Staycation review: Bab Al Nojoum Al Mugheirah, nature and luxury collide
A great escape…
The term ‘escape’ is often used interchangeably with holiday. It can be deployed in the quite literal, geographical, sense – as in flying away to some distant dreamy shore. But escapes don’t have to come with jet lag. Destinations like Bab Al Nojoum Al Mugheirah offer near total immersion into the natural, default settings, side of the UAE. Located in Al Dhafra, around a 90-minute drive from downtown Abu Dhabi, the Al Mugheirah glamp site, is a low-impact facility – a pearl on the mangrove coast, with rugged, remote, wilderness all around it, and indeed inside it. It’s such a thorn-scrubbed contrast to city living, that it’s almost impossible to think of it as anything less than a truly great escape.
Look and Feel
Everything at Bab Al Nojoum Al Mugheirah has been designed to blend with the surrounding natural world, or at least not distract from it. Even the communal spaces are lowrise, ecologically respectful, wood-toned and endowed with an authentic earthy chic. Safari-core aesthetic is a recurring theme here, seen most playfully perhaps in the uniforms of the resort staff. But always with a conscious understanding that the Gaian spirit, is the main character.
You may be hundreds of kms from the nearest Nando’s, but because this is Abu Dhabi – remote, doesn’t mean remote from convenience. You can book into the slickly renovated classic silver Airstreams – with snug double beds, powerful air con and a genuinely surprising inventory of modern trappings (kettle, fridge, shower, toilet) arranged with the sort of efficient space-usage that feels innately Scandanavian. There are one and two-bedroom cabins, razzed-up shipping containers which in addition to mod cons also come with plunge pools. All accommodation options have a fire pit and bicycles for off-road exploration.
Bab Al Nojoum tends to attract guests who are seeking out an inbox sabbatical and want to plug directly into nature. And there’s plenty of that. Whether powered by foot or pedal, there are acres of fenced-off, sandy Savanna-esque terrain to roam through. You can go on nature trails through the neighboring mangroves, take part in a variety of wellness activities, and there’s a gorgeous outdoor pool to wallow in the shallows of.
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Food and drink
There are a few dining options on-site (and because of its distance from city lights, not a huge amount off-site). The brand’s Argentinian asado-inspired dining concept, 28 Degrees restaurant has an outpost here, and there’s a menu of classic bar snacks available at the pool. There are also locally-sourced picnic hampers available, a perfect romantic pairing for midnight stargazing.
Undiscounted rates for the double occupancy Airstreams start at around Dhs730, with all-inclusive options from around Dhs1.200 per night. Two bedroom cabin prices start at Dhs1,200 for bed and breakfast or Dhs2,200 for the all inclusive package.
Bab Al Nojoum Al Mugheirah, Al Marfa, Abu Dhabi. Tel: (0)2 895 3777. babalnojoum.com