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 tranquillity 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 Dhs575, 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 Dhs575. Tel: (04) 832 9900. 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

SEDR Trailers Resort


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Hatta has long been a popular camping spot for Dubai’s residents, and in recent years the mountains have seen some new and exciting developments. Sedr is no exception, being the first air streamer hotel in the area. Guests can enjoy a luxurious stay along the banks of Hatta Dam, with all Airstreamers being complete to hotel standards with WIFI, TV, hairdryers and even a minibar. Escape the city and feel immersed in nature without compromising on the luxuries of a comfy bed and running water.

Sedr Trailers at Hatta Resorts, Hatta, Dubai, from Dhs975, Tel: (0)4 852 2200,

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 an 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.

JA Hatta Fort Hotel, Hatta, rates from Dhs624 per person including breakfast. Tel: (04) 814 5400. More info on website

Moon Retreat, Sharjah

Only two hours from Dubai, Moon Retreat by Mysk offers a peaceful beacon of tranquillity to escape to. Surrounded by nothing but desert, serene skies, and the wonderful noises of nature, this desert glamping retreat serves as a small sanctuary. Perfect for a romantic getaway, or a family weekend, you and your loved ones can enjoy the desert by day and canopy of stars by night. Prices start at Dhs1,670 for a glamping dome or tent with a terrace, BBQ facilities, and a private pool.

Moon Retreat by Mysk, Umm Al Quwain Rd, Sharjah, from Dhs1,670, Tel: (0)6 804 0404,