Rugged red rocks, sizzling sands and dazzling dunes. Mother Nature painted Arabia’s beauty herself; the landscapes are so vivid they’ve become a breeding ground for myth and legend. Nowadays, a holiday to the Middle East will reveal the region is home to several oases. Featuring sea, water parks and aquariums, here’s a look at four Middle Eastern destinations and the hotels that make Arabian holidays more refreshing than you may think.
Destination: Dubai. Hotel: Atlantis, the Palm
Atlantis, the Palm leads Palm Jumeriah into Dubai’s record-breaking skyline. The centre-stage resort towers majestically over its neighbours. This is only the tip of Atlantis’ mythos however, as surrounding its bedrocks lie attractions like the Tower of Poseidon and the Leap of Faith. These rides are part of Aqua Adventure land: a magical world that needs to be explored. The water park sees you hurtle through shark pools, explore legendary scenery or mingle with monsters on an underwater safari. It’s a thrilling experience any holiday to Dubai should include. By visiting Atlantis, the Palm, you can quest through this magical world alongside its other great activities such as dolphin sanctuaries and lagoons.
Destination: Ras Al Khaimah. Hotel: Banyan Tree Ras Al Khaimah
With views of the Arabian Gulf tickling powdered white beaches, Banyan Tree Ras Al Khaimah cajoles you into a land of souks and incense where beautiful waters bestride the backdrop of your stay. You can spend your holiday to Ras Al Khaimah soaking up the sun by the sea, or exploring the Gulf with Banyan Tree’s excursions including sunset cruises and beachfront picnics. Nearby, there’s a huge choice of water sport companies which offer jet skiing sessions, windsurfing lessons, fishing trips, and more. For something a little different, Ice Land Water Park is a ten-minute drive away, giving you a break from the pleasantly warm Middle Eastern climate.
Destination: Oman. Hotel: Shangri-La Barr Al Jissah
Shangri-La Barr Al Jissah overlooks turquoise waters tickling the dramatic rocky shores in Oman. The rugged beauty of the coastline blends with a gorgeous Arabic desert backdrop. A holiday to Oman sees you in a fantasy world: it’s stunning. As home to arguably the most scenic beaches in the world, there’s no shying away from grandeur here. At this resort, your Arabian holiday sees all the romantic seaside activities you need for that exotic refreshment. This includes scuba diving, snorkelling, and dolphin watching for the adventurous. Or you can relax by lolling on the private beaches of your resort. In Oman, you’ll see the natural charm of the Arabian Desert whilst still getting the most out of the azure seas.
Destination: Abu Dhabi. Hotel: Yas Viceroy
Yas Viceroy is sculpted artistry. The luxury resort is the glittering gem of Yas Island: built half on water, and across from the F1 Yas Marina Circus, the futuristic design can’t be missed on any holiday to Abu Dhabi. Moreover, an Arabian holiday to Yas Viceroy places you next to a 21st century wonder of the world with free shuttle buses there and back. Yas Waterworld is the first water park in the Middle East to be awarded a green sustainability rating, the first in the world to use a hydro-magnetic powered waterslide, and described by some as the UAE’s first ever mega water park. Its fantasy themed dives and pools are sure to get that adrenaline pumping. Slither Alley, Bandit Bomber, Jebel Drop are just some of the thrilling rides, whereas Lazy River, or Yehal are perfect if you’re after something calmer. Whatever you choose, you’re bound to be refreshed.
Check out Kenwood Travel’s Arabia Collection Travel Guide, where our destination experts have hand-picked fantastic resorts for your holiday, including those mentioned in this article.