Top Ten Luxury
Al Maha Desert Resort & Spa, Dubai

Although this stylish resort is less than an hour's drive from downtown Dubai, you would never know it. The souring skyscrapers seem to belong to another planet entirely. Here it is all about peace, tranquility and... tents. Make no mistake, we are talking seriously designer tents here. The canvas is stretched like a sheik's headdress across the ceiling of your own private villa set amidst the sand. A golden view of the flat plains and the Hajar Mountain massif stretch out in front of your terrace and your private pool is temperature controlled - which in this part of the world means chilled rather than heated. With just over 40 exclusive villas the whole resort looks like a five star version of a traditional Bedouin camp. Wilfred Thesiger's Arabian Sands is required reading here. On offer are all sorts of Lawrence of Arabia type activities: camel trekking, horse riding, falconry and archery. There are also field trips into the desert to spot gazelle, Oryx and the rare Arabian fox. Luckily, you don't have to clamber on a camel to get around the resort, golf buggies will whiz you quietly between air-conditioned oasis such as the restaurant and the Jamilah spa. Treatments at the spa include ingredients born of the desert such as dates and frankincense.

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The desert romance of it all. Think Rudolph Valentino in The Sheik with a five star designer tent..
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Al Maha Desert Resort & Spa, Dubai
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