The Nest by Sonara launches intimate overnight stays in the Dubai desert

The eco-friendly camp is set to open this year

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Nara Desert Escapes, the team behind Dubai’s popular Sonara Camp, is set to launch a new overnight desert experience this year.

The Nest by Sonara is an exclusive eco-friendly camp consisting of 14 structures that blend into the dunes of the Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve. Designed by architect Gianni Ranaulo, the “nests” feature a bedroom, private en-suite bathroom and outdoor majlis for sunset-watching. Each structure comes with a dedicated attendant.

Given that the original Sonara Camp was created to offer a unique desert dining experience, with cosy seating areas, hammocks, atmospheric lighting, a bar, live entertainment and a menu created by French chef Franck Sanna, it is fitting that The Nest also offers curated dining options.

Inside one of the camp's 'nests'. Photo: The Nest by Sonara

The arrival experience starts with a welcome drink and nibbles, including Syrian olives, pickles, tapenade and a pastry flute. When it comes to dining at The Nest, Sanna has put together a tapas menu that includes wood-oven cooked pizzas with Spanish toppings; shrimps a la plancha with garlic, parsley and rouille mousseline; Nicoise-style stuffed vegetables; Wagyu beef sliders; spicy lobster rolls; Mediterranean bao; and paella-style black Spanish rice with roast vegetables. Desserts include chocolate and pistachio pie; strawberries dressed with basil and Syrian olive oil; and apple crumble with red berries.

Guests can also spend the evening at neighbouring Sonara Camp, which is accessed via a dedicated sand shuttle.

Following its success in Dubai, Sonara expanded its presence to Ras Al Khaimah, with a camp in the Al Wadi Nature Reserve on the grounds of The Ritz-Carlton Al Wadi. Visitors can book a “sunset” or “sunset with dinner” package, both of which come with family-friendly activities such as sandboarding, volleyball, soft archery and an owl show.

The Nara team, headed by founder Stephanie Reichenbach, has also introduced luxury tours of Dubai, with the aim of offering a new perspective of the city. Nara Nomad offers curated tours, as well as completely bespoke experiences, which shine a spotlight on the emirate’s culinary, retail and cultural attractions.

Reichenbach, a former private banker, has lived in Dubai since 2010 and launched Nara Escape in 2018, with the aim of sharing her love of the desert with others, by providing bespoke experiences in the UAE wilderness.

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Updated: May 09, 2022, 1:17 PM