Due to open later this year with 301 guest rooms and suites, the Traders (under the Shangri-La umbrella of hotels) is a small step down from the over-the-top opulence and high pricing of the Shangri-La, but it will nonetheless have access to all of the complex's amenities.
To reach any of the Qaryat Al Beri attractions, which include an Arabic souk, numerous swimming pools, CHI Spa at Shangri-La and Chinese, Vietnamese and French restaurants, you'll have to hop into either a club car or a short abra (Arabic gondola) for a ride on the waterway. Reminds you of Vegas' Venetian Hotel, doesn't it?
So long as they don't force the gondoliers to sing and take our picture for tips, then we're totally cool with gondolas appearing outside of Venice and Vegas, especially if they're to be used as actual transportation.
[Photo: Shangri-La Hotels]