Feature » Exploring the Emirates: Tilal Liwa Hotel a taste of Arabia

Exploring the Emirates: Tilal Liwa Hotel a taste of Arabia

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In this edition we take a trip to Madinat Zayed in the Western region of Abu Dhabi staying at the Tilal Liwa Hotel, which is very close to the Saudi Arabian border. Travelling time from Fujairah is approx. 4 hours but one should embrace the trip as an adventure in the desert in this largely unspoiled region.


The area noticeable with its picture postcard sand dunes and date farms.


We checked into the Tilal Liwa Hotel for 2 nights driving through the picturesque Madinat Zayed City. The Tilal Liwa, is a four star hotel, Arabic in design and was historically used for VIP guests and royalty visiting the area for the annual camel beauty contest. The event showcases the best of camels from the UAE and other countries.


Take a small amount of time to visit Madinat Zayed but overall it’s a modern town not unlike the major places you already know, but has a touch of Al Ain beauty due to the greenery.


The property was made available to the public due its own uniqueness and its geographic position in the desert a quick tip never let your car run low on petrol although there is the odd ADNOC but not as many as one sees normally.


You will find it is well sign posted and appears  like a castle in the distance, surrounded by sand dunes and camel stations. Traditional wind towers and strong brass-studded doors are beautiful in design and the overall ambience reminds of the Arabian nights concept. The property has all the modern amenities available and both old and new work together pleasingly well.


Tilal4 jpgThe reception is very spacious and flooded with natural lighting and beautifully decorated with Arabesque touches, with by a stunning water feature, complete with vintage-style, larger than life urns. The area also has ample seating, all cushy and comfy for sitting back and enjoying the free high-speed WIFI offered across the property. Reception also overlooks the lovely pool area with its Arabesque gateway that frames the majestic dunes of the Rub' al Khali (the Empty Quarter).


Walking to our rooms I found the corridors rather dark but our room was bright, sunny with all the amenities one would expect and organic bathroom toiletries specifically made for Tilal Liwa.


You can choose desert or pool views with the later having a small  balcony areas for relaxing.


Our package was all-inclusive special and we weren't disappointed. The buffets whilst not being amazing had a variety of western options, as well as a few East Indian and Emirati dishes. There was also a fruit, salad and desert stand.


There's also a bar/shisha lounge, pool side, which is a great place to relax during the day or in the evening to view a very starry night. 


I noticed a small gift shop at the corner of the reception, which sells ‘Tilal Liwa’ branded merchandise.


You should try at least one of the activities the hotel offers such as camel riding, quad biking, desert safaris, nature walks or even an arranged BBQ in the desert and take advantage of the amazing surroundings.


You might think nothing happens in this part of UAE but the Tel Moreeb Festival is a well -known sand dune climb for desert driving enthusiasts, and Al Dhafrah Camel Festival and Liwa Date Festival, all of which see a rise in visitors to this region.


Tilal Liwa Hotel is not just unique it is a good value hotel. It is not high end but it is exceptional for the price category. Clean spacious rooms, good and friendly service, ample parking, a decent location for exploring Liwa and a good choice for a long weekend and well worth the trip.


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