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Abu Dhabi Launches Arabian Nights Village

Abu Dhabi Launches Arabian Nights Village

Authentic desert retreat has no in-room TVs and phones can only be used in an emergency


The Arabian Nights Village desert retreat has opened, designed to attract more cultural tourists to Abu Dhabi.

Spanning 85,000sqm, the Al Khatem plot is the size of 12 football pitches and aims to “raise the bar” on traditional overnight desert accommodation.

Conceived to give guests an insight into desert and traditional Emirati life, the Arabian Nights Village contains 30 double rooms, five one-bedroom suites and a three-bedroom suite, set across four themes: Bayt Al Shaaer (The Woven House), Bayt Al Bahar (House of the Sea), Bayt Al Bar (Desert Home) and Al Manhal Fort Tower.

HH Sheikh Sultan bin Tahnoon Al Nahyan, chairman, Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority, said: “We have worked very hard to not let modern day distractions enter the experience, so there are no TVs in the rooms, and phones and internet are operational only for emergencies.”

The village emerges surprisingly from a large dune valley and guests enter a courtyard overlooked by two traditional-styled watchtowers, Zakher and Al Manhal, each named after residences of the late Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, The Father of the Nation.

Alongside an oasis style pool is an indoor-outdoor traditional ‘Al Maqam’ restaurant and souk selling local handmade crafts.

The site is powered by four sound-proofed generators and draws on the area’s natural resources, with a specialist water treatment facility extracting and treating water on-site, while drinking water comes from a 65 metre deep well. The village also uses treated waste water to irrigate trees and its landscaped gardens.

Al Manhal Fort Tower contains three presidential bedrooms, each with opulent bathrooms, and lavish interiors elegantly furnished with rich fabrics, natural materials and authentic design details.

Prices for two sharing a heritage room are Dhs1,250 ($340) for a night inclusive of service charges and tourism fees and include breakfast and dinner and most activities. The tower suites cost Dhs3,750 (US$1,000) and holds six guests.

Activities include dune bashing, quad biking, sand surfing and sledding, camel riding, falconry, henna painting and Emirati camel farm visits.  The village is also offering corporate packages and events.


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