Arguably the best hotel in RAK, certainly the most striking with its unbeatable beach-front location and opulent Arabic inspired interiors. Only a 50-minute drive from Dubai, it offers palatial rooms, stylish dining and an 18-hole golf course – so good it has won plenty of awards. Right now, UAE residents can enjoy a 30 percent discount on the half-board rate, which includes buffet breakfast and dinner in the resort’s Qasr
Al Bahar restaurant.
From AED1,250 per night (after discount)
+9717 203 5555
If you and your other half want to feel far, far away from city life without hopping on a plane, this resort is a no-brainer. A lush oasis in the desert, it takes inspiration from Bedouin life with all suites adorned with authentic Arabic antiques, artefacts and furnishings. They also have private pools looking out to the idyllic desert dunes and are close by to the spa with treatments, sauna, hot tub and steam room. The resort is an excellent place to explore the great outdoors – try a four-wheel drive desert safari, camel and horse treks, falconry, and guided nature walks. Traffic? What traffic?
Price: From AED2,500 per night.
Contact: +9714 832 9900
No more than half an hour’s drive from Dubai and with its sugary white beaches and sun-soaked landscape overlooking the Arabian Gulf, Ajman could be the most underrated emirate for a weekend break. It’s the newest of the UAE’s Fairmont properties, offering 200 metres of pristine beachfront, sea view guest rooms, a gym and spa, infinity pool and it’s only 10 minutes from Al Zorah Golf Club. It’s a great spot for family fun: in fact they promise to be “prepared to make every child’s stay magical”, which says to us you parents will get some downtime, too. There’s 50 percent off any kids rooms including breakfast and any under-12s eat free at the hotel.
Price: From AED900 per night
Contact: +9716 701 5757
Eastern Mangroves Hotel & Spa Abu Dhabi
It’s touted as an “urban sanctuary in the heart of the capital” and the impressive waterfront hotel couldn’t feel more like a retreat if it tried. Relax in the Mangroves lounge or at the infinity pool – or just chill out in your luxury room. We recommend trying the delicious and authentic Thai cuisine at Pachaylen and maybe a pre-dinner drink at Impressions, the stunning rooftop lounge. The setting is impressive, but you can really unwind by opting for a relaxing treatment at the Anantara Spa with two Vichy shower rooms a dedicated slimming room and the vast Turkish hammam, featuring two private hammam rooms, an open hammam area, sauna and steam rooms.
Price: From AED700 per night
Contact: +9712 656 1000
Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort By Anantara
Nestled in the Liwa Desert, two hours away from Abu Dhabi, this is the place your friends describe as “the one that takes ages to get to,” before adding, “but it is so worth the drive.” And take heed. Perched on the edge of the desert, it stands as a luxury oasis and the perfect spot to kick back and relax or enjoy camel and horse treks, desert drives, archery, mountain biking and falconry. You can also sample authentic Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisine across seven dining options from fancy restaurants and villa barbecues. The Liwa tour out into the Arabian desert is also highly recommended and covers historical sights, the local camel farm, palm tree plantations and the Liwa Fort.
Price: From AED1,200 per night
Contact: +9712 656 1399
Sofitel The Palm Resort
Stretching over a private sandy beach on Palm Jumeirah, Sofitel The Palm Resort exudes the perfect mix of tropical with chic French touches without a lot of mileage to get there. The low-rise buildings, trickling stream and the lush greenery of gardens designed by French botanist Patrick Blanc add a sense of calm alongside an impressive line-up of facilities: 14 restaurants and bars, six swimming pools, a state-of-the-art So SPA, tennis, water sports… and très chic rooms and suites.
Price: AED1,360 per night
Contact: +9714 455 6677