Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Meliá Desert Palm Dubai

Rates per night from$176.96

Price information

If you haven’t entered any dates, the rate shown is provided directly by the hotel and represents the cheapest double room (including tax) available in the next 60 days.

Prices have been converted from the hotel’s local currency (AED650.00), via, using today’s exchange rate.


Arabian delights


Private polo estate

Superlative service and seemingly endless facilities and activities await guests at Melia Desert Palm Dubai hotel. Watch polo on the terrace or get on a horse yourself at the riding school – they also have stables for up to 300 horses, if you happen to have a stallion in your suitcase… A muscle-relaxing massage in the spa will hit the spot after a long afternoon or two in the saddle. After shopping in the souks, take in a world-class polo match on the terrace before primping for a glitzy night on the town. 

Smith Extra

Get this when you book through us:

Afternoon tea for two at Jewel, with home-made scones, sandwiches and all the trimmings; guests staying five nights or more also get round-trip airport transfers


Photos Meliá Desert Palm Dubai facilities

Need to know


38, including six pool villas, 13 pool residences and three-bedroom villa Layali.


Noon. Earliest check-in, 3pm. Later check-outs are subject to availability and, up to 6pm, incur a cost of 50 per cent of the room rate. After 6pm, you will be charged the full room rate.


Double rooms from $176.96 (AED650), excluding tax at 22.5 per cent. Please note the hotel charges an additional local city tax of AED15.00 per room per night on check-out.

More details

Rates exclude breakfast.


Staff can arrange hair stylists, personal shoppers and chefs, and private tours – just ask. Staff can also set up a proposal-popping meal on request (or a gathering with your nearest and dearest); dine under a secluded pergola, by a gentle waterfall, in a candlelit gazebo, or a private garden accessible through a flower-strewn walkway.

At the hotel

Tennis/squash courts, polo pitches, riding school, swimming pool, gardens, spa, sauna, steam room, fitness centre, shop, DVD library, free WiFi throughout. In rooms: LCD TV/DVD, Bang & Olufsen stereo, minibar, Nespresso coffee machine, Ren toiletries. The villas have private pools, and the Pool Residences and Villa Layali have a kitchen too.

Our favourite rooms

All the Palm Suites have the same facilities and gizmos galore, but we like seven with views of the polo field best. Three of the Palm Deluxe Rooms overlook the gardens, and the others have pool views; all benefit from bathrooms with natural light (a rarity in Dubai), are reasonably priced and the perfect size for a couple. Pool Villas are great for partners who are more interested in 'alone time' than sightseeing, with private plunge pools and plenty of room to play in; and Pool Residences are ideal for families or small groups, with huge fitted kitchens and living areas. Villa Layali is the spectacular three-bedroom presidential villa.


The outdoor infinity pool stretches along the terrace in front of Epicure restaurant, with designer sunloungers and views across the polo fields. Occasional distant traffic noise, depending on wind direction.


Book your holistic spa treatments at Samāna Spa well in advance to avoid disappointment. Indulgent treatments include Turkish salt scrubs, 'intuitive' massages, Eminence facials, and a chamomile-scented body polish, carried out in six well-appointed treatment rooms (including one for couples). Cool off in the ice room and lift your mood in one of two chromotherapy showers before settling on to a polo-field-facing heated spa bed. There are dedicated menus for mums-to-be and men, perfumed baths to soak in and finishing touches to ensure you leave looking as sleek and glossy as the surroundings. The Technogym-enhanced Stables Fitness Centre caters to gym bunnies.

Packing tips

Riding gear and a bikini for sunbathing; that’s about it – everything else you can buy or borrow, if it’s not already in your room (umbrellas, robes, slippers, hairdryers, stationery and ironing boards all tucked away in your room).


There are no departures allowed on 31 December and 1 January. Cooking and wine-tasting tutorials can be arranged on site.


Welcome, although this is more of an adult getaway. A cot (free; suitable for under-2s) can be added to any room. An extra bed (suitable for under-5s) can be added to certain suites and villas for AED150 a night (AED250 with breakfast).


Desert Palm works with a UK-based carbon-offsetting company and its grounds are home to a number of bird species not found anywhere else in Dubai.

Food and Drink

Photos Meliá Desert Palm Dubai food and drink

Top Table

Snag a seat by the shimmering pool at Epicure; take a table on the terrace at Rare; or for a destination to dine for, speak to Smith24 about arranging a private dining experience in the hotel's grounds.

Dress Code

Designer casuals.

Hotel restaurant

Italianate Epicure café has a range of all-day dining options. Take breakfast al fresco by the pool, snack on a deli-style selection of sandwiches, salads and pastas inside the Missoni-esque interior, and, dine on a range of wood-fired pizzas and brasserie-style mains for dinner. Enjoy freshly-baked patisseries at afternoon tea on the Jewel terrace adjacent to the polo field. For fine dining, head straight to Rare and take a table on the terrace overlooking the Dubai skyline, or at the chef table to watch your Wagyu, regard your ribeye or ogle your octopus, as it's cooked before you – our favourite way to build an appetite. With something for everyone, vegetarians will find many a meat-free treat such as salt-crust roasted vegetables with melted Camembert dressed in chive-Sherry cream or Parmesan risotto with smoked heirloom cherry tomatoes. Rare is closed over Ramadan. Have a romantic meal for two, an unforgettable family dinner, or a small private celebration in a secluded spot around the hotel with a private chef and a personal waiter will cater to your every need. Your options include a pergola by the polo field, an open-air gazebo, a poolside table for four and more…   

Hotel bar

The Red bar is stocked with big-deal brandies, fine whisky and serious cocktails. The open-air Polo bar overlooks the field, so you can cheer on matches while you sip champagne and dine on gourmet sandwiches and pizzas, light snacks and charcuterie platters.

Last orders

Jewel, 4pm–6pm; Red bar pours its last champagne at 1.30am. Epicure is open round the clock; breakfast is served from 7am to 11.30am, lunch from noon to 5pm, dinner between 5pm and 10.30pm and late night snacks are available from 11pm to 7am.

Room service

24 hours; varied breakfast menu including healthy options (organic cereal with soya milk), plus room-service staples and delicacies such as Beluga caviar and oysters. They even have organic baby food.


Photos Meliá Desert Palm Dubai location
Meliá Desert Palm Dubai
Al Awir Road
United Arab Emirates


Dubai International Airport is a 20-minute drive away from the hotel. Fly direct from cities all over the world. Call our Smith24 team to organise your flights.


With taxi ranks stationed around the city, you won't need your own car in Dubai; however, if you do decide you want one our Smith24 team can arrange a set of wheels for you to pick up at the airport and the hotel has free parking.

Worth getting out of bed for

Riders will be in seventh heaven here: the equestrian facilities are second to none, with 300 stables and four polo pitches. Jogging, cycling and riding tracks loop around the grounds, so beasts with two or four legs can get plenty of exercise; the spa boutique even stocks special beauty products for the dedicated equestrienne with a T-shirt tan and a tender behind. Polo and riding lessons usually run from October to April as long as the weather's fine. You’re also conveniently located for trips to the Nad al Sheba racecourse and camel-racing track. Brush up on your culinary expertise care of the hotel chef, or discover unusual vintages from worlds old and new. There are no excuses for being bored here: go micro-lighting, sky-diving or hot-air ballooning above the desert, dive under the surface of the sea or hurl yourself down a ski slope: anything can be arranged by Desert Palm's concierge (with enough notice, of course – it's best to book these as soon as you've made your reservations). International City’s Dragon Mart is three kilometres away, if you fancy shopping in China for a day. Little wildlife enthusiasts will go bananas for Dubai Safari Park, where they can unleash their inner mini Attenborough. The park is closed during peak summer months. 


Photos Meliá Desert Palm Dubai reviews

Anonymous review

We were met with raised eyebrows and surprised looks when we told our friends that our quest for some winter sunshine was taking us to Dubai. But, look, I pointed out, 30-degree heat, guaranteed great weather and only six hours' flying time – you can’t argue with that. Our friends were obviously imagining endless shopping malls and blingtastic 1,000-room hotels populated by those with more money than dress-sense. But we had been tasked with discovering Desert Palm, Dubai’s only truly boutique hotel, and were convinced we would see a different side to this larger-than-life destination. Wouldn’t we?

Our flight is a full one and we’re squeezed in next to the quintessential package holiday family – exactly the sort of travellers our friends had told us would be heading there, and whom I was hoping to avoid. But once through arrivals, Bazza, Mrs Bazza and their three junk food-munching offspring join the hordes to queue for their coach transfers, while we are installed in a champagne-coloured leather-interiored 4x4 and plied with cold towels and designer mineral water. Now, that’s more like it. I begin to relax.

After 15 minutes’ drive through a sandy landscape, we sweep into the low-rise luxury of the Desert Palm complex, home to not only the hotel, but also a world-class polo club with stables for 300 horses and a small collection of low-key expat residences that house various CEOs. All this is set in beautifully manicured and surprisingly verdant grounds, punctuated every now and again with a stylish water feature among the bougainvillaea and jasmine.

After a swift and seamless check in, at which we are given the most delicious welcome drink in the world, we’re shown to our room, a Palm Suite, on the first floor of the main building. This is the Desert Palm's standard room category, but it is very spacious – certainly big enough to have three phones (I’ve always wondered who makes calls on the loo), a generously sized bed clad in Josephine Home linens (we asked) and a massive open-plan skylit bathroom. This comes with double basins, a walk-in monsoon shower big enough for at least six and, as a centrepiece, a gorgeous deep freestanding bath.

The room is pleasingly masculine in style and free of frills – sleek dark woods contrast with creamy stone floors, which must feel particularly heavenly in summer when the temperature regularly tops 50. The room is practical (plenty of desk space plus free WiFi) and full of hi-tech gadgetry, but a tactile array of different fabrics, finishes and textures keeps it interesting. Plus there are plenty of goodies and extras for us to discover. The REN products in the bathroom get the thumbs up from me, and my tea-crazy Mr Smith is bamboozled by the array of exotic designer infusions on offer – he eventually proclaims Fruit Passion and Happy Forest his favourites. A wall of windows makes up on side of our room – handy for when there's a polo match on the field below, but also perfect to gaze at Dubai's iconic skyline, just visible in the distance.

As evening approaches, we descend for a drink on the terrace and then for a meal at Rare, Desert Palm's fine-dining restaurant. The name gives away the carnivorous bent of the cuisine, but the friendly and helpful staff are entirely unfazed that one of us is a veggie, and we both enjoy our meal immensely.

The next morning we awake to Dubai’s signature bright-blue skies and sunshine – which are particularly welcome as we’re escaping the coldest December the UK has seen for 30 years. We wander down to breakfast, which is taken in the more casual Epicure restaurant beside the lovely pool. As Mr Smith surpasses himself at breakfast – devouring smoothies, chocolate waffles, French toast with fresh strawberries and cream, and Desert Palm’s own home-made granola with berry compote – this turns out to be quite handy. I’m on my second application of factor 15 and approaching the halfway point of my book by the time my husband has finished eating.

We spend the rest of the day lounging by the pool, sunbathing next to tasteful but weirdly incongruous Christmas decorations. We did toy with the idea of booking some treatments at Desert Palm’s lovely spa, but in the end laziness won. That said, we were gutted to later find out that we’d just missed a game of camel polo the weekend before. Guests are invited to play – they sit on the second hump and do all the stick-wielding action, while the camel-driver sits at the front and attempts to control the beast. ‘Attempts’ being the operative word – camels can decide to simply sit down at any moment or, alternatively, they often lose interest in the game completely and wander off into the dunes.

We smugly agree that the Desert Palm is the perfect spot for us. There’s peace and quiet in spades (we’re in the desert, geddit?), but we don’t feel isolated from all the activity in the urban centre just up the road. The stunning skyline views and the traffic that passes the hotel (noticeable, but not enough to bother us) links us to our destination and lets us know we could explore if we wanted to. But would we want to? Thinking back to that family we were crammed into economy alongside on our flight over here, I’m delighted we decided to stay put.

The Guestbook

Whenever you book a stay at a Smith hotel or villa, we’ll invite you to review it when you get back. Read what other Smith members had to say in Meliá Desert Palm Dubai’s Guestbook below.

We loved

Thus was our fifth time visiting and we will be hoping to go a sixth, seventh. It's a quiet oasis 20 mins away from the Burk Kaliffa.

Don’t expect

High rise buildings on your do it step. They are away in the distance.


Stayed on 30 Jan 2019

We loved

The room was lovely – huge, clean, cool and everything you need to hand! Beautiful, spacious places to relax including a warm and inviting pool. Didn't want to leave.

Don’t expect

Being able to walk anywhere – you're on a main road.


Stayed on 17 Dec 2018

We loved

We loved everything! We were given welcome drinks and we had a smooth check-in. We absolutely love the Afternoon Tea. It comes as a Smith Extra so it's complimentary. We enjoyed the delicious selections of sandwiches, mini cakes, scones and the unlimited tea and coffee. The suite was spacious and we had quiet, relaxing moments at the tub. We chose a table by the pool to enjoy alfresco breakfast. It's the right choice as we were able to watch a game of polo while enjoying our delicious breakfast. Tip: as it is not a buffet breakfast, book a room with breakfast like we did so you can order anything and everything from their à la carte menu. Overall, we had an unforgettable stay.


Stayed on 30 Nov 2017