Bab Al Shams to reopen in April 2023 under Atlantis and One&Only hotel group

Bookings are being taken at the Dubai desert resort, which becomes the first name under Kerzner's Rare Finds collection

The family-friendly destination has been a mainstay in Dubai for nearly two decades. Photo: Kerzner
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One of the longest-running desert escapes in Dubai is preparing to welcome guests following a revamp.

Bab Al Shams Desert Resort will reopen in April next year as the first Rare Finds hotel, a new collection of resorts by Kerzner.

The parent company of ultra-luxury One & Only Resorts and Atlantis The Palm, Dubai, Kerzner is now accepting bookings at Bab Al Shams following the resort's complete renovation.

Room rates start from Dh2,573 ($700) per night, including all taxes, with stays bookable from April 15, 2023.

Keeping its well-known moniker, the new resort centres on food and beverage offerings, including a pan-Asian rooftop restaurant with sunset views, the Desert Spa and an upscale alcohol-free bar.

Experiences and entertainment are at the heart of the new family-focused property with guests able to stargaze alongside in-house astronomers, enjoy fireside storytelling or soar above the sand dunes on hot air balloon rides.

A desert mainstay for 17 years

Newly renovated rooms and suites await guests checking into Bab Al Shams in 2023. Photo: Bab Al Shams

The resort, owned by Meydan, has been one of Dubai’s leading desert escapes for nearly two decades.

“I am excited to welcome Bab Al Shams Desert Resort to the newly introduced Rare Finds collection,” said Philippe Zuber, chief executive of Kerzner International. “Anyone living in Abu Dhabi or Dubai ends up, at least once, at Bab Al Shams as it's iconic, it's very special and unique, and Kerzner can bring something new to that place.” .

Often billed as an oasis in the desert, Bab Al Shams will retain its popular infinity pool. Upgraded earlier this year, it will be further uplifted and complemented by new unique features, according to Zuber.

One of those will be its connection to the resort's new all-day dining space. This family-driven restaurant will have a bespoke design and offer theatrical dining with lots of opportunities for al fresco eating.

A rooftop sunset lounge and a new desert spa

Dine under the stars at the Al Hadheerah restaurant. Photo: Bab Al Shams

It’s not yet decided who will head up Bab Al Shams's new food and beverage operations, says Zuber, but a celebrity chef could be in the mix with Kerzner known for its global partnerships with Gordon Ramsey's Bread Street Kitchen in Dubai and Enrique Olvera at the One&Only Mandarina.

Kerzner will also add a bespoke cigar room and its upscale non-alcoholic bar will serve a creative list of mocktails and drinks. The existing Al Hadeerah restaurant will be redefined and serve modern Arabic cuisine with a focus on responsibly sourced ingredients and there will be a new licensed bar.

Bab Al Shams in Dubai is the first of Kezner's new Rare Finds collection. Photo: Bab Al Shams

The current sunset deck is being transformed into a pan-Asian rooftop lounge with dishes from across the continent.

The Desert Spa will offer a calming mirage where guests can indulge in both traditional and contemporary treatments, such as hammam and hot sand therapy.

As Dubai expands, the resort is also planned to cater more for residents living in and around Dubai South. “It will be much more a place for the people living in the neighbourhood … to come have a drink, have a bite and really use that unique space,” says Zuber.

Updated: August 17, 2022, 10:38 AM