6 GCC Staycations Every UAE Resident Should Try

Staycations are a quintessential part of the life of most people living in Dubai. With a plethora of hotels to choose from in the UAE itself and the GCC, there is never a shortage of good choices. Over the past year or so, I had the privilege of staying at some of the most amazing hotels in the region. I will list them below and provide links for detailed reviews that I wrote of them.

  1. For the foodies: The Oberoi Beach Resort, Al Zorah, Ajman

As a big foodie myself, I’d be hard pressed to think of a UAE hotel that has better food than this one. Located in the often overlooked Ajman, The Oberoi Beach Resort, Al Zorah, Ajman is a haven of beautiful beaches, an even more beautiful swimming pool, and some seriously good food. Read more about it in my review.

  1. For the exclusivity: The Ritz-Carlton Ras Al Khaimah, Al Hamra Beach

One of two Ritz Carlton properties in Ras Al-Khaimah, this resort is the epitome of luxurious exclusivity. With private swimming pools, direct beach access, and spacious villas, I dare you to find a reason to leave the room other than to their AMAZING spa of course. Read more about it in my review.

  1. For the escape from it all: Anantara Al Jabal Al Akhdar Resort, Oman

Being the highest luxury hotel in the Middle East does have its perks! The location of Anantara Al Jabal Al Akhdar Resort is so idyllic that the late Princess Diana once made a visit here in 1986. The point where she once stood is now the perfect location to admire the valleys and canyons below you or even have a private, special dinner. Oh and did I mention that it is always cooler there than the rest of the Gulf? Read more about it in my review.

  1. For desert lovers: The Ritz-Carlton Al Wadi Desert, Ras al Khaimah

An oasis in the middle of the sprawling desert, this resort is located on 500 hectares most of which is a natural reserve that is home to various desert animals and to luxurious villas each with its own private swimming pool. The hotel has dozens of activities you could do in the desert, many of which involve direct contact with the animals they have on site. Very few things are more relaxing than chilling in the pool while watching a herd of oryxes gallivanting around. Read more about it in my review.

  1. For nature lovers: Al Baleed Resort Salalah by Anantara, Oman

A oasis that is located between the beach and a natural lagoon, it is easy to draw similarities between this place and Sri Lanka, Seychelles, and other tropical paradises. With endless beach views and private pools, this resort is the perfect starting point to discover Salalah, an incredible land that is unparalleled in the Gulf region. Read more about it in my review.

  1. For a real hidden gem (and tiramisu lovers!): Meliá Desert Palm

I visited this place before it rebranded to Melia Desert Palm, but this hotel has one of the most amazing locations in Dubai. Its motto is “relaxation meets elegance” and the hotel definitely delivers on its promise with vast lush areas of greenery, beautiful and spacious rooms, and – wait for it – a large polo field where you can catch a game or two during your stay. Bonus points to this place for having what I believe is Dubai’s best tiramisu! Read more about it in my review.


Still on my bucket list are:

Zaya Nurai, Abu Dhabi

Four Seasons Kuwait

Kempinski Muscat

Anantara Qasr Al-Sarab

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Bvlgari Resort Dubai