Al Maha Desert Resort is an idyllic, exclusive oasis, set within a 25-square kilometer desert conservation reserve - a place where a commitment to service and total guest satisfaction is underlined by a ratio of three staff to every one of the sumptuous guest suites - ensuring attentive and personalized service 24-hours a day.
Built in the style of a traditional Bedouin encampment the main building is testimony to a way of life which has not changed in thousands of years. Here, guest areas are adorned with traditional artifacts and precious antiquities. Framed by the Hajar Mountains in the distance - this is a place of unique contrasts. Luxurious individual suites with private pools, fine dining, exquisite wines, panoramic skyscapes and indigenous flora and fauna are all set within wide open plains, the effect of which is one of transformation - allowing guests to unwind, relax and experience total peace and balance.
Carefully designed to harmonize with the spectacular surroundings - the suites draw inspiration from traditional architecture. Privacy is paramount - each of the suites stands in its own space with a large veranda and private chilled pool. All suites have a large walk-in shower and king-sized bath as well as a "his and hers" vanity area, dressing area, mini bar and tea and coffee making facilities. Light is abundant in all suites - floor to ceiling windows afford unhindered views across an incomparable terrain. Traditional textiles and locally-sourced artifacts adorn the suites.
The Presidential suite is with a large temperature-controlled swimming pool surrounded by a wooden deck, there is a barbecue set up and water features in the Majlis. The suite has handcrafted furnishings, antiques and artifacts. There are three large bedrooms, two with custom-made super king-size beds and one with twin beds. The spacious bathrooms features a walk-in shower and a king-size bath in addition to a 'his and hers' vanity area. The suite has a spacious lounge with dining facilities and residential quarters for guests and private staff like housekeeper, security or chef. There is a spacious courtyard and an extensive kitchen. The two Emirates suites and Royal Suites have two large bedrooms with custom-made super king-size beds.
The 37 individual Bedouin suites are also with a large temperature-controlled swimming pool surrounded by a wooden deck. These suites have handcrafted furnishings, antiques and artifacts. The bedroom has custom-made super king-size beds and spacious bathrooms featuring a walk-in shower, king-size bath, a 'his and hers' vanity area.
FOOD AND DINING
The finest international chefs ensure you enjoy the very highest culinary standards, wherever you choose to dine - from the relaxed informality of Al Diwaan restaurant and its alfresco veranda, to the intimacy of a romantic meal on the private deck of a guest suite. With a variety of options from the Middle East and Mediterranean, and with special theme menus featuring Indian, Sri Lankan and Japanese dishes, Al Maha's cuisine is exotic and enticing.
In the informal elegance of Al Maha's main restaurant, Al Diwaan, guests can choose from a five course table d'hôte menu featuring Middle Eastern and international fare, as well as developing one's own menu with the chefs for a special occasion. The dining room opens onto a veranda, or restaurant deck, where the fine dining experience is memorably enhanced by the vastness of the surrounding landscape.
The lounge and its veranda are places for meeting, reading or simply watching the indigenous animals gather at the nearby waterhole. Should guests wish to enjoy an informal snack or meal in these relaxing surroundings, it can easily be arranged.
An authentically-styled Bedouin encampment deep in the Al Maha reserve is the venue for the Dune Dinners, which offers a feast of traditional dishes, including Middle Eastern Mezze, Saloona Samak and Umm Ali dessert. Live cooking over charcoal fires offers up a host of other delectable options. Arabic music, Arabic coffee, Moroccan sweet mint tea and shisha pipes complete a truly memorable experience.
Offering spectacular views of the desert, Al Maha's bar deck is a wonderful place for sundowners. Inside, the bar is richly decorated with beautiful artwork and antiques.
Include business center, front desk, handicapped facilities, meeting/banquet facilities, room service, front desk safe deposit box; shops/commercial services, laundry/valet services, wheelchair accessible, the staff have been hand-picked from 20 countries and together speak 30 languages, 3 staff per suite, concierge level, tour desk, airport transportation can be arranged.
The Timeless spa is a world-class sanctuary of health and well-being. The signature treatments featuring the exclusive Timeless range of products made from Arabic dates and frankincense. There are single or double massage rooms, hydrotherapy and rasool rooms offering privacy, comfort and peace. There is state-of-the-art 'Life Fitness' equipment for body sculpting. The spa has a sauna, steam room, indoor Jacuzzi and an ice-cold plunge pool. This indigenous flora and water features and panoramic views of the desert and mountains
The spa and massage treatments have been carefully developed to restore the harmony between mind, body and spirit. Each is preceded by a consultation with a therapist and can be combined with a diet programme and exercise regime to ensure an overall positive effect. For extra comfort, privacy and convenience, a selection of treatments is also available in the guest suites on request.
All activities at the resort are under the direction of an Al Maha Field Guide. These members of staff are experienced and dedicated conservationists and have extensive knowledge of the environment, flora and fauna of the region.
Guided camel rides are conducted through the Al Maha reserve, giving guests an opportunity to see the natural splendor of the Arabian desert from the back of one of its most famous, and iconic inhabitants.
Guided horse rides are conducted through the Al Maha reserve, giving guests the opportunity to see the natural splendor of the landscape from the back of one of its most noble inhabitants. No other activity captures the romance of the desert in quite the same way.
Both novice and experienced archers can test their skills with the traditional recurved bow in a specially designated archery area within the Al Maha reserve. With a little expert tuition and sufficient practice, guests can experience the adrenalin rush that accompanies the skilful use of this age-old weapon.
Unlike horses or camels, a four-wheel-drive vehicle can quickly transport guests to some of the more isolated parts of the Al Maha reserve. For many, however, the off-road driving is a highlight in itself. Sand-skiing and quad bike riding are available in the large red dunes off the Dubai Hatta Road.
The art of falconry dates back to the 13th century BC. At Al Maha, guests can take the opportunity to view a number of different species of falcons. These can be viewed, as they are left to "weather" in the shaded area of the courtyard and they can also be handled under the supervision of one of the Field Guides. "Fly to the lure" demonstrations take place during the cooler parts of the day.
Guests can also choose from a number of excursions that can be arranged by Al Maha's dedicated Guest Relations Coordinators.
The jagged peaks of the Hajar Mountains, which can be seen from the resort, contain numerous wadis or dry river beds, that make for an entirely different off road adventure to dune driving. Morning excursions may end with lunch in a palm-fringed enclave deep in the wadi. Guests can request visits to Hatta, a 200-year-old village at the foot of the Hajar range that contains a fine heritage village, a traditional falaj irrigation system and the remains of an old fortress. In the desert between Hatta and Dubai lies Fossil Rock - named after the marine life fossils found there - and Camel Rock these are the two favorite off-road destinations.
Highlights of an excursion to the 'garden city' of Al Ain, spiritual home of Abu Dhabi's ruling Al Nahyan family, are its picturesque fortress museum and ancient burial tombs.
Guests have the opportunity here of experiencing the desert environment in its entirety on guided nature walks. Binoculars will prove useful for the purpose of bird and animal viewing and are readily available upon request from your Field Guide.
Al Maha is a 45 minutes drive from Dubai International Airport.
Climate: Between November and April Dubai is quite cool, at least compared to the rest of the year, which swelters under the scorching, unforgiving sun.
Currency: UAE Dirham (Dh).
Electricity: 220V 50HzHz.
Time Zone: GMT/UTC +4 ().
Country Dialing Code: +971.
Clothes: Lightweights, with medium weights from November to March; warmer clothes for evening.
Al Maha - a desert resort
Al Maha - an oasis in the desert and for the senses
Al Maha - a view from your tent
Al Maha - a dramatic nigth
Al Maha - reviving falconry an old tradition
The Cosa Team at the Al Maha