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“Dubai Desert Oasis” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Bab Al Shams Desert Resort & Spa

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Bab Al Shams Desert Resort & Spa
5.0 of 5 Resort   |   International Endurance City, 308th Rd | P.O Box 8168, Dubai, United Arab Emirates   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #52 of 486 Hotels in Dubai
New York
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
“Dubai Desert Oasis”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 22, 2014

We enjoyed a brief stay at Bab Al Shams Resort & Spa following a week in Dubai. Although our stay was limited, we did experience the resort sufficiently to merit a review. The greeting and check-in were thankfully efficient and understanding following an unacceptable ordeal transferring from Dubai (no fault or connection with the Bab Al Shams resort). Our experiences at the resort were mainly fine. The dining choices were many, including indoor and outdoor options and full cultural experiences. We enjoyed a wonderful buffet of international fare at the Al Forsan restaurant. We can also recommend enjoying the sunset over the desert on the rooftop accompanied by quality entertainment. Our afternoon included quality time at the pools, camel riding and viewing a trained falcon show. Archery, dune bashing and other activities were also available. The layout of the property aims to recall an Arabic village, including meandering passages, hidden nooks and crannies, along with many secret peaceful and romantic hideaways. The room was wonderful, generous in size, dark and cozy-comfortable. One thing I always find objectionable at any property is the absence of a top sheet, as was found here. Does the resort dry clean the comforter covering the guest following each stay? I think not. That's very disturbing, and this practice has no place in a five star property. We had to check out for our flight prior to breakfast hour, and the property sent us off with a very complete take-away breakfast -- very much appreciated. This was a very charming and easy to love desert property which will not disappoint. We wish we had more time at Bab Al Shams -- although only with the addition of a top sheet placed under the comforter.

Room Tip: Good hygiene dictates a top sheet between your body and the comforter. We toured the full resort, a...
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  • Stayed April 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mohamed A, General Manager at Bab Al Shams Desert Resort & Spa, responded to this review, May 1, 2014
Dear Guest,

I am extremely delighted to read that you consider us a "Dubai Desert Oasis". Your satisfaction with the services and food we offer even for only limited time helped to motivate the team to continue deliver the quality service that all our guests deserve.

I have shared your comment with our bed covers to our Housekeeping Department and is currently working on the evaluation and rectification.

Thank you very much for sharing your comments on TripAdvisor and we look forward to welcoming you back in the near future.

Best regards,

M. Aghoury
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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878 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (160)
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English first
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
21 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 20, 2014 via mobile

we stayed there for one night only. overall a decent place. staff very friendly. everything well kept and clean. nice pool area. but overall not what you would typically expect from a 5 star location in dubai. breakfast choice not that impressive either. room ok but again not 5 star feel to it.

the exception was the restaurant al hadheera in a separate fort near the hotel where we had dinner. very well organised, great food and different shows. all that happening right in the desert, was a good experience.

Stayed April 2014, traveled as a couple
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mohamed A, General Manager at Bab Al Shams Desert Resort & Spa, responded to this review, April 26, 2014
Dear guest,

Thank you for your review on TripAdvisor regarding your recent stay at Bab Al Shams Desert Resort and Spa.

We appreciate your time taken to advise us and the positive feedback and recommendations you have given. We are glad that we could contribute to making your trip to the Bab Al Shams a great experience.

It is most encouraging for us to receive such praise and we look forward to welcoming you on a return visit to Bab Al Shams.


Best regards,

M. Aghoury
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 19, 2014

There were complementary romantic setup in my room, One of the a mazing place to celebrate with, the guys are friendly and proactive.
The amazing view while you are swimming and watching the Sunset and the Falcons and Camels front of you.
I like the place.

Stayed April 2014
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mohamed A, General Manager at Bab Al Shams Desert Resort & Spa, responded to this review, April 26, 2014
Dear Guest,

Thank you for sharing your experience in TripAdvisor on your recent stay at Bab Al Shams Desert Resort and Spa.

I am delighted to read that you had a memorable Wedding Anniversary with us.

It was indeed a pleasure having you at the resort and we look forward to welcoming you back soon.


Best regards,

M. Aghoury
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CBrandtWright
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
29 helpful votes 29 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed April 19, 2014

From the beginning (no one to greet us at valet) to the end (one person on duty at check out on a busy weekend), I found much to fault with this property. Given the cost of the room, one would expect better quality and customer service all around. Sketchy wifi at the pool and none in the rooms (!). Finding a spare chair at the pool required intense patience. While we requested early check in, we weren't able to move into our room until 4:15PM.

The worst of these grievances is Al Hadeerah - nothing short of a cash grab from the property. 545AED per person (with no alcohol) for a too busy, not well staffed venue with blaring music and obvious entertainment. We left early and hungry - not bothering to wait for food to become available.

Needless to say, we didn't cough up the 130AED for breakfast and left early - ready to go home. Not one staff member we interacted with asked us about our stay (if there were any to be found!).

Would not recommend and will spend my dirhams elsewhere. Stay on the Palm or at a Jumeirah property instead.

  • Stayed April 2014, traveled with friends
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mohamed A, General Manager at Bab Al Shams Desert Resort & Spa, responded to this review, April 26, 2014
Dear guest,

Thank you very much for taking the time to share your experience regarding your recent stay at Bab Al Shams Desert Resort & Spa.

I appreciate your valuable feedback but obviously, I am disappointed to read that you experienced certain shortcomings during your stay which, therefore, has not been up to “Bab Al Shams standard”. For that, I would like to apologize. I will discuss with my team on how we can prevent these things to happen in the future.

We appreciate your valuable insights and suggestions on how we can improve.

Nonetheless I hope that we may welcome you again in the near future.


Kind regards,

M. Aghoury
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
England
Top Contributor
75 reviews 75 reviews
67 hotel reviews
Reviews in 60 cities Reviews in 60 cities
101 helpful votes 101 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 18, 2014

At the beginning of March we stayed four nights at the Bab Al Shams. We arrived at about 10pm after a transfer from the airport of 1hr 10mins. Apparently it should take 50 minutes but our driver had not been there before and got lost! Check-in was swift and efficient and, as requested, were shown to a first floor room. We had chosen this because we expected good desert views from a higher floor …. we were wrong! This room and, from what we could see, most others on this level were up in the fronds of the surrounding palm trees and these blocked the views. The room had been specially prepared for us, as we were celebrating an anniversary during our holiday, and there were flowers in the bath and wine and a small chocolate cake on a table. I expressed my disappointment at the small palm tree shrouded balcony and we were instantly offered a lower floor room with open views, it cost slightly more and the room was exactly the same but instead of a small balcony we had a larger patio/terrace with unobstructed views; it was worth paying the extra.

The room itself was large and Arabic in design with dark furniture, bare plastered walls and quite dimly lit. I can see from older reviews that the low lighting bothered some people but we felt that it was in keeping with the ‘desert fort’ style of the hotel. During the day the rooms were also quite dark due to fairly small inset windows and patio/balcony doors but again we felt that this suited the place.

Every day a bowl of fresh fruit, a box of stuffed dates, a box of chocolates, plenty of water and a newspaper were brought to the room. A large flat screen TV was hidden in a wall cupboard and there were several channels showing UK/American films. The bed was huge but quite hard and we both had backache every morning (our only problem with the room). The bathroom was lovely, again the walls were dusky pink bare plaster but little stencilled decorations and alcoves made it most attractive.

In general the hotel was unlike any other that we have been to and at first it was hard to see how it could be classed as 5 star as it was not slick and polished in style as are most similar class hotels. However, the design grew on us; we loved the seemingly endless little walkways around the sandy coloured ‘fort’, during the day they were cool and shady and at night subdued lanterns lit very corner and alleyway with soft warm light. The walkways are interspersed with plenty of green well tended garden areas and these were lit by hidden lights at night time.

Dinner or lunch were included in our tariff and we ate at both the Al Forsan (buffet restaurant where breakfast is served) and Masala (Indian). Both were good but Masala was spoilt by very bright lighting; this was a shame as it deterred you from lingering over the meal and enjoying the otherwise excellent atmosphere.

We wanted to go the Al Hadheerah, which is set a ten minute walk into the desert from the hotel, but the night we planned to do this there was a thunderstorm threatening and as some of the seating is outside we decided it would not be a good choice! However, before the rain started we walked along the pathway to this small fort-like restaurant which is set in a hollow in the sand dunes; it certainly looked most appealing and on another visit to Bab Al Shams we would book an evening there.

Every evening we visited the roof top Al Sarab Bar; it was full of atmosphere, with live Arabic music, the smell of hookah pipe smoke and lovely subdued lighting. Snack meals were available here and the staff were very friendly and very attentive.

The pool at Bab Al Shams is huge and nearly always very quiet, although on Saturday it was busier with what we thought were day visitors from Dubai.

The daily falconry display was worth a visit, it’s not often that you can get to see such beautiful birds of prey at such close quarters and for those with children the short camel ride in the desert was a big hit.

Overall we loved Bab Al Shams and would return there tomorrow if we could! I can understand how some people who only visit for a one or two night break might feel disappointed, especially if they are comparing with the slick Dubai city hotels, but I am sure that for most people a longer stay will allow them to settle into the atmosphere and then they too will enjoy the charms of this lovely desert hotel.

Room Tip: It seems that most first floor rooms have little view as the fronds of the palm trees obstruct the o...
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  • Stayed March 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mohamed A, General Manager at Bab Al Shams Desert Resort & Spa, responded to this review, April 26, 2014
Dear guest,

Thank you for taking the time to share your feedback in TripAdvisor with regards to your recent stay with us at Bab Al Shams Desert Resort & Spa.

I truly appreciate your comments and am very glad to learn that you had a wonderful stay overall.

However your points with the initial room allocation, our bed quality and the lighting in Masala are noted and discussed with the team to ensure necessary actions will be taken.

On the other hand, we are delighted with your kind acknowledgements of our high level of customer service provided by our team of incredible colleagues especially in Al Sarab Rooftop.

Once again, thank you and we look forward to welcoming you back in the near future.


Kind regards,

M. Aghoury
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
71 reviews 71 reviews
40 hotel reviews
Reviews in 43 cities Reviews in 43 cities
59 helpful votes 59 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 16, 2014

Stayed here for 4 nights after a week in Dubai. Love deserts and thought a short stay in 5* desert luxury would be different.

Bab feels like it’s built to remind you of an Arabic village, which it does, all shady passageways and little courtyards and no real logic to the layout – easy to get lost but that doesn’t last for long as Bab’s not that big. The rooms are a similar simple style which doesn’t work perfectly as they are a bit too dark and quite roughly finished inside – a design choice not shoddy work.

Rooms are comfortable enough and bathrooms have a large bath/shower which if full would be more of a small plunge pool.

Outside is spread out and the swimming pool area, magnificent! Noticed some comments about the pool temperature but have to be honest and say we didn’t really notice.

Restaurants were good especially the Indian Masala – worth a visit if you like Indian food but it’s not quite the same as experienced in the UK.

Does get busy during the weekend (esp Saturday) due to visitors from Dubai for the day so if you’re just visiting for a night or two try and arrange it for weekday(s).

Would have liked to wander into the desert more and although there’s nothing to stop you there are no paths, that we found, to point you in the right direction.

  • Stayed March 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mohamed A, General Manager at Bab Al Shams Desert Resort & Spa, responded to this review, April 26, 2014
Dear guest,

Thank you very much for taking the time to share your experiences at Bab Al Shams Desert Resort & Spa here in Tripadvisor!

We truly appreciate all your positive comments with regards to our great location, ambiance and facilities which were the key to the success of your stay.

At the same time, we have noted your recommendations and have discussed with the team for immediate rectifications.

Meanwhile, we look forward to welcoming you again, for another relaxing stay!


Kind regards,

M. Aghoury
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne, Australia
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 15, 2014

We had a wonderfully relaxing 2 night stay. Staff were friendly and very helpful and the resort itself, beautiful. We loved the setting, the style and the decor of the buildings and rooms. There were numerous restaurants to choose from ( all the ones we ate in were excellent) and the roof top bar at sunset is sensational. A unique, luxurious desert get away just a short trip from the heart of Dubai ( only 120 dirham in a taxi). We can't wait to go back.

  • Stayed April 2014, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mohamed A, General Manager at Bab Al Shams Desert Resort & Spa, responded to this review, April 26, 2014
Dear guest,

Thank you so much for sharing this very kind review about your recent experience at Bab Al Shams Desert Resort & Spa.

Our sole focus is to provide a flawless and excellent service to our valued guests, and to contribute towards a memorable experience at the resort. Therefore we are delighted to learn that you had gained wonderful memories during your visit.

Your kind review has been shared with everyone here and we are all looking forward to welcoming you again on your next visit to Bab Al Shams.


Kind regards,

M. Aghoury
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Bab Al Shams Desert Resort & Spa

Address: International Endurance City, 308th Rd | P.O Box 8168, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Location: United Arab Emirates > Emirate of Dubai > Dubai
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#8 Top resorts Hotel in Dubai
#35 Spa Hotel in Dubai
#44 Family Hotel in Dubai
#48 Luxury Hotel in Dubai
#52 Romantic Hotel in Dubai
#56 Business Hotel in Dubai
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:5 star — Bab Al Shams Desert Resort & Spa 5*
Number of rooms: 113
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
BAB AL SHAMS Bab Al Shams Desert Resort & Spa is an exclusive low rise resort, a unique retreat in the desert surrounded by natural desert landscape. The resort is an architectural wonder that seems to come to life in the middle of the shifting sands of ancient Arabia, providing a unique and traditional desert experience that is true to the culture and heritage of Dubai and the UAE.AL FORSAN RESTAURANT With its new location overlooking the Arabian Desert, Al Forsan Restaurant offers a refreshing and friendly ambiance to those who want to spend quality time with their families & friends and enjoy an exquisite buffet for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Featuring International Cuisine, the finest specialties of different cuisines to provide you with a variety of choices. AL HADHEERAH RESTAURANT: Experience the wide expanse of the desert and the magic of lively entertainment at Al Hadheerah, the region’s first open air traditional Arabic desert restaurant. As the resort’s signature restaurant, Al Hadheerah offers diners a unique experience with scenes straight out of an Arabian legend featuring belly dancers, live bands & a falcon display. LE DUNE PIZZERIA: With its vivid colors and earthly tones, Le Dune boasts a magical fusion of Arabic and Italian decor that offers a delightfully warm ambiance. The magical combination is vibrant at any angle, from the aged wooden furniture shipped from Italy, the traditional terracotta flooring, to Arabic lanterns add to the rustic ambiance. MASALA RESTAURANT: The exotic flavors of India have arrived in the deserts of Arabia in the form of Masala. Located in the heart of the hotel, Masala’s exquisite menu of Indian dishes slow-cooked in traditional style, with the ambiance of traditional Indian background music, is an enchanting compliment to Bab Al Shams Desert Resort & Spa. AL SARAB ROOFTOP LOUNGEA: Sarab rooftop lounge overlooking the Arabian desert, this two story rooftop bar embraces a breathtaking view that boasts amazing vistas during sunset. The rich Arabian design in soft earth colors, dimmed lanterns for a cozy ambiance and comfortable chairs and cushions, provide a friendly setting for a night to remember. AL SHUROUQ LOUNGE: Shurouq Lounge is an ideal place to relax in the majlis seating areas while admiring the stunning views of the boundless desert. Indulge your taste buds with a delicious mix of light bites, bar snacks, pizzas and lots more while enjoying the cocktail of your choice. POOL BAR: Pool bar with a view of the rolling desert is an ideal place to unwind during the day. Pool bar serves an a la carte menu offering a wide variety of snacks, cocktails, light meals and beverages. A spectacular panoramic view of the desert ensure total tranquility for both the guests. YA HALA BARY: a Hala reflects the traditional Arabian culture of comfort, charm and hospitality. Afternoon tea, as well as a variety of other drinks and snacks for the a la carte menu, can be enjoyed amidst the saddles and charming wooden furniture of the lounge, on the intimate terrace overlooking the water well. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Bab Al Shams Desert Resort And Spa
Bab Al Shams Desert Hotel Dubai

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