From the moment we decided to make the big move from London to Abu Dhabi I started dreaming of Arabian Nights and oases in the desert.
We had only been here for 1 month when the dream became reality. My Mum was in town and we decided to take her out to Qasr Al Sarab to celebrate her 60th Birthday.
Located 2 hours south of Abu Dhabi near the border to Saudi Arabia and nothing else at all, provided a fairly quite drive. The first hour was quite drab, but then the dunes started rolling in and all of a sudden it was spectacular. There was nothing but rolling golden sand further than you could even imagine.
After driving for the next hour of nothing but sand and wild camels, we came to the turn off and started getting pretty excited about what was waiting for us.
As we came through the castle gates we saw the luxury oasis that is Qasr Al Sarab.
Quite literally a Castle in the Sand. It was breathtakingly beautiful.
We were taken to our gorgeous rooms which were opulently styled with Arabian decor. Each room had its own terrace and garden, overlooking the gorgeous desert. I hadn't really thought a desert could even be described as beautiful before, but was happily proven wrong.
One thing that I loved about Qasr Al Sarab is how authentic everything was. You know how some places try to evoke a certain style or culture, but then they try too hard and it always just feels a little fake? Well this is absolutely the opposite. It felt like we were stepping back in time, luxurious time mind you. We couldn't help but picture the lives of the Bedouin tribesman journeying through the desert and after days and days of nothingness, coming upon a beautiful oasis to restore their thirst and spirit. It was such a romantic place. I can't imagine being a poet or painter and being completely enthralled by the landscape. I was happy to have my lens to experience it through, but wished I had another form of expression too.
Date milk and incredible dates as a welcome drink
Closely followed by an oasis, aka a mojito
I'd heard about sunsets in the desert and couldn't wait to experience it for myself. We quickly climbed up some dunes to sit and watch the sunset over the Arabian Desert and just drink in the beauty. The rich reds and purples that quickly melted away into a pastel palette of gelati flavours was just spectacular.
We then went to the rooftop bar to watch the transition from twilight to starlight. Having lived in London for all of her life, it was a lot of fun to show Maddie real twinkle twinkle little stars!
That night we had the most silent sleep of our lives (seriously, the silence out there wasn't even deafening!) and awoke absolutely starving. I wasn't sure what I'd be able to eat, but needn't have worried. In the bakery section of the restaurant was an entire gluten free display. So I had one of everything! Plus eggs, bacon (beef bacon of course), granola and well, I'll stop there!
Maddie was a happy little camper too! Her own bunny pancake (among a million other options) was quite the winner!
We filled up on breakfast delicacies and then set out for our camel ride. It was all of our first time on a camel and after a few nerves while our camels Clarence, Clarissa and Clive stood up tall, really tall, we were off!
I expected Maddie to be a little unsure of the camels on the basis that she's scared of puppies, but she loved it! I had her with me and she just loved talking to Pete's camel behind us and kept giggling at them all.
Qasr Al Sarab truly is a magical place. Not the type of place we'll be able to afford going to often, but definitely the perfect place to celebrate (and create more) special moments in life.