Editors' Picks

Six Senses Zighy Bay

Far-flung, eco-resort, beach-meets-mountain

Zighy Bay, Dibba Musandam, Zighy Bay 00800

+968 26 735555

See Website

Indagare Adored

At a Glance

Two hours by four-wheel-drive from Dubai, along a private, crescent-shaped sandy beach on Oman’s Musandam Peninsula, Six Senses Zighy Bay sits dramatically before a craggy 1,000-foot mountain. Its 82 standalone villas were built from the mountain’s stones and have been designed to blend into the remote landscape, like an Omani village. Villas have private plunge pools, outdoor majlis (sitting areas) and terraces; all have butlers, or GEMs (Guest Experience Makers) as they are called here. Families will feel at home in the elevated duplex villas that come with their own dining rooms and pools; the showstopper is the Reserve, which has four bedrooms and a 60-foot infinity pool. Diving, hiking, biking or paragliding, dining at five restaurants and indulging in an Arabian facial at the spa are but a few of the activities guests can enjoy, along with catching a glimpse of the light on the cliffs in this one-of-a-kind retreat.

**The Standout:**The Retreat and The Reserve, multi-bedroom villas with personal spa suites, private gyms and infinity pools Don’t Miss: Trying the activities, like snorkeling, diving, archery, paragliding or a 4×4 tour

Indagare Loves

  • The option to arrive at the resort by paragliding onto a beach landing
  • The beachfront pool villas
  • Sense on the Edge, the resort’s fine-dining restaurant, is considered one of the Middle East’s best (a feat considering the competition in celebrity chef-packed Dubai).


It was on a deep-sea fishing trip that the owner of the Six Senses spotted this mile-long, crescent-shaped sandy beach set dramatically in front of a 1,000-foot, craggy mountain. Previously inaccessible by road, Zighy Bay is a testament to the Six Senses brand, which has built a name with resorts set in far-flung destinations. It may seem like an easy two-hour drive from Dubai now, but before the resort opened in 2008, the only way to reach Zighy Bay was by fishing boat.

The developers later cut through the mountain and paved a road that led to the town of Dibba, providing easy access to Dubai. On the approach from the road, it’s not obvious that you are anywhere near a luxury beach resort. The surroundings are barren and dust-filled; the only things in sight are an empty water reservoir and mountain goats. A sign on the road points in the direction of Six Senses Zighy Bay, but this seems impossible as all around is a high and imposing mountain face. Never mind a resort, where is the beach?

It turns out to be directly behind the mountain, and the smooth asphalt turns into a bumpy, winding road. At the top of the mountain, there is a clearing with a spectacular view of Zighy Bay and the Six Senses Resort implausibly built into this otherwise desolate landscape. On a clear day, you can choose to paraglide into the resort to check in—an experience not to be missed by anyone with James Bond fantasies.

All of the resort’s 82 pool villas were built from stones sourced from the mountain, and are designed to emulate a traditional Omani village. Local security guards wearing dishdasha (an ankle-length collarless gown with long sleeves), man the entryway, where the most common—and relentless—intruders are mountain goats. When seen from above (on a micro-light, a highly recommended activity), the Six Senses resort blends seamlessly into the landscape.

Each villa comes with a plunge pool, a majlis (sitting area), an outdoor shower, huge bathtub and butler service. The stand-alone, stone-walled units are lined up three rows deep, and it’s worth splurging on the higher-category Beachfront Villas. For families looking to take over a larger and more secluded unit, consider the Retreats or the Reserve, both of which feature a personal spa suite, a private gym, a wine cellar and an infinity pool. All rooms come with the same eco-friendly and locally sourced amenities, including soft Omani linens and products made from the property’s ubiquitous date trees.

The food is uniformly excellent throughout the property, especially at Sense on the Edge, the resort’s fine-dining restaurant set on the mountaintop. This award-winning spot has been called the best in the Middle East, a feat considering the stiff competition from celebrity chef packed Dubai. For casual, fresh and delicious dining, the resort has two other restaurants, and there are frequently Bedouin-style cookouts on the beach.

Activities abound for those who love the outdoors; favorites include snorkeling, diving, boat cruising, mountain biking, hiking, archery, paragliding and 4x4 tours. There is a full-service spa with a hammam, gym, yoga deck, and two swimming pools, including one filled with seawater. The beach, with its taupe sand and clear, aquamarine waters, is ideal for swimming and sunbathing between September and April, when temperatures are cooler (it reaches well over 100 degrees in the summer). On certain nights of the week, the hotel sets up a large screen on the sand and hosts a movie night under the stars.

Who Should Stay

True lovers of the barefoot-chic aesthetic and those who eschew the concept of luxury as having to be gilded, bejeweled or flashy. The property is great for families who love outdoor activities, and for couples and friends looking to unplug. Zighy Bay is a fantastic add-on to a Dubai visit, but also a destination resort in its own right.

Janine Yu

Written by Indagare

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