Luxury Dubai Holidays: An Overview

The second largest Emirate and one of the world's most multicultural countries, Dubai invites travel folk to marvel over its manmade shores and opulent lifestyle.

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Isabel, Eleanor and Charlotte are here to help give you the inside track.

Why we think you’ll love it

  • Dubai has undergone an extraordinary transformation from a sleepy fishing and pearl diving centre on the shores of the Gulf to the ultra-modern city-state of today in a matter of just a few decades.
  • Cultural attractions may be light on the ground, but that is simply not what Dubai is about. What it does, it does very well.

Dubai: The Detail

The tiny Emirate of Dubai has seen a seismic shift in growth over the past twenty or so years. It may have lost some of its lustre during the recent financial crisis, however, she's come back with a vengeance (as well as pure opulence) to build itself to a Grande status in time for hosting the Expo 2020.

Did you know

  • The worlds tallest building, the 164-floor Burj Kalifa, is situated in Dubai
  • With over 1200 stores, the Dubai Mall is the world's largest shopping centre
  • Dubai is thought to be the world's fastest growing city with only one skyscraper in 1990 and over 400 today
  • There are no street addresses in Dubai
  • 80% of Dubai's residents are from other countries
  • Double-decker roads have been introduced to help reduce traffic jams

Dubai still remains an archetypal winter sun destination for luxury holidays - good weather is all but guaranteed, there's a choice of outstanding resorts, pristine beaches, warm sea, famously good (tax-free) shopping, and all within reasonable flying time of the UK. The portfolio of quality luxury hotels and desert resorts is always expanding, as are the dining options. With a large expat community and international flavours influencing the cuisine, Dubai now hosts a number of fine dining establishments, including Michelin star and celebrity chef hosted restaurants. Café culture is also something of a lifestyle adaptation in Dubai with a number of great ice cream parlours, cake shops and sheisha bars dotted throughout modern city - not a bad way to spend your luxury holiday.

Modern Dubai is a cosmopolitan society with a wide range of attractions, from watersports, golf and tennis to international sporting events such as horse racing's World Cup. Dubai's legendary tax-free shopping ranges from traditional Arabic souqs to opulent, marble-clad malls, where the choice (and price) of products are unrivalled.

The past hasn't been completely erased by the present, however. Dubai's old heart can still be found in the Bastakia area around the Creek, from where wooden dhows still trade across the Gulf and further afield. And not every modern building is a hotel - the Jumeirah Mosque is a striking example of modern Islamic architecture and well worth a visit.

For that burst of much-needed winter sun, a Dubai luxury holiday isn't easily beaten. Our Middle East team are here to help with every detail of your trip whether it's a high tea in the Burj al Arab (Dubai's tallest building to date) or the best spot to dine whilst watching the famous water fountain show at the Dubai Mall. Dubai has it all and more, the country is so multi cultural that one day you could be sat in an American style diner and shopping in a souq the next. The statement 'seeing is believing' springs to mind when summing up Dubai, which is why we recommend you do - no brainer.


Top picks for Dubai

Anantara The Palm

Anantara The Palm

Dubai

Beautifully set on the eastern crescent of the iconic Palm Jumeirah, the Anantara Palm Resort & Spa truly is a place which can only be described as a Thai Mecca in a Middle Eastern country.

Where to stay

One&Only Royal Mirage

One&Only Royal Mirage

Dubai

The Royal Mirage is one of a handful of traditionally stylish hotels in Dubai, with Arabic architectural influences and sophisticated decor. As a One & Only property guests can expect nothing less than fine luxury and attention to detail.

Where to stay

Bab al Shams

Bab al Shams

Dubai

The resort is styled as a traditional Arabian fortress, with the rooms located in clusters of two-storey buildings around the atmospheric complex.

Where to stay

Al Maha Desert Resort & Spa

Al Maha Desert Resort & Spa

Dubai

The resort was designed to resemble a Bedouin encampment, and overlooks open plains and dune belts, with the Hajar Mountains in the distance.

Where to stay

Madinat Jumeirah

Madinat Jumeirah

Dubai

The impressive Madinat Jumeirah is split into four areas, and even though the resort is quite large, each one of the hotels leaves the guest with a feeling of relaxation and tranquillity in the most luxurious of surroundings. Situated in the heart of Jumeirah beside the Jumeirah Beach Hotel and Burj Al Arab hotel, the Madinat is not close to any construction work, unlike many hotels in Dubai.

Where to stay

Dubai Sunset Safari

Desert Safari

Dubai

Explore wadis and the desert in a 4x4 expedition with an expert guide.

What to do

Our second holiday with Original Travel and once again you came up trumps.

Richard

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