With Thursday set to be a public holiday for the Islamic New Year, a long weekend is on the cards for many in the UAE.
Make the most of your extra day off by escaping the summer heat and heading out on a staycation. There's nothing quite like a perfectly chilled swimming pool to cool things down, especially if the children are being entertained at the kids' club.
If that sounds like long-weekend bliss, here are 10 last-minute deals you can still book today:
Hampton by Hilton Marjan Island, Ras Al Khaimah
Hilton’s newest hotel in the UAE is welcoming staycationers this long weekend. Hampton by Hilton Marjan Island in Ras Al Khaimah only opened in July, so you can be sure all the rooms and facilities are spanking new.
Located on a 750-metre long beach, the seaside-themed hotel has a large infinity pool overlooking the Arabian Gulf. It also has a kids and teens club and a wellness centre. For dining, there are seven restaurants and bars to choose from including all-day eatery Flavours, Surfs Up beach food truck and the H20 pool bar.
Dh736, excluding taxes, for two adults and two children; Hampton by Hilton Marjan Island, Marjan Island Blvd, Ras Al Khaimah; www.hilton.com
The Ritz-Carlton DIFC, Dubai
For sheer luxury in the heart of Dubai, the Ritz-Carlton Dubai International Financial Centre's staycation offer is one to check out. Created specifically for UAE residents, the long weekend half-board promotion offers a saving of 30 per cent on regular rates at the Downtown Dubai hotel.
Inclusive of either lunch or dinner, meals are served at Cafe Belge, an award-wining eatery that encapsulates the spirit of a 1920s European cafe. There’s an outdoor pool for those who want to soak up the sun, or an indoor pool if the heat is a bit much for you. You’ll be staying right next door to the Burj Khalifa and The Dubai Mall for when you’re looking for entertainment.
From Dh900, including breakfast and lunch or dinner for two adults and two children, excluding taxes; The Ritz-Carlton DIFC, Dubai; www.ritzcarlton.com
Ajman Saray, a Luxury Collection Resort
If you’re seeking luxury in the UAE’s smallest emirate, the Ajman Saray, a Luxury Collection Resort could be one to check out.
This long weekend, the hotel is offering a half board staycation deal that includes daily breakfast, free Wi-Fi, rooms with balconies overlooking the sea or the creek and a choice of dinner at Vista or Mejhana.
Located on a pristine sandy beach overlooking the Arabian Gulf, it’s a great spot to unwind. This coastal getaway also has a huge swimming pool, a fully equipped gym and an extensive menu of spa experiences if you’re in need of some pampering.
Rates from Dh1,039 for two adults, excluding taxes; Ajman Saray, a Luxury Collection Resort, Sheikh Humaid Bin Rashid Al Nuaimi Street, Ajman; www.marriott.com
Hilton Abu Dhabi Yas Island
Fun for all the family awaits at Yas Island’s newest hotel. The five-star family-friendly Hilton Abu Dhabi Yas Island has one of the biggest swimming pools in the capital, plus an Eforea Spa and free tickets to your favourite Yas Island theme parks.
It’s all about the little ones at this hotel with children under the age of 12 enjoying their own personalised welcome, children’s breakfast experience and plenty of kid-friendly options on the restaurant menus. There’s also a kids club and splash zone to keep them entertained.
Everyone staying at the hotel also gets one ticket per day to either Yas Waterworld, Ferrari World or Warner Bros World, making it easy to have a weekend to remember.
Rates from Dh1,140 for two adults and one child, excluding taxes. You can upgrade to half board to include lunch or dinner for an additional Dh520. Hilton Abu Dhabi Yas Island, Yas Island, Abu Dhabi; www.hilton.com
Fujairah Rotana Resort & Spa
The UAE’s only eastern coast emirate is always a popular one for staycations thanks to its mountain backdrop and slightly cooler climes. There’s limited availability remaining at Fujairah Rotana Resort & Spa for the coming long weekend, so you better act quick if you want to book.
Nestled between the ocean and the Hajar Mountains, the hotel is a great pick for anyone wanting to escape city life. With lush gardens and towering palm trees, the family-friendly resort has two swimming pools, a Zen the spa and a Flipper’s Kids Club. It’s also perfectly located for snorkelling, watersports or scuba diving fun. For dining, there are six places to choose from and if you want to relax without worrying about what the bill will be on checkout, book the all-inclusive rate. This includes all meals and accompanying drinks with children under 12 dining and staying for free.
Dh1,689, members-only all-inclusive rate (membership is free), excluding taxes; Fujairah Rotana Resort & Spa, Dibba Road, Al Aqah Beach, Fujairah; www.rotana.com
Rove At The Park, Dubai
Spend the long weekend at Dubai Parks and Resorts to enjoy complimentary access to on-your-doorstep entertainment. Check-in at Rove At The Park and you’ll get one free ticket per person, per night to Motiongate, Bollywood Parks, Legoland and Legoland Water Park, so the whole family will be entertained. And that’s in addition to free access to themed zones, shops and restaurants at Riverland Dubai.
The Rover Room sleeps two adults and one child, and interconnecting rooms are available for bigger families. When you’re not exploring the parks, enjoy the hotel’s funky interior design, outdoor swimming pool and 24-hour gym. You can request a late checkout until 2pm to make the most of your staycay.
Dh359, excluding taxes, for 2 adults and one child. Rove at The Park, Dubai Parks and Resorts, Dubai; www.rovehotels.com
Emirates Palace, Abu Dhabi
For a truly regal staycation, Abu Dhabi’s Emirates Palace ticks all the boxes. Located in a private bay with its own beach and marine, the hotel also has an adventure-filled swimming pool, complete with a lazy river, waterfalls and two water flumes.
Dining options are extensive, with Le Vendome and Martaban by Hemant Oberoi as popular choices. The 1,500-square-metre Emirates Palace Spa is the perfect place to pamper yourself away from the summer sunshine.
The hotel’s summertime offer includes complimentary room upgrades when you book a Coral Room or a Khaleej Suite and early check-in from 10am on weekdays so you can make the most of your stay. And because a stay at Emirates Palace isn’t complete without trying the signature 23-karat gold flaked cappuccino at Le Cafe, all in-house guests can indulge in a complimentary one this August.
Dh780, for two adults and one child, excluding taxes. Emirates Palace Abu Dhabi, West Corniche Road, Al Ras Al Akhdar, Abu Dhabi; https://www.mandarinoriental.com/abu-dhabi/emirates-palace
Mysk Al Badayer Retreat, Sharjah
Make the most of UAE’s desert location with a stay at Mysk Al Badayer Retreat in Sharjah. About an hour from the city, the resort is set against the dunes close to the emirate's southern border and the half board summer package includes breakfast and dinner for two adults and one child.
Inspired by an Arabian castle, the resort’s rooms are filled with traditional artefacts and there's a real sense of Emirati hospitality. Luckily for those visiting in August, each one also comes with powerful air-conditioning. There are two restaurants to choose from or you can opt to dine in-suite and there's also an indoor pool for when you need to cool off from the midday sun.
Escape to the desert on an early morning camel ride, see birds of prey in action at the falcon show and enjoy endless stargazing opportunities when night falls. If you want to indulge, book a deluxe tent that comes with its own outdoor swimming pool.
Palazzo Versace Dubai
Make like the stars with a stay at one of Dubai's most striking hotel's by booking a stay at the Palazzo Versace Dubai. Full of Rococo and Baroque patterns, stone mosaics and marble tiling, the elegant hotel is the same place where 50 Cent booked a suite last year and there's some great family offers on overnight stays this summer.
The Summer Staycation package is valid for two adults and up to two children to stay in a Deluxe Versace City View room and comes with daily breakfast, high tea at Mosaico for two people, a Dh150 spa voucher and 20 per cent discount on food and beverage spend during your stay. It also includes four tickets to Laguna Waterpark, perfect for cooling down this long weekend.
Dh899, excluding taxes. Palazzo Versace Dubai, Jaddaf Waterfront, Dubai; www.palazzoversace.ae
NB: All deals were available at the time of writing but this is likely to change as more bookings are made.