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Dubai Holidays

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Holidays to Dubai

Our Dubai holidays will leave you dazzled with its extravagance, seduced by its shopping, delighted with its beaches and humbled by its cultural and architectural wonders. It’s a destination where the ordinary becomes extraordinary, where the contemporary collides with the traditional and where luxury and sophistication oozes from every corner.

Holidays to Dubai offer anything from sky-diving above man-made islands to visiting the tallest building in the world, and from 4x4 safaris through the desert to discovering aquariums that lie beneath designer shopping malls, Dubai is a destination that’s all about big experiences. Add into the mix, world-class theme-parks such as Dubai Parks & and Resorts and IMG Worlds of Adventure and a whole host of stunning beaches, elegant hotels and delectable dining options and Dubai becomes an unmissable experience.

If you’re considering a Dubai package holiday loaded with family fun, then look no further. The city is sprinkled with a host of family-friendly activities and places to see and keep you busy all day long. From outdoor adventures to multiple theme parks and dining options, the choice and variety of experiences will make any of our holidays to Dubai the perfect choice for families.

Dubai Holidays - Explore the Middle East
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Top 5 Things To Do

Burj Khalifa - Pay a visit to the observatory at the world’s tallest building! Set next to Dubai Mall we recommend putting aside a full day to explore both.
Dubai Mall - Shop 'til you drop at one of the world's largest shopping malls. Home to VR Park Dubai and Dubai Aquarium, there's so much to do here even if shopping is not your thing!
Dubai Parks - One of Dubai's newest additions, Dubai Parks brings together four parks, including Legoland into one stunning destination. Free shuttle run from all major hotels and malls.
The Walk & Beach at JBR - If you're not staying at JBR, we recommend at least an evening to explore the buzzing beachfront boulevard. The Walk features a host of upmarket shopping, entertainment and restaurant venues. There’s even an open-air cinema!
Dubai Creek & Old Dubai - See the 'real' Dubai with a trip to Dubai Creek, home also to The Gold, Spice & Perfume Souks. For a real experience of local life, take an abra (a small boat) across the creek, costing only 1 dirham! (Approx 20p)

Location

Detailed City Overview

Dubai in Detail

Dubai is a city whose skyline is constantly being upgraded with new developments providing the infrastructure and facilities needed for a progressive society, including world-class hotels, shopping plazas and outstanding sports facilities. Dubai Creek divides the city centre into two parts: Deira on the northern side and Bur Dubai to the south and each has its fair share of souks, restaurants, hotels, shopping malls and fine mosques.

From within these high standards of luxury and convenience, visitors can experience exotic Arabia in the bustling souks or a night in a Bedouin tent with belly-dancing under the starlit desert skies, as well as a way of life that is still embedded in the Islamic traditions of an ancient land. Dubai's attraction lies in the contrast between the ultra modern and the enchantingly traditional, which gives the city a personality like no other and visitors a variety of experiences to choose from. From desert oases and unspoiled beaches, camel races and old wind towers, to top-class shopping opportunities, avant-garde architecture and the finest international cuisine, Dubai has more than enough depth to satisfy even the most seasoned of travellers.

Getting Around

The most common way of getting around Dubai is by taxi; they are cheap and easy to find. The Dubai Metro system opened in 2009 and now covers the length of Dubai from Jebel Ali in the south, all the way to the airport, then inland to Al Rashidiya. Most of the malls are connected on the central portion of the route. There is a Gold Class cabin and special carriages for women and children.

Many hotels offer shuttle bus services for guests as well. Metered taxis are cream coloured, with uniformed drivers. The public bus service covers most areas of the city and its beaches; a monthly period pass, as well as a discounted purse pass, are available. Routes and bus numbers are posted in both Arabic and English.

Small wooden motorboats (abras) cross the creek every few minutes between Bur Dubai and Deira.

Nightlife in Dubai

Dubai has an incredibly vibrant nightlife. Check out the local newspaper listings and Timeout Dubai for concert and party news. Dubai's clubs and bars are found mostly in the large 4- and 5-star hotels. The legal drinking age is 21, although you must be 25 to enter a nightclub. For this reason, it is wise to carry some form of identification with you when heading out at night.

Some good options for a night out include the Parisian-style Boudoir, ever-trendy Zinc, and Kasbar, in the opulent One & Only Royal Mirage Hotel. Buddha Bar, in the Grosvenor House Hotel complex at Dubai Marina, has great open-air views of the Arabian Gulf and two levels, a restaurant, a bar and a lounge.

Of the few areas outside of hotels that sell alcohol, the Irish Village next to the Aviation Club of Dubai is a favourite watering hole with tourists and non-Muslim residents.

For an alcohol-free option, Dubai Creek Park is a popular place to spend an evening. The atmosphere at night is wonderful and very festive and the park is never crowded due to its sheer size.

Shopping in Dubai

Shopping remains a big drawcard for Dubai as it continues to reinvent itself as a major tourist destination.  Dubai offers incredible range and convenience, turning shopping into a recreational and fun activity. Besides, the malls are premier attractions in themselves, often food, entertainment in addition to the hundreds of stores.

Dubai has zero sales tax and low import duties so certain items, such as electronic goods and gold jewellery, prices are still quite good. Dubai International Airport is one of the most expensive venues to shop in Dubai, although it does have the advantage of selling alcohol in every guise, making this the only place to purchase liquor by the bottle.

The two main shopping facilities in Dubai are the Mall of the Emirates (the largest mall outside of North America) and the Dubai Mall. Both have numerous other attractions to complement their astounding range and number of shops.

Apart from the air-conditioned malls and duty-free emporia of the airport, the best shopping is to be had at the souks - traditional Arab markets - around the city. Here you can find authentic Bedouin paraphernalia, Persian-style carpets and textiles. A particularly pleasant shopping area is the Bur Dubai side of the Creek where you can find textiles, raw silks and interesting souvenirs. Dubai's most famous bazaar is the Gold Souk at Sikkat al-Khali Street. Innumerable shops and stalls sell gold jewellery in every possible form. Bargaining is expected and prices determined according to weight.

Shops tend to open from 8 am to 1 pm, reopening after the heat of the day at around 4.30pm until 8 pm or even later. Malls will remain open from 10 am until 10 pm. Shops, malls and souks usually close on Friday mornings.

Sightseeing in Dubai

Dubai is evolving at a remarkable pace and has left its modest history as a fishing port far behind. Yet in between the ultra-modern skyscrapers and endless construction sites, there are quite a few attractions of historical interest such as the Bastakiya district and the various.

Other attractions centre on Dubai's defining geophysical features: the desert offers adventure touring, rock climbing and photography, while the coastline offers a plethora of water sports.

Dubai is not really suitable for exploring on foot. Attractions tend to be far apart and the year-round heat - reaching inferno proportions in summer - will turn your walk into an ordeal. Better options are to hire a taxi and driver for the day, join an organised tour, or rent a car and enjoy the inexpensive local gasoline while taking in the sights.

Dubai for Kids

From water parks and theme parks to playgrounds and parks, Dubai will cater to just about any child. The beaches in Dubai are also fantastic, but watch out for what time of year you choose to travel - the temperatures can be searing and children will wilt in the heat. The choices are endless in Dubai, but it mostly depends on which park you choose for the day, as they all have something different to offer, from picnic tables and mini golf, go fishing, amusement rides and rollerblading, there is something for everyone. It's unlikely that the weather will be too cold to go outdoors, but when it's scorching hot and over 113°F (45°C), parents will do well to stay indoors, where the air conditioning is cranked on full, and perhaps even attempt a spot of shopping. Most shopping malls in Dubai have children's play areas and nurseries and the world's largest shopping mall, the Dubai Mall has an indoor SEGA theme park and children's 'edutainment' centre, KidZania.

Eating Out

Few places on earth are as compactly cosmopolitan as Dubai - and that translates into an astonishingly varied cuisine for diners. You can find everything from shawarma joints serving delicious kebabs, to 7-course tasting menus prepared by Michelin-starred chefs. Seafood is typically good value and the sushi frequently excellent.

If you want an aperitif or wine with your meal you will need to eat at one the big hotels as no independent restaurants can serve alcohol. Friday brunch has become something of a ritual for both expats and locals so book ahead. During the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, only the big hotels will serve food between sunrise and sunset. However, once the cannon fires to signal the official sundown people flood into the cafés and restaurants to break their fast. A festive and convivial atmosphere prevails making this a great time to meet the locals.

Top hotel picks for Dubai

Highlights

Dubai Burj Khalifa 124th Floor Observation Deck

Adult: £32 Child:(4 -11 yrs) £24

No trip to Dubai would be complete without a vertigo-inducing visit to the world’s tallest building. From the 124th floor, you will see impressive views of Dubai’s 21st century skyline and the desert beyond. This experience is extremely popular and sells out quickly!

Dubai Desert Safari & Sunset Barbecue

Adult: £66 Child:(3 -11 yrs) £55

A desert safari is a “must-do” experience for all Dubai first timers. Experience an exciting dune bashing drive over giant sand dunes and watch a stunning desert sunset. Following your exhilarating drive, arrive at a Bedouin Campsite nestle deep in the desert. Enjoy a delicious barbecue dinner and try the traditional Arabic water pipe or Shisha.

Dubai Aquaventure & Lost Chambers Combo

Adult: £75 Child:(under 1.20m) £59

Located at the Atlantis The Palm, Aquaventure offers the largest and most water park experience in the Middle East. With your combo pass you can enjoy unlimited rides on a series of waterslides, including the terrifying Leap of Faith. After your visit to Aquaventure, head to the amazing Lost Chambers Aquarium and discover over 65,000 marine animals including Sharks, Piranhas and Seahorses!

– Unlimited complimentary access if staying at Atlantis The Palm

Dubai Parks & Resorts

Adult & Child: £111pp

Discover the largest theme park resort in Arabia, comprising of three amazing theme parks and a family-friendly water park. From Legoland to Motiongate, which offers rides based on some of the biggest movies from the big screen, including The Hunger Games, Shrek and much more. There’s truly something for all the family. We offer a wide range of tickets, which can be tailored for you.

when to visit

  • Jan
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  • May
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  • Aug
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  • Nov
  • Dec
  • Currency UAE Dirham
  • Flying time from the UK Direct flights from the UK take under 7 hours
  • Primary Language Arabic, although English is widely spoken
  • Passport & Visas UK passport holders require a tourist visa, which is issued free of charge on arrival