Don’t worry, I get it. Ajman and its neighbouring Emirate (Sharjah) aren’t typically your first ports of call when booking a romantic staycation, but just bear with me here…
The newly-opened Oberoi Al Zorah is not what you’d expect from a hotel in the Northern Emirates. The drive from Dubai isn’t the most scenic; herding your way through Garhoud’s industrial area, wincing at the sheer noise of soaring planes when passing the airport, and not to mention the bout of traffic that will ensue when travelling through Sharjah. But as the saying goes, perseverance is key, and if you just give yourself a mere 45-minutes to endure the slightly off-putting journey, a serene paradise awaits you on the shores of the Arabian Gulf.
On arrival, the minimalistic (and totally Instagrammable) architecture, designed by award-winning landscapers and long-term family friends Cracknell, will blow you away. Everywhere from the reception area to the all-day dining room boasts floor-to-ceiling windows and sun-drenched interiors. Our room, a beautiful and modern superior king suit, overlooked the unspoiled ocean and the swimming pool, which happens to be one of the longest in the UAE.
We settled down on two sun loungers by the pool, ready to top up our tans. Iced bottled water (sustainability points lost for the sheer amount of plastic we went through) is regularly delivered to your beds. As are cold, refreshing flannes, Evian face spray and iced lollies.
After a glorious afternoon soaking up the sun, we made our way to dinner at the hotel’s seafood restaurant, Aquario. We sipped on Zonin prosecco and a bottle of Riesling whilst devouring our three-course meal of prawns, tuna tare tare (simply divine), sea bass, lobster rolls and a warm pear and apple pie to finish.
The breakfast buffet boasts all your signature morning dishes (apart from pork), and the most attentive waiters ready to fill up your tea, coffee or orange juice with just a subtle nod of the head.
I spent my afternoon luxuriating in the stunning spa – another Pinterest-worthy place at the The Oberoi Al Zorah -, whilst Ed set himself up with a cold beer in the library to watch the FIFA World Cup.
All in all, we were both extremely surprised and impressed that Ajman is hiding this absolute gem of a resort. It’s a quiet and tranquil escape, perfect for couples looking to unwind. Apart from a little incident we had in the night where one of the hotel staff got the wrong room number and woke us up at 2am by opening the door and turning our lights on, our stay was near perfect, and I truly recommend this hotel to anyone looking to getaway for a peaceful weekend.
For more information and bookings at The Oberoi Al Zorah click here or call +971 65044888