16 Jun 2019
Set in the heart of Abu Dhabi’s gorgeous desert, Jumeirah Al Wathba Desert Resort & Spa has been enchanting guests since it opened last year. Here, the natural beauty of the Abu Dhabi landscape is combined with the warm hospitality of the Jumeirah team, creating an intimate experience in one of the Gulf’s most exclusive, stunning environments. So, if you’re planning a break with a difference here our favourite things to do while relaxing at Jumeirah Al Wathba Desert Resort & Spa.
Al Mabeet Desert Camp
For centuries the Bedouins of Abu Dhabi have entertained royalty in high-end camps pitched deep in the desert. Al Mabeet brings that history to life, offering guests an intimate dining experience surrounded by nothing but the still quiet of the evening dunes. No other experience will leave you as enamoured with Abu Dhabi: its culture, its history, and its stunning landscapes.
Swift Arabian chargers have roamed the Gulf’s deserts for millennia, and there’s no better way to explore the dunes than atop one. As their methodical gallop kicks up cascading waves of sand, you feel yourself transported back in time to the lyrical past of the Bedouin riders. Riding tours can be booked at sunrise, sunset, during the day, and under the stars.
The desert comes into its own in the evening, with the saffron glow of the setting sun gilding its sweeping dunes. Al Wathba’s Al Mesayan rooftop bar provides the perfect panoramas to luxuriate in the stunning spectacle: its menu is filled with a delightful mix of Arabic mezze and Italian cicchetti, while its shisha menu and world-class cocktails rival that of any bar in the Emirate capital. Once the sun sets, enjoy the cool breezes as a glittering blanket of radiant stars illuminates the night-time sky.
Poolside and Panache
Perhaps Jumeirah Al Wathba Desert Resort & Spa’s most iconic feature is its 1,000 square-metre pool overlooking the surrounding desert hills. Incorporating palm trees, coves, and inlets, a day could be well spent exploring its turquoise waters. The pool bar, Panache, is a favourite, half submerged in the pool itself. Sip a Frozen Vogue while dangling your legs into the refreshing water, or enjoy a freshly pressed juice reclining on a sensationally soft poolside lounger.
The desert stillness will provide you will all the relaxation you need, but if you’re in the mood for pampering, Jumeirah Al Wathba Desert Resort & Spa’s Talise Spa is more than willing to spoil. In addition to traditional hammam treatments and Hammamii oil massages, try the Red-Carpet Facial, second to none in slowing ageing; or, if you’re feeling adventurous, experience the newest in spa technology: the cryo room.
Wetland Reserve Tour
Any landscape as naturally stunning of Abu Dhabi will no doubt contain equally amazing wildlife. A short drive from Jumeirah Al Wathba Desert Resort & Spa are the wetlands, home to over 4,000, neon-pink flamingos, and over 250 migratory species of bird. The protected area features bird hides so you can get that perfect photograph, while your very own Bedouin guide will tell you about Abu Dhabi’s ecosystem and how its residents have lived within it for centuries.
Camel Race Track Tour
Camel racing has been an Abu Dhabi special for over 1.400 years. Exhilarating to watch, as camels lumber ferociously down the race track, witness a race at Jumeirah Al Wathba Desert Resort & Spa’s very own race course, while you learn about camels’ extraordinary training regimens. The tour also includes an unforgettable visit to a bustling local camel souk.
Nocturnal Animal Hike
Some of the desert’s most unusual creatures only come out at night. Set against a moon- and star-lit sky, traipse over the surrounding dunes as you look for wide-eyed scaly lizards and terrifying scorpions. Specially designed infrared torches make scorpions glow in the dark, adding to the surreal night-time appearance of the desert and its wildlife.
Private Falcon Shows
Falcons are the national bird of the UAE, having been trained by locals since the dawn of history. Falcon training, hunting, and racing are staples in Abu Dhabi, and here you can learn all about the art of falconry, while you see the majestic birds soar at over 100 kilometres/hour across the low desert sky.
Relax at your private suite
Jumeirah Al Wathba Desert Resort & Spa has 13 gorgeous villas, each with sweeping panoramas and plunge pools. Afternoons can dreamily be spent languorously lounging in your own private palace, the whole range of Jumeirah Al Wathba Desert Resort & Spa amenities a mere phone call away. Meanwhile, the contemporary, traditionally-inspired interior decoration is as serene as the outside views.