Exclusive reveal: ULA, Ras Al Khaimah
A bohemian breeze has just made landfall on this RAK island…
ULA was undoubtedly one of our favourite new chapters in the Dubai’s leisure story last year.
Found on Palm Jumeirah, it’s a destination with a keen eye for details, drawing on a natural colour palette with organic, driftwood aesthetics.
Spun between pool and beach, ULA features a seductive Mediterranean (mainly Greek) menu with bespoke signature cocktails and an authentic earthy feel, that plugs you directly into that same passionate, vital energy that flows through the bohemian haunts of Mykonos, Tulum and the Balearic Islands.
There was absolutely zero surprise therefore when it became an instant hit with the city’s vibe tribe. And even less surpirse that a 2.0 would quickly become a matter of ‘when’ not ‘if’.
Earlier this year, the team behind the concept, Solutions Leisure Group (who are also responsible for giving us Asia Asia, LSB, STK and more) broke the news that the next pin drop in the ULA empire, would be at the brand new, box-fresh Movenpick Resort Al Majran Island, in Ras Al Khaimah.
But can it ever match the dizzying heights of the original? We went along for an exploratory exclusive preview, to find out.
Fresh off the RAK
ULA Ras Al Khaimah is cut from the same wood, linen and macrame cloth as its Dubai desert island counterpart, but with more space, conviction and self-awareness, it feels very much like an upgrade.
It’s an adults-only attraction, set along a 300 metre peninsula of private beach and serenaded by an easy soundtrack of Ibizan-style, low-fi, atmospheric beats.
The ever-so-slightly cooler temps in Rak meant, despite our visit being at the business end of the July chaleur, we were comfortable taking lunch outdoors. In any case, should the humidity creep up a little too far, the venue’s dedicated, shimmering-turquoise infinity pool is centrally located, putting it within easy dipping distance from anywhere on the floorspace.
We set up shop at the bar. The centrepiece to which is a grand Mediterranean tree. Instead of stools, there are swings — more sociable than a hammock, more whimsical than a high chair. And it’s the little touches like this throughout the AC-cooled interior and expansive bohemian sun deck exterior that really confirm this new spot as something special.
This outpost of ULA has brought with it, the connoisseur’s collection of signature cocktails (if you’re a fan of spicy margs or palomas, we highly recommend the Jalisco (Dhs65)) and breezy predominantly European menu. We tried the woodfire mixed grill, which comes with select beef and chicken souvlaki, lamb chops, chips, tzatziki and flat bread for gyro projects (Dhs190). It’s big enough for two (or one if you’ve got an appetite and can fend off grabbing hands), and full of authentic, Greek plate-smashing flavour. It’s a big Ula-la-la from us.
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Postcards from paradise
There’s free access for guests of the Movenpick Resort Al Majran Island. But if you’re staying elsewhere in RAK or making the scenic one-hour road trip from Dubai, you can actually get hold of a ULA Ras Al Khaimah Pool Pass for just Dhs150 on weekdays, or Dhs250 on weekends (Dhs350 on public holidays). It’s partly redeemable on food and beverages and gets you access to the pool, beach, a sunbed and towels.
If you’re staying for dinner you can embark on an ULA taste safari with a three-course set menu the chef-curated favourites, alongside two select drinks per person. And the total price for all this? Just Dhs500 per couple, available every evening from 6pm.
Making a stay of it
To celebrate the launch, Ula is collaborating x Movenpick Resort Al Majran Island — for a staycation weekender like no other. the ‘Ula Escape’ package is valid for stays between July and September, this special Dhs1,000 per couple package entitles you to a one night stay in a double room, breakfast, two sunbeds at Ula on Saturday and Sunday, a bottle of grape and the Ula Experience menu.
Movenpick Resort Al Marjan Island, Marjan Island Boulevard, Al Marjan Island, Ras Al Khaimah. Tel: (07) 246 0199, ularasalkhaimahdubai.com