Dog-owners know all too well the guilt involved with checking your fur baby into a kennel to head off on a staycation.
Thankfully, several hotels across the UAE understand just how difficult it can be to say goodbye to your pup and are doing something about it.
From an upscale, five-star stay on Dubai's Palm Jumeirah to Bedouin-style glamping in Ras Al Khaimah, each of these properties allows guests to bring their dogs along for a pet-friendly staycation.
A paw-some city stay at ME Dubai
In-the-know pet owners can book a dog-friendly stay at ME Dubai, the only hotel designed both inside and out by the late starchitect Dame Zaha Hadid. Located in Dubai's Burj Khalifa district, the hotel's new dog-friendly packages include everything your furry friend needs for a comfortable stay.
Dogs get their own bed, blankets and doggy bowl, while owners will get a stash of bags for cleaning up any mess. The Pooch by ME package also has an optional dog-friendly menu, designed by ME Dubai’s executive chef James Knight-Pacheco. Expect canine-themed dishes such as pup-arrazzi poached chicken and the notorious DOG.
All of the hotel's suites and rooms are open for doggy stays, with prices for bringing along your pooch set at an additional Dh200 per dog, per night.
Rates from Dh1,650, plus Dh200 per dog per night; melia.com
Access all areas at Radisson RED Hotel Dubai Silicon Oasis
Dogs are entirely welcome at the Radisson RED Hotel Dubai Silicon Oasis, so much so that the reception staff are likely to greet your pup before you.
Check-in involves filling in an extra form ensuring that you'll clean up after your dog and keep them on a lead when required. Rooms come with dog beds, food bowls and a water dish, plus a welcome Petsecco beverage for your pooch. The lobby and corridors are dog-friendly as is the hotel's main restaurant OUIBar + Terrace, where four-legged guests get their own water bowls and can order ice cream and other snacks from the doggy menu.
Staff are all very enthusiastic about dogs and you can let them roam around the terrace freely as it's properly enclosed. There are plenty of walking spots around the hotel and handy dog drinking points and clean-up stations in the immediate vicinity. The only place dogs are not allowed to go is the rooftop pool area.
Rates from Dh369, including dogs; radissonhotels.com
Reconnect with nature at Rahal Ranch, Abu Dhabi
If you fancy something a little bit different, head out to Rahal Ranch in Al Wathba desert. Chalets are available for overnight stays and the entire place is dog-friendly – you'll even meet some of the dogs that stay on the ranch full-time.
While accommodation is basic, it's entirely fit for purpose and even the small chalets have a double bed, large kitchenette and a dining area. There are power showers in the bathroom and plastic seats outside each chalet, ideal for evening barbecues. You can also head up to the viewing platform to get some amazing desert views or take a walk across to the working ranch where horses, goats and sheep can be found. Don't forget to visit Harry, the live-in camel.
Rates from Dh250, including dogs; rahalranch.com
Take a stylish city-stay at Hotel Indigo Dubai Downtown
Within walking distance to the Burj Khalifa and with views across the city, Hotel Indigo Dubai Downtown is perhaps the most stylish pet-friendly place on this list.
The art-inspired hotel has gorgeous interiors with bold colour choices and carefully curated rooms with bathrooms that feel as if they have been lifted right out of a luxury spa. Dark corridors are peppered with unique artworks and some of the plushest carpets in the country – perfect for dogs to run on.
As stylish as it is, dogs are entirely welcome and are given their own dog bed and toys. They're also welcome to accompany guests in the lobby, at the terrace of Open Sesame restaurant on the ground floor and Orange Feels Bar & Shisha Lounge. You can even bring them to the pool deck, so long as you make sure they stay out of the water.
The hotel has a great location and, once you navigate the busy road or sand-covered stretch of ground surrounding it – you can walk to The Dubai Mall, the Boulevard or Dubai Canal with your pup in tow.
Room rates from Dh299, with Dh200 fee per dog; ihg.com
Room-only access at W Dubai – The Palm
If you want to spend the night on Dubai's Palm Jumeirah, W Dubai –The Palm is a dog-friendly option in the area.
The funky upmarket hotel welcomes pups that weigh up to 20 kilograms and gives all four-legged guests a dog bed, food and water bowls, toys, waste bags and some tasty treats. There's also a doggy hanger to put on the room's door handle so that staff know there is an animal staying there. The Paw menu has pet cookies, mini bones or even main courses such as beef tenderloin and red snapper for Fido to enjoy.
Some of the rooms have longer balconies with artificial grass, ideal if you've got a doggy in tow. If you want to explore the hotel, you'll have to book the hotel's dog-sitting services as dogs cannot be left alone in the rooms nor are animals allowed in public areas, other than the lobby. That said, the in-room dining menu for humans is also excellent and balconies have amazing views of the city if you simply want to stay in and chill.
Rates from Dh1,127 with a Dh650 fee per dog; marriott.com
Beachside at BM Beach Resort, Ras Al Khaimah
For a back-to-basics stay by the seaside, BM Beach Resort in Ras Al Khaimah allows dogs. A block of chalets on one side of this resort has been reserved for dog owners and there's also a makeshift bar area and stretch of beach for dogs and their owners.
Dogs get a large selection of in-room toys and there are also some communal outdoor toys in the courtyard. The beach is lovely, but it isn't fenced off so if your dog doesn't come on command, you'll have to keep them on a lead to stop them wandering into the other part of the resort, which is a strict no-no.
All of the hotel's restaurants are off-limits to dogs and you can't leave your pup in the hotel room alone, so meals are all via room service. It's also worth noting that the staff are a tad wary of dogs and you can't bring pups into reception, so you may struggle if checking in alone. Getting to your room involves a speedy transfer on a golf buggy where you'll have to hang on tight to your dog to keep him or her safe.
Rooms from Dh399, with Dh100 fee per dog, per night; binmajid.com
Sunset scenes at Golden Tulip Al Jazira Bungalows
The Golden Tulip Al Jazira Hotel and Resort offers back-to-basics dog-friendly bungalows ideal for anyone seeking a chilled-out staycation with their pup.
While it's nothing fancy, the quiet location is right on the beach, giving you and your dog access to the pristine shoreline. Dogs are not allowed elsewhere in the resort, and there's no restaurant on-site, so be sure to bring everything you need for a self-catering stay. Visit on a Friday and you can join Flopster Beach Days, where you'll find competitions, doggy water sports, pup-orientated socialisation and lots more.
Rooms from Dh426, including dogs; al-jazira.goldentulip.com
Golf-course views at Dubai's Vida Emirates Hills
Small dogs are welcome to check-in at Vida Emirates Hills. The contemporary hotel in the leafy Dubai neighbourhood offers rooms with sweeping golf course views where humans and four-legged friends up to 10 kilograms are welcome to spend the night.
There are specified dog-friendly rooms on certain floors so you know you're likely to be staying around other dog-lovers. There's also a doggy food menu if you want to spoil your fur baby and pet owners can request food or water bowls and dog toys.
Head to the Junipers bar for fun in the doggy playground where there's ropes, balls, tunnels and more.
Rooms from Dh399, plus Dh150 fee per dog per stay, plus Dh50 per day per pet cleaning fee; vidahotels.com
Bedouin-style stays at RAK Glamping
Fur parents headed to Ras Al Khaimah will want to consider RAK Glamping. Owned by dog-lovers, this rustic glamping site is situated in nine acres of desert in Al Duhaisah area of the emirate.
Entirely dog-friendly, there's a fenced perimeter, plenty of trees for bathroom breaks and complimentary water balls, tennis balls and dog ice cream. There's also an on-site pet store if you've forgotten any of your pup's essentials.
The on-site Doggy Day Care is ideal if you want to explore the emirate or you can simply relax at the Bedouin-style campsite, taking long walks, getting to know the live-in furries and letting pups plunge into the koi pond.
Dogs are welcome inside the traditional Bedouin tents where guests bed-down. Each comes with air-conditioning, a bathroom, television and a mini-fridge for storing drinks, snacks and pet food. Pet owners need to make sure animals are vaccinated, toilet trained and cleaned up after.
Rates from Dh395 per night, including dogs; rakglamping.com
A home from home at Amwaj by Al Hamra, Ras Al Khaimah
For a change of scenery in Ras Al Khaimah, Amwaj by Al Hamra is a nice pick for a home-away-from-home experience.
Located in Al Hamra Village and Bab Al Bahr, the spacious villas are rentable by the week and are dog-friendly, as is the surrounding neighbourhood. There are lots of places to walk dogs and plenty of greenery around. Pups are also welcome at Al Hamra Beach so long as they remain on their lead.
For a bite to eat, check out Al Hamra Marina & Yacht Club where there's a cluster of restaurants, cafes and more; dogs are welcome in any of the outdoor spaces. Guests staying at Amwaj by Al Hamra will get a discount card that can be used at various restaurants in the complex.
Rates from Dh2,000 per week, including dogs; alhamra.ae
Rustic charm in Hatta at the JA Hatta Fort Hotel
If you're planning a trip to the Dubai exclave, you can now bring your four-legged friend along to stay at the JA Hatta Fort Hotel.
Set in 32 hectares of grounds, the mountainside hotel has plenty of grassy lawns where visitors and their dogs can enjoy fantastic views of the surrounding mountains and the Hatta Hollywood-esque sign.
Doggy staycations at the hotel are available for pooches of any size and weight, although there may be some restrictions on how many large dogs are allowed in each room.
When it comes to dining, options for guests holidaying with their dogs include ordering room service and enjoying it in your chalet, or dining outside at the picnic tables set across the shaded area of the hotel's Palm Tree Garden.
There are also occasional dog-friendly events such as picnics and barbecues where dogs and their owners can mingle and dine alfresco. You'll have to keep Fido on a lead in most areas of the hotel, both for their own safety and that of other guests. This is also to ensure that the other wildlife at the resort – ponies, deer, goats, peacocks and tortoises – stay safe.
Rooms from Dh878 per night, including breakfast, taxes and fees for dogs; jaresortshotels.com