While most people are probably familiar with Dubai, the crown jewel of UAE tourism, you may not know that there’s a hidden gem of a destination just an hour-and-half drive north: Ras al-Khaimah. This spot ended up being my favorite part of my UAE trip. As soon as we got to the Ritz-Carlton Al Wadi Desert, hubs and I knew we made a mistake by only booking two nights. We were scrambling to figure out how we could squeeze in more nights out of this trip. But of course that was impossible since we’re trying to fit in a whole country within one week.
Originally we were supposed to go Maldives for our babymoon, but silly me I didn’t realize it was a Zika-risk area. So at the last minute we changed our destination to UAE. But even with the change, I knew I still wanted a “chill by the pool” experience to be part of our trip. I also thought since I’m already in UAE, some kind of desert glamping experience would be really cool. While you definitely can’t categorize this accommodation as any type of camping, I did stay in a tented suite (that counts for something, right?).
Hey don’t get me wrong, I love the hustle and bustle of cities. I am a New Yorker, after all. But I think precisely because I live in New York City is the reason why I am more into vacation spots that is more “off the beaten path” and away from the crowd. This place definitely fits the bill for a secluded R&R. I lined up a few activities in the surrounding area for while we’re there. But as it turns out that this place is so fabulous and has so many activities within the resort that I never even bothered leaving. There’s actually so much to do that there was no way I could fit it into a three-day visit (although admittedly some of them, like desert dune bike tour, isn’t exactly preggo-friendly).
Here is just a sampling of the activities you can partake in:
- Chill by the pool while watching Oryxes walk through your desert “backyard”
- Get pampered at the spa, with treatments ranging from massage to the rain room
- Watch a falcon show (and get some bad ass photo opp while you’re at it)
- Have a baller private romantic dinner in the dessert (or if you really want to impress your significant other, you can even rent one of the desert towers)
- Do a camel ride followed by a desert picnic (super sad I couldn’t do this since my doctors said absolutely no camel ride for preggo ladies)
- Release your inner Katniss with some archery lessons (private and night sessions available)
- Bike and explore the vast resort grounds, and find some great desert photo ops (complimentary; guided rides available)
- Get in touch with Mother Earth with some nature and bird-watching walks
- Get in touch with Mother Earth the
lazyeasy way with nature drives (12-hour advance booking required)
- Get romantic with and go on a night walk
- Get friendly with the horses and camels on a table tour
- Stargaze like a pro with the help of a professional astronomer
Ok I’m not even sure that list was all inclusive and I might be missing some.
I definitely already have future plans on coming back and this time I’m staying way longer than two-nights.
As soon as I stepped in this lobby, I immediately panicked about how short my stay is going to be.
Your first view as soon as your walk into the room, confirming my initial suspicion that no stay will be long enough.
Talk about privacy, there’s nothing but the desert (and sometimes random roaming birds, cats and oryxes) on your backyard
Where would you like to hang out today?
Does a tented suite count as glamping?
The bathroom that I’m pretty sure is bigger than my New York City apartment.
I know what you’re thinking, this photo is missing champagne in that bucket.
Secluded desert photo ops is just a leisure bike ride away.
Definitely cannot stay here without watching the falcon tour.
They’ve got horses and camels on property that made me want to come back (when I’m not pregnant and can actually ride them).
Looking for more UAE trip guides? Check out my other posts: