Nestled amid the iconic sand dunes of the Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve, this eco-luxury retreat beckons with its exquisite natural bounty
Al Maha, a Luxury Collection Desert Resort & Spa may only be 68km southeast of Dubai, but it feels like a world away from the constant buzz of the city. Gone are the massive skyscrapers, bottleneck traffic and go-go attitude. Here, nights are starry and quiet, fascinating wildlife roam freely on the grounds and fuschia-pink sunsets spellbind with their picture-perfect natural bounty.
With Bedouin-inspired architecture that blends perfectly with the breathtaking desert landscape, the resort’s 42 luxurious suites are all canvas-roofed bungalows adorned with Arabesque furniture, Arabian antiques and artefacts. Wake up to stunning vistas of the peach-coloured dunes, soak up the winter sun on your terrace or cool off in your private plunge pool, with only the odd curious gazelle for company. Should your creative instincts take over, an easel with art materials and a writing desk can be found in all the rooms, as well as a pair of binoculars to easily spot the grazing white Arabian oryx. If lounging around the lavish sun-drenched property isn’t enough for you, archery, desert drives, wildlife safaris, falconry and horse riding are just some of the thrilling ways to explore. Take a guided walk to discover the striking flora and fauna that call the desert home, or enjoy an exhilarating 4×4 drive over the big sand dunes with a professional field guide. If a camel trek into the sunset is more your pace, just grab a hump, and head out.
An action-packed afternoon can work up quite the appetite and Al Diwaan aims to please every palate with its world-class dining options that range from traditional Arabic cuisine to delectable international dishes. For a peaceful afternoon, Hajar Terrace Bar boasts panoramic dune views that are best appreciated with a chilled drink in hand. Take relaxation a step further and head to Timeless Spa for a wide range of wellness, rejuvenation and beauty therapies. Day guests can book the Pool & Spa package or the Spa Indulgence package, which includes a 60-minute spa treatment, a full-day access to the infinity pool and a delicious three-course lunch.
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