BET YOU DIDN'T KNOW
Al Maha, which is the Arabic name for Oryx, has always had a commitment to protecting local wildlife. In 1999, when the resort was established, the surrounding 27 square kilometres of desert land were set aside to help protect the various animals that are indigenous to the area. At this time, 70 endangered Arabian Oryx were released onto the land and some 6,000 native trees and shrubs were planted. The Oryx is the most visible sign of the reserve's success, as this swift and beautiful creature, which was hunted to the brink of extinction in the 1960s, has since made a comeback, thanks to the reserve. In 2002, Al Maha proposed the formation of a national park in the area, an idea that would be realized the following year.
In 2003, the Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve, 225 square kilometres, or 4.7% of Dubai's total land mass, was created. The following year, the first wildlife was released into the reserve, including Oryx, Sand Gazelles, Rueppell's Foxes, hares, the Ethiopian Hedgehog, and much more.
The Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve is a success story among wildlife reserves, with thousands of species thriving there. Al Maha's proximity to this reserve make staying there a truly special experience that combines the thrill of a safari adventure with the pristine relaxation of a luxurious spa stay.
MORE ABOUT THIS EXPERIENCE
The desert is a place for adventure, where you can ride a camel or a horse, cruise off-road through the dunes, see unique wildlife, and more. But where else besides the Al Maha Desert Resort and Spa, the only all-suite desert resort in the UAE, can you cut loose in the desert and then lounge poolside at a world-class resort? With this Lime&Tonic experience, you can follow up your desert adventure with day-long relaxation at the pool, lunch and a spa session.
Just an hour drive from the centre of Dubai, the Al Maha Desert Resort features a series of modern safari-style suites rising from the dunes of the Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve. Here you will embark on a desert adventure, taking a tour of the falconry mews, where dozens of birds of prey are kept, and then visiting the ponies and beautiful stallions in the resort's horse stables, before choosing two activities from Al Maha's wide range. If you have experience with horseback riding, you could climb on a friendly camel or horse and gallop through the sand, or, if you prefer a steel horse, take a wildlife drive through the towering dunes with an accomplished guide who might even point out a herd of Oryx or two! If you want to keep things to a slower pace, you can take a meditative nature walk through the beautiful reserve, which is home to thousands of desert species. Or, stay closer to home by practising your archery skills at the resort's range. By then it will be time for lunch, which the cordial staff at this eco-friendly resort will serve with a smile. Enjoy some fantastic, five-star organic cuisine from the luxurious Diwan Restaurant, along with the soft drink of your choice, and coffee or tea.
What you do next is up to you. You'll have full-day access to the resort, where you can lounge by the amazing pool, or explore the spa centre and gallery shop, as you'll have a 100 AED voucher that is valid for both. Get a massage or a facial, or purchase a unique desert souvenir from the intriguing collection of artefacts in the shop. This adventure and relaxation day at Al Maha is perfect for families, groups of friends, or couples looking to try something unique. So go on, get out of Dubai and into the wild, but don't forget to unwind afterward!