The opulent emirate of Dubai is a place where the Persian Gulf meets the Arabian Desert, where glamour meets glitz, and where unspoiled beaches and indigo seas meet designer shops and intoxicating nightlife. The perfect place for a hedonistic holiday, it’s also a seductive destination where you can swim with dolphins, camp in the desert and dine at world-class restaurants under the sea or high up in the sky.
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Hotels here are the height of luxury, dazzling with excess and brimming with opulent restaurants and extravagant spas. Stray from your resort and discover magnificent skyscrapers, including the world’s tallest tower, the Burj Khalifa, and the adjacent Dubai Mall, where you’ll find an array of designer shops, an indoor ice rink, a huge aquarium and even a Marks and Spencer if you’re feeling homesick. It’s also well worth taking in the Dubai Fountain Show, designed by the creators of the Fountains of Bellagio in Las Vegas. Skydive out of a plane 4,000 metres above The Palm, camp Bedouin style under the stars, ride an abra along the Dubai Creek at sunset or enjoy a hot air balloon flight over red-gold desert sands.
Contrary to some popular misconceptions, it’s still perfectly possible to find flavours of old Arabia in Dubai: head to the old Bastakia Quarter’s labyrinth of winding streets dotted with 13th Century architecture, museums and galleries, or have fun bartering at the Deira Gold Souk.
Dubai is a city which offers an impressive range of flavours, from local and ethnic dishes to international cuisine from around the world. Standards are high and the choice is diverse, especially in the top class restaurants offered by the city’s hotels. We recommend the modern seafood of Al Mahara at Burj Al Arab and Pierchic at Madinat Jumeirah. For Japanese fusion the seriously stylish Nobu at Atlantis, The Palm deserves special mention, and the Moroccan dishes of Tagine at One&Only Royal Mirage are simply divine.
What to see...
Visit Burj Khalifa and experience the heady heights of the world’s tallest tower. Take a high speed lift to the 124th floor and enjoy 360º views of Dubai and the desert beyond from the observation terrace, a thrilling experience!
Rides and slides
Fun for all the family, sample camel riding and sandboarding surrounded by the alluring hues of the Dubai desert. Start the morning with a thrilling four wheel drive to the Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve and swap your car for a camel to experience the traditional Bedouin mode of transport. After a gentle 30 minute ride, you’ll dismount, only to strap on a sandboard and let loose as you cruise down the dunes to the desert floor below. If this part isn’t for you, sit back and watch as the kids have a go.
If you’re keen to explore further afield, why not escape to the ‘Grand Canyons’ of the Hajar Mountains with an exhilarating off-road experience. You’ll encounter an awe-inspiring array of deep gorges, rugged peaks and traditional mud-brick villages, before stopping for lunch at a scenic spot in the range. Head back to Dubai via the fishing village of Dibba, the pretty oasis town of Masafi and a local camel farm.
Falconry in the desert
What could be better than seeing first-hand how the Bedouin, famous for their skills in falconry, train these fascinating birds in the desert. Enjoy a breathtaking demonstration, learn about the unique personalities of the birds and take the glove and have a go yourself.
Dubai From the Sky
Do something completely unique and different from the normal hotel-based holiday by combining a few nights in Dubai with a stay in the stunning Musandam peninsula in Oman or in the enchanting Ras al Khaimah desert, with unforgettable Seawings luxury seaplane journeys in-between and a scenic flight over Dubai.
Flying time from the UK is approximately 7 hours direct.
Emirates Departures from Heathrow, Gatwick, Manchester, Birmingham, Newcastle and Glasgow daily.
British Airways Departures from Heathrow daily.
Virgin Atlantic Departures from Heathrow daily.
Note: All our inclusive holiday prices are based on Virgin Atlantic Economy flights. Prices with British Airways and Emirates are available on request.
Arabic is the official language of the Emirates, but English is widely spoken.
4 hours ahead of GMT.
UAE dirham. Major credit cards are also accepted at all hotels.
Passports must be valid for a minimum of 6 months beyond your return travel date. UK passport holders visiting Dubai will be issued with a tourist visa on arrival for a stay of up to 30 days. Currently there is no fee for the visa.
Please note child car seats are obligatory in Dubai for children under 6 years.
Ramadan, Eid Al Fitr and Eid Al Adha are important religious festivals in the Muslim world, the exact dates of which are determined by the lunar calendar and change each year. For 2015/2016 they are expected to take place as follows:
Holy Prophet'sBirthday: 22 - 23 December 2015 inclusive Isra Al Miraj: 4 - 5 May 2016 inclusive Ramadan: 6 June - 6 July 2016 inclusive Eid Al Fitr: 5 – 8 July 2016 inclusive Eid Al Adha: 11 – 14 September 2016 inclusive
During these times, some restaurant and bars may close and there may be restrictions on smoking and drinking in public. Please contact us for the latest information on how this may affect your holiday.