Back in Scotland, when you don’t go away for your summer holidays, it’s said you have “days here and there”. In the UAE, these last two months, Neil and I have had a lot of “nights here and there”!
One of the best things about remaining in the UAE for most of the summer, is the availability of super cheap hotel deals if you are a resident – here are some of the great places we have stayed.
At the start of May, when my Mum was over, we had a couple of nights at the Sandy Beach Motel, Al Aqaa, between Dibba and Khor Fakhan. Now this wasn’t a cheap hotel as it was still tourist season, and it was pretty basic accommodation, however, we were about 50 metres from the beach, and had our own patio with BBQ. It was just a short swim over to Snoopy Island to snorkel and see how many different fish we could see (a lot)
One of our favourite hotels here is the 4* Crowne Plaza at Yas Island in AD, currently about 520aed inc tax for DBB (that’s about £90!!). This is quite a new hotel, and if Austin Powers were to check in he would definitely call in “Shagadelic”. Very 1960s decor, fab bathroom, balconies overlooking the mangroves of AD and the comfiest beds and pillows in the Middle East!
Our next night away was at the 4* Golden Tulip at Dibba, also in the Northern Emirates. We stayed there after a road/wadi/gatch trip with Hennie and Felicia where we almost made it to Wadi Bih. The only thing that stopped us getting there was the border guards! After a long and interesting drive we checked in to the hotel, it had had some bad reviews so we were somewhat worried on the way there, but there was no need. It was lovely, and only 350aed (£60)inc tourist tax for DBB, as we had a gonabit voucher entitling us to this super special rate!
Neil headed off back to Das Island for three weeks, so we stayed at the Park Inn by Radisson Blu, which I can best describe as a colourful Premier Inn – currently 240AED room only, and only 12 minutes from AD airport now the Yas Tunnel has opened. Definitley a better start to the day than leaving Al Ain about 6.45am and following the mad throng of commuters into AD for over an hour!
but Cameron and I went on another trip with Hennie, and stayed at the 3* Nour Arjaan by Rotana in Fujeirah. Wonderful room, 55m2, good breakfast, under £50 a night again – and the wadi trip and visit to Khor Kalba were wonderful.
Our next night away was special, since Neil is going to be away on our actual wedding anniversary in August, we went to the 4* Tilal Liwa hotel, for their “romance package”. A bit more than our normal budget, but we got fruit, flowers, chocolates and a “rose petal turndown”. Special mention must be given to the swimming pool, it’s an infinity one, and as you swim up you see the magnificent dunes of Liwa framed by an arabic arch. It’s a bit surreal actually, having driven up to the dunes hundreds of times, getting the chance to swim up to them! BTW you can get ordinary DBB for 499aed per couple per night, so that’s still not bad at about £90!
We had loads of shopping to do in Dubai, so instead of staying in a western style hotel, we spent the night in the XVA art hotel, which can best be described as an Arabic B&B. It was great to be able to spend the night in the oldest part of Dubai, and gaze from the rooftops at the wind towers and minarets.
Despite all the posh hotels in great locations we have stayed over the last few months, looking forward very much to getting home to my Mum’s house and a plate of macaroni cheese!