Dubai’s Bab Al Shams Resort Joins Atlantis and One&Only Hotel Group

One of Dubai’s longest desert getaways is about to get a new lease of life.

Bab Al Shams Desert Resort closes on May 8 and will reopen next year as the first Rare Finds collection, a new selection of unique hotels by Kerzner.

Parent company of the ultra-luxury One&Only Resorts and the Atlantis in Dubai, Kerzner is relaunching Bab Al Shams in early 2023 after a complete renovation.

Keeping its well-known moniker, the new resort will center on unrivaled food and beverage offerings, including a rooftop Pan-Asian restaurant with stunning sunset views, the Desert Spa and an upscale bar alcohol-free.

Experiences and entertainment will also be at the heart of the new family property with guests able to stargaze alongside in-house astronomers, tell stories by the fire or soar over the sand dunes on hot air balloon rides. .

A pillar of the desert for 17 years

The resort, owned by Meydan, has been one of Dubai’s premier desert getaways for nearly two decades.

“I am delighted to welcome Bab Al Shams Desert Resort to the new Rare Finds collection,” said Philippe Zuber, Managing Director of Kerzner International. “Anyone who lives in Abu Dhabi or Dubai finds themselves, at least once, in Bab Al Shams because it’s iconic, it’s very special and unique, and Kerzner can bring something new to this place,” said Zuber. The National.

Positioning the property as entry-level five-star luxury, Kerzner will begin work on Bab Al Shams shortly after Eid.

“May 8 is the closing date, so we are now in the last weeks of Bab Al Shams in its current version. We will carry out a complete renovation starting with the rooms, and we will add a spa and complete a total redefinition of the restaurant offer with the aim of reopening the entire complex in the first quarter of 2023.”

Often touted as an oasis in the desert, Bab Al Shams will retain its much-loved desert infinity pool. Updated earlier this year, the quintessential pool will be further “improved” and added to with new “unique features.”

One of these will be its connection to the resort’s new all-day dining space. This family restaurant will have a bespoke design and offer theatrical dining with plenty of alfresco dining opportunities.

A rooftop sunset lounge and a new spa in the desert

It’s yet to be decided who will lead Bab Al Shams’ new food and beverage operations, Zuber says, but a celebrity chef could be in the mix with Kerzner known for his global partnership with celebrity chefs, including Bread Street Kitchen. by Gordon Ramsey in Dubai and Enrique Olvera at One&Only Mandarina.

No matter who takes the reins, travelers can be assured of a strong Middle Eastern element that ensures the resort retains its sense of place. Kerzner will also add a bespoke cigar lounge and an upscale non-alcoholic bar serving a creative list of cocktails and drinks.

The existing Al Hadeerah restaurant will be redesigned to serve modern Arabic cuisine with an emphasis on responsibly sourced ingredients and there will be a new licensed bar.

The current sunset deck is being transformed into a pan-Asian rooftop lounge with dishes from across the continent, as well as exceptional entertainment and classic desert sunset views.

The Desert Spa will be a soothing mirage where guests can indulge in traditional and contemporary treatments, such as hammam and hot sand therapy.

As the city of Dubai expands, the resort is also expected to accommodate more residents living in and around Dubai South. “It’s going to be a lot more of a place for people who live in the neighborhood…to come in for a drink, a bite to eat, and really use this unique space,” says Zuber.

More Rare Finds hotels and the opening of the Royal Atlantis in October

Kerzner's Royal Atlantis is set to open in October this year.  Photo: Kerzner

“Bab Al Shams is the original immersive desert experience in Dubai, having first opened its doors in 2004,” said Issam Galadari, Managing Director of Meydan City Corporation.

“We look forward to working closely with the Kerzner team to bring their exceptional service standards and proven expertise to invigorate and breathe new life into this resort, which holds a special place in the hearts of residents and visitors. of the United Arab Emirates”.

And Bab Al Shams is just the first in Kerzner’s new Rare Finds collection, which Zuber says is set to “grow extremely rapidly”.

It is intended to grow the portfolio with carefully selected international properties, each with a strong brand identity, which “can then be enhanced by Kerzner International’s knowledge, the way we do business and our unique approach”.

And that’s not the only major novelty for the hotel group this year. The brand is also preparing to open the highly anticipated Atlantis, The Royal Resort and Residences in October this year.

“Everything is on track and we are now close to delivering the building to us as the operator…it is an extremely exciting time,” confirmed Zuber.

Updated: April 25, 2022, 7:26 a.m.

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