Bab Al Shams Desert Resort & Spa, Dubai

Come on a journey deep into the Arabian desert to a fabled resort, magestically perched between sand dunes and encompassing an oasis, and far far away from the skyscrapers of Dubai.

With typical Arab hospitality we are welcomed to Bab Al Shams Resert Resort & Spa…

Oasis, Pool, Date Palms of Bab Al Shams: f/2.8; 1/500sec

Oasis, Pool, Date Palms of Bab Al Shams: f/2.8; 1/500sec

Bab Al Shams literally means Gateway to the Sun and with its Arabic fort setting, and aspect perfectly positioned to take in the magesty of immense sand dunes, the cooling waters of a desert oasis as well as perpetual sunshine, its hard to imagine we are but 40 minutes drive from the business centre of Dubai.

Hidden pools and classic Arabic architecture of Bab Al Shams: f/2.8; 1/1500sec; ISO-80

Hidden pools and classic Arabic architecture of Bab Al Shams: f/2.8; 1/1500sec; ISO-80

The instant our group arrived, the royal treatment was laid: dates are proffered, refreshing lemongrass-scented cold towels are given for us to cool our necks, freshly pressed juices delivered while at check-in, and we are encouraged to enjoy bowls of apples, there for the taking.

Shaded walkways and courtyards of Bab Al Shams: f/2.8; 1/80sec; ISO-80

Shaded walkways and courtyards of Bab Al Shams: f/2.8; 1/80sec; ISO-80

Combining shaded walkways and discreet little courtyards, Bab Al Shams then dazzles with rolling lawns and elegant pool areas. Golden sand dunes sing out to be explored…

Extensive pool areas of Bab Al Shams: f/5.6; 1/350sec

Extensive pool areas of Bab Al Shams: f/5.6; 1/350sec

Basking in the midday heat is thoroughly enjoyable when the option of slipping into chilled water is but a hop away. Alternatively, an afternoon in the hotel’s library may take your fancy. Such dramatic afternoon light filtering through rattan ceilings I have never encountered before…

Capturing Shards of Desert Light @ Bab Al Shams Library: f/2.8; 1/25sec; ISO-80

Capturing Shards of Desert Light @ Bab Al Shams Library: f/2.8; 1/25sec; ISO-80

The desert is the perfect playground for an intrepid explorer. As guests we were welcomed to book a desert drive, archery, falconry, horseriding. Personally, I could not say no to a camel ride however…

Mouna my beautifully-lashed She-Camel: f/2.8; 1/500sec

Mouna my beautifully-lashed She-Camel: f/2.8; 1/500sec

The resort is not named Gateway to the Sun for nought. The water, the sand dunes, the sunshine; a short stay in this beautiful five-star getaway had us refreshed, renewed and reinvigorated. You will never see sunlight like you will at Bab Al Shams…

Sunset over Bab Al Shams: f/8; 1/250sec; ISO-80

Sunset over Bab Al Shams: f/8; 1/250sec; ISO-80

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