Over the past decade the UAE has experienced a cultural transformation, with its two main cities blossoming into magnificent international metropoles. Now holding a skyline of stunning hotels, choosing somewhere to stay can be a little daunting in both Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Discover 10 of the best hotels in these two bustling cities that stand out for their design, architecture, dining and culture.
The Burj Al Arab is set on a manmade island just off of the Abu Dhabi coast, and is connected to the rest of society by its own private bridge. The interior of this restaurant is staggering; each room is decorated with such care and precision that will make you stop in your tracks with awe. When viewing the hotel from afar it looks like a tall boat (very tall, as it is the world’s fourth tallest hotel) bobbing on the sea’s surface. Stepping through the entrance into the lobby, craning one’s neck to see the 590 foot tall atrium will bring about a true appreciation of the structure’s immense height. Inside, doors are painted with exquisite detailing, carpets are carefully woven into intricate designs, surfaces gleam with beauty and each room is coordinated down to the last plug socket.
Burj Al Arab, Jumeirah Beach Road, Jumeirah 3, Bur Dubai, UAE, +971 4 301 7777
Arguably one of the finest hotels in the UAE, the Emirates Palace is literally fit for royalty. The long road leading up to the hotel entrance prepares you for the grandeur ahead, but you really cannot get to grips with the pure luxury of the hotel until you are inside. Within a traditional palatial setting, the hotel is decked out with the most opulent features like a vending machine that dispenses gold. Especially notable are the hotel’s restaurants; one of which, Hakkasan, serves the finest Chinese cuisine within a very stylish setting. In October 2011, Hakkasan’s sister restaurant in London’s Mayfair was awarded its first Michelin star, making Hakkasan at the Emirates Palace one of the most revered hotel restaurants in Abu Dhabi.
Anantara’s Qasr Al Sarab resort really is a desert oasis. Located within one of the largest sand deserts in the world, the Liwa Desert, the resort’s features are distinctly Arabian and this is true of the decor running throughout. Far from an eyesore, against the desert landscape the structure looks magnificent, and hints of modernity are in the form of carefully placed palm trees that are dotted around a glistening blue pool. The food alone here is well worth the visit as the Qasr Al Sarab offers up some of the finest Middle Eastern cuisine to be found. In addition, the spa offers services that hail from a selection of ancient cultures such as Thai treatments and Arabian body wraps, that will leave the body feeling renewed.