Arabian Nights Village, Abu Dhabi, UAE

The expanse of golden sands and the stunning untouched sand dunes, valleys, camels, gazelles and flowing landscape are a delight to explore. And within the heart of Al-Khatem desert - just over an hour's drive from both Al-Ain and Abu Dhabi cities, is the Arabian Nights Village - a purpose-built retreat with overnight stays in air-conditioned tents and houses meticulously designed to reflect traditional residences but with modern conveniences. The retreat features a swimming pool, a restaurant serving the finest Arabian cuisine and a host of desert activities.

Nestled among stunning dunes, Arabian Nights Village harnesses the soul and essence of old Arabia. Conceived to let visitors experience the mythical and timeless beauty of the desert and aspects of traditional Emirati life. The desert journey begins as experienced guides transport guests over towering dunes. As they approach the village - which emerges surprisingly from a gigantic dune valley - guests enter a picturesque 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.

There are four types of accommodation available - Bedouin tents (Bayt Al Shaaer), palm houses (Bayt Al Nakheel), desert houses (Bayt Al Bar), and The Fort Tower (Al Manha), inviting visitors to relaxing Arabian interiors, which transport them to different lifestyles from Abu Dhabi's past.

With lots of desert activities available for the whole family, guests can ride camels, rev-up quad bikes to surmount towering crescents, get the adrenalin pumping while dune bashing with fully qualified drivers, and sand surf down sheer inclines. The village also offers morning safari, spectacular camel trekking experience and 'Fat' biking with special packages designed for couples looking for a romantic getaway. Although internet is available for emergencies, there are no TVs on-site, so guests enjoy sheer tranquility.

Serving a mix of Arabic and international Cuisine, the Al Maqam restaurant (meaning 'The Gathering Place'), is where visitors meet and eat together, while listening to traditional Arabic music. There's also an idyllic 200m2 swimming pool to cool down in.