One of the lesser-known corners of the UAE, Ras Al Khaimah is quieter than neighbouring Dubai. The chic Banyan Tree Al Wadi (which opened in January 2010) is in the heart of a nature reserve. The villas have plunge pools and vast bathrooms, while the facilities include an awesome spa staffed with the Banyan Tree's expert Thai therapists. Guests can do everything from camel riding to watching falcon displays, horse riding and playing golf on a nearby course. ENjoy cocktails around the watering hole (where you can watch desert-dwelling deer drink at dusk), enjoy a dinner on the roof of a watchtower or just lie back and luxuriate under the starry Arabian sky. Wow factor: The villas are huge with a real sense of privacy. Go: Book with Turquoise Holidays; call 01494 678400 or visit for more details or email <a href=""></a>