The Oberoi Beach Resort, Al Zorah
Exclusive, serene and of minimalist yet thoughtful design, The Oberoi Beach Resort balances intimate and luxurious perfectly. The main hotel is composed of separate buildings connected by walkways, with shallow water pools that extend across an inner courtyard. There are private three and two bedroom villas plus spacious hotel bedrooms flooded with natural daylight and designed by Italian architect Piero Lissoni. Think white walls, geometric wood partitions and glass walls.
The resort - a 25-minute drive from Dubai International Airport and 20 minutes from Sharjah International Airport - features 74 sea-facing rooms and 15 two or three bedroom villas leading down to the quiet, unblemished, beach. There’s also one of the longest swimming pools in the region (85 metres of infinity bliss) to dip your feet into, as well as two world-class restaurants, Vinesse and Aquario. Prepare for ultimate zen.
Call (+971) 6 504 4888 or visit oberoihotels.com to make a reservation
An outing to the Ajman National Museum is a must, not least because it is situated in a restored 18th century fort. Inside, archeological finds, pearl trade history and weaponry are on display, but the true highlight is getting clued up on the history of the Emirates before glitz and glam made its mark.
Don’t leave without exploring one of the region’s most prized natural mangroves (home to 102 species of native and migratory birds, including the famed pink flamingos) via kayaking. For more information and booking, visit questforadventure.net
For seafood lovers, a cute fish market offers a tasty insight into everyday Emirati life, with both visitors and locals investigating the best fresh fish offers. Follow your nose – and Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum Street – to the Al Rashidiya area near the creek. The market is open daily from 7am - 1:30pm, and 5pm - 10pm with a spirited auction each evening from 6pm.
It may be the smallest of the Emirates, but there’s plenty to report. Ajman is unspoilt, unassuming and simply lovely. As well as sightseeing, the sun shining down on the quiet, white beaches is a glorious way to spend a day, and The Oberoi Beach Resort is one to watch, as this peaceful sanctuary is one of a kind.