Staycation season never left…

It starts with the summer staycation(s), but it doesn’t end there. With glorious winter weather, now more than ever is the perfect time to head out on a sweet staycation with the folks or the friends.

Many hotels in the country offer luxury personified – beach resorts, desert resorts, urban oases and ultra-opulent locations that will spoil you in the best way possible. But we all know the drill – a suite, a pool, a spa and a breakfast buffet – that’s now the standard. Begone boring staycations, and hello unique experiences that will delight and fascinate the whole family.

Here are 10 unique staycations to book this season.

Mysk Moon Retreat by Sharjah Collection

This staycation will take you into the heart of the desert for a night of glamping under the stars. The properties in Sharjah Collection blend nature and culture in a way that reflects sustainable environmental practices. The Moon Retreat features sci-fi movie material dome-shaped tents that look like they belong on Mars amid the Mleiha dunes, where you can stay and catch a stunning view of the night sky.

Amenities: private pool, sun loungers, barbecue station

Mysk Moon Retreat by Sharjah Collection, Umm Al Quwain Road, Al Ruwaida, Sharjah, Tel: (0)6 804 0404, 

Pool Villa in Ras Al Khaimah

This stunning vacation rental is located in Jebel Jais, Ras Al Khaimah, but as soon as you step foot inside, you will be transported to a boho-beach haven. The luxurious minimalist all-white villa looks an awful lot like the streets of Santorini, with a crystal blue private pool, woven straw decor and billowing curtains that add the finishing touches to this beach paradise. It’s the perfect getaway for families and will give you just the scenic break you need.

Amenities: private pool, luxury buffet, breakfast, sun loungers

Pool Villa, Jebel Jais, Ras Al Khaimah, @poolvilla.jebeljais

Bedouin Oasis in Ras Al Khaimah

This is an authentic Bedouin camping experience. Bedouin Oasis provides a wide range of options for staycations, including family tents, chalets for couples and elevated glamping experiences. Located in the desert, guests can live the traditional Bedouin experience with all the modern comforts and thrilling desert activities. Choose from private safaris, overnight stays and personal camping spaces. Fun activities include dune bashing, camel riding, quad biking, sandboarding, archery, falconry, and horse riding. There’s even a cute campfire.

Amenities: private tents, air-conditioning, spa treatments

Bedouin Oasis, Ras Al Khaimah,

Hatta Resorts


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For a true taste of life in the great, big outdoors, Hatta Resorts is the perfect place. Glamping personified, this space offers a variety of camping options. Choose from the Sedr Trailers – luxury trailers along the banks of Hatta Dam – with an open-air seating space, Damani Lodges for that cosy, cabin experience, dome tents and a caravan with luxury RVs. Whichever accommodation you choose, it’s the perfect way to experience the natural beauty of the natural park, take in the stunning surrounding views and relax in nature.

Amenities: air-conditioning, Wi-Fi, entertainment systems, microwave

Hatta Resorts, Hatta Wadi Hub, Dubai, Tel: (0)4 820 5500,

Kingfisher Retreat by Sharjah Collection

The Kingfisher Retreat is no less than a sanctuary, nestled among the mangroves. The site has a conservation hub that shelters exotic birds, gazelles, turtles, and crabs. It’s accessible only by private boat and is smack dab in the midst of some of the UAE’s most exotic wildlife. It’s a great break from the typical desert staycations that are so popular here and you’ll find all the luxury you need. Opulent tents with private pools and bespoke dining – it’s as luxurious as it gets. It’s so popular, that it is in the process of expanding to increase the number of tents in the space. Read more here.

Amenities: private pool, dining

Kingfisher Retreat by Sharjah Collection, Corniche Road, Sharjah, Tel: (0)6 801 2020, 

Pura Eco-Retreat on Jubail Island


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For all the wellness lovers out there – Pura Eco-Retreat will be your haven. This serene boho-chic destination is all about holistic wellness and being one with nature, and you can choose from minimalist cosy domes and authentic tiki tents for that hands-on camping experience. It’s the perfect way to get away from the noise of the city, escape, recharge and rejuvenate. Here, you can slow down, participate in yoga, kayaking, biking, bird watching and private dinners, and witness the natural beauty of the capital.

Pura Eco-Retreat, Jubail Island, Abu Dhabi, Tel: (0)50 383 7878, 

Overnight Safari by Arabian Adventures

This all-inclusive overnight desert safari is a UAE staycation must. Camp out in a deluxe tent on a raised platform with a world of amenities and experiences to complete your stay. Included in the package is a thrilling dune drive, camel ride, walking night safari, waiter service, set menu BBQ dinner, traditional shisha pipe, unlimited soft drinks, premium beverage package and a gin bar and hot breakfast.

Amenities: breakfast, waiter service, pick-up and drop-off

Arabian Adventures, Tel: (800) 272 2426, 

Al Maha, A Luxury Collection Desert Resort & Spa

Al Maha’s 42 Bedouin-inspired villas are dotted throughout the dunes and are roughly a 45-minute drive from Dubai. Regular Bedouin suites come with one bedroom, while the Royal and Emirates suites have two, and the Presidential suite houses three grand bedrooms. At Al Maha, you’ll also find a rooftop bar perfect for stargazing, an a la carte restaurant and an instantly-relaxing spa. Activities on offer include archery, desert drives and nature walks.

Amenities: spa, temperature-controlled pool, archery, nature walks

Al Maha, Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve, from Dhs3,660. Tel: (0)4 832 9900.

Mysk Al Badayer Retreat in Sharjah

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If what you’re looking for is adventure, serenity and a dose of Emirati culture, this is the perfect staycation. Aside from rooms of different categories, this eco-minded desert resort has a collection of seven one bedroom private tents with a pool and three two bedrooms private tents with a pool. The resort also offers customised desert experiences such as dune bashing, quad biking, horse riding, and desert safaris.

Amenities: private pool, desert safari, choice of bedrooms

Mysk Al Badayer Retreat, Al Badayer Oasis, Sharjah, private pool tents from Dhs2,020. Tel: (06) 556 0777.

Anantara Santorini in Ghantoot

The breathtaking Anantara Santorini Abu Dhabi Retreat, where Aegean vibes meet Emirati elegance to create a paradise unlike any other is a secluded spot ideally situated halfway between Abu Dhabi and Dubai in Ghantoot. This adults-only beachfront address features just 22 sumptuous rooms and suites boasting postcard-perfect views of the Arabian Gulf, sun-drenched terraces, and each coming with their own 24/7 butler.

Amenities: 24/7 butler, private terrace, beach

Anantara Santorini Abu Dhabi Retreat, Al Jarf 22, Ghantoot, Al Samha, Abu Dhabi. Now open. Room rates from Dhs2,699 plus taxes. Tel:(0)4 567

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