If there’s one thing a searing August in the desert is good for, it’s the knockout hotel prices. Package deals and mega discounts are everywhere you look, so you can have yourself a mini-break without using up precious holiday allowance, or (many) precious riyals. Got a bit more time to spare? The malls of Dubai and beaches of Muscat are less than a two-hour flight away...
Banana Island Resort by Ananatara
Checking into a hotel for a weekend break is one way to staycation, jetting off on a boat to a beachy island is another. In less than half an hour you can be in a luxurious Maldives-style over-water villa ordering a freshly-squeezed juice, or lounging by your own private pool. The hotel’s Summer Escape package includes accommodation in a room, suite or villa, a buffet breakfast at Azraq, a game of bowling and 30 minutes’ Splash Surf Pool access per person, per day so you can (attempt) to show off your surfing skills. They’ll throw in a return ferry transfer, too.
Rooms from QR1,523, suites from QR2,129, villas from QR5,861. Valid until September 30. Banana Island, Doha (4040 5050).
Doha Marriott Hotel
Marriott’s beachside property in Doha is characterised by understated luxury. Rooms are simple, but have everything you could possibly need for a cosy night in: huge comfy beds, a flatscreen TV and 24-hour room service. The pool and beach areas have huge day beds to recline on, but there’s an indoor pool, too, if things get too sweltering. Get three nights for the price of two, and 30 percent off your next stay, plus Marriott Rewards members get a whole 50 percent off at restaurants and lounges (including Time Out Doha Restaurant Awards-winning JW Steakhouse). Breakfast is complimentary, and kids under the age of 12 eat for free.
From QR577 (single deluxe room), QR677 (double deluxe room). Valid until September 17. Ras Abu Abboud Street, www.marriott.com (4429 8888).
Marriott Marquis City Centre Doha
When you live halfway around the world, you can’t just nip back to Mum and Dad’s for some home cooked food with a load of laundry. But Marriott Marquis City Centre is a worthy alternative. If your family has headed home and you're spending a summer solo, the Home Alone package has been specially designed just for you. As part of a one-night stay single deluxe room, you’ll get a burger and house beverage in Champions Sports Bar plus two pieces of laundry. The hotel also has a large pool and an excellent spa and a fitness centre – perfect for a little you-time.
From QR577. Valid until September 4. Omar Al Mukhtar Street, West Bay, www.marriott.com (4419 5000).
Four Seasons Hotel Doha
Lagoon-style pools, an award-winning afternoon tea and one of the city’s best Japanese restaurants, Nobu, are all to be found at this five-star beachside property. But really, you need never leave your room at the Four Seasons, thanks to the deep-soaking marble tubs to kick back in, and the games consoles available on request. Splash out and stay for two nights in a suite, and you’ll get your third night free, or stay in a premier room for two nights and enjoy 20 percent off the room rate. Kids get complimentary access to the Kids for all Seasons club, too.
From QR1,100 per night. Suites from QR1,600 per night. The Corniche, West Bay, www.fourseasons.com/doha (4494 8700).
Grand Hyatt Doha Hotel & Villas
The Grand Hyatt has one of the most relaxing beaches in the city with its lagoon-like bay. If the sand and sea get too hot, the three pools are just as good to lounge around or head to Jaula Spa where guests can enjoy 20 percent off (and at the hotel’s restaurants and bars). The Arabian Summer deal offers 33 percent off rooms and villas which have a luxuriously cosy and homey feel with cloudy beds, plush sofas, marble baths and balconies.
From QR533 for rooms; from QR1,890 for villas. Valid until September 8. West Bay Lagoon, doha.grand.hyatt.com (4448 1234).
La Cigale Hotel
This Al Sadd hotel recently added the Superior M4 room category, with a spacious, bright and futuristic design. Perfect for getting out of your flat for a couple of nights. These new rooms are no more expensive than the deluxe rooms and rates include buffet breakfast, high-speed internet, 20 percent off spa treatments and 10 percent off food outlets (excluding beverages). Book a suite and you’ll also get early check-in and late check-out.
QR799 (single deluxe and superior M4 rooms), QR899 (single premium rooms), QR1,199 (single business suite), QR50 (additional charge for double rooms). Valid until August 31. Suhaim Bin Hamad Street, Al Sadd (44428 8711).
Shangri-La Hotel Doha
Shangri-La's contemporary Asian design influences and Arabian hospitality will win you over here. Plus, when you’re surrounded by the lush gardens and lagoon-style pool, it hardly feels like the centre of West Bay. Relax on a plush, white day bed, or at the hotel’s serene Chi Spa, before heading back to your room, with its panoramic city and Gulf views.
Choose from three different staycation deals: one exclusively for Qatari residents includes breakfast, QR250 to spend on dinner, and 50 percent off spa treatments (From QR695 per night). The Brunch and Stay package gets you Friday brunch at Yabby with bubbles, a fresh fruit basket in-room, à la carte breakfast in bed the next day, plus 25 percent off at dining outlets and 50 percent off spa treatments (From QR990 per night). Food lovers, book the Gourmet Doha package. It includes grape and cheese on arrival, a seven-course meal with pairings at Fuego or Yabby, à la carte breakfast in bed and late check-out (From QR1,086 per night).
All offers valid until December 31. Conference Centre Street, West Bay, www.shangri-la.com/doha (4429 5050).
Sheraton Grand Doha
Doha’s first hotel is home to no fewer than ten restaurants, a huge stretch of private beach and a 24-hour fitness centre. The couple’s staycation deal includes buy-one-get-one-free massages, free WiFi, early check-in and late check-out with full-board, bed and breakfast and room-only rate options.
From QR1,400 (room-only), QR1,600 (bed and breakfast), QR2,250 (full board). The Corniche, West Bay, www.sheratongranddoha.com (4485 4444).
The Ritz-Carlton Doha is – as you would expect – one of the most refined hotels in the city. From its palm-fringed lagoon pool, to its rooms with handmade Italian and Spanish furnishings, everything about a stay here is made for an extra-luxurious experience. Get three nights for the price of two, including complimentary breakfast for two at Lagoon restaurant, 20 percent off food and drink, and 25 percent off spa treatments. Children under 12 stay and eat for free.
From QR643 per night. Valid until September 17 (excluding September 12-15). West Bay Lagoon (4484 8000).
W Doha Hotel & Residences
It's not beachside, but there’s plenty to recommend this buzzing hotel. Cool and contemporary, rooms here are high-tec and modern, plus the hotel’s Whatever/Whenever service means that there’s almost no amenity that you won’t be able to have delivered right to your door. Their weekend staycation offer includes breakfast at WIP lounge, early check-in and a late check-out.
From QR777 per room. Valid Thu-Sat until the end of the year. Street 831 West Bay, www.whoteldoha.com (4453 5000).
Marsa Malaz Kempinski
One of Doha's biggest and most impressive resorts, Marsa Malaz Kempinski is home to 12 restaurants, cafés and bars, watersports, tennis courts, boutiques, pools, inflatables in the sea, a kids' club, a Spa by Clarins plus some seriously swanky suites complete with plunge pools and Jacuzzis overlooking the coast. Summer offers include the Family Getaway which delivers 50 percent off a second room for families with breakfast (and children dine for free at Sawa when adults order à la carte). For those without kids the Summer Starts Here package gets you one night free when you stay for two nights (with a late check-out thrown in).
Summer Starts Here from QR1,350; until September 7. Family Getaway from QR4,000 for a family of five; until September 30. Marsa Malaz Kempinski, The Pearl-Qatar (4035 5555).
The Westin Doha Hotel & Spa
A stay at the Westin is all about health and wellness. Everything about the hotel – its market fresh all day dining restaurant, fresh juices at Luxe Lounge, its blissful spa – is geared towards health and relaxation, so there's nowhere better for a spot to give yourself some long overdue TLC. Book a Hope SPA Package and get an overnight stay in an Executive room with access to Westin club. The second guest will be able to take advantage of 30 percent off spa treatments and access to the spa facilities, pool and Westin Workout facilities. The package also comes with breakfast and late check-out.
From QR1,050. The Westin Doha Hotel & Spa, Salwa Road (4492 1555).
Four Seasons Abu Dhabi
If you haven’t heard the buzz yet, the capital of the UAE is due to get its first-ever Four Seasons hotel on Al Maryah Island this summer. If its urban chic interiors and waterfront locations aren’t enough of an incentive, then perhaps the Dahlia Spa deals will help. With the Summer Family Package offer, you can stay three nights and get a fourth night for free. Taking your little rascals? You get 50 percent off the best available rate for the second room. And you’re also guaranteed late check-out!
From QR990 per room. Until September 30. Al Maryah Island www.fourseasons.com/ abudhabi (+971 2 333 2222).
Grand Millennium Al Wahda
Stay at any of the Millennium & Copthorne Hotels over the summer and enjoy 35 percent off bookings in the UAE, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Kuwait.
From QR400 per night. Hazza Bin Zayed Street, Abu Dhabi, www.millenniumhotels.com (+971 2 443 9999).
Southern Sun Abu Dhabi
Love a long, lazy morning over the most important meal of the day? The people at Southern Sun Abu Dhabi are now serving breakfast for just one dirham. Yes, one dirham Stay here for a minimum of two nights and you’ll get to enjoy a delicious spread at The Foundry and only hand over a single coin per person to pay for it.
From QR299 per night. Until December 31. Al Mina, Al Zahiyah, Abu Dhabi www.southernsunabudhabi.com (+971 2 818 4888).
Tilal Liwa Hotel
The earthy tones and russet reds of this textured desert hotel have the power to instantly calm you head away from Abu Dhabi into the UAE’s Empty Quarter. If waking up to the sight of majestic rolling dunes isn't enough to convince you to book, the Summer Saving offer will. It's valid for GCC-resident families of two adults and two kids under the age of six.
From QR299 per night. Until September 15. Al Gharbia, Abu Dhabi, www.danathotels.com (+971 2 894 6111).
Yas Viceroy Abu Dhabi
We’re aware that it’s not F1 season yet, but Yas Viceroy’s Splash and Stay offer will have you driving to Yas Marina anyway to grab this deal. Guests get unlimited entry to Ferrari World, and an overnight stay at one of the 499 suites above the F1 track. If you’re craving some R&R, the Stay and Dine package gives you Dhs100 credit to use at the hotel’s Espa Spa or one of the restaurants.
From QR824 per night. Until September 30. Yas Marina, Abu Dhabi, www.viceroyhotelsandresorts.com (+971 2 656 0862).
JA Hatta Fort Hotel
Avoid the weekend rush and find your custom-made retreat at this Hajjar Mountain resort midweek (Saturday to Wednesday). The garden-facing chalet-style villas can accommodate two adults and two children under 12 years, and is only a one-hour drive from Dubai International Airport.
From QR375 per night (including taxes and breakfast). Until September 30 (excluding Eid). Hatta-Oman Road, Hatta, Dubai, www.hattafort.com (+971 4 809 9333).
Manzil Downtown Dubai
Located in the heart of the city, this posh property is offering UAE residents the chance to enjoy the hotspots of Downtown Dubai, without leaving the vicinity. When you check in, choose between two free VIP tickets to the top of the Burj Khalifa or two VIP tickets to Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo.
From QR799 per room per night. Until December 28. Dubai Downtown, www.vida-hotels.com (+971 4 428 5888).
Rove Downtown Dubai
A smart, modern hotel with an arty, contemporary flavour, this place is set to be the first in a new mid-range chain, and is perfectly placed for staycationers keen for a slice of Dubai’s shopping and nightlife scenes.
From QR300 per night. Ongoing. Downtown Dubai, www.rovehotels.com (+971 4 561 9999).
The Address Dubai Marina
Swap your bedroom for this chic address overlooking the glittering Dubai Marina. For its summer special, the hotel is offering a discounted weekend stay that includes breakfast and unlimited sunbaking time at the infinity pool. You can also redeem 50 percent off on all massages lasting 50 minutes or more, or treat yourself to an Aloe Vera Soothing Wrap for just QR199.
From QR799 per room per night (including breakfast). Ongoing. Dubai Marina, www.theaddress.com (+971 4 436 7777).
Alila Jabal Akhdar
It’s the heart-fluttering views of the Western Hajjar Mountains, the cooler temperatures that higher altitudes offer, and the quiet, tranquil surrounds that make crossing the border worthwhile for this staycation. The Summer Cool offer includes two nights in the Mountain View Suite, from where you can watch the sun cast a dramatic shadow over the hills, daily breakfast and 30 percent off spa treatments on weekdays.
From QR859 per night (two people, including breakfast). Al Roose, Jebel Akhdar, Nizwa, Oman, www.alilahotels.com (+968 2534 4200).
Shangri-La Barr Al Jissah Resort & Spa
The richly carpeted foyer, marble corridors and designer amenities in every room makes each of the three kasbah-style hotels at this property a must-visit for summer. It’s only 15 minutes away from Muscat city and its summer deal includes all-day dining for two.
From QR1,000 per night inclusive of taxes. Until September 30. Qantab, Muscat, www.shangrila.com/muscat (+968 2477 6666).
The Chedi Muscat
Spend two nights at this meticulously designed boutique hotel with sultan-sized beds and black marble baths, and receive a complimentary three-course dinner for two at one of its award-winning restaurants. Oh, and the laundry service and mini-bar are free, too.
From QR944 per night. Until September 30. Al Khuwair, Muscat, Oman, www.lhw.com (+968 2452 4400).
Ras Al Khaimah
Hilton Ras Al Khaimah Resort & Spa
Despite there being three different varieties of Hilton hotel in RAK (yes, really!), this is the one you need to pen in your diary. Its opulent entrance, modern design touches and legitimate family-friendly facilities are a standout. There are four bars here to quench that summer thirst, and restaurants serve Indian, Italian, Middle Eastern and Brazilian delicacies, too.
From QR345 per night. For bookings made until Sun September 4 with stays until December 31. Al Maareedh Street, Ras Al Khaimah, www.hilton.com (+971 7 228 8844).
Rixos Bab Al Bahr
This coastal property in the UAE’s northernmost emirate knows exactly how to lure staycationers onto Al Marjan Island. Its all-inclusive, leave-your-wallets-at-home deal includes everything, from unlimited food, drinks, and even that sneaky midnight mini-bar haul. Book a premium room until September 30 and get a complimentary couple’s treatment in Anjana Spa.
From QR475 per night. Until September 30. Al Marjan Island, Ras Al Khaimah, www.babalbahr.rixos.com (+971 7 244 4400).
Waldorf Astoria Ras Al Khaimah
This property is grand: think classic New York minimalism meets the grandeur of Arabian royalty. You could almost expect to spot Hercule Poirot dining on the table next to you at Lexington Grill. The summer sale gets you 30 percent off room rates.
From QR506 per night. Book by September 4; stay before October 9. Vienna Street, Ras Al Khaimah, www.waldorfastoria.com (+971 7 203 5555).
Qatar Summer Festival
Pay for two nights and stay for three, or pay for five nights and stay for six at any of the 56 participating hotels and hotel apartments as part of Qatar’s annual Summer Festival. Each hotel offers a different combination of benefits, including free daily breakfast, late check-out at 5pm, and free meals for kids.
For more information visit www.qatarsummerfestival.qa
Rotana Hotels across the region, including Oryx Rotana in Doha, and The Cove Rotana Resort in Ras Al Khaimah are offering up to 30 percent off room rates until September 3.
Escape to Salalah on the southern coast of Oman where Khareef season is in full swing, bringing with it refreshing showers, swathes of mist and cool respite from the searing desert temperatures. Wander through lush wadis, or watch majestic waves batter the cliffs of Mughsail beach, where, if you're lucky, you might catch a heard of camels emerging from the surreal lanscape.
It does tend to be pretty humid, but the temperatures are still far lower than the rest of the Gulf, and can drop to as low as 22 degrees Celsius (though be advised that hotels often restrict beach access during these times due to high winds and rough seas). Stay at the Salalah Rotana Resort with its network of lagoons and canals. It’s offering 30 percent off room rates until September 3.