Summer holidays are an exciting time. We generally spend months booking tickets, working on our summer bodies, trying on our old swimsuits and stocking up on SPF. Whether you’re exploring Roman ruins or having a girlie trip to Bali - there’s so much to do before you even start your trip away and it’s certainly not cheap! For those of us who haven’t managed to take the time to plan an extravagant holiday or simply don’t have the pennies (or dirhams) to go away this year, don’t fret! The holiday feelings are actually on our doorstep.
Treat yourself to a staycation this year. Grab the kids, your spouse or even your gal pal and book yourself in for some homegrown rest and relaxation. For the adventurers among us, there’s a range of activities available at these hotels, with cycling, kayaking, camel riding and so much more on offer. But, make sure you don’t forget your Emirates IDs - these deals are just for us Dubai residents!
Located in the heart of Dubai, Vida Downtown is rewarding UAE residents booked into the hotel with a 20% off dining at all restaurants operated by Emaar Hospitality Group, two complimentary tickets to Reel Cinema and access for two to IMG Worlds of Adventure or Dubai Parks & Resorts, plus children up to the age of 12 years dine for free. Lounge by the pool during the day and enjoy lunch at La Serre’s exclusive swimming pool and tuck into Chinese and Japanese street food for a delectable burst of flavour for dinner at Downtown Toko. Call 04-4286888.
The Ritz Carlton Ras Al Khaimah, Al Wadi
With a whole host of outdoor activities including, archery, a sunset camel ride and a falconry show, there’s never a dull moment at The Ritz Carlton Ras Al Khaimah. GCC resident discount packages include buy-two-get-one-free nights, a breakfast buffet for two and a 30-minute head and shoulder massage per stay. With wildlife literally at your doorstep, be at one with nature as the Al Wadi Nature Reserve serves as the backdrop to this stunning staycation spot. Call 07-2067777.
Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort by Anantara
If you’re looking for uninterrupted bliss, Qasr Al Sarab is the place for you. Located in the heart of the Empty Quarter in the legendary Rub'Al Khali, the largest uninterrupted sand desert in the world, the resort is a two and half hour drive from Dubai. Book a maximum of two weeks ahead of your stay and receive a 15 percent discount, which includes 20 percent off spa treatments and restaurants too. Enjoy cooking classes, desert yoga, camel trekking, archery and horse riding. Plus, all bookings made online will be rewarded with a spa credit of Dhs 200 per room and Dhs 400 per villa to avail at Anantara Spa. www.anantara.com
The Oberoi Beach Resort, Al Zorah
Embrace the elements at Al Zorah. The unique, luxury destination in Ajman, combines white sand beaches, azure lagoons and lush, green mangroves. Settled within 247 acres of protected forest, Al Zorah boasts exceptional biodiversity, and is home to almost sixty species of bird. If you are partial to a different type of birdie, Al Zorah also offers a championship golf course, kayaking and much more. Just 25 minutes from Dubai International Airport, the newest of luxury resorts in Ajman, Al Zorah has spacious rooms with private terraces, while the villas have their very own private swimming pools. But, it doesn’t stop there! Enjoy your very own BBQ under the stars at your private pool, cooked by a private Oberoi chef. Call 06-5044888.
The One & Only Royal Mirage
Immerse yourself in traditional Arabian hospitality at The One & Only Royal Mirage. For GCC residents only, bag yourself 20% off the best available rate, 25% off spa or oriental hammam treatments, guaranteed complimentary late check-out until 6pm, one complimentary candlelit yoga session and one complimentary Aquaventure pass per person, per stay. Call 04-3999999.
JA Jebel Ali Golf Resort
Take yourself to a beachfront sanctuary along the Arabian Gulf when you check into JA Jebel Ali Golf Resort. You can choose between Jebel Ali Beach Hotel or the all-suite JA Palm Tree Court. Relaxation is on the menu with complete R&R experiences all under one roof, picture palm trees, stables, a shooting club, marina, spa and an array or wildlife in the greenhouses. Dive into the numerous pools, swim to the bar, fly via seaplane and feel elated during your entire stay. Take a stroll through the shoreline or relax in the sun. Call 04-8145555.
Holiday Inn Dubai Festival City
The Holiday Inn is such a popular spot that people have actually written songs about it. Dubai Festival City is recreating the joy of travel this summer with an exclusive staycation offer for GCC nationals and residents. Discover the latest shopping, entertainment and dining destinations during your escape and stay for a minimum of two nights before the 1 September 2018 and receive a discount of 30 percent on the best available rates, 20 percent discount at participating food & beverage outlets, 20% discount on spa treatments and Dhs 100 voucher to spend at Robinsons Department Store. Call 04-6035000.
JA Hatta Fort Hotel
For a grand mountain retreat, JA Hatta Fort Hotel, although a journey, is definitely worth the trek. Just getting there is an experience in itself as you explore the Al Hajar Mountains alongside rich greenery and gorgeous gardens. The resort has 52 Mountain View Rooms, that are guaranteed to make you feel like you’re in another world completely. For cyclists who enjoy an incredible view, there are unique tracks that you can enjoy, plus, Hatta Dam is just up the road if you’re partial to a kayaking session through the mountains. There’s something for everyone at JA Hatta Fort Hotel. Call 04-8099333.
The definition of a hideaway, Tilal Liwa sits in the heart of the Rub Al Khali desert. For a true Arabian adventure, enjoy a candle-lit buffet dinner under the stars as well as a 15-minute spa treatment for you and your staycation partner. This four-star resort offers entertainment, relaxation and total isolation. So, turn your devices off, switch your mind off and enjoy some well-deserved chill out time. www.tilalliwa.danathotels.com
Bab Al Shams
For an unmatched adventure, Bab Al Shams has it all. Relax inside your isolated suite while outside, the resort’s desert ecosystem hosts gazelles, birds, geckos and a cornucopia of wildlife. With riders on horses and camels putting on incredible shows, and tanoura dancers, falconry demonstrations and enthusiastic belly dancers complete the scene, this traditional experience is nothing short of thrilling. www.babalshams.com