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Hotel Bab al Shams Desert Resort Hotel 4 star
Easyexperts
8168 Dubai Jumeirah Dubai, United Arab Emirates -
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Amy Adejokun Section editor

Undeniably one of the best hotels in Dubai, the Bab al Shams, wins hands down with us! A luxury Bedouin style reins here, right in the middle of the desert. The hotel is part of the luxury Emirati chain, Jumeirah, which also opened the renowned Burj al Arab. Sunbathe around the stunning pools of turquoise water whilst looking out onto the golden sand dunes of the desert...heavenly. The décor throughout the hotel is not too complex an affair, putting guests at their ease. Bab al Shams is a fairly small hotel with a good range of facilities ideal for couples looking for a romantic getaway. Being over an hour out into the desert, the Bab al Shams is ideal for a long weekend of relaxation after a week of Dubai sightseeing, but not as a base to explore the city from.

Images Stéphanie Poli.

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    • Hotel Bab al Shams Desert Resort

      Bab Al Shams Desert Resort   -   © EASYVOYAGE

    • Hotel Bab al Shams Desert Resort

      Bab Al Shams Desert Resort   -   © EASYVOYAGE

       
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    Location

    The hotel is located about an hour away from the centre of Dubai in the desert towards Abu Dhabi. Although there isn't much around, guests should not expect to be the only people in the area. Nearby there is a stadium, which is not visible or audible from Bab al Shams, and a second building not too far away which looks like another hotel. The resort can arrange a transfer although this is relatively costly; the hotel can also organise a taxi for pick up as there is no other way of getting to Dubai from the Bab al Shams. Click here for a map.

    Accommodation 8.20 /10

    Bab al Shams consist of 113 rooms, all designed in a barren look to reflect a Bedouin lifestyle. The rooms are arranged in several accommodation blocks over two floors. The ground floor rooms have balconies, some give out onto the desert which is incredible, especially at night when silence reins and stars light up the sky recalling fond camping childhood memories...There are also suites and rooms that give out onto the pool area which is practical for those not wanting to be far from the facilities. The bathrooms are our favourite features of the rooms as they have a large bathtub and lots of pleasant toiletries - up to you to find them though!

    Overview 8.20 /10

    The hotel is a low rise resort spread over green gardens in the middle of the desert. The three sparkling pools are great fun and look out onto the desert which makes for an original view when sunbathing! The turquoise pools are especially appealing and call for a swim before even unpacking! The accommodation blocks are spread over the resort area. Some rooms are located close to the pool. At night Bab al Shams is lit up with candles and fires recalling a Bedouin lifestyle which is just beautiful. There are lots of quaint corners and courtyards to sit and read and a book, or just for quiet contemplation...This five star hotel is definitely worth dropping by for a couple of days to soak in the sun and the tranquil atmosphere.

    Food and drink 8.70 /10

    There are seven restaurants and bars in total. The main attraction is Al Hadheera; a luxurious version of a Bedouin canteen with live entertainment and camel and horse shows. The spread put on here is truly impressive. Definitely one not to miss! Finish off with a shisha at the open-air Al Sarab Lounge which consists of coves set up with cushions so that you can get comfortable under the stars whilst listening to live music. Relaxing, the Al Sarab was our favourite. However do expect to pay a minimum of £12 for a shisha.

    Otherwise there is Al Forsan, which is where breakfast, lunch and dinner is served (usually buffet). Guests can also smoke Shisha at the Al Shurouq Lounge (no alcohol is served here). The Masala restaurant is also very well decorated and the food served here is Indian. For guests looking for something closer to home there is also the Dune Pizzeria. The pool also has a bar which does snacks, as well as the Ya Hala bar.

    To know

    Getting to the resort via taxi will cost 100 AED (about £20) from the Jumeirah area in Dubai. Some taxis may refuse to take you if you don't pay them a little extra for the return journey. Getting to Dubai from Bab al Shams is a little trickier as you have to ask the hotel to book either a transfer, which costs up to 400 ED (about £80) which works out well for large groups of people. For smaller groups the resort can book a taxi which is a little cheaper. Otherwise the food and drinks at the resort can be a little expensive, so make sure you are prepared.

    Bab al Shams is a great resort for relaxing and getting away from it all however it is not an ideal base to explore Dubai from due to its distance from the city (about an hour's drive). It is a great location to spend a couple days after running around sightseeing in the metropolis.

    The hotel has lots going on in the evenings in its food and beverage outlets. However, there isn't much activity in the day. Guests are free to wander around at their own leisure. The hotel has a spa, the Satori spa, which is a little small but where the staff is very friendly and efficient.

    Otherwise, although the resort is more aimed at couples rather than families, there is a kids' club with in indoor and fun outdoor area and pool - opening times must be checked with the hotel prior to arrival as these tend to vary depending on the season.

    Lastly, the hotel offers something a little different which we didn't get to see anywhere else: an eagle show! At 5pm, just before sunset, a young graceful Emirati visits the hotel with the eagles which he caught and trained himself. The show is very impressive and the elegance he exudes in his movements will remain in our memories for a long time to come. The show is free for in-house guests. There are also camel rides on offer for a small fee.

    Equipment

    • Shuttle bus
    • Car park
    • Handicap access
    • Restaurant
    • Internet access
    • Air conditioning
    • Spa

      beauty salon, spa, sauna, keep fit, wellness, massage, Turkish bath

    • Swimming pool
    • Sports equipment

      gym, fitness, sports, mountain bike

    • Whirlpool bath
    • Safe
    • Non-smoking rooms
    • Meeting room

    advantage

    • Quiet and relaxing as it is in the middle of the desert.
    • Ideal for a romantic long weekend away from the hustle and bustle of Dubai.
    • The Bedouin concept is original.
    • Excellent food outlets.
    • The excellent lively shows and array of food at the Al Hadeerah restaurant .
    • Guests can wonder out into the desert. Beautiful at sunset.
    • The eagle show by the pool in the desert.

    disadvantages

    • Can be a little on the expensive side, especially food and drinks.
    • Its distance from Dubai could be seen as a disadvantage.
    • The lack of activity in the day could be seen as a minus point by some.
    • Despite the great treatments the spa is fairly small.

    Traveller Reviews

    • Overall Score nc/10
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