Dubai holidays have landed at On the Beach, and we’re really excited to introduce you to this latest addition to our travel wish list. Its reputation for extravagance is well-deserved, but did you know that Dubai also offers affordable luxury, endless entertainment options and, of course, stunning beaches? With direct flights from a number of UK airports, we’re bringing the UAE closer than ever before. So join us as we say hi to Dubai…
Good to Know
Flight time: 7 hours
Currency: UAE Dirham
Time difference: +3 hours in summer, +4 hours in winter
Average cost of a meal for 2: £35
Dubai’s almost-guaranteed sunshine, clear waters and golden sand makes it the perfect destination for a beach break. See and be seen by the Persian Sea, with one of the world’s most iconic skylines as a backdrop. What’s more, most public beaches offer family-friendly facilities.
The stunning manmade island of Palm Jumeirah is one of Dubai’s must-visit attractions – trust us, it’s even a spectacle when viewed on Google maps! Constructed in the shape of a palm tree and encircled within a protective breakwater, this creative piece of coastline offers sandy beaches galore. Palm Jumeirah Beach is the best public beach of the bunch, having earned the coveted Blue Flag for cleanliness and quality. You’ll find sun loungers, cafés, barbeques and picnic areas here, as well as a fun children’s playground.
Head to the lively Kite Beach for swimming, sun bathing and watersports – there’s also a running track here if you want to explore the waterside from a different perspective. Umm Suqeim Beach is another popular spot, with gently shelving water and a fabulous view of the Burj Al Arab skyscraper.
London. Milan. New York. Dubai has definitely earned its place amongst the world’s leading fashion destinations. From designer labels to unique boutiques, if shopping is your bag then there’s something here to suit every style.
Our top pick of the city’s opulent shopping centres is the Dubai Mall. This award-winning venue houses 1,200 luxury shops, 120 restaurants and bars and an upscale hotel. Incredibly, you’ll also find the Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo, the video game theme park VR Park Dubai, an ice rink and much more under the same roof. All this is topped off with the daily Dubai Fountain Performance, an impressive display of lights, music and water jets, just outside the mall against the backdrop of the Burj Khalifa.
You can unleash your inner shopaholic at the Mall of the Emirates, a luxury centre with an indoor ski park. There’s also Souk Madinat Jumeirah, which includes a traditional Arabian market – perfect for Instagram snaps and for snapping up an authentic gift or souvenir.
Wherever you turn in Dubai, you’ll find endless opportunities for little ones and big kids alike. With a variety of hotels that offer vibrant kids clubs and tons of child-centric attractions, there’s never been a better time to fly the fam to Dubai.
No trip to the UAE with children (ages 2-12) is complete without visiting Legoland Dubai. Whisk your littles away to a world where the only limit is imagination. On site you’ll discover interactive rides, building opportunities, a water park and awe-inspiring Lego models. For a change of pace, head to the butterfly garden and play area at Dubai Miracle Garden, or take a dhow boat ride along Dubai Creek.
Food & Drink
Everything about Dubai demands attention, but you don’t need to be the heir to a large fortune or next in line for a throne to experience the culinary high life. There are plenty of places to eat in the City of Gold that won’t break the bank – and more than a few decadent options too.
Bottomless brunch is a quintessential Dubai experience – this city has turned brunching into an art form. Fridays are your best bet for this after-breakfast, not-quite-lunch feast. You’ll get more than you bargained for with courses and courses of top-notch nosh. Head to Spectrum On One for a dazzling array of dishes and free-flowing drinks, or to Planet Hollywood for a more family-focused affair.
If you’re after a more straight-forward dining experience, Dubai’s evening restaurant scene will cater to every taste. Hotel bars and nightclubs are also popular venues after dark. During the day, check out the street food vendors and traditional coffee shops that line the streets near Dubai Creek.
If you like hair-raising heights and thrilling rides, checking out Dubai’s incredible offering of rollercoasters and waterslides should be at the top your to-do list. Adrenaline junkies and little adventurers alike will be sliding, speeding and loop-de-looping their way to an unforgettable holiday.
Wild Wadi Water Park is Dubai’s original aqua park. Located in Burj Al Arab, this thrill-seeker favourite is home to one of the world’s tallest, fastest freefall waterslides. It also caters to all ages, with slides and pools of every description imaginable. If you prefer to stay on dry land, head to IMG Worlds of Adventure. This epic theme park is jam-packed with different zones, including the Lost Valley dinosaur expedition and the spooky Haunted Hotel. You can even join your favourite Marvel and Cartoon Network characters!
Jetting off to Dubai? Check out our tips to make your flight more comfortable…