Rising from the dunes, Bab Al Shams sits in Endurance City, along a sandswept road, past thoroughbred stables and camel farms some 40 minutes’ drive from Dubai. Meaning ‘gateway to the sun’ in Arabic, Bab Al Shams offers guests an array of activities for exploring the surrounding desert, from falconry, to camel treks to dune drives.
Another five minutes…? The sing song voice of my therapist Pema drifts into my cubicle. ‘Why not…’ I murmur in return. A small river of droplets slip from the bridge of my nose, forming a miniature pool at my feet. I sit in my own personal steam cubicle, contemplating how quickly the minutes have already passed. I am beginning an afternoon of therapy, having signed up for a traditional Turkish hamman, followed by a signature Arabian massage at the newly relaunched spa at Anantara the Palm
What I like most about InterContinental Dubai Marina is the gorgeous scent. From the second you step into the hotel until the moment you leave, the calming, signature fragrance envelopes you. It is so good, it almost makes you want to move in. And move in you can, for the hotel has 196 Residential Suites hidden away, perfect for the discerning guest seeking rest and relaxation. You could while away your days at the pool, your evenings drinking bespoke cocktails or bubbles at The Social Room, or take up residency in the spa. I was not allowed to move in permanently however, so I just opted to stay for the afternoon.
It’s not often I’d advocate putting plastic in the ocean, but when it comes to swimwear, Naïla Collection is reworking all the rules. The New York based brand founded by Naïla Chbib in 2008 launched its latest beach and swimwear line this evening with a poolside fashion show at the newly opened Urban Lounge at InterContinental Dubai Marina.
Why visit …. because there are few things in life better than staycationing in your home town or adopted city. Suddenly, everything slows and you can appreciate the beauty of your home at a leisurely pace. I was staying at the newly opened InterContinental Dubai Marina, which although just a short distance from my apartment, was a world away – a home-from-home in the heart of Dubai Marina.
Stay in …the perfectly appointed residences and suites offering sweeping views over the pool and marina. With a daytime backdrop of yachts reflected in the water and a breathtaking evening perspective of Dubai Marina’s bright lights – day or night you get a real sense of place of being in the heart of this vibrant, exciting city. With unexpected touches such as red Emperor Penguins guarding the pool and a ‘Mae West lips’ style sofa by the lift, the property is not your usual InterContinental.