When Dubai’s hustle and bustle become too much, then escape to the enchanting desert retreat of Bab Al Shams Resort and Spa. This 5-star resort is close enough to Dubai to combine a stay in the city with one in the desert. Bab Al Shams Resort and Spa is an oasis of tranquillity set amongst the dunes. The perfect getaway for complete relaxation.
Constructed in the style of a traditional Arabic fort, the Arabic translation of its name is “gateway to the sun”. Swimming pools and waterfalls, first-class restaurants, quiet seating areas with fire-pits, a rooftop bar and a luxury spa await your arrival. Arabian sculptures, paintings and trinkets all adorn the resort.
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The 113 room low-rise resort feels small and cosy compared to the enormous ultra-modern hotels in the city and offers a glimpse of an alternative stay in Dubai. Outside of the resort, look out for the desert animals wandering by, from the gazelles and birds to the geckos. The desert eco-system makes it an excellent place for nature to co-exist.
The hotel grounds are traditional in decor with the presence of several camel statues – a nod to its position in the desert.
The superior rooms, deluxe rooms with terraces and suites are all decorated in the traditional Emirati colour palette of red, terracotta and yellow. The rooms offer top-of-the-range beds and bedding guaranteeing you a fabulous sleep, a 24-hour in-room dining service and all the other amenities you would expect from a 5-star resort.
The bathrooms have luxurious circular baths to soak in, complete with sea salts and premium products to detoxify and relax your body after a day under the Dubai sun.
The outdoor areas offer a cascading range of pools and numerous luxe sun-beds, so grab a book and relax in the Dubai heat. The resort also offers many activities from exercising in the fitness centre to riding a camel over the dunes.
My favourite activity was handling falcons and watching the display. As the sun was setting and the falcons were in flight, it truly was like a scene from 1001 Arabian nights. If you fancy going off-site, then join the desert safari and see the sights of the local area.
After a day of activity, then Bab Al Shams on-site spa, Satori, is the place to relax and be pampered. A sauna, scented steam rooms and several massage areas are all waiting to be discovered. Try the couples massage for a truly decadent experience.
Food and Drink
Bab Al Shams has eight first-class restaurants serving local Arabic cuisine, Indian dishes and Italian favourites. The evening buffet offers a fabulous choice with something for everyone, and breakfast offers tasty cooked or continental options.
The Arabian-style Al-Hadheerah restaurant is the resort’s centrepiece offering an authentic dinner show experience. Sit underneath the stars and watch the horse show, falconry display and traditional dancing while listening to local musicians perform.
When the evening draws to a close head to the two-storey Al-Sarab Rooftop Lounge, watch the sunset, order a drink, gaze out over the stunning desert landscape and watch the venue transform as the light changes and the atmosphere becomes truly magical.
My honest opinion of Bab Al Shams Desert Resort and Spa
What month did I travel? February
How was the weather? Extremely hot.
Would I recommend this resort?
Absolutely. Bab Al Shams is a luxurious resort with amenities to match. Bedrooms offer everything associated with 5-star luxury, including circular marble baths. It has a unique desert setting which adds to its appeal. The only negative is that the desert road is visible from the resort, which is a reminder that you aren’t entirely alone in the desert.
Want to book this resort? Check rates and availability here.