Middle east

Where to Stay in the Middle East: A Guide to the Region’s Top Design Properties

The Middle East is an intriguing destination for any passionate traveler in the world because there is so much to explore. Starting from the local languages and going all the way to the food and the customs, this area offers a unique experience for any visitor who had made the decision to stop by and delve into the local culture. While this all sounds like a great adventure, one needs to be well aware of the good places to stay and relax. Every single travel guide on the web offers more than enough good ideas to opt from but very few could tell you about the best and critically acclaimed top spots.  The places mentioned in this story are not only extraordinary but also winners of the LIV Hospitality Design Awards. In this story, we are going to dive into the region’s top properties that are worth staying at because of their exquisite hotel design, architecture, and immersion in the local culture.

Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort

Just like an oasis in the middle of the Liwa desert, on the outskirts of Abu Dhabi Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort promises an experience of a lifetime to any visitor. It would most certainly satisfy any need not only because of its exotic position in the Middle East but also because of its hotel design of the most luxurious of styles. In addition to this, Dubarch Architecture unleashed its imagination and designed more than 100 rooms, suites, and pool villas to allow any single person to enjoy their stay to the fullest.

Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort
Photo credit: Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort by Anantara, Lead designer: Dubarch Architecture

25hours Hotel

Another perfect choice for accommodation in the Middle East is the 25hours Hotel designed by Simon Fraser. This is the first hotel for this Operator outside Europe and it is a combination of a strong brand narrative, locally inspired aesthetics, and art technology. Unlike anything else in Dubai, this five-star hotel finely represents a relaxed, loose-fit approach to internal spaces. The design team, led by Hopkins Architects, worked collaboratively with the client throughout the process, in order to develop an outstanding project.

25hours Hotel
Photo credit: Yasser Ibrahim, Lead designer: Simon Fraser

Anantara Al Jabal Al Akhdar Resort

This unique resort is one of the places that are a “must-visit” in any single travel guide out there. Not only does it offer a rare location but also it allows for immersion in the luxurious. It is the perfect example of immersion in the local culture while also implementing contemporary elements. What would be the most charming thing about Anantara Al Jabal Al Akhdar is the fact that it is carved into the mountains amongst the bushes and rocks. It is interesting to see how Lotfi Sidirahal, an award-winning French-Moroccan architect, immersed himself in the surrounding area to ensure that the resort stays true to the charm and intrigue of its locale.

Anantara Al Jabal Al Akhdar Resort
Photo credit: Atelier Pod, Lead designer: Lofti Sidirahal

Al Baleed Resort Salalah

It is no wonder why AI Baleed Resort Salalah has won the prize for an architectural design beach destination. A team of professional designers has gathered to create this hotel design reflecting traditional Omani design while at the same time, it incorporates modern elements. The resort has taken inspiration from earlier times villages whose structure focused on majestic main buildings or forts which housed the Sheikh (ruler) of the local community built on higher ground to govern his municipality from above. Located at the beach, it offers any visitor the chance to enjoy not only the private swimming pool but also the natural resources.

Al Baleed Resort
Photo credit: Al Baleed Resort Salalah by Anantara, Lead designer: Amjaad Project Managers, Architects & Engineers


Innovation in design and the implementation of local culture has surely worked out for the designers in the above-mentioned resorts. Choosing the right accommodation for travel definitely influences the whole experience not only of yourself but also of the people who you are traveling with. Bad accommodation can turn any vacation into a nightmare so it is of utmost importance to pick the best place to stay.

In this post, we offered a short overview of some of the best places to stay while exploring the Middle East, which promises to be more than hospitable to any single person.