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“A great Arabic experience!”

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Bab Al Shams Desert Resort & Spa
Ranked #49 of 554 Hotels in Dubai
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed September 3, 2012

We did not stay at the resort but enjoyed the open air restaurant. It is about 1 hour from Dubai CBD in the desert. It is not easy to find as on our 1st attempt our limo driver could not find it. The 2nd attempt was successful and we had a great Arabic experience, with a bar-b-q of great variety, including whole roast lamb, seafood, kebabs, a great variety of salads and hot Arabic foods. The sweets were many and incredible. The live show included music, "Cypriot" dancing, a belly dancer, a singer, and a show including horses, camels, and other animals. There was an Arabic cultural display, and we had the best time patting and handling the falcon, and riding on the camels and horses. Water pipes were available. It was quite expensive, including the photos, but gave us a good cultural experience.

  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank GrahamJBeenleigh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed September 2, 2012

The location is totally awesome...only 45 minutes drive from dubai.
The pool is huge and beautifully settled overlooking the desert. You can spend the whole afernoon there enjoying the food n beverages on the pool bar. Late afternoon, get ready for the falcon show and camel ridding - free entertainment for in house guest.
Al Hadheerah restaurant for dinner is the best choice. Enjoy selections of Arabic foods on the outdoor situated restaurant with belly dancing and arabic song entertained you as well as the horses show (unfortunately we missed it-better to check with the reception the exact time of the show).
overall- unforgettable experience..

Room Tip: Go for the full board package.
  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Alexza_princess
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 29, 2012

This resort is an interesting concept where you arrive and should plan to stay and enjoy the facilities. It is located miles from anywhere in the middle of the desert on the outskirts of Dubai. The price tag is high, but I think over-priced for the overall experience. I was trying to book from the UAE and could not get a good deal online. I emailed the hotel, but did not receive a reply. In the end, my companion managed to book an excellent deal from the UK, which included breakfast.

The resort is really geared up for families. There's plenty for children to do, such as archery and pony rides, plus the usual swimming pool. However, there's not much to do for adults. The restaurants were not particularly varied or inspiring, although I did enjoy a delicious risotto dish in Le Dune Pizzeria. We didn't try the famous Al Hadheerah (I've lived too long in the UAE). We didn't find the bar and I think that says something about the lack of information and appeal. Some live music at the very least would be more in keeping with the concept of a luxurious resort.

The breakfast buffet is good and compares well with other hotels in the area. The staff are very friendly and helpful. The pool area works well and we were given little snacks such as iced mango and cool towels while we sunbathed. The changing room areas are cramped, given that a lot of day visitors come to the resort.

The rooms echo the 'desert rustic' theme, but there is a difference between arty rustic and just not well finished. Unfortunately the latter is true of the resort. Small things were missing from the room, such as a nightlight and matches to go with the lovely lantern provided in the bathroom. It's the extra details that make the difference when paying so much money.

The best feature was the free demonstrations of falconry (although they used kestrels), the camels and horse-riding which happen every day around 5 pm. We felt privileged to get so close to the birds and I have a long-running passion for camels and can never be bored by them. The animal carers seemed to be devoted, but please don't make the mistake of thinking that they are Emirati. They were from Egypt.

There was quite a fuss when we checked in and it took a long time. Otherwise, we enjoyed our stay and left feeling very relaxed.

Room Tip: We asked for a top floor room as we'd read that we would have a desert view. There was a palm tr...
  • Stayed: April 2012, traveled with friends
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1  Thank mafimish
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 25, 2012

The best desert resort. Great for families as well as for corporate retreats. Nice getaway from the fast city life of Dubai. The open air restaurant is the best I have ever experienced. This is a really fun place.

  • Stayed: September 2011, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank Ibn_Butoota
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 22, 2012

I've been to Bab al shams many times & although it's around 45 min far from dubai into the deserts, I love the quiet location & atmosphere.
it's very romantic in the evenings you can have the dinner on the rooftop & everything is pure arabic style.

  • Stayed: September 2011, traveled as a couple
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Thank Mana_222
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 22, 2012

You are working in a very stressful job in Dubai, your boss is an overqualified idiot (am being polite). You hate your job and you gave up waiting for the light at the end of the day.
You can't take it anymore, and no vodka is good enough to make you forget. If you relate with the above, then am sure you know what it feels to suddenly disconnect without so much of an effort and drive only half an hour away from this hectic nightmare only to be mesmerized with this beautiful place, amazing service all time, crazy generous and annoyingly polite.

The good, the bad and the unacceptable:
Rooms are charmingly arabic, and spacious. TV is still CRT, which in my opinion gave it a nice touch, i don't know how :) (good)

My girl friend had a bad spa experience btw, but not so bad that we won't go again. (bad)

Pool is fantastic and the fact that you can just walk in to the desert is strange and nice at the same time, but the drinks at the pool are bad and need a lot of work. (unacceptable)

I can't believe that they cleaned my car! (amazing)

Room Tip: If you don't like stairs, then choose Delux rooms. Ask for late check out since you have to che...
  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank AlaaDemachkie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 21, 2012

Luckily we had full board package a day before Eid so we had everything on half price... staff, hotel, pools, resturant special Al Hadeerah was too good. It was bit uncomfortable dinner at Al Hadeerah as it was 40 degrees and my daughter was not letting me sit and eat anyways we enjoyed each and every moment their. Even resturant manager wants us to avail activities even after checkout but we were so tired after full day activities that we prefered to leave despite of his lovely offer.

Room Tip: Try to get full board package its like half of the price + spa and other activities are free in that...
  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled with family
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1  Thank Saeeda R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Bab Al Shams Desert Resort & Spa

Address: International Endurance City, 308th Rd, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Phone Number:
Location: United Arab Emirates > Emirate of Dubai > Dubai
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge 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:
#6 Top resorts Hotel in Dubai
#36 Spa Hotel in Dubai
#40 Business Hotel in Dubai
#44 Luxury Hotel in Dubai
#47 Family Hotel in Dubai
#53 Romantic Hotel in Dubai
Price Range: $230 - $920 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Bab Al Shams Desert Resort & Spa 5*
Number of rooms: 113
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Translated from Arabic as "Gateway to the sun", the *award-winning 5-star Bab Al Shams Desert Resort & Spa is designed to resemble a fortified rural Arab village amidst the desert landscape. Featuring low-rise architecture, this sandy coloured style fort boasts the main tower with Reception area and lobby and clusters of two-storey buildings housing guest accommodation, restaurants, spa and meeting facilities interconnected by seemingly endless little walkways. The charm of Arabia is personified in every corner of the property with small lanes running through the hotel, scattered around ponds and secluded seating areas, shaded courtyards, water fountains and trickling streams bestowing the feel of cool tranquillity. The abundance of green garden areas and manicured lawns adds to the quiet and soothing environment of the resort. The rustic Arabian theme of exterior design continues to flow in the carefully selected interior decorations and settings featuring uncovered natural stone floors, bare plastered walls, dark wood and iron fixtures, warm dimmed lighting and an abundance of artefacts showcased throughout the property. The resort boasts 113 rooms and suites offering cosy accommodation in an authentic Arabian style with majority of the rooms having a private terrace. All guest rooms and public areas have complimentary Wi-Fi access. *World's Leading Desert Resort, World Travel Awards. ... 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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