This was a shot in the dark: a trip to go diving in the Emirates without the big city distractions. What an excellent choice it proved to be! This is a friendly, devout country with a young but growing tourist industry. We took advantage of being in a Muslim country to detox with a wonderful selection of fruit juices (though alcohol was available in some places).
The hotel is situated in the centre, a short journey from the beach. The staff speak a variety of languages, but the manager has excellent English and he ensured that our stay was filled with memorable experiences including visits to the historical sites, a dune safari, very good diving, visits to the local markets - the cleanest we've seen anywhere, and the hotel arranged transfers from Dubai airport.
The apartments are huge, beds are comfortable, kitchens more than adequate and air-conditioning powerful. There are lifts to all floors, a decent restaurant and lovely rooftop swimming pool. You quickly get used to the Muezzin and flights from the local airport are infrequent and unintrusive.
We went in February when the weather is perfect for touring. The local eateries are welcoming with quality and quantity of local dishes. Four of us ate regularly for £15 in total. The chain restaurants are more expensive but still good value. Supermarkets are well stocked and cheap. Petrol is £1 a gallon if you're driving. We will certainly be returning. For late night treats, Baskin Robbins is open until after midnight only 100yds from hotel.
The only down side is that, with flights to Dubai so cheap now, it's becoming difficult to book. Highly recommended.
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