The Essence of Arabia
The Essence of Arabia
Journey through the UAE from the bustling souks and imposing skyscrapers of Dubai to a camp amongst the desert dunes of Oman. This retreat offers the perfect blend of cultural discovery, glamour and gastronomy.
- Take tea with a member of one of the six Emirati royal families
- Dive with a marine biologist to see the world's largest fish, whale sharks (seasonal)
- Paraglide and kitesurf the waters surrounding your own private island
- Wander around the Grand Mosque, Louvre Abu Dhabi and Guggenheim Abu Dhabi after-hours
- Reach speeds of 150mph on Ferrari World's record-breaking roller coaster then try to beat that on the F1 track with a racing professional
- Head into the mountains of Oman for an off-road adventure
This trip can be customised to your personal preferences.
As the high-octane hub of the United Arab Emirates, Dubai's perpetually evolving skyline is where tradition and grandiose vision collide. Ferraris are a more common sight than the traditional Dhows that hark back to the city's humble beginnings as a fishing settlement.
Shopping is a favourite pastime here. Indulge in some retail therapy with a personal shopper who will accompany you to all the best boutiques and ateliers at some of Dubai's mega malls, shops and souks. For a truly exclusive treat, sit down for a traditional Emirati afternoon tea with a royal. Coffee is a part of Arabic hospitality, so sample a camel milk cappuccino or a refreshing jellab – both quintessential local flavours.
Far from the bustling souks and imposing skyscrapers, stay in a traditional camp amongst the desert dunes where you'll witness falconry displays and horse shows or watch Tanoura dancers spin to the folkloric sounds of Sufi music. End your day stargazing with an expert astronomer or fireside listening to local myths and legends as told by a Bedouin storyteller. In this serene, sandy landscape, the aromas of shisha and spiced meats wafting through the air and the sounds of nocturnal desert creatures coming to life is a multi-sensory indulgence.
To raise your adrenalin, head to Abu Dhabi to take pole position with an F1 professional and experience the thrill of driving without speed limits. Or combine G-force with stomach-churning heights on the world's fastest roller coaster, Formula Rossa.
For some enlightenment, visit the iconic Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque out-of-hours. This architectural marvel celebrates diversity and integration. Enjoy the historical and cultural delights of Saadiyat Island with a private tour of Louvre Abu Dhabi and Guggenheim Abu Dhabi – designed by Pritzker Prize winners.
If it's seclusion you're after, fly by seaplane to a private island just off Abu Dhabi's coast. Swoop and soar metres above the waves as you kitesurf under the guidance of an expert instructor. Or paraglide through the sky as the sun sets and land on your deserted beach where a sundowner and Arabic buffet awaits. Join a dive master and marine biologist in the warm waters of the Arabian Gulf to dive amongst whale sharks in their natural habitat. These gentle giants are the largest fish in the sea and a sight to behold.
Nature lover? Then rev-up for an off-road adventure in Oman, the UAE's more humble neighbour. Scale mountain roads, meander wadis, ford rivers and cross canyons to visit ancient villages, prehistoric caves and fruit plantations. Hike green trails, bike craggy slopes and swim natural pools to explore the diverse topography of Oman's Jebel Shams. Spend the night under the stars in a luxurious Bedouin-style tent.
Throughout Arabia, history is preserved in the soul of the country but innovation creates a new face for the modern world.