Arabian Nights Village

Resort in Abu Dhabi

This oasis in the desert loses some of its charm in high season when big overnight tour groups can dominate, but the surroundings are so lovely you might not care. The 38 Bedouin tents, barasti (traditional Gulf method of building palm-leaf houses) cottages and Abu Dhabi–style houses are comfy and decked out with faux-traditional detailing and luxury bedding.

The breakfast room is flush with Syrian and Turkish touches, there's an inviting pool and the whole place is surrounded by windswept desert – which is the real reason you're there. Prices include bus transfer in and out from Abu Dhabi – 124km to the northwest – breakfast and dinner (with musical entertainment), camel rides and sandboarding; ATV rental costs extra.

The resort also arranges morning (7am to noon) desert tours from Abu Dhabi including a short 4WD trip in the dunes, a camel ride, sandboarding and breakfast then chill-out time around the resort's swimming pool before your return to the city (adult/child Dhs300/200).