The UAE summer is upon us and if you’re not heading overseas, it might feel like these long, hot months have no end in sight.
But with fewer tourists and lower demand, the hotter months can be a great time to take advantage of summer campaigns at hotels across the country.
This weekend, the UAE will also celebrate a public holiday as Islamic New Year falls on July 30. Although many people will be off for the weekend anyway, the hundreds of thousands of people working in the UAE's retail and hospitality industries, among others, will benefit from an extra day off.
And what better way to celebrate than by sipping a cold drink by the side of a perfectly temperature-controlled swimming pool?
Whether you fancy escaping to the mountains in Fujairah, checking out the highest peak in the UAE or taking the children to Legoland, here are 10 of the best UAE staycation deals out there this summer.
1. Bricks, blocks and buffet breakfasts at Legoland Hotel, Dubai
Children will love a staycation at the first Legoland Hotel in the Middle East at Dubai Parks and Resorts. There’s a choice of five different themed rooms — with everything from Ninjago to Friends, and up to five people can stay in each room, with children enjoying a special bunk bed space all of their own.
There’s also in-room treasure hunts, model-making workshops and hundreds of on-site Lego models to spot during your stay. Spend time at Legoland Dubai theme park, where there are more than 40 rides and attractions, or cool down at Legoland Water Park before unwinding at the hotel’s chilled swimming pool.
Read The National’s Legoland Hotel review here.
2. All-inclusive splurging at Rixos Bab Al Bahr, Ras Al Khaimah
If you want to know exactly what your staycation is going to set you back before you go, book a summer stay at Rixos Bab Al Bahr. The sprawling coastal resort offers ultra-all-inclusive holidays in the northern emirate, with plenty to keep everyone entertained.
From a private beach lined with cabanas to eight swimming pools including an aqua park and daily fun at the Rixy Kids Club, plus seven dining spots and free fitness classes at the resort’s Exclusive Sports Club, you'll be all set for an action-packed stay. Book two consecutive nights before the end of the summer and you’ll get 15 per cent off the best available rates.
Rooms from Dh679 per night, minimum 2-night stay and excluding taxes; www.rixos.com
3. A seriously stylish summer at Palazzo Versace Dubai
If you’re all about style, Dubai’s Palazzo Versace might be a good place to consider spending your summer staycation. The beautifully designed hotel has several offers running this season, with stays starting from Dh900.
Book a room between now and Friday, September 30 and besides your Versace-designed accommodation, you’ll get complimentary daily breakfast for two at Giardino Dubai, high tea for two at Mosaico and 20 per cent off on food and beverage at the hotel’s other outlets. Pampering is also on the cards with a Dh150 voucher included for any spa treatment at The Spa.
Rooms from Dh900, excluding taxes; www.palazzoversace.ae
4. Explore the east coast at Address Beach Resort Fujairah
Escape the city and head to Fujairah for a stay surrounded by the Hajar Mountains. The recently opened Address Beach Resort Fujairah has ocean air, cooler climes and its own private beach. This summer, there’s also a bonus 30 per cent off room rates.
While you're over on the UAE's east coast, there are plenty of unique experiences on the cards for guests who want to discover Fujairah’s blue oceans. Go sunrise fishing with the hotel’s executive chef for a three-hour boat trip, during which you’ll get the chance to go deep sea fishing, snorkelling and swimming. Or explore Dibba, with a visit to the Dibba Bay Oysters farm, inclusive of a snorkelling trip to Dibba Rock, where you can spot turtles and colourful marine life.
Stays from Dh474, excluding taxes; sunrise fishing rates start at Dh2,860 for two people while Dibba trips start from Dh2,540 per couple; www.addresshotels.com
5. A stalwart Dubai stay at Jumeirah Emirates Towers
One of Dubai’s major hotels is rolling out all the stops this summer with a city staycation deal. Towering above Sheikh Zayed Road, Jumeirah Emirates Towers is home to nine dining and nightlife venues, including La Cantine du Faubourg and Alta Badia Bar. There's also a glistening outdoor pool to cool down in. All rooms have amazing views over the city and travellers will be right next door to the Museum of the Future, Dubai’s newest attraction.
Book a stay any time between now and the end of September, and you’ll be able to save 20 per cent on room rates, plus you’ll get guaranteed late checkout until 4pm. There’s also 15 per cent discount at selected restaurants, and children dine for free. If you want to beat the heat, head to Wild Wadi Waterpark, where you’ll get a discounted Dh100 entry rate, or book a treatment at the Talise Spa to unwind, and take advantage of a 15 per cent discount.
Summer stays from Dh550, excluding taxes; www.jumeirah.com
6. Dubai on a budget at the newly opened Movenpick Jumeirah Village Triangle
Be among the first to stay at the recently opened Movenpick Jumeirah Village Triangle this summer. Besides getting to check out all that it has to offer, you can have a budget mini holiday thanks to the hotel’s sweet summer deal.
Stay at least three nights to get discounted room rates and a host of complimentary benefits. Enjoy lounging by one of four pools, and let the children have some fun at the on-site water park. Ladies looking for privacy can enjoy their own private pool and gym on the 43rd floor of the hotel.
Complimentary daily breakfast and discounts can be had at Wild Water Waterpark, with 60 per cent off for in-house guests, and 40 per cent savings awaiting at Dubai Parks and Resorts. A further 25 per cent discount on food and beverages across the hotel, coupled with late check-out until 6pm, makes this one a great choice for an affordable family getaway.
Three nights from Dh1,000 for UAE and GCC residents, including taxes; www.accor.com
7. Beachside chill at Vida Beach Resort Umm Al Quwain
Switch things up this summer with a visit to Umm Al Quwain, the UAE's second smallest emirate. Check in to Vida Beach Resort for a beachfront escape that offers boho vibes, family-friendly feels and even welcomes four-legged guests. Even better, there’s 25 per cent off room rates for stays between now and the end of September, plus early check-in and late check-out, subject to availability.
Get ready to explore all the hotel has to offer, which includes an infinity pool and spa, a dedicated children's pool, splash area and a kids' club. Plenty of water sports are on offer, such as paddle boarding and wakeboarding and a good selection of places to dine including the “social eatery” Origins, and rooftop lounge SoCal.
Summer stays from Dh262, excluding taxes; www.vidahotels.com
8. Brunch and stay at Radisson Resort Ras Al Khaimah Marjan Island
The first Radisson resort in the Middle East opened in December in Ras Al Khaimah and, this summer, you can experience it all for less. That's because the hotel’s Weekend Brunch & Stay Offer is up and running, offering guests 30 per cent off a one-night stay as well as early check-in from noon and late check-out until 4pm the following day.
Once you've checked in, get set to enjoy three swimming pools, including one on the rooftop and a private stretch of shoreline. Stays also include Saturday brunch at Seafood Shack and complimentary breakfast at the hotel’s all-day dining restaurant the next morning.
Weekend offer from Dh703, excluding taxes. www.radissonhotels.com
Read The National’s Radisson Resort Ras Al Khaimah Marjan Island review here.
9. Unwind with a spa-cation at Conrad Abu Dhabi Etihad Towers
If the summer heat has you all hot and bothered, take things down a notch with a serene stay at Conrad Abu Dhabi Etihad Towers. Check in to a deluxe room for two where you’ll have views over the Corniche and downtown Abu Dhabi and get set to enjoy a seriously pampering spa treatment for two in the Conrad Spa. Take your pick from 60-minute treatments such as a herb-scented rasul mud chamber, full-body massage or a warm hammam, and if you crave more relaxation afterwards, there's a 20 per cent discount on all other treatments.
Breakfast for two at Rosewater Restaurant is also included, in addition to the 20 per cent discount on food and beverage across the resort. Guests will also get access to one of Abu Dhabi's theme parks as part of the stay — so head to Yas Waterworld, Warner Bros World or Ferrari World Abu Dhabi.
From Dh1,100, excluding taxes; www.hilton.com
Read The National’s Conrad Abu Dhabi Etihad Towers review here.
10. Family fun at Doubletree by Hilton Resort & Spa Marjan Island
The sprawling DoubleTree by Hilton Resort & Spa Marjan Island in Ras Al Khaimah is perfect for a family-friendly escape in the northern emirate. With a private 650-metre coastline and eight swimming pools, there's also plenty to keep little ones entertained, including a bouncy castle, children’s swimming pool, outdoor playground and a Pirate Boat aqua zone with water slides, drop buckets and sprinklers. Adults can also enjoy the Tarzan boat, which has a water slide, rope swing into the sea and high-dive boards.
This summer, book three or more nights to get 25 per cent off room rates, with children under 12 staying and dining free of charge. Breakfast is included, as is 20 per cent discount on spa treatments, and 10 per cent discount on water sports.
You’ll also be able to take advantage of Ras Al Khaimah’s emirate-wide summer promotion that includes two free tickets for the Jais Sledder, the latest experience to open on the UAE’s highest mountain. There’s free bus transportation to Jebel Jais from key locations across the city and a 30 per cent discount on other activities on the mountain, including the world’s longest zip line and dining at Puro, the UAE’s highest restaurant.
From Dh480 per night, excluding taxes, available for bookings before September 15; www.hilton.com