OK, Dubai isn’t the obvious place to head for a luxe safari honeymoon, but trust us – the Al Maha Resort in the Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve is a ‘pinch me, am I dreaming?’ kind of place. here are two desert activities to pick from daily hosted by the rangers, all of whom have worked as safari guides in South Africa. Take a camel ride into the desert to enjoy bubbly and strawberries as the sun sets; try falconry, archery and horse riding on Arabian stallions, or take a safari drive to spot gazelles and birds of prey. here’s also a white-knuckle 4×4 ride over sand dunes – just don’t attempt this on a full stomach. You’ll stay in a secluded suite, with dramatic views and your own ininity pool (right), and will be kitted out with binoculars, an easel and art materials for when the landscape inspires you. It’s wild – and beautiful. BOOK IT A suite costs from £750 per night; al-maha.com.
Dubai Yep, really City ski safari: GO WILD ON SAFARI Photo Gallery
LIVE THE HIGH LIFE
There is only one way to truly experience a city as sprawling as Dubai and that’s up in the clouds. Options include a sky dive right over the iconic Palm Jumeirah and a balloon ride at sunrise against the backdrop of the Al Hajar Mountains. Ater landing, head for a tasty seafood lunch at Boardwalk restaurant, before taking time out at the rootop pool (below) at the Sheraton Grand Hotel (its huge suites are also seriously impressive). he world’s tallest building, the magniicent Burj Khalifa (let) is just a hop and skip away and a visit to its viewing platform in the clouds on the 124th loor is a must. Yes, it’ll make your knees go wobbly, but like everything else in Dubai, you shouldn’t do anything by halves. BOOK IT A room costs from £105 per night; sheratongranddubai.com.
WHIZZ DOWN THE SLOPES
Want a honeymoon on skis? Check into the swish beachfront Ritz Carlton (above let) before heading to the Watercooled Dubai Watersports Centre at Jebel Ali (bottom) for incredible water skiing in the dazzling Arabian Gulf. Time it right and you’ll still be able to enjoy the Friday brunch at the Jumeirah Zabeel Saray with a delicious lobster barbecue, champagne and a dessert display straight from Charlie And he Chocolate Factory. Later, swap the desert heat for the surreal chill of Ski Dubai within the Mall of the Emirates (above right). Skiing in a shopping centre may sound bonkers, but it’s brilliant. here are 240,000sq t of slopes in all, which include the irst indoor black run, zorb balls (that’s giant hamster balls that you can run in), an ice body slide, toboggan runs, a luge track – and you can meet penguins, too.
Still hungry for adventure? Visit an authentic Bedouin campsite (below) with Gulf Ventures for some hair-raising sand boarding and a candlelit barbecue in the dunes. Spoiler alert: you’ll ind sand in your hair for weeks but this is an experience you’ll never forget. BOOK IT A double room costs from £395 per night; ritzcarlton.com/dubai.