A perfect retreat in the middle of the desert…

Looking for a quick getaway this weekend? Al Faya Lodge, in Sharjah provides in every sense of the word. You’ll dine with camels, swim in the middle of the desert and so much more. For more last minute trips, check out our travel page.

Here’s what you need to know about Sharjah hotel – Al Faya Lodge.

The history

Unusually for the UAE, Al Faya Lodge boasts some pretty impressive historical credentials. The site used to be a medical clinic and petrol station, both built by the British in the ‘60s. Dubai and London-based practice Anarchitect took on the redesign but have stayed sensitive to the idiosyncrasies of the site, keeping features like the country’s first petrol pump.

The location

The lodge is over an hour’s drive from central Dubai, on the cusp of the Oman border. Hit the E44 and don’t stop until you see Fossil Rock – Al Faya is right next to it. On the plus side, the road trip will afford some serious desert views.

The look and feel

Imagine if Mad Max was set in the Middle East, with a splash of Americana thrown in. Head to the restaurant for the best views – you can sip coffee on the patio whilst admiring the odd herd of camels ambling through.

The facilities

A purpose-built building housing an open-air saltwater pool and three salt spa experiences is where you’ll spend most of your time. Shaded by a latticed wall, it is perhaps the most relaxing start to a day in the middle of nowhere. If you’re looking for more excitement the concierge can organise anything from quad biking to calligraphy lessons.

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The rooms

There are only four rooms, which are small but fitted out interestingly, with dark faux marble interiors and skylights for star-gazing. The best room is the master suite, which has its own roof terrace.

The food and drinks

Head across the zebra crossing via a golf buggy to the restaurant, which offers international options like avo on toast and burgers as well as mezze platters.

The room rates

The hotel is designed to be booked out in its entirety so guests can use the pool and spa in private – it would make for a great, laidback hen weekend. Otherwise, a deluxe room with breakfast is Dhs1,099 per night.


Words: Georgina Lavers
Photo credit: Fernando Guerra