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I recently returned from a fantastic holiday abroad, for my birthday. Ive been to Dubai before, which I loved, so decided to return to the UAE; guaranteed sunshine, fantastic service, luxurious hotels and some interesting photo opportunities.
When booking online through www.letsgo2.com, I stumbled upon an advert for Le Meridien Al Aqah an award-winning 5-star resort in Fujairah (90 minutes from Dubai), nestled between the Hajar Mountains and the Indian Ocean. I knew this was the one! (Image 1)
As this is currently the only hotel in the area, it is a perfect place to relax and take some stunning, uninterrupted shots of the surrounding landscapes, beach and beautiful flora and fauna abundant throughout the resort. (Image 2)
Due to the striking design of the hotel, there are also some rather unique architectural shots within the building you just need to look around, up and down to discover some unusual photographic opportunities. (Image 3)
Keep an eye out for the way the light reflects through the massive atrium glass throughout the day some interesting shots can be attained. (Image 4)
The hotel boasts lush gardens, ornamental ponds and waterfalls (with their own resident wildlife!) offering plenty of exotic flora and fauna to photograph. Not to forget the largest free-form swimming pool in the UAE! (Image 5 )
And, with all rooms offering breathtaking sea views, theres no excuse not to take that perfect sunrise or sunset shot!
If you fancy a bit of underwater or sea photography, the resort has its own fully equipped diving centre, with daily dive trips, boat cruises, a variety of water sport activities and fishing trips. I was too busy lounging by the pool to partake (!) but it was extremely popular with other guests.
The resort is also within easy reach of the areas unique attractions, including ancient fjords, spectacular dive sites, palm groves, hot springs and historical attractions, as well as the hustle and bustle of local bazaars. Traditional dhow cruises along the coast, mountain biking and hiking in the Hajar Mountains offer plenty of photographic opportunities.
If all that photography leaves you:
1) Exhausted, the resort offers an extensive spa facility at its Le Mirage Health Club, comprising three beauty rooms with a range of treatments. These include Thai, Balinese, European and Aromatherapy massages and facials (my reflexology treatment left me walking on air!)
There is also an exotic Ayurvedic Centre that uses traditional healing techniques from the Southern Indian State of Kerala. Its massage, detoxification and natural treatments are designed to soothe the mind, body and soul.
A fully equipped salon and nail bar offer personalised unisex grooming care.
2) Hungry and thirsty, the resort houses a variety of excellent bars and restaurants, featuring theme nights and special offers, serving international cuisine. The 5-star food ranges from exotic Thai and Indian to European culinary delights.
There is entertainment most evenings, from serenades in the restaurant, to quiz nights and live sport events on the big screen, along with a cinema, games room, gym, sauna, steam room, Jacuzzi, squash and tennis courts.
3) Needing a break from the little ones, the resort offers an exclusive childrens club (The Penguin Club) for 4-12 year olds. With a range of specialist supervisors, it offers something for all children, including a secure play area and pool, outdoor and indoor activities or just a safe place for them to watch TV or sleep! This means you know theyre in safe hands when youre out and about taking that special shot.
My final mention must go to the FANTASTIC staff who made the holiday so special. They really do make you feel welcome, with service with a smile and sincerity.
Special thanks to: Gautam Dawra, Kiran Kumar, C.S. Ramachandran, Patrick Antaki, T.G. Raman, Walter Perera, Tonnette, and all staff at the Baywatch Restaurant and pool bar. (Image 6)
I have no hesitation in highly recommending Le Meridien Al Aqah to anybody wanting to relax, refresh, rejuvenate and take some stunning photos. I cannot wait to return!
To find out more, and for some great deals, visit: