Monday April 15th, 2024
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The Most Sustainable Stays Across the Middle East & North Africa

From the arid dunes of Saudi Arabia to the fertile valleys of Lebanon, these resorts offer a harmonious blend of indulgence and responsible travel.

Farida El Shafie

 The Most Sustainable Stays Across the Middle East & North Africa

In a world where sustainability and luxury often seem at odds, the Middle East and North Africa offer a welcome respite. Here, a new era of eco-tourism has emerged, with a host of stunning retreats that harmoniously blend sustainability with luxury. From the rugged mountains of Oman to the tranquil oases of Egypt, these sustainable stays offer a chance to escape the bustle of modern life and reconnect with nature, all without sacrificing comfort or style…

HABITAS | AlUla, Saudi Arabia

Nestled in the ancient city of AlUla, Habitas offers a secluded retreat that is seamlessly integrated with its stunning natural landscape. This eco-friendly retreat combines luxury with sustainability, using locally sourced materials and promoting responsible practices. Guests can unwind in stylish tents or villas, indulge in farm-to-table cuisine, and explore the nearby heritage sites and rock formations.


BANYAN TREE | AlUla, Saudi Arabia

For a more lavish experience in AlUla, Banyan Tree is a luxurious oasis that immerses guests in the region's rich history and culture. The resort features stunning villas with private pools, Arabian-style spas, and a range of activities that showcase the local traditions and landscapes. Banyan Tree is committed to environmental conservation and community engagement, promoting sustainable practices and supporting local initiatives.


EL FENN | Marrakech, Morocco

El Fenn Marrakech is a boutique riad that blends traditional Moroccan architecture with contemporary design and sustainable practices. Located in the heart of the bustling Medina, this intimate hideaway offers an escape from the city's chaos, with a serene courtyard, rooftop terrace, and personalised services. The riad supports local artisans and cultural projects, and has implemented eco-friendly measures to reduce waste and energy consumption.


JNANE TAMSNA | Marrakech, Morocco

For a more expansive and secluded retreat in Morocco, Jnane Tamsna is a sprawling estate that embodies the country's hospitality and diversity. Set in a lush garden oasis outside Marrakech, this boutique hotel features spacious suites and villas, a restaurant that serves organic and seasonal cuisine, and a range of wellness activities. Jnane Tamsna promotes local culture and biodiversity, and is committed to minimising its carbon footprint.


ADRERE AMELLAL | Siwa Oasis, Egypt

Adrere Amellal is a unique and eco-friendly retreat in Egypt's Western Desert, where guests can disconnect from the modern world and connect with nature and local traditions. This remote ecolodge is built entirely from natural materials, using ancient techniques and local craftsmanship. The property has no electricity, relying on candlelight and solar power, and serves organic cuisine and drinks. Adrere Amellal supports local communities and conservation efforts, preserving the desert's fragile ecosystem and cultural heritage.


LAC MOERIS | Fayoum, Egypt

Lac Moeris is a sustainable and serene eco-lodge on the shores of Lake Qarun in Fayoum, Egypt's agricultural heartland. The property features stylish bungalows and villas, a restaurant that sources its ingredients from the surrounding farms and fishermen, and a range of activities that showcase the area's wildlife, history, and culture. Lac Moeris uses solar power and natural wastewater treatment, and supports local conservation and education projects.


WADI SABARAH LODGE | Marsa Alam, Egypt

Wadi Sabarah Lodge is a luxurious and eco-friendly resort on the Red Sea coast of Egypt, where guests can explore the region's underwater wonders and desert landscapes. The property features spacious villas and suites, a beach club with a restaurant and bar, and a dive centre that offers courses and excursions. Wadi Sabarah Lodge uses renewable energy and recycling systems, and supports local marine and community projects.


AL TARFA LODGE | Dakhla Oasis, Egypt

Al Tarfa Lodge is a romantic and rustic ecolodge in the heart of Egypt's Western Desert, where guests can experience the traditional lifestyle of Bedouin tribes and explore the stunning landscapes of the Dakhla Oasis. The property features cosy rooms and suites, a restaurant that serves organic and local cuisine, and a range of activities that highlight the desert's flora and fauna, as well as its history and culture. Al Tarfa Lodge uses solar power and natural wastewater treatment, and supports local communities and conservation projects.


ANANTARA SIR BANI YAS ISLAND RESORT | Abu Dhabi, UAE

Anantara Sir Bani Yas Island Resorts offer a luxurious and sustainable escape on a private island nature reserve off the coast of Abu Dhabi. The resort features elegant rooms and villas with stunning views of the Arabian Gulf and wildlife, a range of dining options that use local ingredients, and a variety of activities that showcase the island's diverse habitats and history. Anantara Sir Bani Yas Island Resorts is committed to environmental conservation and social responsibility, with initiatives that include solar power, recycling, and supporting local communities and cultural projects.


QASR AL SARAB DESERT RESORT BY ANANTARA | Abu Dhabi, UAE

For a more immersive desert experience in the UAE, Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort by Anantara is a luxurious and authentic retreat in the Rub' al Khali (Empty Quarter), the world's largest uninterrupted sand desert. The resort features stunning rooms and suites that blend traditional Arabian style with modern comfort, a spa that offers a range of treatments inspired by local traditions, and a range of activities that range from camel treks and falconry to stargazing and desert drives. Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort by Anantara is involved in initiatives that include eco-friendly practices, supporting local communities and cultural heritage, and conserving the desert's fragile ecosystem.


TERRA CABINS | Al Hajar Mountains, UAE

Terra Cabins is a unique and sustainable retreat in the UAE's side of Al Hajar Mountains, where guests can disconnect from the world and connect with nature and local culture. The property features cosy cabins that blend contemporary design with natural materials, a restaurant that serves farm-to-table cuisine, and a range of activities that showcase the mountains' landscapes, wildlife, and heritage. Terra Cabins expresses its dedication to sustainability by recycling, using solar power, and supporting local communities and cultural initiatives.


KINGFISHER RETREAT BY MYSK | Sharjah, UAE

Kingfisher Retreat by Mysk is a serene and sustainable getaway in the mangrove forests of Sharjah, on the UAE's eastern coast. The property features stylish chalets that blend contemporary design with natural materials, a restaurant that serves seafood and other local delicacies, and a range of activities that highlight the mangrove's biodiversity, birdlife, and culture. Kingfisher Retreat by Mysk partakes in eco-friendly practices, support of local communities and conservation projects, and the promotion of cultural exchange and education.


DISCOVERY BEDU | Wadi Rum, Jordan

Nestled deep in the heart of Wadi Rum, Discovery Bedu offers guests a luxurious escape that's also in harmony with the surrounding natural environment. The Bedouin-inspired tents are elegantly furnished with locally-made crafts and boast private terraces with panoramic views of the desert. Guests can explore the awe-inspiring landscape on camelback or on foot with expert guides, and then unwind with a traditional Jordanian meal cooked over an open fire.


ALILA JABAL AKHDAR | Al Hajar Mountains, Oman

Perched 2,000 metres above sea level in Oman’s side of Al Hajar Mountains, Alila Jabal Akhdar is an eco-resort that blends seamlessly into its rugged surroundings. The rooms and suites are spacious and stylish, with private balconies overlooking the dramatic canyon. Guests can indulge in a range of locally-inspired spa treatments, savour Omani cuisine at the resort's restaurant, or venture out to explore the nearby villages and ancient forts.


SIX SENSES ZIGHY BAY | Dibba, Oman

Tucked away in a secluded bay on Oman's northern Musandam Peninsula, Six Senses Zighy Bay is a sustainable retreat that epitomises barefoot luxury. The 82 villas are crafted from natural materials and feature private pools, outdoor showers and views of the Gulf of Oman. Guests can experience the thrill of paragliding into the resort or take a more leisurely arrival by boat. The resort offers a range of activities including yoga, hiking, and traditional Omani experiences like date-palm harvesting.


ODOM RETREAT | Baskinta, Lebanon

Found within the Chouf Mountains, Odom Retreat is a luxurious eco-lodge that offers guests a tranquil escape in nature. The spacious suites and chalets are made from locally-sourced stone and wood and are designed to blend seamlessly into the landscape. Guests can explore the surrounding cedar forests, unwind with a yoga session, or indulge in a locally-inspired spa treatment. The on-site restaurant serves up delicious Lebanese cuisine made from organic produce grown on the property.

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