Dubai is an inspiring holiday destination. There’s almost too much to do and too much to see. Every angle is a postcard and every mile brings a new experience. The question isn’t usually what to do on a Dubai holiday. It’s how to make the most of the time you have.
Visit Dubai on a holiday and there will always be preconceptions about luxurious experiences and architecture. This blog helps you delve beneath the Emirate’s futuristic facade, into the authentic heart of Dubai. Here are 33 ideas for any Dubai holiday.
Dubai is packed with the iconic and unmissable. There’s almost too many to consider. Here’s a few that capture the appeal and style of the city.
1. A Dubai air tour – Of course we’re a little biased, but there’s no better introduction to a Dubai holiday than cruising above it all in a seaplane.
2. Lounging on the beach – Dubai’s coastline has been extended by a series of artificial islands, so there’s lots of hotels with private beaches beneath the skyscrapers.
3. Connecting with heritage – The Emirate has a proud history that stretches back far before the discovery of oil. The area around Deira and Dubai Creek provides an atmospheric journey through the eras.
4. The Burj Khalifa – Take the world’s fastest elevator up the world’s tallest building to the world’s highest viewing platform. Late afternoon is the premier time as you get to see Dubai in the day, dusk, and night.
5. An indulgent spa – On a Dubai holiday there’s dozens of luxury spas to choose from. Most are located in five-star hotels.
6. Then eat some more – Dubai’s fine dining scene continues to develop and its complemented by authentic tastes from all over the Middle East. It’s another of the surprises on a Dubai holiday.
7. Shopping– Dubai offers continual shopping choice. For glitz and glamour, wander through the world’s largest shopping mall – Dubai Mall. For something more atmospheric, explore the traditional souks found around Dubai Creek.
Shopping, tick. Burj Khalifa, tick. Heritage tour, tick. As you’re adding iconic experience to your Dubai holiday, also consider the alternative side to the Emirate. Dubai is a place where anything is possible, and you’ll be surprised at just how unusual the experiences can be:
8. Hot air ballooning – Watch Dubai awaken at sunrise from a hot air balloon. It provides the elegant calming view before a seaplane tour intimately reveals the entire city.
9. Dune bashing – Journey into the Dubai desert in a four-wheel drive and accelerate around the orange sand dunes. It’s beautiful, but also seriously exhilarating.
10. The Palm Jebel Ali – Everyone has heard of the Palm Jumeirah. But there’s an even bigger palm that can be visited and admired from the air.
11. Friday brunch – Dubai’s social scene revolves around Friday brunch. Almost every hotel and restaurant in the Emirate offers an all-inclusive four hours of great food and drinks.
12. An Abu Dhabi day trip – Abu Dhabi is just two hours drive away, or just 40 minutes by seaplane. The contrasts to Dubai make it a fascinating day trip.
13. Going back to bed after breakfast – There might be a lot to do on a Dubai holiday, but the hotels and resorts seem to redefine luxury travel. So there’s nothing wrong with having a few extras hours in bed.
14. Middle Eastern food trail – Explore the mazy souks and visit the places that only locals know about. That’s the idea on a Middle Eastern food trail, taking you on a sensual journey through all the flavours of the region.
Dubai glistens from the air, its futuristic architecture towering above the Arabian Gulf. Look one way and you see all the colours of the desert. Look the other way and you admire artificial islands that rise from the water. An aerial tour is the premier thing to do on a Dubai holiday. That’s not our words, but those of the New York Times. On your Dubai holiday there’s a variety of scenic flights to choose from. Here are the five main options:
15. Dubai Silver Tour – Dubai’s bestselling air tour is a 40-minute seaplane flight that loops around all the famous attractions. You’ll enjoy intimate views of everything that has made Dubai famous, along with the iconic water take-off and landing.
16. The World Journey – First loop across the unmissable Dubai attractions, then enjoy stunning Arabian Gulf views by landing at The World Islands. The 40-minute flight is followed by a 25-minute boat journey to Palm Jumeirah, providing two distinctive perspectives in one tour.
17. Yas Classique – Fly from Dubai to Abu Dhabi, a 45-minute journey that provides incredible views of both cityscapes. You’ll also cruise above the desert and admire how the cities rise from the sand dunes.
18. Private Dubai air charter – Seawings can take off from 27 locations across the UAE and the wider region. You can customise a sightseeing journey that takes you across the country and connects all the charms of the Arabia.
19. Air Cruise – The latest Dubai holiday craze is an Air Cruise, a combination of private seaplane flights and the UAE’s finest resorts and experiences. It celebrates the mantra that the journey should be as memorable as the destination, as well as providing intimate access to some of the region’s most inaccessible destinations.
Dubai is redefining notions of luxury. On a Dubai holiday you can choose from over 100 four and five-star hotels, each revealing their own distinctive style. With so much choice it almost feels a shame to only stay in one Dubai hotel. Many visitors split their Dubai holiday time across two or more hotels. While the list of potential places to stay is long, five really stand out:
20. The Burj Al Arab – Dubbed the world’s first seven-star hotel, the Burj Al Arab is laced in marble and golf leaf. It’s the sort of hotel that makes you swoon at first sight. Expect the ultimate Rolls Royce treatment and a price tag to match. You can also experience the sumptuous interiors by taking high tea in the Burj Al Arab.
21. The Park Hyatt Dubai – Ideally situated along the banks of Dubai Creek, the Park Hyatt offers elegance, tranquility, and stunning views across the water. It’s made more memorable when the seaplane lands on the water and you disembark straight into the hotel.
22. Al Maha Desert Resort & Spa – Immersed in a protected nature reserve, this serene resort captures the charm of the desert. It takes you back to the time of the Bedouins and camel caravans. Yet it ensures you also have unparalleled luxury amongst the sand dunes.
23. Bab Al Shams Desert Resort & Spa – A multiple winner of the world’s leading desert resort, this escapist resort evokes all the images of an Arabian oasis. There’s an Arabic fort, shaded courtyards, sloping dunes, and the elegant stretch of water.
24. Atlantis The Palm – Tucked on the end of the Palm Jumeirah, this family-friendly resort is home to iconic attractions like Atlantis Aquaventure and swimming with dolphins. If your idea of a Dubai holiday revolves around sunbathing and the beach then the Atlantis is ideal.
Many visitors are preoccupied by thoughts of what to wear in Dubai. Yes, this is a Muslim country, but it’s very tolerant of other beliefs and accepting of international tourists. Rather than think about what to wear, the important consideration is where and when to wear it. Here are the basics.
25. A scarf to cover your shoulders – There’s a big difference in what you can wear in public and what you can wear in private resorts and attractions. On the streets and in shopping malls you should respect local customs and cover your shoulders and knees. A sarong or scarf is easy to carry and wrap around yourself whenever necessary.
26. Covering up keeps you away from the sun, and the sun doesn’t get much more radiant than in Dubai. Sunscreen should be the first item on the packing list for a Dubai holiday. And not the low-factor tanning oils, but the high-factor creams that get you tanned but not burnt.
27. Bikini and swimwear – It’s fine to wear a swimsuit or bikini on any of the private hotel beaches. You won’t be short of private beaches to visit, just note that most charge an entrance fee. You’ll need to dress more modestly when visiting the public Dubai beaches.
Dubai immerses you in its inimitable world. But travel two hours to the next Emirate and you’re exploring an entirely different atmosphere. Each of the Emirates delight in their diversity, pulling you away from Dubai and into fresh experiences.
28. Abu Dhabi – The capital city is an ode to Arabian tradition, its souks and palaces reflecting the timeless style of the region. It’s an ideal day trip for anyone intrigued by heritage, yet it also offers record-breaking attractions like the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, Emirates Palace, and Abu Dhabi Ferrari World.
29. Ras Al Khaimah – With its white beaches and tropical atmosphere, Ras Al Khaimah provides the quintessential getaway from the city. Come here to slumber on the sand and admire the exotic tones of nature.
30. Oman Zighy Bay – Exclusive and inaccessible, this coastal enclave offers a private escape along the Gulf of Oman. The beach is hidden behind the Hajjar Mountains and the atmosphere is one of space and serenity.
31. Fujairah – This lesser-known Emirate is quickly making its name by offering a sparkling coastline dotted with unique history and heritage. It remains mostly off the beaten track, enabling you to simultaneously discover quiet white beaches and the 17th-century architecture of Arabia.
32. Al Ain – The UAE’s only World Heritage Site, Al Ain reveals a remarkable 5000 years of history. This is the place where camels continue to be traded at local markets and mud-brick architecture is hidden amongst date palms.
This list of 33 ideas for a Dubai holiday is just the start of the possibility. Seawings specialises in bespoke Dubai holidays, combining the region’s finest hotels, attractions, and experiences.
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