, Warsan 2
+971 4 323 8888
Nestled in a leafy palm oasis, this five-star resort immerses guests in desert life. Each individual villa opens up to the pristine sand dunes, ensuring complete privacy for guests – if you don’t count the sometimes curious herds of Arabian gazelle and oryx that visit the resort for an early morning graze. For those not content to simply soak in their private pool, camel-back dune excursions, private falconry and archery lessons are all on-call for guests. Dine at the in-house restaurants, or have a private chef and butler prepare your meal at your villa, for an extra special occasion.
Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve, Al Ain Road
+971 4 832 9900
Just a 40-minute drive from Dubai’s city centre, Bab Al Shams manages to feel a world apart from the glitz of the city. Hidden within an Arabian-style fort, the resort offers a sense of seclusion with all the benefits of a five-star hotel. Relax in a luxurious suite, appointed with thick Turkish rugs, carved woodwork and high sandstone ceilings, or explore the surrounding sand dunes while on safari. Couples can also enjoy a spa day in Satori Spa, or take in the sunset on the Al Sarab elevated rooftop.
Al Qudra Road
+971 4 809 6100
Horse-lovers can run wild at this high-energy resort, with 3.4 million square metres of the Empty Quarter desert ready to be explored. A short drive from central Dubai, the niche resort offers tours on horseback or camelback, for that authentic desert experience. Steal away for a romantic supper by a private campfire, complete with marshmallow toasting, or dine amongst the fort’s jutting turrets for a 360-degree view of the glittering night sky. Birdwatching and wildlife tours are also worthwhile for animal lovers.
Jebel Ali-Lahbab Road
+9714 427 4055
Those looking for a sea-change can follow the curved roads of Palm Jumeirah through to the Waldorf Astoria, a five-star ocean resort. A sunseeker’s paradise, you can enjoy a mild sea breeze, and an elegant soft sand beach. The calm, turquoise waters welcome a number of easy-going watersports, although lounging poolside also proves to be a popular pursuit. By evening, choose from one of many restaurants, including Social by Michelin-starred chef Heinz Beck and Vietnamese delights at LAO. For further relaxation, be sure to stop by the award-winning spa for a bespoke massage or a traditional hammam.
Crescent Road, The Palm Jumeirah
+971 4 818 2222