This desert oasis offers sophisticated style, a nature reserve and a private beach.
When we think of the desert, we rarely think of water. But the Banyan Tree Al Wadi offers the best of two worlds: desert and beach. A less than two-hour drive from Dubai, this luxury oasis sits in the vast sands of the Wadi Khadeja and features private access to the Banyan Tree Ras Al Khaimah Beach, where guests can snorkel, water-ski, fish and sail in the waters of the Arabian Gulf. The resort takes its inspiration from nomadic living, and the villas are stylized tributes to Bedouin tents, each elegant, romantic accommodation with its own pool. The Banyan Tree brand is known for its spas, and this outpost won’t disappoint. As well, it offers a wealth of activities, including horseback riding, camel treks and the Middle East’s first ever falconry course. For dining, adventurous palates will appreciate Western- and Arabian-style barbecues, Arabian specialties at Al Waha and Thai cuisine at the signature Safran restaurant. In addition, couples can enjoy a private meal at the secluded Safran Tower, complete with personal chef and butler. As for evening cocktails, guests can choose between the sexy Samar Lounge and atmospheric al fresco Moon Bar. The resort sits on a nature reserve, which is home to many varieties of wildlife, including three re-introduced antelope species. Don’t be surprised to see some of these beautiful creatures wandering among the villas as they make their way to drink at the Safran watering hole.