Amid rolling sand dunes and under desert skies, the stunningly beautiful Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort by Anantara offers an Arabian adventure brimming with wonder.
United Arab Emirates
Must see locations, events and places to travel and enjoy in The United Arab Emirates.
There’s no time to be bored this month thanks to the spectacular line-up of activities and events for all the family in Abu Dhabi
Enjoy a Bollywood Blockbuster
Bollywood chart toppers Salim and Suleiman head to the capital to celebrate Indian Independence Day with Namaste Abu Dhabi, an amazing flurry of dance moves and song. Expect a colourful, energetic series of compositions by the popular Indian duo and their troupe of dancers at Emirates Palace on 18 August. Read More
Culture, heritage and beautiful art complement a fun-filled stay for the whole family
A ROYAL RETREAT
For a regal style stay, book into the Royal Suite, which is abundant with art. Indeed, every single piece was handpicked by the hotel’s owner. In keeping with his good taste, you’ll also enjoy stunning panoramic vistas of the Gulf of Oman and the picturesque marina.
Kids will love the Little Sailors’ summer camp running until 31 Aug. From arts and crafts to story time, painting and rock climbing, they’ll have a blast thanks to supervised activities all day long. For children aged three to eight, prices start from Dhssoo and parents can enjoy a 30 percent spa discount, a spa and gym pass and 15 percent off all F&B across the hotel with every weekly booking.
TIME FOR TEA
Make a beeline for the beautiful Arteasan, Fujairah’s only art-inspired tea room where you can indulge in High Tea afternoons. Hosted by the hotel’s dedicated tea experts, you can sample some of the exclusive Jing Tea blends. Meanwhile coffee-drinkers will love Cafe Pronto. As the emirate’s only hotel to boast an exclusive partnership with Nespresso, guests can expect perfect brews all day long in this utterly charming European bistro concept.
Ride the waves like never before on the awesome Seabreacher X – one of the world’s most advanced watercrafts. Mimicking the tail thrusts of aquatic animals, it can dive deep under the water,
roll in any direction and jump over the waves with you on board. Plus, keep your eyes peeled for the exclusive beach club inspired by the trendy hotspots of Marbella and Ibiza, which is opening soon.
Find out more about local traditions and pick up authentic souvenirs outside Canvas restaurant where a group of Emirati craftspeople showcase hand-woven baskets, jewellery holders and trinkets crafted from locally-sourced palm leaves. Also, try the catch of the day – from tiger prawns to Omani lobsters – at The Copper Lobster, which serves the best regional fare.
For a short break on your doorstep that’s as cultural as it is relaxing, this delightful property is sure to impress
In a gorgeous reflection of the fishing heritage of Ajman, this hotel boasts stunning marine-inspired interiors – the pinnacle of which can be seen in a feature sculpture situated in Azrak. Commanding centre stage in the hotel’s lobby lounge cafe, this beautiful glass art sculpture created by Lasvit is dramatically suspended from the ceiling. Measuring 16m in diameter, it portrays a spiralling shoal of fish about to be captured in basket-like nets and represents a gratitude for the sea -something that remains at the heart of Ajman culture.
Elevate your shisha experience at Badr Lounge. Sit back and enjoy stunning panoramic sea views as you take your pick from 16 distinctive blends. Inspired by the Arabic word for moon, Badr Lounge offers a relaxed garden-style setting and is home to a talented shisha mixologist who’s only too happy to create personalised flavours from his cart stocked with countless jars of different blends.
He’ll give you an introduction to shisha blending, detailing the subtleties of the preparation process and giving tips on what mixes work best.
ROOM WITH A VIEW
Offering unrivalled and panoramic views of the Arabian Gulf flanked by an emerging city skyline, the two exclusive Penthouse suites are the cream of the Fairmont crop. Expect 5oosqm of beautifully designed double-storey space with floor-to-ceiling windows to make the most of the spectacular views. Perfect for the whole family, you’ll have three bedrooms as standard with the option to connect to a fourth if required. With a separate living area, dining room, kitchen, bar and entertainment space, you’ll also love the spacious spa-inspired marble bathroom with its dual rain shower experience, oversized soaking tub and bath amenities from Le Labo.
Inspired and built from recyclable materials salvaged from the sea, Driftwood is a uniquely rustic beach bar nestled on the edge of the beautiful shoreline. It’s become one of Ajman’s most popular hangouts, and it’s easy to see why. Offering an authentic Caribbean experience, relax barefoot with your toes in the sand, sipping on a cold beverage and listening to reggae music as you drink in spectacular sunsets. For seafood lovers, this place is a culinary delight thanks to its locally-sourced seafood, which is grilled to perfection on the BBQ by the talented in-house chefs.
FOR AN ART LOVER
Get ready to indulge your cultural side thanks to the inspiring line-up of exhibitions taking place throughout the year. Having already showcased Dream by Ukrainian artist Yelyzaveta Starostina and a Ramadan exhibit by Emirati artist Budour Al Ali, there are exciting plans for further showcases in the works – perfect for combining a love for travel and art.
Sweeping and iconic, this stunning property makes for a staycation with a difference
CREAM OF THE CROP
Indulge in the very best by booking a stay in the Presidential Suite. Arranged over two levels and offering beautifully designed space, there’s room for the whole family in this two-bedroom suite, from which you can enjoy outstanding views of the majestic Meydan Racecourse. If you’re looking for a suite with Dubai skyline and Burj Khalifa views to enjoy with your family, the Presidential Meydan Suite is the ideal choice.
A SENSE OF CALM
Relax and unwind with a visit to the infinity pool on the 11th floor which boasts outstanding Meydan Racecourse vistas. Kids can enjoy their very own pool and dedicated play area while fitness fans can head to the state-of- the-art gym. Enter a state of Zen in The Meydan Massage rooms – try The Meydan Signature massage, which uses both deep tissue and hot stone massage and combines oils, pressure point stimulation and hot stones to soothe away tension.
DINE IN STYLE
With seven outlets, you can rest assured you’ll dine in style at The Meydan Hotel. Head to fine-dining steakhouse Prime, where only the best cuts of premium beef are served, and try the speciality flambe. Shiba restaurant offers authentic Asian delights prepared by talented Japanese and Chinese chefs. Or, take the family to Farriers restaurant for international culinary creations. For delicious beverages, there are many spots to choose from. Qube Sports Bar has 21 big screens so you can watch your favourite game while enjoying a snack. Or, head to Shiba Bar for its chic ambiance and extravagant Asian-inspired mixed drinks.
For equestrian fans, this hotel is hard to beat. Not only do rooms offer racetrack views but, from September you can take a behind-the-scenes tour of the stables, grandstand and the racecourse. The racing season starts in November with Dubai World Cup set for 31 March.
There’s no need to worry about membership fees at golf course The Track, as you can simply pay as you play. With a 400-yard floodlit driving range, short game practice area and putting green, it’s perfect for those looking to hone their skills. Seasoned golfers will enjoy 7,412 yards of Black championship tees.
Nestled among burnt orange sand dunes under a starlit sky, this low-rise resort is the perfect place for a truly unique desert stay
Home to the region’s first authentic open- air desert restaurant, Al Hadheerah is the perfect air-conditioned place in which to enjoy a traditional Arabian meal surrounded by a truly magical landscape. As you dine, enjoy a thrilling horse and camel show, entertainment from belly dancers, live music and all the excitement of a traditional Tanoura dancer.
Check into any of the 115 gorgeous rooms and suites and you’re sure to be impressed. Almost an antithesis to modern hotel suites thanks to the traditional-style interiors, all the mod cons are stylishly concealed with televisions tucked inside wooden chests and cleverly disguised wiring. The use of natural stone, dark wood and regional glasswork provide a real sense of an Arabian retreat.
JOURNEYS IN THE SAND
With the hoof prints of one of the first camels to set foot on the resort preserved in the hotel for good luck, it’s no wonder that this place offers oodles of desert activities. Set off on a majestic camel journey through the dunes or pick up the pace with a Jeep desert drive. Try your hand at falconry, archery or riding horseback through the sand. The infinity pools are nestled among these desert sands while little ones can escape the heat at the indoor Kids Club.
When you stay at Bab Al Shams Desert Resort & Spa you can rest assured you’re guaranteed an exceptional staycation with the resort having scooped more than 30 local, regional and international awards. From ‘Best Staycation Experience’ and ‘Best Luxury Day Spa’ to featuring in the ‘Top 100 Hotels in the World,’ it’s a winning choice that’s well worth a visit.
Expect to be pampered at the award-winning Satori Spa where skilled therapists will transport you deep into a world of relaxation. The signature skincare programmes and massages can be tailored to suit your needs. Whether you want to relax, revitalise or detoxify, the perfect pick-me-up awaits.
Reach for the sky at this statuesque property, which elevates the holiday experience
Each of the hotel’s 283 guestrooms and 55 suites boast great views of the Arabian Gulf. When only the best will do, book into the extravagant Abu Dhabi Suite – the world’s highest suspended hotel suite, which is loftily positioned 220m above ground between Nation Towers. Stretching i,i20sqm, the three-bedroom, two-storey suite has panoramic views, a spa, cinema, kitchen and gym. Simply take the private elevator and start exploring.
SOAK UP THE VIEW
Get ready for an afternoon to remember at Brunch in the Clouds, the highest Friday celebration in the country. Taking place in the Abu Dhabi Suite, it’s something extra special. Let the live band keep you entertained and order a la carte, or browse the seafood buffet, caviar ice-bar and
carvery station, saving space for dessert. Ladies can enjoy a manicure or pedicure and there are free taster massages for everyone in the in-room spa suite.
BE WAITED ON
First introduced at The St. Regis New York by John Jacob Astor IV himself, the signature St. Regis Butler Service will transform your stay into a VIP experience. Take a load off as your experienced butler will anticipate your every need, from unpacking your luggage to sending in a reviving cafetiere of hot coffee. The service is complimentary for hotel guests and is accessible at any hour via e-mail and text message.
A HIGHBROW SUPPER
Got a head for heights? Join the 20 guests who, on the second Friday of each month, enjoy an Al fresco meal 255m in the air.
The Helipad Sunset Supper takes guests up to the rooftop helipad where a brigade of chefs, butlers, mixologists and waiters cater to your every whim. Feast on caviar, oysters and delicious canapes while taking in the breathtaking view.
PAMPERED TO PERFECTION
Treat yourself at the beautiful Remede Spa where you can indulge in four-and-a- half hours of tip-to-toe indulgence with the St. Regis Splendour spa package. From the complexion-brightening diamond microdermabrasion to the vitamin- packed oxygen mist, a massage and lots more besides, you’ll feel like a new person.
Polynesian luxury meets fast-paced family fun at the action-packed Lapita, Dubai Parks and Resorts
The perfect base from which to explore the rides and attractions at the adjacent theme parks, Lapita, Dubai Parks and Resorts, offers signature Autograph Collection Hotels luxury with a relaxed Pacific Island ambience. A one-of- a-kind destination for family adventure!
Inspired by Polynesia’s tropical landscapes and its traditional wood artistry, guests enter an exotic world where wafting overhead fans, fragrant gardenia blossoms, lagoon-style pools and a vibrant palette of contemporary tiki design add life and character to every corner of the hotel.
Relax on the shaded balcony of one of the 504 guest rooms after a busy day of discovering the thrills and spills at Dubai Parks and Resorts – an awe-inspiring theme park destination comprising MOTIONGATE™ Dubai, LEGOLAND® Dubai, LEGOLAND® Water Park and Bollywood Parks™ Dubai – offering plenty of fun for visitors of all ages.
Comfort and flair are the hallmarks of the spacious Family Suites, which come with a separate dining area and living room, with captivating views of the resort, lagoon or river. Make sure to schedule in some downtime and float along the hotel’s lazy river or take five and retreat to a sun lounger at any one of two outdoor lagoon- style pools.
Younger guests are kept entertained at the Luna & Nova Kids and Teens Club, leaving parents free to indulge in a spot of pampering at Ola spa, where the menu of island-themed treatments is designed especially for footsore travellers and those looking to unwind.
A culinary showcase awaits diners with a taste for gourmet experiences, from contemporary Cantonese excellence at Llikina, to delicious international flavours at Kalea, poolside Mediterranean seafood at Ari and casual bites in the Palama lobby lounge.
Fast becoming a foodie destination in the city, the highlight of the hotel’s epicurean calendar is the Friday Hikina Brunch. Feel the weekend vibes come alive with an abundant Cantonese buffet including fresh, homemade dim sum, numerous live stations and Hikina’s refreshing ais kacang – the perfect summer treat composed of fruit compote and syrups served over crushed ice.
End your day at Lani rooftop lounge where innovative drinks and a Polynesian tapas menu come a close second to the spellbinding views of the theme parks and beyond.
Feel at one with nature and discover a different way to experience all the UAE has to offer, with an island sojourn that combines Anantara luxury and Emirati culture. Established by the late ruler and founder of the UAE, HH Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, as a royal nature reserve, Sir Bani Yas lies off the coast of Abu Dhabi’s emerging Western Region and is Arabia’s largest wildlife sanctuary.
The instant you step onto the island with its picture perfect white sand beach, wandering wildlife and scenic landscape, you’ll feel an immediate sense of relaxation. The only difficult choice you need to make is which of the three resorts dotted across the island to stay at.
Live out the ultimate wildlife adventure at Anantara Al Sahel Villa Resort, for an ultra-private African lodge-style experience; enjoy contemporary design and traditional heritage elements at the beachfront Anantara Al Yamm Villa Resort, reminiscent of the pearl fishing villages of the past; or relax with the family from the comfort of Desert Islands Resort & Spa by Anantara where Emirati cultural motifs blend with 21st-century facilities.
Upscale your summer experience and plump for one of the exclusive Al Sahel villas with private plunge pool and the occasional roaming gazelle for company ; spoil yourself with beach and private pool luxury at Al Yamm; or sequester yourself away in a two-bedroom family pool villa at the main Desert Islands resort.
When you manage to tear yourself away from your temperature- controlled swimming pool, the 87-square-kilometre island offers a diverse collection of nature and cultural activities to enjoy.
Get an up close view of the island’s 15,000 protected animals and birds and take the opportunity to learn about Sheikh Zayed’s conservation programme as you spot giraffes, gazelles, Arabian oryx, cheetahs and sea turtles on a guided wildlife drive.
Culture mavens can explore the island’s 42 archaeological sites with an expert guide, complete with a lesson in traditional qahwa (coffee) drinking etiquette and chance to leave your own conservation legacy by planting a mangrove seedling.
Re-energise body and mind after an outdoor excursion with a time- honoured Arabian or Eastern ritual at the Anantara Spa, including couples-only options, for signature top-to-toe relaxation.
Culinary satisfaction is never far away with five restaurants serving world-class cuisine ; but the resort’s Dining by Design experience is the gourmet piece de resistance with your choice of tailor-made menu, prepared by a personal chef and enjoyed on the beach in a Bedouin setting or at a secret African bush-inspired location.
From grandparents who want to put their feet up to your energetic toddler who requires a constant stream of entertainment, finding a destination that’ll keep all your family members occupied while on holiday can be a challenge. The good news is that you don’t have to look far to find a vacation spot that appeals to travellers of all ages. Sharjah is emerging as an increasingly popular escape for those in search of variety and great value. Here, we highlight some of the best of the emirate’s attractions for multi- generational travellers.
Feed your mind by learning more about the rich history of the UAE at Sharjah Heritage Museum. There are six different galleries to explore, each of which focuses on a different aspect of local life. The museum is situated along Sharjah Creek where the city first sprang from the sand and is entirely indoors, so is perfect for the summer months.
The non-profit creative space, Maraya Art Centre at A1 Qasba, is also worth a visit for its innovative exhibitions programme, showcasing the work of leading Middle Eastern and international artists.
In Sharjah you can shop until you drop. For starters, head to Mega Mall which has more than 150 outlets spread across four floors, with five anchor stores: Zara, Mango, Paris Gallery, Mega Mart and Sharaf DG. Those who shop there during the summer will have the chance to win one of two brand new cars. Next, head to Sahara Centre, which boasts a plush extension and key anchor stores including Debenhams, Marina Exotic Home Interiors, Toys ‘R’ Us and Home Centre.
It opens late into the evening so you can feel free to browse the boutiques while the children are safety tucked up in bed. Afterwards, treat weary feet with a soothing treatment at Altitude The Spa at Sharjah Golf and Shooting Club.
Speaking of Sharjah Golf and Shooting Club, this popular venue is a must visit for action men. The complex boasts an impressive nine-hole, fully floodlit golf course that is ideal for an evening round. For another way to test your aim, why not try your luck at archery?
There is an indoor target area that’s popular at this time of year. Lastly, you can get to grips with shooting at the 50-metre-long range, which is equipped with a selection of pistols, rifles and revolvers to use under the guidance of a fully trained safety instructor.
Al Qasba is causing quite the buzz among teenagers in Sharjah. Featuring a pleasing mixture of entertainment, leisure and culture, this lively waterfront district is home to attractions including the Eye Of The Emirates Ferris wheel, which stands 60 metres tall and has fully air-conditioned cabins.
As you journey to the top you can enjoy spectacular views of the Arabian Gulf. Watch the Musical Fountain in action before heading to one of the nearby cafes for an indulgent milkshake as a treat.
Those in that awkward in-between stage will enjoy a visit to the Arabian Wildlife Centre. It’s the only place in the emirates where you can find wildlife that’s otherwise extinct in the region, including the incredibly rare Arabian leopard. The centre is located about 26 kilometres from the city centre and can be enjoyed all year round thanks to the temperature controlled viewing platforms.
Or, they can enter into a world of science and natural history by enrolling in the Island Explorer summer programme at the Butterfly House on A1 Noor Island. For ages 13 to 16, the course takes place every Monday and Wednesday from 14 to 23 August.
Make a splash at the 800-square-metre Mini Splash Park at Al Majaz Waterfront. Open from 10am until midnight, you can cool off amid the waterfalls and perch in the shaded seating area with a cooling drink. It’s suitable for those aged 12 months to 12 years, but big kids at heart will love it too.
Summer of fun
Fantastic summer holiday deals are being offered in Sharjah until 8 September 2017. Packages include taking in some of the emirate’s key attractions and world-class events, from theatre shows to shopping expeditions. Plus, you could be in with a chance of winning a Mercedes-Benz courtesy of Sahara Centre.