by Naomi Chadderton
With Eid-al-Fitr just a few weeks away and a long weekend on the cards, there’s no better time to explore one of the many luxury escapes within a short flight, or even drive, away from Dubai.
Be it a rustic bolthole hidden deep in the mountains of Oman or a luxury resort on a pristine Maldivian island, these Eid holiday destinations will be sure to whet your appetite.
Barefoot luxury at its best – and just over a two-hour drive from Dubai – Six Senses Zighy Bay has long been a favourite for stressed-out ex-pats and locals alike looking to reconnect with nature in idyllic surroundings. A place where luxury stone villas come complete with private plunge pools, outdoor showers and your very own butler, this rustic-chic resort tucked away between the tranquil Musandam mountains and emerald sea ticks all the boxes.
New this month, if you’re looking for extra special Eid celebrations for all the family, Zighy Bay’s three-bedroom retreats and premium four-bedroom private reserves have just undergone a plush renovation – the latter 32,393 square foot space (the largest of its kind in the Middle East) comes complete with kitchen, colossal living and dining space, oversized pool table, private bar, private infinity pool and cinema. It even has private quarters for a nanny, should needs be.
Looking to escape to the pristine waters of the Indian Ocean this Eid? Emerald Maldives has you covered. Nestled on the Raa Atoll in the northern part of the Maldives archipelago, this deluxe all-inclusive resort is one of the coolest in the region, yet still manages to offer an intimate sanctuary a world away from chaotic modern life.
A great option for families, friends and couples alike, this Italian-owned, Asian-inspired resort has something for everyone, be it watersports, a kids club or an uber-luxe spa. What’s more, half of its villas are over water, while the other half rest above the calm lagoon waters, with all 120 boasting Maldivian-style thatched roofs plus ample place to soak up the sun. Add to that four restaurants spanning world cuisine, and what more could you ask for?
To say Mother Nature was unbelievably generous when she came to creating the Seychelles would be quite the understatement – its spellbinding beaches, pristine white sands and dreamy turquoise waters have been enchanting travellers for centuries. And the best place to soak it all up? Mango House.
Stretching along the edge of the Anse Aux Poules Bleues, a sparkling calm bay with shallow clear waters, this picturesque sanctuary, originally built as a family abode by celebrated Italian photographer Gian Paolo Barbieri, prides itself on its ability to immerse its guests in a true Seychellean experience. Be it with a scenic tour by helicopter, biking around a small island or heading out on an adrenaline-spiking shark safari to swim with the reef sharks in their natural habitat, no base goes uncovered. At the end of the day, retreat back to your heavenly abode – be it a hilltop suite, interconnected villa or beach house – and prepare to do it all again tomorrow.
Just under six hours from Dubai, Zanzibar is a jewel in the ocean and home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Whether you want to swim, snorkel or just lounge the hours away, there’s no more luxurious a base than The Residence which, surrounded by 32 hectares of tropical gardens filled with treasures of the wild (hello rare Red Colobus monkeys), provides both the perfect family getaway or private couples retreat.
Each spacious villa comes complete with its own private pool and deck plus a garden, outdoor shower and relaxation area, and that’s not even the best bit. This Eid – and until May 31st – you can receive up to 50 per cent off your stay as well as 25 per cent off F&B and spa treatments with its Opulent Zanzibar Escape treatment, meaning you’ll get so much more bang for your buck too. Be sure to make use of its complimentary bicycles to explore the island before you leave.
Those seeking an eco-friendly adventure, exploration and play in raw nature this Eid need look no further than Habitas AlUla. Located amongst dramatic sandstone cliffs in the northwest of Saudi Arabia, this secluded oasis brings with it a sense of calm and tranquility that only the depths of the rugged desert can bring.
While it has 100 luxury, experimental rooms on-site, we recommend booking into its new Caravan by Habitas concept – an immersive glamping experience offering scenic views, a private outdoor deck, AC, kitchens, private shower and bathroom, all influenced by the ancient Bedouins who travelled the land and incense routes. Get involved in everything from desert excursions, yoga, horseback riding, art walks and Arabic calligraphy lessons whilst you’re there, and we’re sure you’ll return home with some incredible stories to tell.