From the searing summer sun to the golden beaches and stunning, gravity-defying architecture, there are numerous reasons to make the long haul trip to the jewel in the United Arab Emirates’ (UAE) crown. With increasing numbers of holidaymakers opting to venture further afield, Dubai is rapidly becoming the destination of choice for Western travellers and it’s not hard to see why. To give you a flavour of what’s on offer, here are 7 reasons why Dubai should be your next port of call.
1. Palaces, luxury and gold
Quite simply, there isn’t really a bad hotel in the city: most are 4 or 5 star affairs (or even 7 in the case of the luxurious sail-shaped Burj Al Arab Jumeirah). Having worked tirelessly to build up a world-renowned reputation for tourism, one of the by-products of that toil is that the facilities really are second to none. The Emirates Palace is perhaps one of the most famous examples. An expensive option, true, but what do you expect from a 7-star hotel with, among copious other attractions, a vending machine that dishes out gold?
Most Dubai hotels are genuinely breathtaking.
2. Gloriously diverse food
Dubai has become renowned for its food and restaurants over the last few years, establishing itself as the culinary centre of the Middle East. Given there are around 200 nationalities residing in the city it really shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise that gastronomic experts the world over are flocking to the city and opening their own eateries. You can experience traditional food from the Middle East (of course) as well as the Indian subcontinent, Asia and beyond. There’s a very good reason why the likes of Gordon Ramsay, Marco Pierre White and Gary Rhodes, to name but a few, already have their own restaurants there.
Buffets are available across the city every Friday (the first day of the weekend in the UAE).
3. Unrivalled shopping
Dubai is home to one of the world’s biggest shopping malls, the Dubai Mall, which has some of the world’s most luxurious brands including Louis Vuitton, Gucci and even a Bloomingdale’s. The mall has its own aquarium, ice rink and so many shops you’d need to dedicate a whole day to getting around them. Those searching for sparkly friends should seek out the Souk, a section of the mall which houses a host of shops selling unique gold and diamond jewellery. Bigger, better, faster, more – just some of phrases commonly associated with the ever expanding metropolis of Dubai and the bountiful shopping opportunities are a good indication why.
4. Huge to-do lists
There is very little you can’t do in Dubai. From hot-air ballooning or helicopter rides, to skydiving and dune-bashing it’s practically impossible to run out of activities. And, although the Palm Atlantis hotel is a popular choice with holidaymakers, you don’t have to stay there to enjoy its impressive aquarium and waterpark – which shouldn’t be missed. It’s the perfect spot for family fun and offers a one-on-one dolphin experience to remember.
5. Art and culture
While the UAE might still be regarded as a young country, the wealth of culture in and around Dubai really adds a nice balance to the numerous skyscrapers and modern buildings populating the skyline. The Dubai Museum for Contemporary Art and the Dubai Museum are well worth your time. Aside from that, there are walking tours and situated in the Hatta Mountains (around an hour away from Dubai itself) is the Hatta Heritage Village which dates back 2,000-3,000 years. Regarded as an important historical site, it’s ideal for anybody with an interest in culture and history. It’s also a great excuse to get out and explore.
6. Man made wonder
From man-made palm islands on the coast of Dubai to stunning beaches with clear water, there is plenty of awe-inspiring scenery for holidaymakers to enjoy – especially the panoramic views experienced by helicopter. The sun, pretty much, always shines in Dubai and, in the summer, it’s reasonable to expect the temperature to regularly go beyond 40°C.
Beach clubs are popular among tourists who want to laze around and soak up a tan.
Dubai sporting events attract thousands of tourists each year and feature sporting professionals from around the world. From the Dubai Marathon to tennis championships, football games and beach polo, there’s plenty to see and do for all sport enthusiasts. The Dubai World Cup is a key date and is the world’s richest horse race, providing a day of excitement and thrills. Budding golfers can enjoy world-class golf courses such as the Emirates G.C (Majlis) and Jumeirah G. Estates (Earth).
Published 13th October 2015