Seafront location? Sandy beach? Lush gardens? Extra long pool? Italian architecture? Instaworthy breakfasts? Natural Mangroves? Wild flamingoes? Seafood restaurant? Luxurious beds? Brilliant staff? Tick tick tick tick tick tick tick…. and more!
Located 30 minutes drive from Dubai airport (in the opposite direction from the hustle and bustle of high rise Dubai), lies the emirate of Ajman. A quieter, less developed emirate, chosen by India’s most luxurious hotel brand, Oberoi, as a location to open their new beach resort The Oberoi Al Zorah.
We spent a week at The Oberoi Al Zorah over the easter school holidays. From the moment we arrived to the moment we left, we kept pinching ourselves at the sheer beauty of the place. Its our favourite beach resort by far. Okay so the sea wasn’t brilliant to swim in, but the 85 metre pool is a sight to behold and the beach is great for sandy sunset strolls.
THE 85 METRE POOL HAS DIVIDED SUN BAYS GIVING A SENSE OF PRIVACY
THE BRILLIANT STAFF GO ABOVE & BEYOND
With sleek modern architecture, open water courtyards and floor to ceiling windows, The Oberoi Al Zorah surpasses expectations at literally every corner. The staff here go above and beyond to ensure their guests stay is the very best it can be. After overhearing we were planning to watch a movie in our room, the reception team sent popcorn… another day we arrived back to find cookies decorated with Coco’s name. Every day the pool staff greeted us with a tray of cold bottled water and Evian sprays, along with a fresh iced lolly. The list goes on….
THE BEACH FRONT VILLAS ARE SEPARATED FROM THE BEACH WITH A PRIVATE BOARDWALK
There are two restaurants – the wonderful Aquario which specialises in fresh seafood and Vinesse where we sampled some incredible Indian dishes (they offer a good Italian menu too). Alcohol is VERY expensive – £12.50 for a glass of wine, but this gave us the opportunity to go teetotal which meant we slept like babies every night.
Breakfast is my favourite meal of the day and The Oberoi did not disappoint! The chef brings round daily pastries to your table – the MOST delicious things I’ve ever tasted – a different one each day. We sampled most of the foods on offer after working out in the gym and yoga studio each morning. It ended up being a pretty healthy trip for us (apart from those pastries….).
The hotel offers a shuttle bus service to The Dubai Mall three times a week, where you can see Burj Khalifa and experience the wonderful fountain shows on the hour. The Mall is pretty full on, especially on a Friday (the UAE week runs from Sunday to Thursday), but also fascinating to see the diverse mix of cultures out and about. We went to an early evening movie, followed by the Virtual Reality park which was amazing.
Dubai is fairly conservative so its best to cover up a little bit when out and about. I took a scarf with me and covered my shoulders when I felt a little exposed. Whilst its very tourist friendly, there are a lot of Emirati families around and I felt it was respectful to not wander around in vest tops and shorts.
Back at Al Zorah the following day we counterbalanced the Dubai craziness with a kayak trip through the mangroves, where we spotted wild flamingos, osprey and a whole flock of storks.
This holiday was purely about relaxing, reading and soaking up some sunshine. Which is exactly what we did. Whilst it was nice to spend a day in Dubai and a few hours out in the Mangroves, the vast majority of our time was simply spent enjoying the hotel.
We booked a premium room with a private terrace which was more than adequate for the three of us, with a large lounge area and huge bathroom with a walk in shower. The villas offer 2 bedrooms + and have private pools.
Coco didn’t make use of the kids club but we had a wander round to see the small children’s pool and there were X-boxes and games. I’d be happy to leave a young child there, the staff were friendly and the few children who were there were having a whale of a time!
What else to say…. the government has invested heavily in the Al Zorah area including a marina which all looks very smart but at the time of our visit was deserted. There are a number of restaurants there and watersports centres so when the number of visitors to the area increases (Hilton is due to build a hotel at some point), I’m sure it will be a hive of activity.
We flew to Dubai with British Airways from London Heathrow which took just under 7 hours there and slightly longer on the way back. We’ve previously flown with Emirates who I have to say are much better – the planes are newer and they have their own terminal at Dubai airport which makes the whole process more convenient. Emirates will also by flying from Stansted Airport this summer (2018). We booked a transfer from the airport to the hotel – I’d recommend this as the hotel is fairly new so some taxi drivers may not know where it is (even with our transfer the driver got lost).
If you visit The Oberoi Al Zorah, do let me know. We’re definitely going back!
Click here for The Oberoi Al Zorah website where you can book direct.