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Dubai holidays

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Holidays to Dubai take you to a city like no other. It's a futuristic metropolis, where heady skyscrapers, flashy bars and league-of-their-own hotels are bordered by whiter-than-white beaches.

Las Vegas of the Middle East

With the world’s tallest building, the world’s biggest shopping mall and the world’s biggest choreographed fountain, Dubai’s a city that breaks records for fun. Glamorous hotels on purpose-built islands and seven-figure yachts are all part of the fabric of the UAE’s answer to Tinsel Town. Its ever-evolving city centre’s just one of the things that makes it a must-see. And because the skyline is always getting bigger and bolder, it’s not uncommon to see a spot of construction work going on around the city.

Stylish sunbathing

Dubai’s shoreline’s a real eye-catcher, and not just because of the stellar sands. True to form, the city ups the game with a huge, hotel-studded island shaped like a giant palm tree. From here, you can spy one of the city’s most iconic skyscrapers – the sail-shaped Burj Al-Arab – from your lounger. Sunbathing’s a year-round pastime in Dubai, thanks to a steady dose of sunshine. In peak summer – July and August – the mercury can reach 40oC. And, even in the winter months, from December to March, the temperature rarely dips below 17oC.

Coasters and cocktails

Dubai has plenty up its sleeve for families. The MOTIONGATE™ and LEGOLAND® theme parks take a leaf out of Orlando’s book and there are aquariums, themed minigolf courses and one of the world’s biggest sweet shops to get your teeth into. Evening entertainment ramps up the glitz and glamour. Cocktail bars compete with one another in the swankiest hotels, and the shorefront’s peppered with open-air lounges that host live DJ sets and pool parties.

City breaks in Dubai

Our hotels dance around Dubai’s best bits. To start, you’ve got beachside breaks on the city’s manmade marvel, the Palm Jumeirah. This peninsula’s name takes inspiration from its palm tree shape – it’s got a host of first-class hotels and a postcard-perfect beach, too. Or, choose a hotel near Dubai Marina – this place is in the thick of the action in the centre of the city. Whether you stay palm-side or in the heart of the action, you’re bound to bump into one of Dubai’s world-famous malls – it’s home to a list of over 60 shopping complexes, with new ones being added all the time.

More about Dubai

 

The big beach

Dubai’s original public beach still draws in the crowds. It runs all the way from the Dubai Marine Beach Resort to the Four Seasons, with a few parks and marinas in between. As such, there’s enough room to find your own patch. Plus, it ups the ante with a 1.8 kilometre running track, showers, toilets and volleyball nets. For drinks and snacks, head over to one of the beach kiosks.

 

Mid-range buys

The Dubai Mall’s the biggest shopping centre in the world, and a few hours here probably won’t cut it if you’re planning to spend a few dirhams. More than a thousand retailers have a space here, including lots of brands you’ll see on UK high streets, like Adidas and H&M. There are more than 200 places to eat and drink, plus a traditional souk with over a hundred shops of its own. If it all sounds a bit much, you can always visit the Dubai Aquarium here, or pop outside and look up at the Burj Khalifa next door.

 

Lively evenings

Being Dubai, a lot of the nightlife is glitzy with a capital ‘G’. Multi-floored superclubs and hip bars rule the night here. Some of the best are in Jumeirah, so the dancefloors often come with a sea view. Over in Downtown Dubai, meanwhile, some of the city’s tallest hotels house smart bars, where you get a bird’s-eye-view with your bellini.

View all things to do in Dubai

Average weather in Dubai

Jan

18°C

Avg. Rain: 10mm

Feb

20°C

Avg. Rain: 20mm

Mar

23°C

Avg. Rain: 10mm

Apr

29°C

Avg. Rain: 5mm

May

34°C

Avg. Rain: 1mm

Jun

36°C

Avg. Rain: 0mm

Jul

37°C

Avg. Rain: 0mm

Aug

37°C

Avg. Rain: 0mm

Sep

35°C

Avg. Rain: 0mm

Oct

30°C

Avg. Rain: 1mm

Nov

25°C

Avg. Rain: 5mm

Dec

20°C

Avg. Rain: 10mm

Dubai on a budget

 

Budget

If you’re visiting Dubai on a budget, lots of the city’s museums are free to enter, including the Coffee Museum, the Camel Museum and the Coins Museum. The Ras Al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary also offers free entry – grab a spot in one of the hides here and check out the herons, flamingos and ospreys. As for accommodation, lots of the more budget-friendly options can be found away from the main attractions.

 

Mid-range

When it comes to shops and restaurants, you’ll find plenty of familiar faces from UK high streets in Dubai, so doing Dubai on a modest budget is manageable. Many of the city’s biggest attractions are reasonably priced, too, and as for hotels, they’re dotted all over the city, so you’ll find affordable options if you come away from the likes of The Palm and the Burj Khalifa.

 

Luxury

Dubai and luxury go hand-in-hand. Most of the city’s top hotels can be found along the waterfront or on The Palm, and the malls here can cater for tourists with limitless budgets. On the food front, you’ll easily find fine-dining restaurants across the city, too. Some of the best can be found in the Burj Khalifa, where the price tags match the views.

Facts about Dubai

Currency

AED:UAE Dirham

Language

Arabic

Timezone

GMT +4

Flight Duration

6 hours 55 minutes from Gatwick

Dubai FAQs

Dubai’s tropical desert climate means boiling hot summers and warm winters, so there’s never a bad time to visit if you’re chasing the sun. That being said, it can get a little uncomfortable in August when it’s not unusual for the mercury to reach the 40s. As for rain, there’s hardly any here, but February’s when it’s usually wettest. Read more on the best time to visit.

It all depends on how much you’re planning to see and do. Lots of the city’s museums offer free entry, and there’s no charge if you’re stopping for a selfie by the Burj Khalifa or wandering around Dubai’s mega-shopping malls – you’ll need your purse or wallet handy if you’re planning some retail therapy though. Check out our handy spending calculator to give you an idea of how much spending money you’ll need to take. And don’t forget, you can buy your AED Dirhams with us before you go.

The world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa, calls Dubai home, and if you take a trip to the top, you can admire the bird’s-eye views of the city. And, just in front of it, the dancing Dubai fountain show is free to watch from the lakefront. If you fancy stocking up on souvenirs, the world’s largest shopping centre – the Dubai Mall – is also here.

Between five and seven days is enough time to visit Dubai’s top attractions, bars, and restaurants.