You have to pity poor Mr. Emad (Peter Ustinov). All he wants to do is to run his luxury hotel. Unfortunately for him, the Hotel Sahara is located in the middle of the Western Desert - and World War Two is raging all around him! As the fortunes of war ebb and flow, different armies commandeer the Hotel Sahara almost on a daily basis - and Mr. Emad must make friends with them all. First, it's the Italians - and suddenly the hotel is displaying portraits of Mussolini and resounding with opera. Then the British arrive - and it's tea and marmalade for breakfast and portraits of Winston Churchill on the staircase. They disappear when the Germans invade and now it's all 'Heil Hitler!' and pictures of the Fuhrer... Mr. Emad finds himself tiptoeing through a minefield of loose loyalties, amorous officers and booby-trapped bathrooms, all the while trying to protect the virtue of his wild and tempestuous fiancee Yasmin (Yvonne De Carlo). Somehow, against all the odds, he seems to be succeeding - until the British and the Germans both decide to occupy the hotel simultaneously, with both sides disguised as Arabs!