At the end of a white-sand beach, away from the package-tour and convention crowds, Dar al Masyaf is a tranquil boutique hotel within the sprawling Madinat Jumeirah complex of seaside resorts and a shopping souk modeled after a traditional Arabian walled city. It’s all set next to the Persian Gulf coastline within a Venetian-style network of man-made canals. Rooms, served by butlers, are accessible by footpath and electric dhow and occupy 29 two-story courtyard houses with the same traditional wind tower architecture and calm vibe of the resort’s shared Talise Spa.
Closer to the resort water park are the seven freestanding Malakiya Villas, with huge marble bathrooms and fully equipped kitchens for family life. Getting in and out of the resort grounds, whose more than 50 bars and restaurants are a Dubai nightlife beacon, can mean negotiating a madhouse traffic jam of taxis and high-end sports cars. But noise does not penetrate the rooms, the palm-backed beach is large enough for guests to find private space, and evening terrace views of wind tower lights reflecting in the canals can be enchanting.