But Kingfisher Lodge – Sharjah Collection by Mysk is not your usual hospitality destination.
And in a short time it has created a reputation as offering something less familiar to both staycation customers and travellers from overseas seeking a different side of the UAE.
On the east coast of Sharjah, facing the Gulf of Oman, Kingfisher Lodge is certainly in something of a remote setting.
It is a good two hours drive from Dubai – depending on your departure point, of course – but that doesn’t see it holding back from a curating a memorable buffet this Holy Month befitting any downtown hotel.
Sure, plenty has to do with the setting. Once parked you have to walk along a jetty to a dedicated boat that then takes you across the intra-coastal waterway to Kingfisher Lodge’s strip of protected landscape.
From there a stealthy walk or a buggy stands between your watery ride and the resort’s main building and its restaurant.
Although modern in design, it also delivers an element of intimacy that works well with an iftar set-up.
A handful of small festive displays and lanterns fix the tone, while the food seeks to satisfy both traditional expectations and more mainstream Western tastes.
The kitchen presents a spread that is more about quality than quantity, again in keeping with the sustainability vibe running through the resort.
Early standout tastes come courtesy of some fragrant salads that break the fast with lighter textures.
We found favourites in yummy marinated squid and snow peas, Thai shrimp salad with julienne vegetables and a refreshing combination of orange and rocca.
Quite often the choice of main courses at an iftar buffet can either baffle or befuddle the hungry mind.
Likewise juicy Moroccan lamb barkook that stood its ground beside a commendable lasagne, for those seeking slightly less spice.
Jordanian chicken mushakan, here served in saj-style wraps, was arguably our highlight flavour.
Traditional juices and desserts round off an iftar that should probably be concluded with an overnight stay, unless you happen to live in the area.
For those not wishing to endure the long drive back to Dubai, a range of accommodation options exist for couples through to families.
Each draws on the natural colours of the surroundings – both sea and desert – in creating sophisticated air-conditioned tents that promise a very different luxury experience.
“The Kingfisher Lodge is unique in every way and will offer an exceptional experience to guests this Ramadan from dusk to dawn,” says Shafik Alaaeddine, General Manager for Sharjah Collection by Mysk.
IFTAR costs AED170 (including tea, coffee, soft drinks but not taxes), while suhour is AED130 (plus taxes) – 50 per cent discount for kids 6-12, under 6s dine free.
RESERVATIONS call 971-9201-1900 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
THE Sharjah Collection is a group of distinctive boutique hotels, eco-retreats and lodges purposefully located in key locations throughout the Sharjah emirate that will “take you on an exquisite journey on the Eastern winds and sands of time”. They also include Al Badayer Oasis and Al Faya Lodge.