If a secluded, isolated destination is what you’re looking for to feel as though you’ve actually gone on vacation, then the Al Maha Desert Resort & Spa is the ideal daycation. A mere 45-minute drive from the centre of Dubai, we found ourselves at the gate of the Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve. The guard took our temperatures from the comfort of our car, before we followed the winding road, nestled between the sand dunes down to the resort itself.
After we self-park, and head into the reception area – a grand, traditional setting filled with emblems of UAE history – we are requested to use hand sanitiser and offered a chilled cloth to cool down with.
The resort is home to 42 suites, perfect for social distancing as each comes with its own private pool, and each meal can enjoyed from the comfort of the room, leaving no need to see or socialise with anyone else. We headed to the spa, which was also dressed in authentic regional antiques and local artefacts. Here we relaxed by the pool, and took in the desert surroundings: nothing can be seen for miles. A welcomed change from the city’s towering skyscrapers.
For lunch we headed to the main building, a short buggy ride away, where the Al Diwaan restaurant is located. Upon arrival our temperature was taken again, just in case. We enjoyed an Arabic traditional mezze of hummus, sambousak, babaganosh, tabbouleh and fattoush, along with a side of grilled halloumi and local bread. The menu also features other cultural cuisines for an East meets West fusion.
One of the many activities to enjoy out in the desert destination is a safari drive. Accompanied by an experienced, face-masked field guide, we drove out into the dunes – in a comfortable, air-conditioned 4x4, thankfully – and discovered the 225 sq. kilometres of the regions' unspoiled desert land, home to the wild Arabian oryx and sand gazelles, as well as many other birds and creatures. The perfect afternoon excursion.
If travelling abroad is not an option, this desert oasis is much more than a refined reserve.
For more information, call: +971 4832 9900 or visit al-maha.com. Find Al Maha Desert Resort & Spa at Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve, Dubai - Al Ain Road, Dubai