Dubai is renowned for its luxurious holidays and breathtaking scenery, but can be too hot to handle in summer as temperatures hit 40°C. Why not try it in winter instead?
There are endless places to see and explore – not forgetting soft, white beaches to enjoy – so we’ve picked our favourite things to do and places to stay. It doesn’t have to cost the earth, with return flights from London Heathrow and seven nights in one of our star hotels starting from £678pp.
What we’d do…
– Dubai’s souks are home to traditional clothes, spices and foods. Start by looking through the fine fabrics and silks, where eager stall owners will drape you in scarves as you walk by, before taking a short boat trip to the spice and gold stalls across the river. The atmosphere is different to anything you’ll have experienced before, and you’ll pay far less for gifts and souvenirs than you’ll pay in the tourist spots.
– The Burj Kalifah is the world’s tallest building, and marks the centre spot of Downtown Dubai. Take a trip up to the top at night, when there will be less dust to obscure your view across the city, and eat at one of the restaurants below. Book to eat by one of the huge fountains for a really romantic or exciting experience, as music (anything from Michael Jackson to traditional Arabic!) fills the main square.
– There are two water parks in Dubai and, as you’d expect, they do them properly! The biggest is at the famous Atlantis Hotel, which you can use if you’re not a guest.
– Dubai’s ladies’ nights mean one thing – free drinks for the girls! The best way to find your local ladies night is to buy a copy of Time Out Dubai, which regularly lists the restaurants and bars you should head to for a great deal.
– Book yourself onto a range of safaris, which can include anything from camel rides and henna tattoos to sand boarding and driving jeeps up and down the sand dunes.
– If the heat gets too much, there are also indoor ski slopes, an aquarium and an ice rink to keep you entertained, most of which you’ll find in the huge mall by the Burj Kalifah.
And of course, no holiday would be complete without a day or two stretched out on the beach. Dubai’s are incredible, with the whitest sand and clearest water in Jumeira.
Don’t forget to buy a copy of the Dubai Entertainer at any book shop or online, which costs around £40 but offers loads of 2 for 1 vouchers on activities, sightseeing and eating out. Well worth it if you’re travelling as a group or planning to try lots of new things!
The 3* Arabian Park Hotel in Bur Dubai is one of our star hotels. It’s a short bus ride from the main attractions, but offers free shuttle buses to major attractions so you don’t miss out. Set in four acres of gardens with an on-site brasserie, lounge, bar, deli and pool terrace, it’s safe to say there are plenty of places to relax!
Stay at the Arabian Park Hotel for seven nights, on a bed and breakfast basis, from £295 in January.
The 4* Majestic Hotel Tower, another of our star hotels, is closer to the centre of Dubai, just a ten to twenty minute walk from Dubai Creek. It gets great feedback on TripAdvisor and has a selection of cafés, restaurants and bars to enjoy, including sports bar, lounge bar and terrace restaurant with continental and international cuisine. A coffee bar in the lobby is sure to get you set up for a busy day of sightseeing!
Stay at the Majestic Hotel Tower for seven nights, on a bed and breakfast basis, from £460pp in January.