Swimming in the Arabian Gulf, whilst the temperature back home is plummeting to sub-zero, is an indulgent feeling. When your only worry is whether to apply Factor 25 or 50 sun-tan location – the living is easy.
For the summerhouses – and that is the translation of Dar al Masyaf – are a five-star luxurious sanctuary from the hectic metropolis that is Dubai. Wave after wave of soothing palm trees and Venetian-style canals buffer guests from Dubai’s hustle and bustle.
After a welcome at the reception of the Jumeirah Al Qasr Hotel, an abra – a traditional style Arabic boat – takes you to your summerhouse embodying traditional Arabic architecture. Each of the 29 houses is a cluster of between 9 and 11 rooms or suites. Every summerhouse has its own 24-hour butler to take care of your needs: helping you unpack, making a dinner reservation, ordering an abra for your next excursion.
Then at six o’clock every evening the butler becomes cocktail-maker for two hours. It is a very sociable occasion as the guests gather together, in the lounge of their summerhouse, to share their experiences of the day and tips on where to dine.
Over 50 restaurants are located in the Madinat Jumeirah. Rambling in the rough-plastered style of an ancient Arabic town, the Madinat is an Aladdin’s cave of souk-style shops, cafes and restaurants. It even has its own theatre. Take your pick from the range of cuisine on offer: Italian, Lebanese, Mexican, Chinese and dozens more.
The Hide Restaurant’s BBQ on Thursday evenings is not to be missed. For Dubai’s citizens Thursday night is Friday night. Many come straight from work, pull off their ties, and settle down for a feast that celebrates meat.
Close your eyes, listen to the guitar denim duo of Vagabond playing soft rock, catch the aroma of hickory smoked steaks, and for a brief moment you’ll think that you are in Texas. Jack Daniels themed cocktails help with the illusion too. Next morning many of the diners are back at the Madinat to indulge in the Dubai tradition of brunch after their Friday morning lie-in.
As a guest at the Jumeirah Dar al Masyaf you have access to an impressive range of facilities. An abra will take you to a vast gym that is open 24/7 or the spa. There is also free access to the Wild Wadi waterpark, great if you are taking children or grandchildren. Then again, you may just choose to wander a few yards to Dubai’s longest private beach and top-up your Vitamin D levels.
Rooms at the Jumeirah Dar al Masyaf have the space that you would normally associate with a suite. There’s a discrete lounge area as well as a large balcony.
The bathroom divides into a central area with a deep free-standing bath, a separate shower cubicle, another cubicle for the loo and then a dressing area with more wardrobe and storage space than you will ever need. Toiletries from Amouage, the exclusive Omani range, with a heady aroma created just for Jumeirah, provide yet another decadent touch.
Food and drink
Guests at Dar al Masyaf have a choice of where they take their breakfast. Among the options are the opulent splendour of the restaurant at the Al Qasr Hotel or overlooking the beach at the Khaymat al Bahar restaurant. With warm early morning sunshine many people opt to take their breakfast on the terraces. There is even a Falconer patrolling, with a Peregrine Falcon, to discourage birds from scavenging for crumbs. Such is Jumeirah’s creative attention to detail.
The hotel provides a shuttle to the nearest Metro station so that guests can explore Dubai’s many attractions: dhows on the Creek, the Burj Khalifa which is the world’s tallest building, bargains at the Gold Souk and the recreated old town of Al Seef. Yet there is a warmth and intimacy around Jumeirah Dar al Masyaf which encourages many visitors to relax around the beach, pools and souk of the Madinat Jumeirah.
Learn more about the Jumeirah Dar al Masyaf at https://www.jumeirah.com/en/hotels-resorts/dubai/madinat-jumeirah/dar-al-masyaf/
There are several daily direct flights to Dubai from London Gatwick, London Heathrow and Manchester taking under 8 hours.Last modified: June 10, 2021