It’s a windswept and winding road leading out to the Al Wathba desert region to discover the oasis that is Jumeirah’s latest UAE property, Jumeirah Al Wathba Desert Resort & Spa. Set alongside the Emirates International Endurance Village, yet surrounded by a panorama of desert dunes as far as the eye can see, Jumeirah’s newest offering in the emirate of Abu Dhabi is an Arabesque-style resort designed to create a relaxing and secluded getaway.
A simple but imposing entrance serves as a gateway to a complex of low-level structures connected by pathways to resemble a historic desert village. Designed by GAJ (Godwin Austen Johnson), the hotel’s aesthetic draws inspiration from traditional Bedouin desert camp life. The Middle Eastern-style resort sprawls over 22,000 square metres of tranquil desert and comprises a total of 103 villas, rooms and suites. The resort reflects the customary architecture of historic structures in the region that were predominantly composed of wood and sand. The rooms and suites are decorated in neutral tones and earthy textures, featuring the local culture through a range of Middle Eastern artwork and hand-picked accessories. A simple backdrop draws the eye to focus on embroidered cushions, hand-woven wool rugs, oversized antique brass plates and latticed lanterns and chandeliers casting mashrabiya-inspired patterns around the room in a play of shadow and light. These Arabesque accents create an effortlessly elegant yet culturally rich ambience with caramel-hued furnishings and crisp white bedding enhancing the simple luxury appeal.
The public spaces also echo this natural charm, from the lobby’s tiled water feature with levels reflecting the auspicious eight-pointed star prevalent in Islamic architecture, to Syrian hardwood chairs and decorative brass tea sets, and the Al Mesayan rooftop bar. Here, guests can enjoy the serenity of the surrounding desert views as well as popular games such as backgammon and chess.
Throughout the resort, meandering walkways allow for a sense of discovery, while water features and pools, inspired by the natural falaj (a water channel used for irrigation), feature heavily in the architecture and design. The soothing sound of trickling water creates a calming atmosphere, while the large infinity-style pool facing out to the immeasurable desert is a statement feature offering a peaceful retreat. A sunken courtyard centring around a two-tiered fountain, referred to as Zawaya Village Square is a relaxing setting before taking in the sunset.
A sanctuary for guests on every level, the resort also features the Talise Spa, which includes authentic Turkish Hammams, snow caves, hot and cold plunge pools and crystal salt and cryo therapy rooms. If guests are interested in desert adventures, the resort offers desert exploration of a series of fossilised dunes among other excursions, as well as desert appreciation at Al Mabeet Desert Camp, a contemporary homage to Bedouin culture and a stunning space designed to unwind and dine amongst the dunes.
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