From time immemorial, the Arabian horse has been an integral part of the Bedouin lifestyle in the Arabian Peninsula and the gulf region. Bedouin methods of horse training represent a gentle approach.
It is not surprising that as resorts and 5 star hotels have been developed in Dubai, some of them have celebrated this glorious equestrian tradition.
Bab Al Shams Desert Resort & Spa
This is where I stayed last night. As we drove across the desert approached it, the lights created a mesmerizing effect, straight out of a tale from 10101 Arabian Nights. Operated by Meydan Hotels, Bab Al Shams means "Gateway to the Sun". The resort opened in 2004 and its design reflects a fortified Arabian village, an oasis in the heart of the desert.
This 113 room resort is located next to Dubai International Endurance City. The ambiance of Al Hadheerah restaurant captures the essence of a traditional Bedouin desert camp. (More about that tomorrow.) From Al Sarab Rooftop Lounge, guests can enjoy panoramic views of the desert.
To say that it's a horse lover's paradise is an understatement. I went riding this morning. I was surprised when my guide told me that we had ridden for 10 KM. I was not the only person up early getting fresh air and exercise.
For business meetings, there is a Heritage Majilis and 5 Falcon Meeting Rooms. For large conferences and special events, Dubai International Endurance City can accommodate groups of up to 5,000 in a large outdoor area, 5 VIP majilises, and 14 meeting rooms. There are unique breakout areas around the property.
The resort has pools, fountains, stunning arrangements, and special effects around every corner. Kudos to the designers.
This is where I'm staying for the next few days. Meydan is the Arabic word for "meeting place". Located 4 KMs from the Dubai Creek, the Meydan Hotel, which opened earlier this year, features 285 rooms and suites overlooking the Meydan racecourse.
Rooms are spacious with huge beds and spacious bathroom. Every room has a large cupboard and its own luggage room.
Recreational facilities include the rooftop infinity pool, tennis, the Target and Shooting Simulator, and the spa and health club. With indoor and outdoor event facilities, the Grand Ballroom can be subdivided for business meetings. It can hold groups of up to 370 for banquets and special events.
Stable tours can be arranged at the Meydan Grandstand. The Meydan Grandstand houses a large IMAX theater that is ideal for corporate events for groups of up to 566. For larger groups, the Meydan Gallery is ideal for galas and trade shows. With a capacity of 3700, the 3-level Sky Bubble offers a 360 degree view of the Dubai skyline. I attended an event there tonight and could not believe how much space there was. The view of the Dubai skyline is nothing short of breathtaking.
Other venues for groups ranging from 700 - 800 include the Falcon Lounge, the Turf Lounge and the Park Ring Restaurant.
Palm trees, rooftop terraces, afternoon tea, and polo in the heart of the desert. That's the essence of the 36 suites and villas at Desert Palm. Horse lovers can explore 150 acres on horseback or take in the fast=paced action of polo. A range of outdoor event venues are available for weddings, galas and private events.
Photo Credits: Dubai Incentive Travel Photos by Executive Oasis International