Dubai has rapidly announced itself to the world as a leading city, where bigger is better and the extraordinary is ordinary. Oil has given way to tourism and real estate as the main driving forces behind this Emirate’s continuing rise in popularity. With more and more visitors every year this sparkling metropolis, on the southern coast of the Persian Gulf, is now on every traveller’s bucket list.
As with most city breaks your hotel should provide the perfect base to relax and explore from, and Dubai’s offering of eclectic hotels will definitely cater for what you are looking for. You don’t have to break the bank to experience this spectacular city with trendy affordable hotels available in great locations. However, it is the opulent architectural marvels which will offer you the complete Dubai experience. With constant expansion and new audacious plans in the pipeline who knows what will steal the skyline next but for now the 5-star Burj Al Arab features as Dubai’s most iconic hotel. This sail-shaped hotel stands on its own man-made artificial island and has its own private helipad and private bridge which connects it to the mainland. With so much evident luxury and legendary hospitality it is easy to see why rates can reach up to £10,000 per night.
The geographical location of Dubai at the southeast end of the Arabian Peninsula makes it home to some of the best beaches in the UAE. Many of the beaches are affiliated with hotels and accessible only to their guests or visitors who pay a fee. However, there are also several beaches which can be enjoyed at no cost with lifeguards, clean sand, showers and changing rooms all present. Jumeirah Beach and Al Mamzar Beach Park have both been awarded blue flag status and are ideal spots for water sports, barbecues and working on your tan. Al Mamzar even has women and children only days on Mondays and Wednesdays! With temperatures regularly hitting 40 degrees in the summer and very little rainfall the beach is the perfect spot to relax and keep cool and a bikini really is an essential.
Dubai has become known as the ‘Shopping Capital of the Middle East’. The word tax-free has made it an instant magnet for both local and foreign shoppers and bargain hunters. With so many shopping centres and souks to choose from you will be spoilt for choice and are sure to find everything from cars and clothing to jewellery and electronics as well as a vending machine which dispenses gold bars. A particular highlight is the Dubai Mall which is the largest mall in the world and hope to 1,200 shops, 120 cafes and restaurants, 22 cinema screens and a luxury hotel. The Mall of the Emirates is also worth a visit with a built in 85-meter-high manmade mountain with 5 ski slopes and a 3,000-square-meter Snow Park with toboggan runs and climbing towers. If it is gold you are after and a traditional market experience, then the Deira Gold Souk ticks this box with over 300 gold retailers. The perfect place to practice the art of haggling and enjoy the dazzling displays of gold and precious stones.