The Dubai Desert Offers One of the World’s Most Picturesque Gourmet Dinners

One of the most notable top dining destinations in the world, Dubai boasts exceptional culinary experiences influenced by the international palate and set against dramatic backdrops. You’ll find 11 Michelin-starred restaurants in the city, located in different unusual settings, from sky-high to underwater. Sonara Camp is a dining venue that offers guests unique experiences capped with a decadent meal located in the extreme setting of the desert. Located right in the middle of the Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve, this exceptional destination is a lot more than just a pop-up restaurant. Amidst a stunning sand dune setting, the venue is completed with decked-out luxe tents for lounging and night stay.

The Experience

After a winding jeep ride through the sand dunes, guests reach the upper camp, set against probably the most picturesque desert backdrop in Dubai. They can relax in luxe tents, dotted with oversized comfy couches. Enjoying the sunset views from the tents get accompanied by drinks and appetizers like smoked salmon blinis, wood-fired burrata pizzettas, and escabeche tuna mini tacos. Then the evening continues with fun activities like soft archery, sand boarding, volleyball, sandbox games for kids, and of course, camel rides. A sunset photo session for each group is also on offer.

The Dinner

The Dinner in Dubai Sonara Camp includes a family-style feast, set on a private table under a canopy of twinkling lights. The gourmet menu offers delectable dishes, such as char grilled aged beef striploin with tangy red chimichurri sauce, peri-peri spices marinated grilled chicken, and the signature madfoon, a seven-hour-long slow-cooked lamb dish with Yemeni spices. The Cirque Du Soleil-Esque performers put up a live show on a stage. There’s also a dedicated kids’ area, complete with an outdoor movie theater, lots of toys, and a buffet menu serving mini wagyu beef sliders. Finally, there is raspberry sorbet with almond tuile and make-your-own s’mores.

Charming Small Towns for That Next Little Retreat

Small towns are perfect escapes from the mundane hubbub of city life. They’re located close to all the action without being in the center of it. Here are a few top picks for fantastic getaway destinations for you to explore.

Cape Neddick and Ogunquit, Maine

Located just an hour away from Portland, the neighboring towns of Cape Neddick and Ogunquit are perfect seaside escapes in Maine. These picturesque coastal towns offer sweeping ocean views, the famous Maine lobster, and outdoor experiences like deep-sea fishing, cruise sailing, swimming, water-biking, and exploring sea-swept trails. Embracing all things Maine, the towns deliver a distinctive New England vibe, with a Broadway playhouse and a plethora of boutique shops and harbor restaurants for visitors.

Daufuskie Island, South Carolina

Located just a 30-minute ferry ride from the Hilton Head, this tiny island is a perfect tropical getaway with a cozy small-town vibe. The dock of the island is surrounded by live oaks dripping in Spanish moss. Visit the island and relax on the untouched beaches, ride the horses along the beach with the Daufuskie Trail Rides, savor deviled crab and collect souvenirs at the local artisan shops.

Fish Creek and Baileys Harbor, Wisconsin

These two neighboring harbor towns are located just a short drive across the peninsula. The Peninsula State Park in Fish Creek is a 4000-acre natural recreation treasure, offering several seasonal activities like camping, snowshoeing, parasailing, etc. Offering a stunning view of Green Bay’s water, the new Eagle Tower is the first accessible observation tower in Wisconsin. In Baileys Harbor, hitch a ride on the hay wagon across the causeway to the Cana Island Lighthouse.

Highland Lakes, Texas

Located just an hour away from Austin, The Highland Lakes area is a peaceful hamlet. Full of small-town charm. This romantic gateway offers picturesque views of turquoise water and experiences like cabin stays, camping, and wine tasting. It houses the only mountain biking park in Texas. The massive subterranean wonder at the Longhorn Cavern is there to amaze you with stalactites and stalagmites. And take a tour on the Vanishing Texas River Cruise for a surreal experience of floating over a submerged town.

Leiper’s Fork, Tennessee

Known as ‘Nashville’s Big Backyard’, Leiper’s Fork is the Hallmark movie town, located forty minutes south of Music City, Nashville. It offers a rich cultural scene with emerging talents and houses impressive art galleries like The Copper Fox and Leiper’s Creek Gallery. The village offers accommodations to visitors in beautiful cottages with historic architecture. Don’t forget to visit Puckett’s, a fun music venue and restaurant.