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At first glance, the desert sands of the Empty Quarter may seem inhospitable. This is no wonder, as it is the world's largest body of sand; however, look a little closer and you will find the luxury resort of Qasr Al Sarab rising mirage-like from the rose-gold sand dunes.

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Date: 30/11/2015

Experience Desert Luxury At Qasr Al Sarab

Courtyard Entrance of QASR AL SARAB Resort

PHOTO: QASR AL SARAB DESERT RESORT BY ANANTARA 

At first glance, the desert sands of the Empty Quarter, two hours south of Abu Dhabi and the filming location for the new Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens, may seem inhospitable. This is no wonder, as it is the world's largest body of sand; however, look a little closer and you will find the luxury resort of Qasr Al Sarab rising mirage-like from the rose-gold sand dunes.

Built at a cost of $5bn (£3.3bn) by the Saudi government, the resort and its palatial villas with private pools, helipads and scores of staff waiting on your every need ensure this is a playground for the rich and famous, with prices to match.

See for yourself

Avoiding peak season in the summer months, when the stifling heat makes exploring the surrounding desert impossible, is key to enjoying a holiday here; instead, plan your trip for the autumn months.

September and October are the best months to visit, when the weather is still hot and you can explore the rose-coloured sand dunes from dawn until dusk.

Desert activities

There is plenty on offer to keep all ages amused here, so why not rent a bike and go 'fat biking' over the sand dunes with an experienced local guide? Sandboarding is another activity you must experience − it might be slower paced than surfing, but it is still pretty thrilling! Alternatively, hop in a Toyota Land Cruiser and enjoy dune bashing at speeds of up to 95kph, climbing dunes up to 250 metres high.

Additional activities such as yoga and horse riding are also on offer during the autumn and winter months, and there are always plenty of things to do at the resort itself.

Resort activities

No expense is spared when it comes to a luxurious holiday at Qasr Al Sarab resort, with many guests choosing to spend their days around the central outdoor pool with its swim-up sunken bar. There is a spa, a library, and a number of restaurants serving local and international cuisine, both buffet-style and a la carte, not to mention a handful of golf buggies that can ferry you from one end of the resort to the other.

Don't miss out on the themed culinary events, as a private dinner in the desert is definitely an experience you won't forget.

In the unlikely event that you get bored, you could always rent a car and head north to the sights and shops of Abu Dhabi, which is just a two-hour drive away.


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