There's no overreaching for Arabian motifs here. The style is unmistakably Thai at Anantara Dubai The Palm Resort & Spa, opening this month on Palm Jumeirah island. Tuktuks whisk guests around tropical gardens and between 293 rooms and villas, including 18 overwater villas stationed in the Arabian Gulf. Down cocktails in the Lotus Lounge, watch Thai-style longboats bob in lagoons and no prizes for guessing what's on the menu at Mekong (or at the Bushman's Australian Grill).
Meanwhile in neighbouring Abu Dhabi, the Thailand-based company opened the Anantara Al Yamm Villa Resort in July, a 30-villa beachfront resort on Sir Bani Yas Island. It's a five-star, Arabian-styled complement to the only other lodgings on the island, the Desert Islands Resort & Spa by Anantara, and brings the number of UAE properties to five. Also on the Middle East horizon are projects in Oman and Doha, Qatar.
Rooms at Anantara Dubai The Palm Resort & Spa cost from $334 a night.