There’s little question that Dubai is among the prime vacationer locations on the planet. In reality, the town received the Tripadvisor Travellers’ Choice Award for the second time in a row this yr.
But with overwhelming crowds of over 14 million guests per yr and ever-rising costs topping the worldwide day by day vacationer spend charts, some vacationers are in search of options.
So why don’t vacationers strive someplace else? Well, Dubai actually is aware of methods to do luxurious, and everyone is aware of it. With over 150 five-star properties with wonderful reputations, it comes as no shock that vacationers suppose first of Dubai when in search of a style of the nice life.
However, there are just a few elite gems within the Gulf giving Dubai a run for its cash.
For these prepared to get off the crushed path, listed here are the highest three options to Dubai that provide world-class luxurious.
1. Muscat, Oman
Prices in Muscat are about 40% decrease than in Dubai whereas nonetheless sustaining top-quality luxurious and world-class hospitality.
Top award-winning five-star properties in Muscat embrace:
- The Chedi Hotel – Palm timber line a smooth pool with ocean views, whereas minimalist clear traces mix seamlessly with Omani structure in a real oasis of understated opulence.
- Kempinski Hotel – This splashy seashore resort can do no flawed however can give the properties of Dubai’s Palm Jumeirah a run for his or her cash.
- Al-Bustan Palace, A Ritz-Carlton Hotel – If the record-breaking crystal chandeliers and engaging historical past of the constructing weren’t sufficient, company might be impressed by the peerless high quality of meticulously curated experiences all through their keep.
- Shangri-La Al Husn – This adult-only clifftop retreat on the bay of Barr Al Jissah remembers Arabian royalty in its indulgent model of luxurious.
But the luxurious doesn’t cease at lodging. Oman Air is ranked within the prime 10 enterprise lessons and first lessons to fly on the planet and was awarded essentially the most comfy seat within the Middle East.
Like Dubai, Muscat airport is a handy (albeit smaller) hub connecting flights between Europe, Asia, and Africa, that includes a enterprise class lounge ranked within the prime ten globally.
Muscat doesn’t have something just like the Burj Khalifa, however it has one thing that ultra-developed Dubai is lacking: the stability between previous and new.
While trendy world-class hospitality continues to be the secret, Oman is totally steeped in a depth of custom lacking from different luxurious locations. Maintaining its natural character in its architecture, hospitality, and lifestyle units this Gulf nation aside from the competitors.
The Sultanate is predominantly Ibāḍī, training a department of Islam that’s much less conservative in social follow than many neighboring societies.
Muscat’s social local weather is comparatively relaxed and tolerant of different cultures. Tourists can get pleasure from alcoholic drinks on their journey and have peace of thoughts realizing that Oman is broadly thought to be essentially the most female-friendly nation within the area.
While the extraordinary service and hanging structure of Muscat’s luxurious properties would possibly tempt you to by no means depart your lodge, Oman’s true gems lie within the excursions.
No journey to Muscat could be full with out marveling at Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque, wandering across the Royal Opera House, or procuring within the vibrant maze of Muttrah Souk. Just an hour southwest of Muscat lies the traditional capital of Nizwa, surreally frozen in time but welcoming to guests.
Venture an hour and a half east alongside Oman’s shoreline, and also you’ll be blown away by the pure magnificence and refreshing waters of Wadi Shab, Wadi Bani Khalid, and Wadi Tiwi. The nature right here additionally is aware of slightly one thing about true luxurious.
2. AlUla, Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia’s new vacationer magnet AlUla presents a novel model of unique luxurious. The Kingdom describes this desert retreat as “a living museum of preserved tombs, sandstone outcrops, historic dwellings… that hold 200,000 years of largely unexplored human history.”
Detox and reconnection with nature are AlUla’s specialties. (Alcohol is prohibited in Saudi Arabia, so that you would possibly as properly go all in on the cleanse.)
From ancestral Bedouin therapeutic practices to fashionable oil therapies and yoga practices, the wellness facilities at AlUla’s prime resorts are totally geared up for desert rejuvenation.
Luxury properties in AlUla provide one thing for each type of traveler. Award-winning Habitas Alula is nothing in need of other-worldly. Self-proclaimed “luxury for the soul,” this resort hosts 96 five-star villas, every with distinctive interiors, scattered throughout the desert sand alongside a miraculous swimming pool and yoga deck.
Focused on seamless integration with the show-stopping surroundings, Banyan Tree Alula options 47 sand-colored tented villas and an infinity pool filling an natural area between towering Martian cliffs.
3. Doha, Qatar
Qatar is rapidly making a reputation for itself as a number one luxurious vacation spot, beginning with its capital metropolis of Doha.
Banana Island Resort by Anantara presents a personal island stick with uber-Instagrammable floating meals served within the pool. Private villas right here sit on stilts above crystal clear waters and are available full with a personal butler, boat, and pool.
Zulal Wellness Resort by Chiva-Som gives a secluded oasis the place desert meets nature and conventional Qatari structure meets trendy clear traces. Just an hour from the capital, this five-star property is the primary luxurious wellness vacation spot within the area to deal with Traditional Arabic and Islamic Medicine.
Other prime resorts embrace:
- Mandarin Oriental, Doha – Home to opulent pearl-based spa remedies, twin rooftop swimming pools, and a restaurant specializing in Italian white truffle
- Mondrian Doha – An award-winning artwork lodge within the West Bay with a bustling social scene and inventive interiors at each flip
- Marsa Malaz Kempinski – A European-inspired seashore resort on a synthetic island that includes 281 ocean-view rooms and seven eating places, a preferred selection with households
For extreme luxurious, look no additional than The Pearl-Qatar, a man-made peninsula full of the best eating, trendiest cafes, and most lavish lodges within the nation, cementing Doha’s place as a worthy rival to Dubai.
From Nobu to Morimoto to Hakkasan, really world-class Asian-inspired positive eating is among the many elite methods Doha does finest.
Travelers can enjoy top-tier non-public excursions like helicopter rides, luxurious yacht charters, 24-carat gold spa treatments, or private stylist-led procuring journeys to the designer wing of the Mall of Doha.
When it’s time to fly residence, don’t be too disillusioned. Qatar Airways has been voted the World’s Best Airline seven years in a row, to not point out the perfect airline within the Middle East and one of many prime enterprise lessons on the planet.
It’s secure to say you’ll depart behind your luxurious trip in continued consolation with excellent service.
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This article initially appeared on TravelOffPath.com