- Internet Access
- Spa / Thalasso
- Swimming Pool
The Living Desert:
Al Maha is a sanctuary for man and beast alike, a nature reserve rekindling the surprising life of the desert. The main resort itself takes up less than two per cent of the wild expanse in which it is cradled. Here, as part of the conservation initiative, endangered indigenous animals are being carefully reintroduced into the wild.
Hence you will find yourself part of a unique population: domani and rheem gazelle, scimitar - horned Oryx, the beautiful Arabian Oryx, the rare Arabian fox, the tiny desert hare. It is this diversity of fauna, and the richness of the flora on which it depends, that so surprises visitors, and changes their notions of what the word "desert" entails.
Animals are elusive of course, but the knowledgeable Field Guides will seek them with you on safari, traveling the sands as the Bedouin did, in the long shadows of dawn or dusk. Al Maha promises new experiences for even the most seasoned traveler. Have you ridden high on a camel across haunting desert plains? Have you experienced the solitude of the dunes at sunset? Have you held a falcon and later watched it soar, circle, then fall in a flash for its prey?
You will, at Al Maha. The Hotel's Field Guides will help you with their expert understanding of the terrain, and the techniques they use to master it. How they drive the dunes in a four - wheel drive vehicle how, to get close to shy animals.
Adventure And Discovery:
At Al Maha you'll discover a disappearing way of life. You'll discover the weave of the sands. You'll discover ancient pursuits like archery and ancient places like Hatta and Oman. And, so long as your sense of adventure is alive, you'll discover a little more about yourself.
To stand on the quay of Dubai's famous Creek is to straddle two worlds. Look up at the defiant architecture of the soaring towers, and you know that you know that you are standing in one of the most progressive cities on the planet. Yet reflected, quite literally, in their walls of gleaming glass, rare the sublime wooden dhows that line the Creek - unloading textiles, spics, rice - trading as they have traded for a thousand years.
Al Maha, also, embraces two worlds: the world of comfort, indulgent dinning and private temperature - controlled swimming pools. And, at the same time, a simpler world rooted in the ethics of the Bedouin ways: hospitality, balance and respect for life. This is a world that calls to you from across the centuries. Experience the legend that is Al Maha.
World Legacy Award 2004
Emirates' Al Maha Desert Resort & Spa added to its list of prestigious awards recently by beating off fierce international competition to take the World Legacy Award 2004 (Nature Travel), one of the world's premier conservation accolades.
The Legend Of Al Maha:
Old men told of this place where water flowed from a rock, the perpetual spring fed by ancient underground lakes. Birds gathered in the dense trees, gazelle hid from the shimmering heat under matted palms, and occasionally even the hardened, elusive Arabian leopard was seen in the distant mountains.
The place took its name from the proudest of all dune dwellers - the Arabian Oryx. Herds of these spear - horned antelope would appear out of the heat haze - nomadic bands seeking this place of shelter and respite. The people named the oasis after them and "Al Maha" came to be known far and wide. But even amongst the tribes of the desert, the selfishness of one man prevailed. Wishing to control the life around him he built his camp around the water, used it selfishly, and diverted its course.
The desert is an unforgiving place to those who cannot read its signs or understand its subtle warnings. Without the grasses or the palms, the vengeful sands first covered the dry rock pools, then smothered the trees, and finally buried the encampment which had strangled the flow of water from the rock.
Through generations, young adventures were lost in the shifting sea of sand as they searched for signs of Al Maha. many trekked over the buried place, only to fall next to their exhausted camels, a noble fate at the end of a fruitless journey.
Confounded by the disobedience of his hunting falcon, a young man followed his bird's movements over the dunes, only to see it perched on a thin branch protruding through the sand. Approaching the bird, anger turned to curiosity at seeing small green leaves sprouting from a slender twig. Knowing this as a sure sign of water below, the youth and his brothers returned to the same place and dug the layers of time away. Finally, removing a stout wedge from a crack in a rocky ledge, water bubbled out and the brothers watched as the thin stream washed the sands away, revealing the ancient walls of the camp.
The brothers settled alongside the pools, vowing that never again would any man or animal of the desert be denied the source of all life. Palms and once - lost wild vegetation flourished around the ancient walls and rocky pools. The wild animals returned and the surest sign of the rebirth of this fabled place, was the return of the Arabian Oryx, after which the oasis had always be named.