The Nest by Sonara launches overnight stays in Dubai desert this weekend

Guests can book a night in one of the 14 eco-friendly structures and go stargazing, camel riding and on safari

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Nara Desert Escapes, the team behind Dubai’s popular Sonara Camp, is launching its new overnight desert experience this weekend.

Bookings will open on Friday and packages start from Dh2,680 ($729) per nest, with various options for dune, sunset or sunrise-facing stays.

Guests staying during September can enjoy a free Sky Safari activity, where the glamping site's astronomer will educate participants about the stars. Also included in the package is a desert safari, tapas and pizza at sunset, sandboarding and morning camel rides.

The Nest by Sonara, which will remain open until May, is an eco-friendly camp consisting of 14 structures that blend into the dunes of the Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve. Designed by architect Gianni Ranaulo, the “nests” feature a bedroom, private en suite bathroom and outdoor majlis for watching the sunset. Each structure comes with a dedicated attendant.

Given that the original Sonara Camp was created to offer a unique desert dining experience, with cosy seating areas, hammocks, atmospheric lighting, a bar, live entertainment and a menu created by French chef Franck Sanna, it is fitting that The Nest also offers curated dining options.

Inside one of the camp's 'nests'. Photo: The Nest by Sonara

The arrival experience starts with a welcome drink and nibbles, including Syrian olives, pickles, tapenade and a pastry flute. When it comes to dining at The Nest, Sanna has put together a tapas menu that includes shrimps a la plancha with garlic, parsley and rouille mousseline; Nicoise-style stuffed vegetables; wagyu beef sliders; spicy lobster rolls; Mediterranean bao; and paella-style black Spanish rice with roast vegetables. Desserts include chocolate and pistachio pie; strawberries dressed with basil and Syrian olive oil; and apple crumble with red berries.

Guests can also spend the evening at neighbouring Sonara Camp, which is accessed via a dedicated sand shuttle.

Following its success in Dubai, Sonara expanded into Ras Al Khaimah, with a camp in the Al Wadi Nature Reserve on the grounds of The Ritz-Carlton Al Wadi. Visitors can book a sunset or sunset with dinner package, both of which come with family-friendly activities such as sandboarding, volleyball, soft archery and an owl show.

The Nara team, headed by founder Stephanie Reichenbach, has also introduced luxury tours of Dubai, with the aim of offering a new perspective of the city. Nara Nomad shines a spotlight on the emirate’s culinary, retail and cultural attractions.

Reichenbach, a former private banker, has lived in Dubai since 2010 and launched Nara Escape in 2018, with the aim of sharing her love of the desert with others, by providing bespoke experiences in the UAE wilderness.

More information is available at www.nara.ae

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A version of this article was first published on May 9, 2022

Updated: September 22, 2022, 1:30 PM
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