THE MIDDLE EAST'S NEW TRAVEL MAGAZINE: FOR BEAUTIFUL DESTINATIONS, HOTELS, THINGS AND EXPERIENCES
THE MIDDLE EAST'S NEW TRAVEL MAGAZINE: FOR BEAUTIFUL DESTINATIONS, HOTELS, THINGS AND EXPERIENCES
THE MIDDLE EAST'S NEW TRAVEL MAGAZINE: FOR BEAUTIFUL DESTINATIONS, HOTELS, THINGS AND EXPERIENCES
THE MIDDLE EAST'S NEW TRAVEL MAGAZINE: FOR BEAUTIFUL DESTINATIONS, HOTELS, THINGS AND EXPERIENCES
THE MIDDLE EAST'S NEW TRAVEL MAGAZINE: FOR BEAUTIFUL DESTINATIONS, HOTELS, THINGS AND EXPERIENCES
THE MIDDLE EAST'S NEW TRAVEL MAGAZINE: FOR BEAUTIFUL DESTINATIONS, HOTELS, THINGS AND EXPERIENCES
THE MIDDLE EAST'S NEW TRAVEL MAGAZINE: FOR BEAUTIFUL DESTINATIONS, HOTELS, THINGS AND EXPERIENCES
THE MIDDLE EAST'S NEW TRAVEL MAGAZINE: FOR BEAUTIFUL DESTINATIONS, HOTELS, THINGS AND EXPERIENCES
THE MIDDLE EAST'S NEW TRAVEL MAGAZINE: FOR BEAUTIFUL DESTINATIONS, HOTELS, THINGS AND EXPERIENCESM
THE MIDDLE EAST'S NEW TRAVEL MAGAZINE: FOR BEAUTIFUL DESTINATIONS, HOTELS, THINGS AND EXPERIENCES
THE MIDDLE EAST'S NEW TRAVEL MAGAZINE: FOR BEAUTIFUL DESTINATIONS, HOTELS, THINGS AND EXPERIENCES
THE MIDDLE EAST'S NEW TRAVEL MAGAZINE: FOR BEAUTIFUL DESTINATIONS, HOTELS, THINGS AND EXPERIENCES
THE MIDDLE EAST'S NEW TRAVEL MAGAZINE: FOR BEAUTIFUL DESTINATIONS, HOTELS, THINGS AND EXPERIENCES
THE MIDDLE EAST'S NEW TRAVEL MAGAZINE: FOR BEAUTIFUL DESTINATIONS, HOTELS, THINGS AND EXPERIENCES
THE MIDDLE EAST'S NEW TRAVEL MAGAZINE: FOR BEAUTIFUL DESTINATIONS, HOTELS, THINGS AND EXPERIENCES
THE MIDDLE EAST'S NEW TRAVEL MAGAZINE: FOR BEAUTIFUL DESTINATIONS, HOTELS, THINGS AND EXPERIENCES

These Middle East hotels have made the World’s 50 Best Discovery list

Following on from the debut World’s 50 Best Hotels list, these Middle East properties have made the coveted discovery list

Isabella Sullivan

31 January 2024

Alila Jabal Akhdar: world's 50 best discovery list hotels

Booking a hotel can, often be overwhelming, with hundreds of choices, round-ups, reviews and lists to navigate. Making the selection process that much easier, the World’s 50 Best Hotels launched its debut list in 2023 – a definitive, trusted and discerningly judged compilation of the world’s very best hotels for the very first time. Unveiled in London’s Guildhall at an awards ceremony in September, the list showcases the hotels in the world that set an unparalleled standard for luxury, excellence and hospitality, featuring much-loved properties around the world – with Atlantis The Royal flying the flag for the Middle East.

Now, the team behind The World’s 50 Best has unveiled 50 Best Discovery, a list of 600 hotels, restaurants and bars across the world that grabbed the voters’ attention and, in future, are likely to make the official 50 Best List itself. 240 hotels have been added to the global hotel index, along with 260 restaurants and 120 bars in more than 100 cities and towns across the world. For hotels, votes come from an academy of travel experts, hoteliers, seasoned travellers, agents and travel editors and journalists – including, and headed up by, nine Academy Chairs, experts in their fields and regions.

Here are the Middle East hotels that made the 50 Best Discovery list (and the international preropteis to watch).

A front view of the One&Only Royal Mirage featuring arabesque arches, latticed details, gold touches, and opulent fountains and gardens.

One&Only Royal Mirage

Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Cementing its name as one of the best hotels in the region, One&Only Royal Mirage made the 50 Best Discovery List, a favourite with travellers since opening in 1999. A true Dubai grande dame, it’s easy to spot amongst the high rises that line the coast overlooking Palm Jumeirah. For starters, its low-rise complexes and villas are almost completely hidden by lush towering palm trees and gardens hiding tennis courts. Secondly, its private beach (home to the stylish Drift Beach Club) is double the size of its competitors. The hotel Arabian in its décor, with arabesque arches, latticed details, gold touches, opulent fountains, and gardens – spread from the Palace to the Arabian Court. There are 221 rooms, including standard doubles, suites and private villas, all of which channel the Arabian luxury feeling. A towering tired spa is a favourite with locals for day experiences and features a relaxing Hamman and plenty of treatment rooms. Dining hotspots are also fabulous, from outdoor Arabian The Courtyard to Jetty Lounge – perhaps the city’s most romantic sundowner spot.
Doubles from AED1,350; book now

Key Information

  • Rooms: 221
  • Starting Rate: $400
  • Dining: Celebrities by Mauro Colagreco
  • Drinking: The Jetty Lounge
  • At the Hotel: Spa, hammam, beach club, tennis courts, padel courts, gardens, private beach, putting green, water sports, sailing, pools, cabanas, petanque, gym, kid’s club
  • 97143999999
  • Visit One&Only Royal Mirage’s Website
jumeirah al naseem: 50 best discovery list

Jumeirah Al Naseem

Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Ask many residents what the best hotel in Dubai is, and they will likely say Jumeirah Al Naseem. This has now been factually backed up, as the hotel is the second Dubai property to feature in The World’s 50 Best 50 Best Discovery List. This low-key luxury hotel is part of the Madinat Jumeirah complex – seven Jumeirah hotels (including the iconic Burj Al Arab) and a modern souk on the beachfront. Al Naseem is the Burj Al Arab’s sophisticated little sister – Arabian and palatial but modern and high-tech. The outside courtyard is filled with supercars and the cooling fragrance of oud envelops you upon entry. Guests can use the beachfront outdoor pool with its views of the Burj Al Arab and sleek modern rooms – with beachy hues and gulf views. The hotel is home to one of Dubai’s most fancy dining spots too, Turtle Lagoon, where fine dining establishments like Il Borro, Flamingo Room, Beefbar and Mayabay frame a serene lagoon shaded by palm trees.

Key Information

  • Rooms: 430
  • Starting Rate: $364
  • Dining: Kayto
  • Drinking: Blind Tiger
  • At the Hotel: Beach club, spa, airport meet and greet, kid’s club, water park, tennis courts, padel court, beach, pools, yacht trips, water sports, yoga and meditation, event space, souk
  • 9718006234628
alila jabal akhdar oman: world's 50 best hotels discovery list

Alila Jabal Akhdar

AI Roose, Oman

A mesmerising and unique escape in Oman’s Al Hajar mountains, Alila Jabal Akhdar rises 6,562 feet above sea level and is only accessed by 4×4 drives. Built on the edge of a steep precipice on ‘the green mountain’, the luxurious hotel blends in with the horizon – all stony greys and sandy browns with the odd gleam from floor-to-ceiling glass windows. Each of the 78 suites offers views of the spectacular mountain range and the interiors pay are inspired by Omani village life with traditional Bahla pottery, juniper tree motifs and Omani chests. There’s a spa focusing on ancient Asian healing techniques and an infinity pool that looks over the mountain gorge – swathed in pink from blossoming Damask roses from March to May. Look closely and you might spot the sheep, goats and donkeys that roam the mountainside.
Doubles from about AED 1,290; alilahotels.com/jabalakhdar

Key Information

  • Rooms: 86
  • Starting Rate: $325
  • High Season: December-April
  • Dining: Juniper
  • Drinking: Rose Lounge
  • At the Hotel: Spa, gym, business center, event venues
  • 96825344200
Abu Dhabi EDITION hotel

Abu Dhabi Edition

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

Ian Schrager and Marriott International’s now iconic EDITION brand bounced into Abu Dhabi in 2018, bringing the best bits from its global counterparts to the UAE Capital. Six years later, it’s been crowned one of the best hotels in the world in the 50 Best Discovery List. As expected from the man behind Studio 54, the Abu Dhabi EDITION is as forward-thinking as it is fabulous. The hotel brings European and American cool to the city with its lattice-like exterior, mood-lighting, minimalist modern design, party-like atmosphere and visiting DJs from Ibiza, further cemented by its position on the trendy Al Bateen Marina. The five-story atrium is filled with art and its restaurants and bars are popular with both hotel guests and locals: The Oak Room, a serious, wood-panelled steak room with an in-house meat sommelier, all-day Market at EDITION and Mediterranean Alba Terrace the spot for the fun-filled Social Saturday brunch. The 198 guest rooms and 57 serviced residences are classically EDITION – with their mood lighting, beige colour palette, desert dune photography and wooden touches – plus there are two fitness centres, two pools and a spa. 
Doubles from AED 700; editionhotels.com

Key Information

  • Rooms: 255
  • Starting Rate: $232
  • Dining: Oak Room
  • Drinking: Library Bar
  • At the Hotel: Private dining, nightlife venues, swimming pools, spa, beauty salon, barbershop, private parking, meeting rooms, retail outlets
  • 97122080000
world's 50 best discovery hotels

Ciragan Palace Kempinski

Istanbul, Turkey

Ciragan Palace Kempinski transports travellers back to the Ottoman era, allowing guests to live like an Ottoman Sultan. Built in the mid-19th century as a palace for Sultan Abdulaziz, this majestic marble landmark sits on the banks of the Bosphorus, gilded and glistening in the sunshine, and guests arrive by boat, helicopter or can drive up the long driveway past manicured lawns and tall palms. The property was remodelled in 2023 by architect Mustafa Toner, and the interiors feature modern elements but keep the focus on Istanbuls’s regal roots. Maroons, royal blue and grey marbles – a nod to traditional hammams – garnish the 317 rooms and suites. Amenities are handled by renowned Turkish pharmacist Atelier Rebul. Fine dining is available at Akdeniz by Esra Muslu, a destination for Mediterranean cuisine. Several more casual outlets allow the opportunity to take in the sunny gardens and indulge in some local culture, replete with locals wagering on backgammon and smoking hookahs.
kempinski.com

Key Information

  • Rooms: 317
  • Starting Rate: $437
  • High Season: May-August
  • Dining: Akdeniz by Esra Muslu
  • Drinking: Le Fumoir
  • At the Hotel: spa, pool, gym, gardens, dock, helipad
  • 902123264646

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