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Must Do Activities

Al-Maha Resort: An Oasis in the Desert

Al-Maha UAE
Credit: Viator

Al Maha is a luxury resort and spa in Dubai with a private oasis nestled among the nearly barren dunes of the Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve. The hotel offers secluded tranquillity and iconic vistas of the sweeping plains and is in the backdrop of the Hajar Mountain massif. There is so much to do here, with camel treks, dune bashing, watching the falcons or just enjoying in the hotel’s private swimming pools. The hotel’s 42 suites combine discreet refinement with authentic regional antiques, local artefacts and thoughtful nuances. 

The Resort

Al-Maha resort
Credit: Marriott International, Inc.

Arriving at Al Maha is truly a grand sight for any traveller. Though it is only an hour from Dubai International Airport (DXB), the drive takes you through a semi-dirt road into the Conservation Reserve. Upon entering, Al Maha’s beautiful reception area greets you with its authentic Bedouin décor and fresh smoothies to cool off from your drive.  The lobby is spacious and chic with plenty of outdoor and indoor seating and breathtaking desert views. You’ll also find a small gift shop and a bar area with snacks, coffee etc. There are also many great restaurants inside the resort with authentic Middle Eastern fare, the resort’s in-house buffet is particularly good. The resort has 42 suites, each equipped with some world-class amenities. Each room is a private villa with a plunge pool and a large deck. The standard room is called a Bedouin Suite, although it resembles a tent and is fully air-conditioned. 

Activities To Do Here

You can experience the desert wonders of Arabia at the conservation resort. The Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve (DDCR) monitors and controls human impact to minimise its effect on the fragile flora and fauna so what you see has largely been untouched by human civilization; a huge contrast to the landscaped, glittering concrete jungle that is Dubai. There are many things to do here besides taking in the beauty of the landscape. 

Nature Walk in the Arabian Desert
You can take a guided walk through parts of the reserve and get the opportunity to experience the desert environment in its entirety. 

Dune Drive
Enjoy an adrenaline rush as your field guide takes you on an exhilarating 4x4 drive in the big sand dunes outside the resort. 

Camel Trekking
You can get guided camel rides at the resort, conducted under the supervision of experienced camel handlers and field guides. The safaris are generally conducted in the evening where the camel train stops for sundown drinks in the dunes before proceeding back to the resort.

Falconry
The art of falconry dates back to the 13th Century BC and denotes an important traditional sport linking man and the desert. It was meant to supplement the Bedouin diet in the past but today it has become quite sophisticated with the use of tracking equipment. The displays usually take place during the cooler parts of the day due to the sensitivity of these animals. The falcons may be handled by guests, under the supervision of one of the field guides, during and after the display.

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