Photo Credit: Travel Noire
Where To Enjoy A Luxury Vacation In The Middle East Beyond Dubai
Admittedly it has its charm, but as the narrative goes for over tourism and over saturation within these cities, perhaps we should consider where else to explore in search of luxury in the sandy dunes of the Middle East.
These are our favorite alternatives in the long-time glamorous region.
The city is proud of its heritage, so it embalms it in a perfectly breathtaking package of glamour and sparkling waters and coats it in tradition.
Boasting the same daring skyscrapers, air-conditioned malls and prestigious resorts that you’d expect of Dubai, Manama offers something special for luxury hunters. Seamlessly blending the old with new, expect to find the globally diverse aspects of the city firmly established aside the crumbling foundations of the century-old, find the traditional cuisine aside international dishes, find the modern Bahrain National Theatre aside the cities ancient mosques and Hindu temples.
Where to stay: Ritz Carlton Bahrain Hotel and Spa is the seven-story luxury resort of dreams, just minutes from the airport and Manama city center.
Saudi Arabia, Abha
Saudi Arabia offers classic luxury for travelers who still place value on the serenity and peace that the Middle East has to offer in abundance. Quietly enjoy the birthplace of Islam while exploring the historic landmarks and the culturally rich streets, of course making time for the immensely stunning mountainous landscape.
At night the city is alight with an emerald glow which entices you into the beautiful streets to enjoy a private tasting of local cuisine on one of the many terraces while taking in the natural beauty that surrounds the city.
Where to stay: Intercontinental Abha, high up in the Al Soodah Mountains, is the highest point in Saudi Arabia and the perfect place to admire the grand, humble beauty of Abha.
It is a known secret that Doha is a great city in the making, one that is creeping up and out of Dubai’s shadow. Full of flavor and excitement, the capital city of Qatar is an extremely prosperous and modernised area of the country.
The dynamic city offers heritage and traditional souks, shopping malls and high quality fine-dining experiences, all in the excitement of the same night if you desire.
Where to stay: The elegant Grand Hyatt Doha offers a great location and beautiful accommodation in the innovative city of Doha.
If you’re ready for picturesque gardens and the lingering air of summer evenings, Turkey’s most beguiling costal region could be your defining luxury escape. This quiet corner of Turkey is the epitome of timeless luxury, offering exploration for the adventurers and tranquility for those in need of rejuvenation.
As a seaside getaway full of ancient ruins, 5-star restaurants and boutiques, Bodrum is a fantastic luxury alternative. Not only did Bodrum once host one of the ancient wonders of the world, it also overlooks the Aegan Sea, offering a natural retreat in the most luxurious sense.
Where to stay: Amanruya encapsulates the classical beauty of the region, with breathtaking views and magnificent accommodation on the fabled coastline.
Oman, Musandam Peninsula
The Musandam Peninsula is one of the least visited and yet insanely thrilling aspects of the country. The exclusivity of the region is truly found in the beautiful coral reefs, the access to mountains and sea and the once in a lifetime experiences spent in the natural landscape.
Considered as the ‘Norway of Arabia’, a luxurious vacation in the Musandam Peninsula calls for peaceful afternoons spent by the secluded beach and evenings of dramatic glamour under the night sky, a truly private and unmatched experience.
Where to stay: Six Senses Zighy Bay, located in a traditional Omani village with modern amenities, it is choice accommodation.
United Arab Emirates, Ras Al Khaimah
Enjoy the dramatic red mountains and lush agriculture of the United Arab Emirates, without finding yourself in the streets of Dubai. In the northernmost part of the country, you’ll find plenty of opportunity to indulge in panoramic views and evening promenades on Al Qawasim Corniche. Ras Al Khaimah, where the desert meets the mountains which meets the beach, is the perfect luxury location outside the bustling cities.
Treat your long-lost need for adrenaline as well as your admiration for modest displays of splendour with the numerous abandoned villages and pearly white mosques of Ras Al Khaimah.
Where to stay: Al Wadi Desert, nestled at the foot of the majestic Al Hajjar Mountains, is renowned for its commitment to luxury and traditional Arab beauty.