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Spiritual Alchemy in the Desert

The complete silence and tranquillity of the desert strips us bare; with nothing to distract, you are with yourself!

This is what I felt at the Al Maha Desert Resort and Spa on my recent visit there. Located about 65 kms to the south of Dubai, it lies secluded in the pristine desert, un-touched by the bustling city life. At one point you turn into a slip road from the main road and find yourself surrounded by never-ending desert panoramas in a barren and unspoilt land. You can see groups of Arabian Oryx grazing lazily and may even come across a gazelle sauntering in your path as you drive towards the resort. Silence is complete and peace within you comes naturally and spontaneously amidst the depth of the shifting dunes all around. You sense the powerful force of the desert as it awakens your inner being and makes you aware of the power of creation.

The main reception building, housing the Lobby and the Al Diwaan restaurant, is designed in traditional old-world Arabian style with flowing curtains, low Majlis style of seating, decorative brass, and metal tables with traditional handmade carpets on the floor, and old Bedouin artefacts on display all around. There is a curio shop that sells all of these for discerning visitors.

The rooms and suites are standalone Bedouin tents decked out in Arabian style with huge beds, wooden chests, Arabian antiques, and Oriental carpets. The endangered Oryx bred here as part of the DDCR’s conservation programme, and the shy, graceful Arabian gazelles roam around freely amidst the tangerine desert sands and may saunter into your backyard. A private plunge pool is a part of every tent.

You can savour the pristine vistas of the desert from the Terrace Bar and feast on tastefully prepared Arabic cuisine and healthy dishes made from the organic produce on the alfresco deck. Gourmet picnic lunches on the rippling sand dunes and private dinners can also be arranged in your suite.

The various activities that can keep you busy include Camel treks on the dunes, Falconry, dune bashing and Archery.

The timeless spa is set amidst serene and inspirational natural environments and offers the finest in holistic and Ayurvedic treatments with their signature products. Private massage rooms for couples, in-suite massage, private Hammam chamber, Hydrotherapy bath, a sauna and steam room including a cold plunge pool, Jacuzzi, swimming pool and a fully equipped fitness centre are part of the amenities. Relax in their temperature-controlled infinity-edge swimming pool while gazing across the serene silence of the mountains with the Arabian Oryx and shy gazelles strolling by and you will experience Zen like never before!

Al Maha which means Oryx in Arabic is an unforgettable property, the rolling desert dunes and expansive mountain ranges cast a spell on you from the moment you arrive.


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