From lush restaurants to wow-worthy desert escapes…

Dubai may be most commonly known as a towering urban city brimming with skyscrapers, but if it’s peaceful tranquility you’re after, there’s still plenty of that to be found too.

From rural escapes to luxury desert resorts, we’ve rounded up five spots you wouldn’t believe were in Dubai.

The Farm, Al Barari

Inside Al Barari, the botanic residential community on the outskirts of Dubai, you’ll find healthy eating restaurant, The Farm. A leafy, tranquil oasis, we recommend you book ahead early on weekends, as this place quickly packs out with breakfasters. As well as serving up wholesome food for breakfast, lunch and dinner, The Farm frequently houses pop-up markets, cooking classes and child-friendly activities.

The Farm, Al Barari, daily 7.30am to 10.30pm. Tel: (04) 392 5660. More info on website

Al Maha

An hour out of Dubai you’ll find the Al Maha resort, tucked away deep in the desert. This stunning desert oasis is home to individual villas complete with their own pools, a main resort area which is home to an all-day dining restaurant which overlooks the desert planes and a relaxing spa featuring single and couple treatment rooms, a jacuzzi and picturesque outdoor pool which faces out over the sprawling desert dunes. Head down for a pool day which includes three course lunch for Dhs325, or check in for a luxury stay-cay, where your neighbours will include Arabian Oryx and gazelles.

Al Maha Desert Resort, Dubai Desert, pool passes from Dhs325. Tel: (04) 832 9900. More info on website

Bab Al Shams Resort & Spa

Another resort around just shy of an hour from the centre of Dubai, Bab Al Shams is all about stripped back Arabian luxury. One of Dubai’s best known spots for a luxury staycation, Summer is a great time to check it out – as they’re currently offering discounted rates from Dhs550 and 50 per cent off food and drink.  There’s plenty to do in the surrounding area from nature walks to camel rides, but don’t miss out on the opportunity to explore the resort itself. The tranquil spa is a great place to relax, or head to dinner where you’ll be entertained by belly dancers, tanoura dancers and horse displays.

Bab Al Shams Resort & Spa, Al Quadra Road, Dubai Desert, rates from Dhs550. Tel: (04) 809 6498. More info on website

Melia Desert Palm Dubai

Located among the sprawling 160-acre Desert Palm Polo Club  you’ll find Desert Palm Dubai. Recently taken over by Melia Hotels and rebranded as Melia Desert Palm Dubai, you’ll find the resort near to Dubai Safari Park. Inside the green oasis, room rates start from Dhs830 for a standard deluxe room, all the way up to Dhs3,325 for a three-bedroom villa, which has it’s own pool. Check ahead, as you may be able to catch a game of polo from Rare, the oak-wood fired restaurant which overlooks the polo field.

Melia Desert Palm Dubai, Al Awir Road, Dubai, rates from Dhs830. Tel: (04) 323 8888. More info on website

JA Hatta Fort

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Surrounded by the stunning Al Hajar Mountains, JA Hatta Fort Hotel is a mere hour’s escape from Dubai. There’s a range of accommodation options, and plenty to do whether you’re looking for a relaxing retreat or action-packed adventure. On site, there’s tennis, archery and shooting, plus the Al Hajar mountains and Hatta Dam on your doorstep for some adrenaline, or pamper yourself at the spa and take a dip in the resorts super sized swimming pools if you’d rather just chill. Plus, this summer, you can get 30 per cent off your rate with the code JAX30.

JA Hatta Fort Hotel, Hatta, rates from Dhs625 per person including breakfast (excluding discount). Tel: (04) 814 5400. More info on website

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