Hide­away in Aj­man

The National - News - - ARTS & LIFESTYLE -

Aj­man, the small­est of the seven emi­rates, has sandy beaches and amaz­ing wildlife and is less than an hour’s drive from Dubai. Head down the E311 where it’s worth mak­ing a pit­stop at Aj­man Mu­seum, in the charm­ing chaos of the city cen­tre. This for­mer ruler’s res­i­dence and 18th-cen­tury fort was con­structed from fos­silised coral, mud brick and stone, and is a good spot to learn more about Aj­man’s sea­far­ing his­tory. Cul­ture fix sorted, make for the sprawl­ing de­vel­op­ment of Al Zo­rah (www.al­zo­rah.ae), set in 5.4 mil­lion square me­tres of coastal land and la­goons. Escape big city life as you ven­ture in to Al Zo­rah Na­ture Re­serve, home to up to 60 species of birds and a va­ri­ety of marine life. The best way to ex­plore is by rent­ing a kayak and nav­i­gat­ing through the man­grove forests and la­goons; you may even get close to the res­i­dent flam­boy­ant pink flamin­goes. Re­cently opened, The Oberoi Beach Re­sort, Al Zo­rah (be­low; www. oberoi­ho­tels.com/ho­tels-in-al-zo­rah-aj­man/) is set on Aj­man’s first five-star pri­vate beach and boasts sleek ar­chi­tec­ture, Scandi-style in­te­ri­ors and a pared-back aes­thetic that’s a world away from the coun­try’s of­ten-grandiose ho­tel of­fer­ings. Book a pri­vate villa where you’ll have plenty of space to un­wind and your own in­fin­ity pool that’s just steps from the beach. Ideal for those look­ing to de-stress, the ho­tel spa, yoga and med­i­ta­tion classes com­ple­ment the tran­quil sur­rounds. If you want to get ac­tive, swim in the 80-me­tre, tem­per­a­ture-con­trolled, lap pool, go for a run on the beach jog­ging track or make use of the re­sort’s bi­cy­cles. Nearby, an 18-hole golf course de­signed by 18-time Ma­jor Cham­pion Jack Nick­laus is bound to im­press any­one with even a pass­ing in­ter­est in the sport.

Room rates start from Dh1,430 per room per night, in­clud­ing taxes and break­fast. The rate is valid over the Na­tional Day hol­i­days

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