“I have always loved the desert. One sits on a desert sand dune, sees nothing; hears nothing. Yet through the silence something throbs, and gleams.”Antoine de Saint-Exupéry – Aviation Pioneer & Poet (1900 – 1944)
Gleaming through the majestic silence of the Arabian Desert, the impressive and rapidly changing landscape of Dubai is a key feature that draws regular visitors, time and time again. Its flux of high profile guests and world class attractions has created a high demand for accommodation, which the emirate has met with adequate supply. This faces us with a problem, and a wonderful problem to have at that – which resort do we choose? We’ve selected two of our favourite Dubai delights to help you decide, both are drastically different from one another and both are exceptional in their own right.
Bab Al Shams Desert Resort & Spa
In the past, Bedouin tribesmen crossing the desert couldn’t have dreamed of finding a more sublime and tranquil oasis than this. From the moment of your approach, as you watch Dubai’s skyline disappear beneath the distant dunes, a sense of inner calm arises as the stresses of working life evaporate with the desert sun. The unmistakably Arabian style of its rooms, award winning restaurants and spa, teamed with the stunning desert views from its rooftop terraces, creates a luxurious and timeless ambience.
If you can manage to find yourself after inevitably getting lost in reverence of the desert’s beauty, then once you’ve enjoyed an array of fine cuisine and you’re suitably relaxed and pampered, Bab Al Shams offers a range of active pursuits to set your pulse racing. From horse and camel riding, to falcon shows and archery, plus a range of activities for kids, including bicycle tours, croquet and table tennis, this opulent oasis redefines everything you previously thought life in the desert to be. Maybe it’s the locals trying to keep its serenity a secret for themselves, but this is the Dubai seldom seen by most of its visitors. Secluded in the expansive sands around the Arab world’s most spectacular city, this hidden gem quietly awaits your arrival.
Closer to the action, in one of Dubai’s most exclusive and unique locations, is the incredible Meydan Hotel. With each room featuring a terrace overlooking Dubai Racecourse, its exterior is so spellbinding that we can only imagine the architect is still patting himself on the back after designing such an awe-inspiring spectacle. Its location makes it a firm favourite with horse racing fans between October and March, when the race season takes place, but its interior is just as impressive as the outside and its close proximity to downtown Dubai extends its appeal to a broad range of visitors throughout the summer months.
The Meydan features a selection of restaurants, bars, spa facilities and a rooftop pool with a view of the racecourse to help you unwind, that is, when you’re not taking advantage of free transfers to the Jumeirah Beach or the world famous Dubai Mall. And the sports aren’t limited to just equestrian entertainment, as the resort boasts its own tennis academy and a floodlit nine-hole golf course with captivating views of the city skyline, overlooked by the towering majesty of the Burj Khalifa. The hotel rooms are incredibly spacious in all categories and children are more than welcome to join you in marvelling at a destination which is setting a new benchmark in the world of luxury travel.
Bab Al Shams Desert Resort and Spa provides a perfect escape for those seeking to relax and reflect, with the hustle and bustle just over the dunes, never too far away, while the Meydan Hotel delivers excitement right to your doorstep, with its growing reputation as the Ascot of the Arab world quickly establishing it as a new favourite of the rich and famous. Possessing such different but equally tempting allures, you may find it difficult to decide which resort is right for you. Faced with this dilemma, we highly recommend that you benefit from the best of both worlds and find fulfilment in the desert before discovering Dubai from the comfort and luxury of two of the Middle East’s greatest treasures.