What the Dar al Masyaf has going for it

Anyone thinking of taking the family to Dubai would do well to consider staying at the Dar al Masyaf. It has such a lot going for it in every way.

First of all, where it is. It’s in Madinat Jumeirah, a huge but brilliant resort complex with a private beach overlooking the famous Burj al Arab, (shaped like a full-sailed dhow, or Arab ship), and next door to the Wild Wadi water park. There are two ‘grand boutique’ hotels in the same complex, and they all share some impressive facilities ideally suited to the needs of families.

Then there’s the accommodation. Instead of one large building, the over 280 rooms and suites in the hotel are arranged in 29 traditional style ‘summer houses’, each with its own swimming pool and ‘majli’ or lounge, and bookings can be made in different configurations, perfect for more than one family holidaying together. These are connected to each other and the resort facilities by beautiful gardens and waterways.

The facilities are outstanding. The first thing children will tell anyone at home about is the Wild Wadi. Admission and unlimited use of all 30 water rides (within height and safety restrictions) are complimentary for in-house guests. There’s a full range from gentle toddler-friendly fun to high-speed thrills: something for every age.

Within the resort, Sinbad’s Kids Club goes down well too. Intended for 4 to 12 year olds, it offers organised activities as well as free play, and it has a kids’ pool reassuringly supervised by trained lifeguards. There’s a theatre with family-friendly shows, and a health club with some programmes specifically for children. (The climbing wall also includes holds designed for small hands and feet)

More appealing to adults are the Souk with over 95 shops and more than 40 restaurants, cafes and bars and the award-winning Talise Spa providing a whole range of great treatments as well as yoga classes, among others.

Golf buggies provide welcome land transport round the resort and most people enjoy having a ride in the 10-seater boats called ‘abras’ that tour its waterways. Many people remark on the very high standard of service, too. Summer houses have their own exclusive butlers who put themselves out to be helpful and friendly.

Last but not least comes the bottom line: cost. The Dar al Masyaf compares favourably with other high-end hotels in value for money. Any family could have a great time here.

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