Get away from it all at one of these luxury hotels in North Africa and the Arabian Peninsula, selected by our Middle East expert Camille. From desert adventures to wellness retreats, there's something for everyone at one of these luxury resorts in the Middle East.


01

THE LANA, DUBAI

Stay: One of the most hotly-anticipated hotels of the year, The Lana opened its doors in early 2024 bringing a new level of ultra luxurious hospitality to Dubai. The stunning 30-storey hotel by The Dorcheseter Collection stands on Dubai's waterfront with views over the Dubai Canal. The hotel has 225 spacious, elegant and light-filled guest rooms and suites. Here the details really count with custom-made toiletries, 100 per cent goose-down duvets, Frette bed linen and Vispring mattresses. There's also a stunning infinity rooftop pool with views of the Burj Khalifa, the UAE's first Dior Spa.

Eat: You really are spoilt for choice with eight restaurants and bars at The Lana to take you from a leisurely morning breakfast to late night drinks. Afternoon tea is a lengthy, indulgent affair by the award-winning French pastry chef, Angelo Musa. On the rooftop you will find High Society, the place to be with food created by Michelin-starred chef, Jean Imbert and impressive views of the Dubai skyline.

Play: If you can drag yourself from the shimmering rooftop pool, the spa is well worth a visit. The first Dior Spa in the UAE is an unparalelled sanctuary on the 29th floor with bespoke treatments. Enjoy the ultimate wellness experience personalised for you using cutting-edge technology and the best ingredients.


02

DAR AHLAM, MOROCCO

Stay: Located on the fringes of the Sahara, Dar Ahlam is a champagne-coloured desert hideaway set amongst breezy palm groves and almond trees. The 200-year-old restored kasbah has just 14 luxurious suites decorated in neutral, earthy tones with antiques and textiles, open fireplaces, and large bathrooms.

Eat: Dining here is an extra special experience. With no restaurant or bar, meals are customized and served to you among a selection of distinct, private settings.

Play: Days at Dar Ahlam can be as active or relaxed as you wish and take shape around personalized adventures with your dedicated guide. Trek into the Valley of Roses, drive to a 12th-century Berber village for a traditional tea ceremony at dusk or spend a night under the stars in a private desert camp.


03

ZULAL WELLNESS RESORT BY CHIVA SOM, QATAR

Stay: Celebrity favourite Chiva Som arrived on the northern shores of Qatar in 2022. At Zulal Wellness Resort you can enjoy the tranquil vibe of the original Thai wellness retreat alongside traditional Arabic medicine and holistic wellness. Choose from one-, two- or three-bedroom villas, which wrap around a lagoon filled with seawater.

Eat: You can dine at one of Zulal’s two healthy eating restaurants or take a seat around the campfire and enjoy barbecued treats at sunset. Another must-visit for gourmands is the tea house, where you can enjoy an array of herbal teas from across the globe.

Play: Keep moving from dawn to dusk. Start with yoga as the sun rises, or choose a Pilates class, cooking sessions, meditation, or Thai boxing. The wellness centre features 64 treatment rooms, a Watsu pool, a therapeutic movement centre and a private gym where you’re the only member. At the end of the day, take a seat at the cinema under the stars.


04

ANANTARA AL JABAL AL AKHDAR, OMAN

Stay: Perched on the edge of a dramatic canyon you will find Anantara Al Jabal Akhdar in the Omani desert. This is one of the world's highest luxury resorts offering breathtaking views of Nizwa or the fabled 'Green Mountains' of Oman.

Eat: The resort offers everything from all-day dining with global tastes at Al Maisan to contemporary Mediterranean cuisine at Bella Vista with spectacular views, and tailor-made private dining experiences​. At Diana's Point, guests can dine in the most stunning setting - a canyon-edge platform where Princess Diana visited in 1986.

Play: Experience the thrill of climbing the iconic JebAl Akhdar, engage in immersive cooking classes or mesmerizing stargazing sessions, or practice archery with a breathtaking mountain backdrop. The resort also offers holistic wellness exercises, landscape painting sessions, and more, ensuring a diverse range of experiences. For those looking to customize their adventure, Anantara's dedicated hosts are on hand to help explore the natural beauty of the Damask rose in full bloom and the historic forts of Oman.


05

BANYAN TREE ALULA, SAUDI

Stay: Among the sandstorm cliffs of Saudi Arabia sculpted by the winds of time, you’ll find Banyan Tree AlUla. Elegant Bedouin tents blend into the dunes at this magical desert sanctuary. Choose from elegant one-, two- or three-bedroom tented villas some of which come with private pools and offer magnificent views of the sand dunes and mountain landscape.

Eat: Dine in the Thai-inspired Saffron eatery or at Harrat restaurant offering a diverse selection of cuisine from seafood to Middle Eastern mezze dishes.

Play: AlUla is a place of extraordinary natural beauty and historical significance with a lush oasis valley, majestic sandstone mountains and ancient cultural heritage sites. So we highly recommend you get out to explore. After a day of adventure take a dip in the resort’s pool - nestled between two mountains - work out in the gym, or indulge in a treatment at the spa. For the thrill-seekers amongst you, there's hot-air ballooning, ziplining or rock-climbing.


06

QASR AL SARAB BY ANANTARA, ABU DHABI

Stay: Qasr Al Sarab by Anantara invites you to discover the world's largest sand desert on the outskirts of Abu Dhabi. Nestled amid rolling sand dunes and boasting an Arabian fort-style design, the resort features opulent décor, palm-lined courtyards and sparkling fountains. There are 206 elegant and spacious rooms each with a balcony or terrace from which to enjoy the views. The pool villas come with a separate living area, a private plunge pool and your own private butler service.

Eat: You'll be spoilt for choice when deciding where and what to eat at Qasr al Sarab. Start the day with a lavish breakfast and later in the day enjoy fine dining served on the terrace overlooking the spectacular landscape. A private dinner in a Bedouin tent is a magical experience, as is a cocktail in the rooftop bar as you watch the sun go down.

Play: Explore the mysteries of the Liwa desert on a desert drive, on horseback, or by foot. Back at the hotel there's a padel court, tennis courts, a fitness centre, volleyball an adults-only infinity pool and a brilliant kids club to keep little ones entertained. As night falls you can go stargazing in the desert or simply enjoy the twinkling Arabic lanterns dotted around the resort giving it a magical ambience.



LOOKING AHEAD

We can't wait for the opening of the first Six Senses property in Morocco. In the small desert city of Ouarzazate, three historic casbahs will be refurbished overlooking the High Atlas Mountains due to open in late 2024, or early 2025. Watch this space for more details.

For more luxurious holiday ideas in North Africa and the Middle East speak to your Lightfoot Travel travel consultant.
Suggested Itineraries

Classic Oman

Muscat & the East Coast Nizwa & the Empty Quarter Musandam & Northern Oman

  • Explore Old Muscat’s old fortresses, palaces and mosques
  • Enjoy a camel ride, desert trekking or quad biking in the Wahiba Sands
  • Shop for Arabic treasures in Nizwa
  • Go hiking in the stunning Al Hajar mountains
  • Relax at the beach at the stylish Six Senses Zighy Bay

When to go:

J F M A M J J A S O N D
ideal length 8 nights

Oman with Kids

Muscat & the East Coast Musandam & Northern Oman Oman Middle East & North Africa

  • Spot dolphins and whales off Muscat’s rugged coast

  • Go on a sunset camel safari in the desert

  • Try sandboarding and quad biking across the sands

  • Witness green turtles laying their eggs

  • Camp out in a Bedoin-style tent under the stars

When to go:

J F M A M J J A S O N D
ideal length 9 nights
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