Tourism is a staple in the economy of the United Arab Emirates (UAE). In 2016, tourism contributed nearly $65 billion to the country’s economy. This was a considerable return on the nearly $7.5 billion investment made in this industry in 2015.
The country’s booming tourism trend shows no sign of slowing down: some reports estimate that the financial contribution of tourism to the overall economy will double by 2026. With these projections, it’s no wonder that the UAE has gone to great lengths to develop impressive infrastructure for tourists. Some of the most impressive examples of this infrastructure are the beach resorts that dot the UAE’s sunny coastline.
Here are six of the most luxurious hotels the UAE has to offer:
Located on one of Dubai’s impressive man-made islands, The Palm Jumeirah, Atlantis is a 5-star hotel that opened in 2008.
Construction of the 1,500-room resort cost $1.5 billion. Atlantis stretches across more than 45 hectares, and more than a quarter of that space is occupied by the remarkable Aquaventure Waterpark.
Atlantis has a variety of different suites for guests to choose from, perhaps the most impressive of which is the Underwater Suite. The Underwater Suite features a window wall that looks out into the bottom of the resort’s Ambassador Lagoon, which is teeming with 65,000 species of marine life.
Atlantis has a variety of features for guest entertainment, including a bay reserved for swimming with dolphins, an on-site aquarium, and scuba diving and snorkeling trips.
Jumeirah Beach Hotel, Dubai
Also located near Dubai’s Palm Jumeirah island, the Jumeirah Beach Hotel has a remarkable exterior to complement its luxurious interior.
The shape of the Jumeirah Beach Hotel is meant to echo a breaking ocean wave. At 300 feet tall and almost 1,000 feet long, the aluminum and plated glass structure reflects the blue of the ocean and stands out as an architectural wonder on the beach.
The Jumeirah Beach Hotel prides itself on being a family-friendly hotel. As such, many of its suites and rooms are very spacious, up to about 700 square feet. It also offers villas as large as 721 square feet.
Guests of the hotel can choose from over 20 different restaurants, while younger guests can enjoy entertainment and play at the Sinbad Kid’s Club and over 30 rides at the hotel’s Wild Wadi Waterpark.
One and Only Royal Mirage, Dubai
Tucked on the beach behind Palm Jumeirah island is the One and Only Royal Mirage Resort.
A 65-acre property with more than 1,000 yards of private coastline, the One and Only Royal Mirage is divided into four areas of varying privacy. The Palace and the Arabian Court are the primary sections of the hotel for general guests. Guest seeking increased privacy and personal service might reserve a room in the private Residence section or hire out the entire Beach Garden Villa.
The hotel features four pools, including one that is exclusive to adults, as well as multiple tennis courts with plentiful lighting for night games. The One and Only Royal Mirage also features a robust children’s program and a variety of water sport opportunities.
Anantara Desert Islands Resort and Spa, Abu Dhabi
The Anantara Desert Islands Resort and Spa is located on Sir Bani Yas Island, a wildlife sanctuary off the coast of Abu Dhabi.
The royal family had a palace on Sir Bani Yas Island until 2004, when Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, one of the founders of the UAE, died. After the Sheikh’s death, his son transformed the island into a resort destination. The 4,100-hectare Arabian Wildlife Park now encompasses more than half of Sir Bani Yas Island.
The Anantara resort boasts more than 60 rooms and suites as well as another 60 villas. Guests can choose from 5 different restaurants, 3 swimming pools, and a wide range of activities provided by the wild, rugged terrain of the island.
The Cove Rotana Resort, Ras Al Khaimah
The Cove Rotana is tucked into an inlet in the coastal city of Ras Al Khaimah. The 346-room hotel opened in 2008 and a 146-room extension is expected to be complete within the coming year. The rooms at The Cove are arranged uniquely along a hillside that slopes into the beach.
The Cove features six restaurants, seven massage rooms, two swimming pools, and over 650 yards of beachfront property.
Miramar Al Aqah, Fujairah
Just 86 miles from Dubai is the sprawling, palm tree-dotted complex of Miramar Al Aqah.
All the hotel’s amenities are spread throughout a lush garden that encompasses more than 37 square miles. Five different types of suites are on offer in addition to the 281 standard and family rooms at the hotel.
Adventurous guests can pursue dive certification at the hotel’s on-site dive center, “Divers Down.” Instructors provide three dive trips every day.
Surrounding infrastructure in the Fujairah area, including the development of a large mall and highway, has boosted reservations at the Miramar Al Aqah in recent years.