VIP jet, private island and safari experience… Photographer Ghalia Abbas takes us behind the scenes of the most luxurious staycation in the UAE

Emirati photographer Ghalia Abbas took to the skies with Lightfoot Travel for a staycation with a difference. She flew by private jet to an island in the Gulf, which is home to an array of luxury beachside villas that you can claim as your own for the weekend.

 

UAE's Most Glamorous Staycation

 

UAE's Most Glamorous Staycation

 

Sir Bani Yas island near Abu Dhabi was once the home of Sheikh Zayed Bin Nahyan, and it was here that he created a nature reserve to help protect the UAE’s most endangered animals. This means that when you wake at Al Yamm Villa Resort by Anantara, you have the chance to see turtles, dolphins and dugongs making a splash along the shoreline.

 

UAE's Most Glamorous Staycation

 

UAE's Most Glamorous Staycation

 

When you’re not busy watching the marine life, you can take out a 4WD, and drive through the Arabian Wildlife Park and spy Arabian oryx and Arabian Rock Hyrax. The park covers half the island and now includes ostriches, cheetahs and giraffes.

 

UAE's Most Glamorous Staycation

 

UAE's Most Glamorous Staycation

 

Abbas shares some of her snaps and shows us how the UAE has taken staycations to the next level once more. For Abbas, the highlight of her trip was an afternoon tea with a difference: “For me it was the afternoon tea in the bush. The African inspired set-up was absolutely beautiful. Hats off to the chef for the delectable assortment of afternoon tea treats.”

UAE's Most Glamorous Staycation

 

UAE's Most Glamorous Staycation

 

To book this VIP staycation yourself, speak to your Lightfoot Travel Designer

 

Suggested Itineraries

From $14,300 pp

Russian High Arctic

Russia The Arctic

  • Sail around the Russian High Arctic in luxury with all modern comforts onboard Sea Spirit 
  • Experience a true expedition cruise to the rarely visited Franz Josef Land archipelago
  • Visit a soviet-era research facility, once a base for polar exploration
  • Look out for colonies of nesting seabirds on the rugged, steep cliffs of the islands
  • Spot polar bears, walrus and endangered bowhead whales around the archipelago

When to go:

J F M A M J J A S O N D
ideal length 13 nights

From $8,500 pp

Arctic Wildlife Safari

The Arctic

  • Search for polar bears hunting seals in the pack ice on an arctic safari
  • Explore historical sites including early whaling camps, trappers’ cabins, deserted coal mining operations, and an abandoned polar research station
  • Sea kayaking near tidewater glaciers and icebergs
  • Look out for humpback whales from the outdoor decks
  • Take advantage of the included photography program and learn alongside the onboard expert

When to go:

J F M A M J J A S O N D
ideal length 10 nights

From $7,000 pp

Mongolia’s Eagle Hunting Festival

Ulaanbaatar & Central Heartland

  • Living alongside a nomadic eagle hunting family and learning about their age-old traditions and ways of life
  • Attending the annual Ulgii Eagle Hunting Festival and getting caught up in the excitement of this event which locals spend their lives training for
  • Experiencing a less mainstream part of the country and really getting off the beaten track

When to go:

J F M A M J J A S O N D
ideal length 6 nights
Destinations Featured in the Article
Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque at dusk (Abu-Dhabi, UAE)

United Arab Emirates

The United Arab Emirates is one of the world’s most glamorous destinations. Experience traditional Abu Dhabi and marvel at futuristic Dubai on a luxury holiday with Lightfoot Travel.

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