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Published September 05, 2010

Just Desert
Champagne and Archery in the Arabian Desert

You’re wandering in the desert with just a canteen and a compass, crossing dune after dune, ready to collapse, until—there, in the distance, you see a flash of movement. It could be a mirage, or a runaway camel, or...

No, wait, it’s a comely young woman sipping champagne by a glittering pool. And better yet, it’s no mirage...

Welcome to the Qasr al Sarab Desert Resort by Anantara, a sprawling resort in a remote patch of Arabian desert, taking reservations now.

In short, it’s a secluded desert village with 10 miles of sand in every direction. If you prefer a car to the on-foot-with-compass thing, you’re in for a two-hour drive from Abu Dhabi. Once you’re there, you’ll want one of the high-walled, marble-floored bungalows that looks suspiciously like an Arabian palace, complete with a butler and a walled-off pool you’ll have all to yourself. (Your royal cannonballs will remain private.)

And then come days filled with camel treks through the dunes and archery lessons on a range behind the villas. When you’ve made a dozen or so new desert-dwelling friends, you can arrange for an outdoor feast two dunes over. There, resort attendants will spread rugs, pillows and tents over the sand, then offer choice cuts of lamb, a fleet of hookahs and a guitar player for a sunset serenade.

We’re 90% sure it’s all really happening.
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