Known for its riches, the skyline of Dubai shines like the wealth contained within. Sky-scraping unfathomable buildings, man-made beaches and a city that lives to excess in all that it does. Shop, dine and discover the history that makes up Emirati culture and the juxtaposition between the old and new. Travel Dubai to Sharjah and watch the Arabic world unfold with traditional markets, over 600 dome-topped mosques and 20 or more museums, learning the ways of the old and discovering how the Emirati world came to be. From the flash and expense of Dubai to the traditional and authenticity of Al Maha, it is hard to believe they are but half an hour from each other. Sand dunes as far as the eye can see, lush flora, endless fauna and a peek into what Emirati life was like back in the day.
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Arriving in Dubai and greeted by a skyline of epic proportions, there are modern luxuries at every turn and palm-frond beaches on which to relax. Once you’re chauffeured to your hotel and with so many fabulous accommodation options to choose, the options are endless. We highly-recommend The Armani Hotel. Designed by Giorgio Armani himself and located in the heart of the city where there are 160 rooms to choose from, each of which ooze fashionably chic taste with an Arabian flair, making any stay a true vacation.
Wake up to this bustling city and discover museums, forts, Emirati life and of course shopping! Stopping first at the Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding offering insight into the local culture before heading to explore the 19th Century Bastakiya area. Abuzz with museums, galleries and restaurants, take a tour of the Dubai Museum giving a glimpse into life many centuries ago. Shopping is on the agenda next with a stop at the Meena Bazar, Spice Souk and Gold Souk, where local produce and products are on display then visit the Mall of the Emirates, one of the largest malls in the world with over 560 outlets! Head back the hotel for a night of relaxation before the next days’ adventure.
Day three sees a journey to Sharjah, the third-largest Emirate in the UAE rich with culture and tradition. A number of well-known museums and over 600 mosques can be found within the Heritage Area including the incredible Turkish inspired Al Noor Mosque, the most famous of its mosques. With over 20 museums to explore, stop by the Museum of Islamic Civilization; an impressive collection of Islamic artifacts stretching back 1,400 years. To end the day, a spot of shopping at the Blue Souk is in order, boasting traditional goods such as gold and intricate Arabian carpets.
Traveling to Al Maha only 25 miles from Dubai and taking only a mere 35 minutes, the city disappears and the sand dunes become the landscape as far as the eye can see. Located within the Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve, Al Maha is brimming with flora and fauna - a true desert oasis. With endless activities available, choose to trek through the desert with an experienced guide or perhaps discover the magical world of Falconry, learning about these majestic creatures steeped in Emirati culture and watch them soar through the skies. For the more adventurous, a 4x4 desert ride through the dunes observing indigenous wildlife whilst experiencing the thrill of the ride. A night’s rest is well-deserved with a stay overnight in this beautiful city.
The day is open to any chosen activities of which there are plenty. Perhaps relax and be pampered in one of the many luxurious spas on offer, peruse the streets to observe local life and discover Emirati cuisine with a long leisurely lunch at many authentic restaurants or fine-dining establishments. For a romantic and thrilling activity, go horseback riding through the picturesque sand dunes on beautiful Arabian horses and watch the sunset in the distance before heading back to the hotel for an evening of relaxation.
Awaken to leave the magical city of Al Maha and be taken to Dubai airport ready to head home or perhaps another adventure.
Designed with typical Armani flair and set in the heart of downtown Dubai, The Armani Hotel Dubai is one of the city’s most chic addresses and a must for fashion-conscious travelers. The hotel has 160 beautifully designed rooms and suites, some designed by Giorgio Armani himself and many offering incredible views of the city, with personal Lifestyle Managers on hand to make sure your stay goes smoothly. The hotel also has as many as seven restaurants and lounges offering Asian, Indian, Mediterranean and Italian cuisine and lavish cocktails, the opulent Armani Spa & Fitness Centre, and an ultra-luxe retail area.
With a fiery-red backdrop of rippled sand dunes that clash against the opal-blue sky, Al Maha resort is an exotic oasis set within the 16-square-mile Conservation Wildlife Reserve of Dubai. Named after the majestic horned Arabian Oryx, the destination rids itself of usual desolate-and-stark desert connotations and is inhabited by unique ecosystems, where both endangered and indigenous animals roam freely and undisturbed. A rich diversity of elusive animal species can be spotted from the resort, giving the feeling of living on safari and escaping to the animal kingdom. Guests can watch the living desert from their magnificent Bedouin suites, where luxury comfort and spectacular Arabian decor provide an indulgent atmosphere. They are a combination of two worlds - one of transcendent, elegant living, reflecting the cosmopolitan vibe of Dubai and one of simpler, Bedouin values from which Arabian traditions stem from. An airy and polished theme runs throughout the resort and to a host of exceptional restaurants. Organic dishes are meticulously prepared by culinary masters and served on outdoor terraces or on top of a pristine sand dune. Balmy days can be enjoyed poolside while drinking in the mesmerising scenery or exploring the mysterious desert where lost tales and secrets remain buried within the layers of time .