The Middle East has always intrigued me with its powerful history, rich culture and air of mystery. I finally had the opportunity to visit this fascinating part of the world when we recently took an amazing trip to Dubai in the United Arab Emirates. Dubai is well known as one of the world’s most vibrant and extravagant cities with spectacular skyscrapers, decadent hotels, vast shopping malls and breathtaking coastal and desert landscapes. Dubai, although not an obvious honeymoon destination, in fact has a lot to offer honeymooning couples who want the best of both worlds mixing city glamour with desert relaxation and adventure. We set off to explore two very different sides of the emirate taking in the grandeur, bright lights and excitement of The Atlantis Palm Resort and the peaceful seclusion of the beautiful Al Maha Desert Reserve.
The Al-Maha Desert Resort and Spa in Dubai offers a wonderful, relaxing escape from the hustle and bustle of city life. Situated in the Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve, the UAE’s first national park, Al-Maha is the only resort in this 225 square kilometre area of incredible dune and desert landscape. The drive from Dubai takes just under an hour and transports you from a world of towering, shimmering skyscrapers to one of rolling sand dunes, blissful silence and close-up wildlife encounters. It’s a perfect, secluded hideaway for honeymooners.
The resort itself is modelled after a Bedouin encampment and is made up of a cluster of luxury, neutral coloured tents overlooking a lush oasis in the stunning red sands of the desert. As we drove in we were completely in awe of the incredible landscape, we had never seen anything like it and couldn’t wait to start exploring the reserve.