Nestled between the desert and the coastline of the Arabian Gulf in the UAE’s Al Dhafra region, lies a hidden sanctuary called Danat Jebel Dhanna Resort. The Al Dhafra region also known as the Western region is popular for adventure and culture seekers. It is home to the world’s largest uninterrupted desert mass, Rub Al Khali (Empty Quarter), scenic pristine beaches, and known for events like the Al Gharbia Watersports Festival, Liwa Date Festival, and cultural Al Dhafra Festival. It holds the largest hub of natural gas and oil resources in the UAE, which is why it is a very industrial part of the country, with a very small population.
The Danat Jebel Dhanna Resort is located in Jebel Dhanna, one of the few towns in the Al Dhafra region, which used to be a cradle of life millions years ago, as ancient hippo and elephant fossils have recently been discovered. The inner travel bug yearned for an adventure and with the UAE’s amazing cooler temperature, the weekend was the perfect time to visit! Driving from Abu Dhabi for approximately 2.5 hours, the road is long and boring, with nothing in sight except the empty desert, odd palm tree, and petrol station, and then out of nowhere your eyes catch a glimpse of the resort.
The 5 start property has been a part of the region’s history for 16 years welcoming visitors from around the world. Overlooking the calming waters of the sea, this charming resort illuminates serenity through it’s tranquil colours and decor elements. It is set among landscaped gardens and tree lined pathways leading directly to the crystal clear water. Although it is not a new property, I was very impressed with the maintenance level – it looks (and smells) better than a lot of so called 5 star hotels in the capital and can easily put them to shame.
I stayed in the spacious Deluxe Grand room which has its own balcony with a vista of the tranquil sea. My favourite feature, apart from the view of course, was the comfy bed. It was one of the most peaceful nights ever as there was absolutely no noise apart from the serene waves and birds chirping in the morning. Apart from the 130 room, the resort has recently added several chalets which offer direct access to the beach.
The property offers a variety of dining options, catering to every preference. My morning started at Tides, the all day dining, where I enjoyed my brekkie al fresco on the terrace. “Zaitoun“, which means “olives” serves Italian cuisine and resembles a beautiful Mediterranean villa. L’attitude bar offers exceptional live entertainment by the in-house band Power Play – their vocals are some of the most powerful I have experienced in any hotel (and the lead singer deserves her own record label). I loved how they interacted with the crowd and sang only songs from guest requests which made the vibe even more fun! The swimming pool features a swim up bar called Waves which serves a variety of drinks, nibbles, and ice cream.
RELAXATION & RECREATION
The best feature for me was definitely the 800km stretch of fine sandy beach and the calm sea. The water was literally freezing, so I only made it in half way, however there was a gorgeous moment where the blue shades of the sky and sea, combined with the cotton shaped clouds, set the absolute blissful moment. The temperature controlled swimming pool is connected to the Waves Bar, which is great for sipping cocktails while enjoying the sunshine.
The resort also has a gym overlooking the pool, massage room (with limited treatments), and water sports for the more adventurous such as kayaking, banana boats, stand up paddle, and deep sea fishing. Snorkeling was possible, however I was told that the coral reef was unfortunately destroyed due to construction.
The property is located just a 20 minute boat ride away from Sir Bani Yas Island (info) and on a clear day, the mountainous landscape can be seen from the resort. Day trips are possible to visit the island, however be warned, they come with a hefty price tag of AED 500.
We are extremely spoiled living here in the UAE given the wide number of glittery resorts and properties, so many residents would feel Danat Jebel Dhanna Resort might be “tired”. I would definitely recommend a visit to this resort to anyone who is looking for a serene and secluded getaway, as there really isn’t anything else to do in Jebel Dhanna. It is the perfect place to disconnect, relax, and recharge.
- Location: Jebel Dhanna, near Ruwais (it’s on Google maps)
- Telephone:+ 971 2 801 2222
- Website: http://www.jebeldhanna.danathotels.com
Disclaimer: All views are my own and all photographs are © My Pink Diary.