Jumeirah Bab Al Shams Desert Resort And Spa

5 out of 5 stars5 Stars

Endurance Village, P.O Box 8168, Dubai, 8168, United Arab Emirates

6 Reviews

Bab Al Shams Desert Resort & Spa
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Satisfaction Excellent
Very Good

Value Score Average Value

Similarly priced and rated as other 5 star hotels

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  • Families88
  • Couples87
  • Solo77
  • Business95
  • Consider somewhere else..


    I had a thought of spending  the end of 2011 in a romantic desert resort. However, the travel agency made a faulty reservation in the resort I wanted, so I ended up staying in this resort. I don't know how was this resort rated as 5* hotel ! I totally do not understand how it won many awards since 2006!
    For me, this resort is an average or less than average. Starting from the  hotel personels from  the receptionest -who was not hospitable at all- to the lazy waiters in the restaurants. Their service was poor overall. 
    The rooms were small and the furniture and the decoration was ugly and silly. Being an arabian lady who knows the desert and arabian traditions very well. I would say this reseort was designed to fool the foreign people about the arabian heritage. The decorations and furniture were selected from the cheapest pieces in the iranian market. Some of the patterns use the star of David which has nothing to do with arabic or islamic arts. The beds were comfortable thought. But I never thought there are 5* resorts in this world are still using the ugly box old TVs -not LED, LCD or Plasma- nor flat screen. The entertainment system is retarded.  The TV chennels are few, no on demand movies nor DVD player. Forget about finding and ipod dock. The lightening is poor. The bathroom was nice. They serve you with a shower cap, cotton buds, cotton pads, shaving kit, dental hygiene kit even bath salt! However, no shampoo, conditioiner nor shower gel!!!
    Dining does not taste like 5* hotels. I had my breakfast there for 3 days in Al-Forsan restaurant. By the 3rd day I couldn't eat it. The coffee is served cold usually. I couldn't find fresh juices. The quality of food is less than average and the arabian food like Loqaimat and Aseeda were poor. I had dinner there once too. It was worse than the breakfast experience. I remember trying several dishes, their best -the ones I could eat- were average. I remember I tried one kind of dessert and the blackberry on top smelled stinky. I think it was frozen next to the sea food.
    Al-Hadheera, the 5* desert restaurant and show. The huge buffet which has the same quality of Al-Forsan retaurant. The food had good variety but an average taste. The show that included a band, belly dancer, andalusian band and a singer. The shaw was very cheep, I was surprised how stiff was the belly dancer. The andalusian show was messy and the singer was a piece of noise. All what I noticed was that all of the show personels were photograph oriented. Their show takes 5 mins max and then they start rotating from one table to another seeking for people to buy photos with them! 
    The most inconvenient thing I experienced their was wi-fi. They mantioned they have internet in their rooms and I needed to use whatsapp to communicate with my family and office. Unfortunately, the internet they provide in the rooms is ethernet! No laptop thought! And wi-fi is available in the pool area, retaurants and reception. The connection was poor everywhere. 
    I have one advice to the tourists. Just consider somewhere else, or cancel and save your money.. 

  • chizz's Profile Photo

    Desert Luxury Retreat!


    My husband and I decided to escape the hustle and bustle of Dubai and booked the desert resort of Bab Al Shams for a weekend break. We took advantage of a special rate for GCC Residents (United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman, Qatar), Middle East (including Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey and Iran), North Africa (Egypt ONLY) & Indian Sub-Continent (India, Pakistan, Bangladesh & Sri Lanka) of AED743 plus 20% tax per room, per night and for this price we had a buffet breakfast or Iftar and 50 min spa treatment per person included (massage, facial or exfoliation). The spa treatment is only mentioned on the website under 'terms and conditions', but was mentioned when I called to make the reservation by telephone and the website had more expensive room rates listed than the one I quoted - so best to call! The offer is available until the end of Ramadan 2010. Other offers for non GCC residents, such as summer rates (from 15 May - 8th October) are featured on the website -


    Guests also have free access to the Wild Wadi waterpark in Dubai and kids have access to Sindbads Kids Club.

    We had our massage booked for 12 noon, so arrived at the hotel at around 11.40am and were checked in by a helpful staff member. Check-in is usually at 3pm, but our room was ready early, so as we went to the Satori Spa, the luggage was sent to our room.
    The Spa was very modern with friendly staff offering a varied range of treatments from AED200 - AED1400. On our visit we were served a glass of iced water and asked which treatment we would like, before filling out a health questionnaire.
    We were then taken to one of the couples' treatment rooms (requested in advance) and left to undress in private and dress in disposable underwear.
    Our chosen Balinese Massage then began, which was very nice and relaxing. Afterwards we were served ginger tea.
    A staff member showed us to our rooms from the reception area and we were pleasantly surprised by the quality of the room - we had been upgraded from a Superior King Room to a Deluxe King Room. The room was very Arabic in style and had a huge bed, desk, small seating area and TV with over 50 channels. The bathroom had a sunken bath with a shower over it and had a good selection of toiletries. There was complimentary water in the room and a small fruit selection with apples and dates. The room was on the ground floor and opened up on to a small terrace with a table and two chairs and overlooked the desert.
    After changing, we decided to sit around the pool for a few hours. There were many available sunloungers and parasols and staff constantly checked if you needed any drinks or food. The pool area is enormous and has a jacuzzi too. Complimentary ice lollies were also offered to us by staff.
    At 5.30pm there were free camel rides in the desert area by the pool. Falcon displays are usually held too, but not during Ramadan. Also available is archery, boules and table tennis in the area behind the pool.
    We then decided to watch the sunset in Al Sarab, the rooftop bar area of the hotel, before getting ready for the Arabic buffet dinner at Al Hadheerah Restaurant. This restaurant is a 300m short walk from the hotel through the desert and I believe you can take a golf cart ride from the hotel reception if you prefer, although we didn't take this option. During Ramadan, food is served at sunset (around 7pm this year) until 11.30pm (outside of Ramadan 7.30-11.30pm). The desert setting of the restaurant is quite spectacular and the walled restaurant is lit up with little lights at night. The capacity is for 500 diners and the restaurant is outdoor, so it can be hot during summer months, although fans are all around.
    The selection of Arabic food is very varied with a selection of live cooking stations. We were first served a selection of mezze, juices and water (all included in the price) by our waiter before heading to the buffet. Amongst the selection were: roast chicken, kebabs, duck, salads, mezze, seafood, vegetables, steak, lamb and a wide range of hot/cold desserts and dried fruits. During Ramadan there is also a musical duo playing Arabic music, a whirling dervish, a horse and camel short show on the dunes overlooking the restaurant and camel and donkey rides outside the back of the restaurant. There is also a Heritage Village at the back of the restaurant. Outside of Ramadan there is also henna painting, a falcon display and belly dancing too. Price of the buffet per adult is AED195 with 50% discount for kids aged 6-12 years. Under 5's are free. The dress code is casual too. N.B. - It is also worth arriving early to dine, so that you can be seated at a table close to the stage in order to watch the entertainment. Seating is offered on a first come - first served basis.
    After the meal we called in at the rooftop restaurant, Al Sarab where there was an oud player playing Arabic style music. Prices for drinks are reasonable for Dubai and shisha is available too. Timings: Sunday to Thursday - 4.00pm to 1.00am, Friday & Saturday - 12.00pm to 1.00am.
    Other places to dine at the hotel are: Masala - serving Indian food and very good by the reviews I've read. Timings: Lunch: Friday from 12.30pm to 3.30pm, Dinner: 7.00pm to 11.30pm. Closed on Sundays. Smart Casual Dress.
    Forsan - International Buffet - Timings: Breakfast: 6.30am to 10.30am, Lunch: 12.30pm to 3.30pm
    Dinner: 7.00pm to 11.30pm. Casual dress. The complimentary breakfast here was great with a huge selection of hot and cold food items, juices and pastries.
    Dune Pizzeria - Italian Cuisine - Timings: Lunch: Friday 12.30pm to 4.00pm, Dinner: Tuesday to Sunday 6.00pm to 11.30pm. Closed on Monday. Casual Dress.
    Al Shorouq Rooftop Terrace - light bites, bar food, pizza and schwarma on Fridays - Timings: Sunday to Thursday - 4.00pm to 1.00am, Friday & Saturday - 12.00pm to 1.00am. Casual Dress.
    Pool Bar - swim up pool bar - serving drinks from 9am - 7pm.
    Ya Hala Bar - serves light snacks and drinks with background music - Timings: Sunday till Thursday : 11.00am to 1.00am, Friday & Saturday: 9.00am to 1.00am. Casual Dress.
    There are also extra activities that can be undertaken at the hotel for an extra fee, such as Horse Riding, Desert Exploration by jeep and longer Camel Rides.
    A small Fitness Centre is available too for guests at no extra charge. Check-out is at 12 noon.

    Unique Quality: Desert location, rooms, friendly staff, great summer offers.

    Directions: Here is a link for the location map for Bab Al Shams from Dubai -


  • Marisola's Profile Photo

    Desert Retreat!!!


    This resort in the heart of the desert is named the "Gateway to the Sun." It is a fabulous peaceful getaway from downtown Dubai. During the day you can relax at the pool or experience the desert on a horse or camel ride. They also have falcon shows. There are several restaurants with traditional Arabic Cuisine and International Cuisine. The pool also has a bar menu. If you love the desert atmosphere, you'll love it here!

    Unique Quality: Great views of the dunes!

    Directions: At the Dubai Autodrome roundabout on Emirates Rd (311), take the Arabian Ranch exit. 27 kms straight. At the T-junction, turn right for 10 kms until a forked junction. Take the road on your left and follow the signs for Bab Al Shams Desert Resort & Spa.

  • m_guilfoile's Profile Photo

    Desert Oasis


    What a beautiful resort in the desert 45 mins from Dubai. We went there for dinner at the Al Hadheerah restaurant which had an amazing buffet with shows. Personally, I think it's worth staying 2 nights at this hotel to wind down your stay in Dubai. A nice balance of city shopping and desert relaxation. Check out the website and pics.

  • Restless-in-kl's Profile Photo

    Dubai's secret hideaway in the desert


    I'm an Arabian princess living in a romantic traditional Arabic fort that emerged in the middle of a desert. Sigh!

    BAS is spectacular in terms of its architecture, settings, service, food, spa everything. The little touches and attentive staff make so much difference during your stay.

    Located just 45 min from Dubai International Airport, this desert resort is so accessible.

    Check out my travelogue for this wonderful resort and see for yourself. Words are not enough to describe it.

    Unique Quality: - Traditional fort setting in the desert
    - Open air authentic Arabic desert restaurant
    - Infinity pool
    - Wonderful decor
    - Lovely room with all the luxurious trappings and your very own desert garden

    The list is endless .....

    Directions: 45 min outside of Dubai

  • Runrig's Profile Photo

    Dubai Desert Nights


    I stayed here about 2 days after the hotel opened, which was in December 2004. Thsi is a beautiful place to stay, very romantic and just a lot more special than to stay in one of the hotels on Jumeirah beach road.
    There's also a fire place at the evening.

    For those loving the desert or those that have never seen a desert sunset, this is the place.

    Unique Quality: Great desert sunsets. Located amidst the dunes and including an outdoor restaurant between the dunes.
    The rooms are very nice and almost all of them have a desert view. The whole hotel is built in the style of an old Arab city centre (Medina).
    The pool is really nice, but if the hotel is ever fully booked, I would expect a a problem to find place for all guests around the pool.....
    Have your evening tea/beer/wine on the rooftop bar, overlooking the dunes!

    There is a shuttle service to the Wild Wadi Park (from where you can easily go to the beach)

    Directions: 45 Min. from Dubai Airport and approx. 50km from the Jumeirah Beach

More about Jumeirah Bab Al Shams Desert Resort And Spa

desert hotel?

by lolita1979 about bab al shams

staying in a hotel in the desert on my first trip to dubai really tickled my fancy- plus the promise of falconeering, horse and camel riding also appealed to me.

decor is grogeous and i spent quite some time touching the walls, wondering the kind of paint used(which included hassling the hotel manager and reception on the kind of plaster used all around the hotel. and i'd swear that they used porter's industrial lustre for the al forstan restaurant). service was exceptional. not much activities at night though(besides a rooftop bar) but the friendly service and great decor pretty much made up for the lack of night-time activities(i was on to sleeping early in dubai anyway...)
sister company of the burk al arab so staying here gets you entry into the burj as well- the latter being another testament to the extremities of dubai

Nice dessert hotel

by erikute3534 about Bab Al Shams

just perfect, very very relaxing


*internet is free in the room
*cable tv
*kids room [very very nice]
*dessert restaurant
* top roof arabic bar

IS ALL WE NEEDED FOR special WEEKEND STAY! Unique arab style hotel, very quiet , situated in the dessert. I would say 2-3 days is enough for complete relaxation.
Didnt use Spa as its extremely expensive = regular massage around 250usd! when our stay for 3 [2adults and kid] was almost same price. We like going there in summer months when best deals come. yes, yes, its very hot, BUT we get best prices and pool is just perfect!
After expending, they finally have very nice kids room and kids pool, shaded and kids love it. Water is just perfect warm and you can swim all day!
Mini golf, horse riding, dessert camel safari... all is there and its really fun!

Mixed feelings

by TripAdvisor Member MREG

Bab al Shams looks to be set in an ideal environment, the perfect hideaway in appearance.
To be fair, the rooms are nice, large and well furnished. The problem is the service.
I have been living in Dubai for more than 6 months now and Bab al Shams ranks amongst the worst service level for a 5 star hotel. Check-in at 4:30 (rooms not ready), artificial smile from most of the staff, clumsy gestures, etc... The desert restaurant is to avoid. It is expensive and the atmosphere is disapointing. The entertainers are not at the level you would expect for this kind of resort. Dubai has lot more to offer. The food is good though. We had visitors from abroad and wanted to please them by booking a couple of days in the desert...the whole experience was disapointing. On top of that, it is no longer in the middle of nowhere, civilization is not far...

We loved it !

by A TripAdvisor Member

We stayed at Bab Al Shams for 3 days / 2 nights and enjoyed it a lot. I wanted something different ... and got what I wanted.
The resort is designed in a very nice way. Everything is tasteful. Rooms are nice, the swimming pool area is very pleasant.
Excellent for a break, away from it all.
Meals are a bit pricey and Al Hadheerah Desert restaurant is a bit of a tourist trap, but it is still enjoyable.
I just hope to go again !!!
Check special rates on their web site.

Amazing Romantic Stay

by TripAdvisor Member misswendywoo

Whilst staying at the Jumeriah Beach Resort and Burj Al Arab for our Honeymoon we were offered the chance to 'swap' some days of our 14 night stay for Bab Al Shams. It turned our to be an excellent suggestion. It was more rustic and traditional compaired to that of the 'shiny' Jumeriah Beach and Burj. We had drinks on the roof top and visited the Santorini Spa. Staff we excellent and the atmosphere was really nice. Highly recommended and Arabian Hospitality at its finest.


Bab Al ShamsBab Al Shams

Forum Posts

Bab Al Shams

by TracyLB

Hi, we'll be in Dubai for 4 nights in November and are thinking about staying 1 night at this hotel..It looks fabulous, but does anyone know the approximate cost by taxi to this resort from Dubai??

Has anyone stayed there??

RE: Bab Al Shams

by 37SingleMaleInDubai1

Hi there,
Its a 35 minutes ride from Dubai and the cost of taxi ride should be something between 120 to 140 Dirhams.

RE: RE: Bab Al Shams

by TracyLB


RE: Bab Al Shams

by Restless-in-kl

Hi Tracy,

I've stayed in Bab Al Shams in Feb this year. It's really a wonderful hotel. I just love it!!! Please check out my Dubai travel page as I've included a review on this hotel complete with pictures. I can't give you an exact taxi fare as we hired a taxi to go around Jumeirah area to see Burj Al Arab before we headed off to Bab Al Sham. Taxis go by meter anyway, and it's pretty reasonable compared to the accommodation cost :)

Would love to get your feedback on my page. Hope it's useful. Cheers!

RE: RE: Bab Al Shams

by TracyLB

Your photo's are gorgeous..Especially the ones from Bab Al Shams..Have not decided if we are going to stay there or not yet..It is quite expensive..But I am going to give it more thought..After looking at your pictures, I really want to stay there..

Seeing as how you are familiar..Where would you stay (not over the top price wise) for 4 nights in Duba?..Would you stay 3 nights in Deira and 1 night at Bab Al Shams??

Do you have any recommondations?

I see you have also been to the Maldives..We are also going there on this trip..We are actually going to Kerala for 12 nights..Then the Maldives for 3 nights and then Dubai for 4 nights..Where did you stay in the Maldives?


RE: RE: Bab Al Shams

by Restless-in-kl

Thanks for your comments, Tracy. 1 night in Bab Al Shams will not do justice which is what I found out. Wished I had stayed there at least for 2 nights.

In Deira, there are many hotels. We stayed in Hyatt Regency near Deira. Used my points, so accommodation was free :)

You may want to check with VTers living in Dubai for suggestions and if you can provide a budget, that would be very helpful.

Have a good trip!

RE: RE: Bab Al Shams

by Restless-in-kl

Hi Tracy,
Looks like I missed out on your maldives question. Please visit my Maldives page which I've just completed to find out where i stayed.


RE: RE: Bab Al Shams

by TracyLB

I looked into that place, but it was a little too budget..I am sure it was nice though..We are staying at Veligandu..in beach bungalows..i hope they will be nice..It was the best deal I could find..We are paying 222.00 U.S. per night including 3 meals..You get there by seaplane..I can't wait..Thanks for sharing that information with me..



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 Jumeirah Bab Al Shams Desert Resort And Spa

We've found that other people looking for this hotel also know it by these names:

Bab Al Shams Desert Resort And Spa
Bab Al Shams Desert Hotel Dubai

Address: Endurance Village, P.O Box 8168, Dubai, 8168, United Arab Emirates