As coronavirus restrictions in Dubai have eased off in recent weeks, most hotels have reopened facilities, with many swimming pools, beaches and restaurants now welcoming guests.
With flights in and out of the country currently suspended, UAE residents have been quick to book a staycation or a pool day. Yet, while many hotels across the country have reopened with enhanced hygiene policies and social distancing measures in place, several of the country’s most renowned hotels remain closed to guests.
From the world-famous Burj Al Arab to Bab Al Shams Desert Resort & Spa, you can count these hotels out when it comes to booking your next local getaway.
1. Burj Al Arab
One of the world's most famous hotels is temporarily closed for reservations. The sail-shaped Burj Al Arab is not open to guests, and neither are the restaurants and leisure facilities. The National has reached out to the Jumeirah group for more information on when the hotel will reopen, but online bookings are unavailable throughout June. The first available date guests can book a stay is Wednesday, July 1.
According to a pop-up notice on the Jumeirah website, only a selection of the hotel group’s “most popular restaurants, beaches and pools are operational, in strict accordance with health and safety regulations from the Ministry of Health and Prevention”.
If you’re keen for a Jumeriah hotel stay, you can still check-in at Jumeirah Al Naseem, Al Qasr, Zabeel Saray or the Creekside Hotel.
2. Bab Al Shams Desert Resort & Spa
Dubai’s Bab Al Shams has closed its doors to guests in what it is calling a precautionary measure. Those looking to escape to the sand dunes on the outskirts of the city, are currently unable to do so as bookings at this classic resort are suspended until further notice. The hotel – which is a sister property with The Meydan Hotel – has also closed its restaurants, spa and swimming pool.
"We have chosen to use this time to carry out essential works and maintenance at both properties, so that when we reopen, we will continue to provide seamless five-star experiences to higher standards for all of our guests," says Ziad Sleiman, hotel manager at Bab Al Shams Desert Resort & Spa. The hotel will reopen in July, but the exact date is not yet known.
3. Armani Hotel Dubai
The only hotel in the world's tallest building has temporarily paused all guest reservations. That means that sleek interiors designed by Giorgio Armani at the Armani Hotel are currently off-limits to travellers. Bookings on rooms are suspended until at least September, and only residents can access the hotel. Popular restaurants, including Armani Hashi and Ristorante, in the Burj Khalifa hotel are also temporarily closed. Online reservations are unavailable for stays before Tuesday, September 1, 2020.
4. The Meydan Hotel, Dubai
Every year, the eyes of the world are on the Meydan Hotel as it steps up to host spectators at the world’s richest horse race during the Dubai World Cup.
This year, the sporting event was postponed in a bid to prevent the spread of Covid-19. Since then, The Meydan Hotel has closed its doors to guests.
The hotel's manager explains: "These are incredibly difficult times for us all. While we are temporarily closing our doors with a heavy heart, we know that this is the right decision to ensure the health and safety of our community." The hotel is set to reopen soon, with reservations being accepted for stays in July, and the Qube Sports Bar inside the hotel having already reopened on Monday, June 15.
5. Park Hyatt Dubai
This sprawling hotel inside Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club has closed its doors stating that “the safety and well-being of our guests and colleagues is always a top priority.”
No bookings can be made for stays at the hotel, which has long been a favourite with UAE residents thanks to its beautiful design and secluded location near the Dubai Creek. All restaurants, bars and recreational facilities are also closed during this time. According to the Park Hyatt Dubai’s website, room reservations can be booked for stays from Tuesday, September 1, 2020.
6. W Dubai – The Palm
The achingly cool W Dubai The Palm is temporarily closed. Home to stunning palm views, the party-vibe hotel is temporarily not accepting in-house or day guests. Popular restaurants Akira Back and Massimo Botura’s Torno Subito are also closed as is the hotel’s Wet Deck and Away spa.
Judging by the hotel's "camera deckchair", it's all quiet at W Dubai for the moment. But with its Facebook page boasting "Fabulous views are always on the cards, watch this space for a reopening date," it doesn't look like the new-found quiet will last too much longer and there is talk of an end of July reopening.
7. Jumeirah at Saadiyat Island Resort (villa bookings still available)
This popular seafront destination on Saadiyat Island is closed to almost all guests until further notice. All guest rooms, restaurants, the spa and the 440 metre-long beach and swimming pools are shut. However, reservations can be made for stays in the resort's private luxury three or four-bedroom villas, but only for bookings longer than two nights and with the understanding that the resort and its facilities remain closed. There is no confirmed reopening date for the hotel yet, but bookings for regular rooms reopen on the website for stays from Saturday, August 1, 2020.
8. Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort by Anantara
If an escape to the remote Empty Quarter deep in the Abu Dhabi desert was on your mind, you’ll have to hold that thought for a little longer. That’s because Anantara's Qasr Al Sarab – perhaps the most renowned desert escape in Abu Dhabi – is currently closed. According to Anantara, the move is “part of our ongoing commitment to the health and safety of our guests and team members.”
However, the wait isn’t going to be too long as the hotel is planning to reopen to guests in late July, in time for Eid Al Adha.
9. W Abu Dhabi – Yas Island
Shortly after it opened, the W Yas Island closed again after staff on the UAE Tour that were in contact with guests at the hotel tested positive for Covid-19. That was in February, and the hotel was shut down for a 14-day quarantine period. For now, the 499-room hotel remains temporarily closed with no confirmed reopening date, but bookings are being accepted for stays from Thursday, July 30.
10. Anantara Sir Bani Yas Island Resorts
One of the UAE's most unique locations, Sir Bani Yas Island is home to some of the country's most fascinating wildlife and three resorts. For the moment, the wildlife have the island all to themselves as Anantara's resorts are closed to visitors. There's no confirmed date for when bookings will reopen at Al Yamm Villa Resort, Al Sahel Villa Resort or the Desert Islands Resort and Spa, but a spokesperson advised The National that island stays will be possible in time for Eid Al Adha, expected to start at the end of July.