Currently UAE is open in COVID-Era Travel and welcoming tourists from all countries including India with all safety measures in place.

Dubai and Abu Dhabi remains the most popular city Hubs, with Hotels and Resorts to cater to all traveller segments from budget (I don’t know) to Uber Luxury (Burj Al Arab, and the Emirates Palace).

But what if you are seeking options outside Dubai and Abu Dhabi, since you have been to these locations, and need to explore other emirates in the UAE like Ajman, Fujairah, Ras Al Khaimah, Sharjah and Umm Al Quwain or dunes and beaches around/near/outskirts of Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

Please note that at the time of writing this blog, Abu Dhabi maintains a 14-days quarantine requirement for incoming tourists. I hope this changes in days or weeks to come, if not months.

Rest of the Emirates only needs a negative COVID test as a requirement for incoming tourists. Please do check official ministry website of each Emirates before planning your trip, for most update information.

Below is a collection of such exclusive properties, which are off-beat, luxurious and experiential.


The Ritz-Carlton Ras Al Khaimah, Al Hamra Beach


The Ritz-Carlton Ras Al Khaimah, Al Hamra Beach offers a unique location surrounded by the Arabian Gulf yet only 45 minutes from Dubai Int Airport. This stunning resort offers 32 Beachfront Villas with private infinity pools overlooking the sea. With potential for VIP buy-outs, the resort has a private island for events as well as a large stretch of private beach for seafront events. This property is positioned as one of the most exclusive in the UAE.

The Ritz-Carlton Ras Al Khaimah, Al Wadi Desert


Just north of Dubai, The Ritz-Carlton Ras Al Khaimah, Al Wadi Desert invites guests to connect with nature and culture amid the beauty of a 1,235-acre protected preserve. The resort’s Experience Concierge can arrange a desert trek on camel- or horseback, a private archery lesson or an evening of stargazing. And luxury villas, inspired by Bedouin architecture, feature private outdoor pools and breathtaking desert views.

Inspired by traditional Bedouin tents, each villa offers its own pool, deck overlooking the desert, a spacious lounge area and a bathroom with floor-to-ceiling windows.


The Chedi Al Bait, Sharjah

Literally translated as ‘The Home,’ The Chedi Al Bait, Sharjah is a unique collection of five heritage houses once owned by local families who made an impact culturally, intellectually and politically on Sharjah’s history with innovative achievements in publishing, government and business.

Under the guidance of GHM, these carefully preserved historic structures along with newer buildings have been united and transformed into 53 elegant guestrooms and suites where Arabic influences meet the brand’s legendary Asian design elements.

Al Bait’s location in Sharjah is just ten miles from Dubai. The Chedi Al Bait not only stands as Sharjah’s first luxury resort, it also sets a new benchmark for the hospitality scene.

Mysk Kingfisher Retreat, Sharjah

Mysk Kingfisher is set on the east coast of Sharjah. The beauty of the pristine beach and Indian Ocean waters is matched perfectly by refined interiors of soft beiges, blues and desert browns that dress the resort. Arrive on a private boat that will take you to your private island with a modern tent and its own private pool designed to provide comfort, privacy and amazing views of the Indian Ocean.

It consists of 20 tents. The design is set to provide comfort, privacy and amazing views of the Indian Ocean, each with its own private pool and barbeque. The tents are all equipped with the best facilities for your utmost comfort.


The Oberoi Beach Resort, Al Zorah

Al Zorah is a unique, luxury eco-destination in Ajman, with long, white sand beaches, azure lagoons and lush, green mangroves.

The newest of luxury resorts in Ajman, Al Zorah is The Oberoi Beach Resort situated just 35 minutes from Dubai and is entered on private roads. It occupies a prime location within the Al Zorah eco destination is The Oberoi Beach Resort, Al Zorah.

Unique amongst luxury hotels in Ajman, The Oberoi Beach Resort, Al Zorah boasts a sophisticated design set within mangrove forests, caressed by the gentle sea breeze and in harmony with nature.

The Oberoi Beach Resort, Al Zorah offers spacious 56 rooms, 18 suites and 15 villas (Total 89 rooms) with private balconies, while the villas have private, temperature controlled pools. In the hotel’s chic indoor and al fresco restaurants, guests can enjoy the finest, nutritional, international cuisine while taking in panoramic ocean vistas.


Al Wathba, a Luxury Collection Desert Resort & Spa, Abu Dhabi

Deep within the desert landscape lies Al Wathba, a Luxury Collection Desert Resort & Spa, Abu Dhabi – an intimate retreat suffused with natural beauty and serene tranquility. With a distinct Spa as the hallmark of the hotel experience, guests can rebalance their equilibrium and embark on an individual wellness journey.

Inspired by classical dwellings, the boutique resort’s 103 guest rooms and villas feature timeless local details, traditional artwork, and Arabesque accessories, alongside a range of dining destinations showcasing the dunes to panoramic perfection. Step away from it all into an exclusive natural environment, with the space to reconnect and the freedom to lose yourself.

It’s 28 kms from Abu Dhabi airport.

Qasr Al Sarab

Set within the Liwa Desert, part of Abu Dhabi’s Empty Quarter, Qasr Al Sarab is a secluded retreat with architecture akin to an ancient desert fort. It offers a spectacular setting amongst beautiful orange sand dunes and offers a real feel of Arabia.

Qasr Al Sarab is located just 90 minutes from Abu Dhabi city and features stylish accommodation with tasteful Arabian style décor all of which has stunning views over the dunes.

They offer 140 rooms, 14 suites and 52 pool villas. Rooms are large and in low-rise buildings either on the ground floor or first floor and some have the ability to interconnect for families. For those who want a more private space then the one, two and three bedrooms are perfect and come with their own butler service and private pool.

Zaya Nurai Island

The boutique private island resort of Zaya Nurai Island is located off the shores of Abu Dhabi on Nurai Island and can be reached with the help of a 15-minute boat ride from Saadiyat Island.

The uber-luxurious property features a world-class oceanside spa, five fine and casual food and beverage outlets, a beach club, and a wide range of exceptional activities on land and on the sea.

The 32-bed all-villa hotel also hosts 23 private residences as well as water villas. The individual beachfront villas are spread over 260 square metres. Each home is complemented with a dedicated pool in a private outdoor space of 130 square metres. They also feature the latest amenities along with dining and dedicated butler service.

For families, the six-bedroom Beach Estates are ideal. The secluded abodes are surrounded by sweeping grass canopies and enjoy private beaches and breathtaking views of the ocean. Smaller groups of guests can opt for the one or the two-bedroom beach villas that offer luxury amenities and superior space.

Sir Bani Yas Island

One island. Three distinct experiences.

  1. Escape to an iconic fortress-style hotel overlooking the Arabian Gulf.
  2. Live out your dreams of wildlife adventure from rustic lodge luxury in the heart of the island.
  3. Admire flocks of flamingos gathering at the mangrove lagoon, and walk on white-sand beach in front of your private villa.

With three Anantara retreats on the island, guests can indulge in luxurious five-star accommodation at Desert Islands Resort & Spa by Anantara, enjoy beach-front seclusion at Anantara Al Yamm Villa Resort on the eastern shores, and breathtaking natural beauty at Anantara Al Sahel Villa Resort.

The family-friendly 64-room Desert Islands Resorts & Spa by Anantara was originally built as Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan’s guesthouse, and later converted into the island’s first hotel.

The 30-key Anantara Al Sahel Villa Resort was next to open. A haven in grasslands, it offers a lush, green, verdant vista, alive with strutting peacocks and skipping gazelles. Disney animations spring to mind; Snow White would look at home here. Afternoon tea among the trees with a sideshow by Mother Nature is an unadulterated joy.

Anantara’s postcard-perfect triptych is completed by Al Yamm Resort, which also features 30 luxury villas, but these are set on the beach, giving guests an opportunity to can get up close and personal with the local marine life – small sharks and stingray star on these shores.

Hotel staff can arrange many an adventure for guests, including sea kayaking expeditions and shipwreck dives. Experienced horseback riders are even permitted to trot through the wildlife park. We’re assured the resident cheetahs won’t attempt to eat anything bigger than them.


Al Maha, a Luxury Collection Desert Resort and Spa

Al Maha, a Luxury Collection Desert Resort & Spa, Dubai is a luxurious collection of Bedouin tent-style suites within a desert conservation reserve on the outskirts of Dubai, just 45 minutes away driving.

It is an opulent oasis of serene comfort and Arabian style in the middle of the Al Maha desert. Bedouin tents become lavishly-appointed guest suites with their own private chilled pools and spectacular views as vast and far as the eye can see.

Elegant social areas abound, including a comfortable and inviting library of deep rich wooden tones, an open and airy hotel lounge filled with traditional artifacts that makes for the ideal convening post before and after the day’s activities, and an intimate and leisurely bar for a late afternoon respite from the desert heat.

The Suites at Al Maha blend gently into the desert and offer unsurpassed luxury. They are beautifully furnished with a unique collection of authentic Arabian artifacts and antiquities.

The resort features 42 exclusive suites each with its own pool and deck, overlooking the endless sand dunes and wilderness of Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve.


“Magic Private Camps” combine the experience of a traditional caravan campsite, a tradition of the Bedouins dating back to prehistoric times, with the comfort of high luxury accommodation.

The mobile tents are set up exclusively for you, equipped with exquisite and inviting Arabian interiors, including a private bathroom and shower. Up to 15 tents, for private groups only.

Spend the day riding camels or surfing the sand dunes, then return for a delicious gourmet meal, prepared just for you with fresh local ingredients, and an evening under an infinite starry sky.

Lavender scented candles and oil lamps create a soothing atmosphere for a good night’s sleep in your freshly made and plush bed, equipped with a duvet and pillows. The tents are stocked with Berber textiles and plush mattresses for perfect sleep, with flickering lanterns reading, though the best light show happens overhead with glorious views of the desert sky.

Magic Camps believe in sustainable travelling, and have therefore chosen to use solar energy, limit water wastage and use dry toilets, making all “Magic Private Camps” eco-friendly.

How to Book:

You can book with Experiential Travel Journeys Pvt. Ltd., a boutique travel design company based out of New Delhi, and preferred partners for all of above Hotels.

– Amit Kalsi, Private Travel Designer

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