Just a short journey outside of Dubai a whole world of dreamy desert and striking beachside settings await. The UAE’s diverse terrain is part of the reason that the country has some of the world’s most impressive hotels and resorts. From private island escapes to magical desert destinations, whisk your partner away for a Valentine’s Day that they will never forget. To help you to plan your unbeatable getaway, Top Spots Dubai has rounded up the top five hotels and resorts just a short drive outside of Dubai for your romantic getaway.
1. Zaya Nurai Island, Abu Dhabi
Arrive at this striking private island that resembles the Maldives by boat. Take in the clear waters and abundant plantlife as you make your way to your villa with your very own private beach and private outdoor pool. In recent years Zaya Nurai Island has become a favourite among a-listers thanks to its seclusion and supreme luxury. Just like the Maldives, there are no cars on the island so you can make your way around by bicycle, foot or buggy.
Those looking for entertainment can get their fix of fun at the boho Smokin’ Pineapple beach club or head to the open-air cinema. Nurai spa has private glass-walled rooms with massage beds that gaze out towards the sea.
Tip: For an unforgettable Valentine’s visit, we recommend making the most of the privacy and personalised services that come with this island. Room service has extensive options while staff are also able to prepare personalised picnics and BBQs for you and your plus one.
2. Al Maha, a Luxury Collection Desert Resort and Spa, Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve
Located just 45-minutes outside from Downtown Dubai, Al Maha, a Luxury Collection Desert Resort and Spa, is the place that desert dreams are made of. Located in the striking Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve peace, privacy and perfect desert views are all available here.
Bedouin-style suites are furnished luxuriously and include quirky touches such as authentic regional antiques. Suites come with their own private pools looking out towards the beauty of the desert – keep an eye out for the wildlife unique to the region including oryx. Dine on the veranda at the resort’s in-house restaurant Al Diwaan or really impress your partner by booking a Dune Dining Experience. This special alfresco set up under the stars means that you and your Valentine can indulge in dinner perched upon Persian carpets and surrounded by flame torches.
Tip: The resort offers a host of activities. Make your stay even more memorable by booking a romantic sunset horse riding session, camel trekking, a nature walk or desert safari
3. Anantara Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort, near Abu Dhabi’s Liwa Oasis
While there are several desert resorts in the United Arab Emirates, Anantara Qasr Al Sarab, situated 90-minutes outside of Abu Dhabi, stands apart thanks to its location in the Rub Al Khali desert (also known as the Empty Quarter), the largest uninterrupted sand desert in the world. The surrounding sand dunes are coloured orange and red! For uninterrupted ‘you time’ on Valentine’s Day we recommend splashing out on a deluxe garden room with views over the dunes and a private outdoor terrace or a one-bedroom Anantara Pool Villa which features a private plunge pool, sun deck and personal butler.
Guided night walks and falcon shows are sources of on-site entertainment while the spa offers impressive views of the surrounding desert from the massage beds.
Tip: Get into the zone ahead of your adventure by reading up on the Empty Quarter, the area has a fascinating history.
4. Ritz-Carlton Al Wadi Desert Resort, Ras Al Khaimah
Lovers of luxury hotels make their way to the tranquil Ritz-Carlton Al Wadi Desert Resort. Pool villas that recall highly luxurious Bedouin tents are adorned inside with chic furnishings and amenities. Spend your day picnicking on the dunes or trying your hand at archery. You can relax at The Rainforest’s indoor pool after an adventurous day and then by night romance your special someone at the resort’s Moon Bar, perched above the treetops, for quality time sitting under the stars. For something more intimate, staff will gladly light a campfire for you to cosy up by.
Tip: Make Valentine’s an occasion to remember by booking a vintage desert drive, journey through the dunes in a 1952 Land Rover and discover the spectacular Al Wadi Nature Reserve. Keep the romance flowing with a magical sunset picnic basket packed just for you.
5. Waldorf Astoria, Ras Al Khaimah
Situated just 45-minutes from Dubai International Airport, the Waldorf Astoria in Ras Al Khaimah takes its inspiration from one of the grand palaces of the region, needless to say, it exudes luxury! This resort offers guests a bit of everything with its private beachfront location and views of the Al Hajar Mountains and close-by desert. Several of the spacious suites offer striking sea views.
Ideal for active couples, this hotel includes an on-site floodlit tennis court, an 18 hole championship golf course, as well as the option for water sports including scuba diving and deep-sea fishing. When all the fun and action is over relax in the adults-only pool or head to the Waldorf Astoria Spa. The spa has a special VIP couple’s treatment room and herbal sauna perfect for a moment of Valentine’s Day relaxation.
Tip: Several of the hotel’s eateries and hot spots including Camelia Lounge, Peacock Alley, Umi, Sunset Beach Club and Lounge Lexington Grill and Bar have special set menus and offers for guests this Valentine’s Day.