Sprawling metropolises and futuristic buildings have become synonymous with the UAE. But peel away the layers of skyscrapers and statement-making hotels, and what awaits is the beauty of a land forgotten, where among the sand dunes a simple way of life prevails. The relatively quieter emirate of Ras Al Khaimah is the bucolic countryside counterpart to Dubai’s bustling big city. With blue coastlines, jagged mountains and terracotta sand filling the desert dunes, the beautiful landscape is just waiting to be explored.
Nestled in the vast expanses of the Arabian Desert, The Ritz-Carlton Ras Al Khaimah, Al Wadi Desert offers an unparalleled oasis of luxury, adventure, and culture. The stunning resort seamlessly blends traditional Emirati design with modern sophistication, creating an idyllic retreat for the discerning traveller. Located in the heart of the Ras Al Khaimah desert, surrounded by the dramatic dunes and landscapes of the Al Wadi Nature Reserve, The Ritz-Carlton Ras Al Khaimah, Al Wadi Desert sits in a 1,235-acre protected reserve. Home to an array of indigenous flora and fauna, as well as enchanting Ghaf tree forests, the reserve provides a captivating backdrop for a truly immersive experience.
The resort features 100 luxurious private villas, each boasting its own pool, sundeck, and floor-to-ceiling windows that offer wraparound views of the surrounding desert landscape. Designed to evoke the rich heritage of Bedouin architecture, tented suites or mud-brick villas are adorned with sumptuous textiles, mashrabiya woodwork, and fanous lanterns. The crowning jewel of the resort is the Al Sahari Tented Pool Villa, an opulent sanctuary offering unparalleled privacy and tranquility. This secluded haven features a spacious bedroom, a living area with a fireplace, an outdoor shower, and a private pool surrounded by a fragrant garden, as well as a personal butler.
With a firm focus on connectivity with nature and culture, the resort’s Experience Concierge can arrange a plethora of bespoke immersive activities which can keep you enthralled even after a stay of 1,001 nights – all the more reason to avail the Stay Longer On Us offer, which gifts guests up to 30 per cent savings when staying three nights or more. Embark on a thrilling falconry experience, where you can witness the magnificent birds of prey up close or explore the desert landscape on a guided camel trek. The more adventurous guests can also take a thrilling nature drive. The Al Wadi Equestrian Center sheds light on the importance of horses and camels to Middle Eastern culture by offering a range of bespoke equestrian experiences, including horse riding lessons, desert hacks, and the unique opportunity to participate in a traditional Arabian falcon show.
After adventurous afternoons, respite can be found at The Ritz-Carlton Spa which offers an elevated wellness experience among the dunes. An exquisite sanctuary of serenity and rejuvenation, the spa draws inspiration from the healing power of nature, offering a unique selection of holistic treatments and therapies which incorporate indigenous ingredients, such as desert sand, camel’s milk, and aromatic oud. Not to be missed is The Rainforest, a healing water oasis that combines European hydrothermal culture with Middle Eastern bathing rituals. To maximise the rejuvenation benefits guests are encouraged to follow the mapped sequence and to allow time for the body to cool, whether naturally or with the Ice Igloo or showers, after completing a warm station.
Gastronomy at the resort is an extension of cultural learning with local influences found in the cuisine and the settings, from home-grown vegetables to dining among the sand dunes. The light-filled rustic Farmhouse offers farm-to-table delicacies with a menu that focuses on wild meats and own-grown vegetables. As a perfect aperitif to the hearty meal, the adjacent Whiskey Lounge specialises in handcrafted cocktails. Indian and Middle Eastern cuisines take centre stage at Kaheela, which offers a buffet and à la carte option. For a dining experience steeped in history that explores the culinary nuances of Andalucía with Arabic influences, head to Moorish. The homemade pastries, light bites, and refreshing juices at Paddock Café are the perfect accompaniments for the panoramic views of the resort’s resident horses. Evenings are best spent at Moon Bar, where signature cocktails and shishas are enjoyed under a canopy of stars. Even after a scorching hot desert day, blankets are needed as the welcome dew cools the warm decks.
If you’re seeking a romantic getaway, a family vacation, or an unforgettable adventure, The Ritz-Carlton Ras Al Khaimah, Al Wadi Desert promises a unique and enchanting experience. From the alluring desert landscapes and the rich Emirati heritage, to the exquisite culinary offerings and the rejuvenating spa, this captivating resort is the epitome of desert luxury, and a destination that will leave you yearning for more.
WHAT: The Ritz-Carlton Ras Al Khaimah, Al Wadi Desert
WHERE: Ras Al Khaimah, UAE