Weekend Getaways in UAE

For those living in UAE, who haven`t managed to get a vacation and have stayed in the country during the month of Ramadan, there are plenty of options to have a short break for a weekend without taking a plane and leaving the country, but switching from the daily routine to the holiday  mood and feeling refreshed. In this post I will describe the places to visit and to stay outside of the big city bustle.

Sir Bani Yas Island Resort by Anantara


Time to drive from Dubai: 4 hours

Sir Bani Yas is a natural island in the Abu Dhabi emirate , in approximately 230 km driving from Abu Dhabi or 350 km from Dubai. The island itself can be reached by ferry from the Anantara ferry station in the area of Jebel Al Dhanna. You can reach the ferry station by car (free covered parking provided for the period of your stay) or by plane from Dubai or Abu Dhabi, operated by Seawings. We were driving from Dubai Marina all the way by the E11 highway and it took us approximately 4 hours. The ferry departs every 2 hours and it takes 20 minutes to the island.

Desert_Islands_Anantara_flights_adventure-1413The whole island is a wildlife reserve, established in 1977. Its a home to free-walking animals such as oryxes, gazelles, giraffes, cheetahs and other. The hotels , situated here, organize safari to the middle of the island where you can see all the wild animals on their natural environment.




There are 3 hotels on the island, operated by Anantara: Al Yamm Villa Resort, Al Sahel Villas, Desert Island Resort and Spa. During the last visit we stayed at the Al Yamm Villa resort, which consists of 30 villas on the beach, some of them with private pool. Part of the villas are facing  the sea and part of them facing mangroves and sea. We were lucky to be allocated in front of mangroves, as in the early morning the gazelles came to eat the greenery of the mangroves. It was quite interesting to watch them just in front of the villa.

The villas and the service provided is of a top class. There is also a huge bathtub inside the villa (I`m a big fan of  bathtubs:) The resort  is so quiet and ensures maximum privacy. I simply love it. This hotel has only one Italian restaurant and other dining options are provided at the Al Sahel Villas and the Desert Island Resort .

Recommended: wildlife safari, romantic weekend in heaven.

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All images in the above hotel review are courtesy of Minor Hotel Group, www.anantara.com


Qars Al Sarab Desert Resort by Anantara


Time to drive from Dubai: 3 hours.

Qasr Al Sarab Desert resort by Anantara is located in the middle of the desert in Abu Dhabi emirate, in the Liwa oasis area. This part of the desert is famous for it`s beautiful sand dunes. The fort-styled hotel represents modern luxury blended together with local traditions. It features with suites and private villas, swimming pool, 4 restaurants, tennis courts, gym, spa, kids club. Range of desert activities are provided such as safari, camel trekking, horse riding,  falconry, archery, sand-boarding and others. But the main features of this resort are the amazing views of the desert landscapes. I haven`t been in this hotel yet, but its on my must-visit-list.

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All images in the above hotel review are courtesy of Minor Hotel Group, www.anantara.com

Rixos Bab Al Bahr, Ras Al Khaimah


Time to drive from Dubai: 1 hour

Located in Ras Al Khaimas`s man-made Al Marjan Island, this 5* hotel  proves all the best expectations from the Rixos hotel chain . The main unique feature of this resort is that here the “All Inclusive” package  is provided, like nowhere in UAE. You pay only for the hotel stay and the all day long meals with wide selection of drinks are included in the price. You are covered with meals starting from 6:00 breakfast till late supper finishing at 3:00 at night. Drinks vary from water and soft drinks to a decent selection of spirits. They don`t stop the All Inclusive service even during month of Ramadan. 7 restaurants, 4 bars, 2 cafes… is that enough?:) There is also a night club on the territory of the resort, which plays popular tunes and serves drinks till late. I have visited this resort last summer and it was an opportunity to give up a diet and eat all day long while all the restaurants are closed during the day around the country:) It was fun.

The territory of the resort is quite big with 4 hotel buildings in the shape of pyramids. You can relax on the private beach or swim in one of the four outdoor pools. The hotel is very popular among Russian-speaking visitors.

Recommended: all-inclusive deal, group of friends, family stay.

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All images in the above hotel review are courtesy of Rixos, www.babalbahr.rixos.com


Le Meridien Al Aqah Beach Resort Fujairah


Time to drive from Dubai: 2 hours

Fujairah is very popular to visit during summer, as due to its location on the shore of the Indian ocean, the climate of this emirate seems to be a little bit more chilly than in other parts of UAE.  Le Meridien Al Aqah resort is located in the beautiful beach with a lot of water sports provided. The hotel  itself is family-oriented, so quite noisy because of kids. For us, young people, when we were visiting this hotel last time it was quite boring. Still the facilities of the resort are of the best standards of the Le Meridien chain.

Recommended: family stay, water sports.

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All images in the above hotel review are courtesy of Le Meridien, www.lemeridien-alaqah.com


Sandy Beach Resort Fujairah


Time to drive from Dubai: 2 hours

This budget-friendly hotel is located north by the coastline from the Le Meridien. The significant feature of this hotel is that right in front of it there is a small island, called Snoopy Island.  It`s a great place for snorkeling and diving. On the same beach the diving center is located where you can rent equipment for your underwater adventures. Overall there is nothing special about this hotel , except of the low price. The restaurant on its territory is quite budget also. If not staying overnight, you can purchase a beach day pass for only AED 75 and enjoy the sea, sand and sun.

Recommended: snorkeling, diving, budget-friendly.

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All images in the above hotel review are courtesy of Sandy Beach Hotel and Resort, www.sandybeachhotel.ae

I wish you a great weekend ahead!

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