Looking to escape to paradise?
Dubai’s beaches are made for Insta-enviable days of sea, sand and sun. And with loads of space for getting away from it all, theme parks for kids, pampering escapes for grown-ups and some great value hotels (with peace-of-mind hygiene and safety practices in place throughout), Dubai is the perfect holiday escape.
Everyone gets the holiday they’re looking for
Families love Dubai, and with good reason – there’s so much to do. Kids will love staying at Lapita, a Polynesian themed hotel within Dubai Parks and Resorts, with three theme parks and a water park right on the doorstep and a lazy river to float down. For a great value stay, with a side helping of culture, try the Al Seef Heritage Hotel Dubai, Curio Collection by Hilton. Right by the bustling Dubai Creek with its markets and boats, its bright, airy rooms are inspired by traditional design. Or go for luxury at Jumeirah Al Naseem with its long stretch of golden beach, multiple pools, gardens filled with palm trees, fusion cuisine at Summersalt Beach Club, and free access to the Wild Wadi water park.
Dubai’s coastline is fringed with glorious beaches, offering something for everyone and acres of space to spread out. At family-friendly La Mer, the broad shores are backed by dozens of restaurants with spacious outdoor terraces, and colourful street art at every turn makes this one of the most Instagrammable spots in town. Couples in search of adults-only calm can enjoy one of the city’s most stylish beach clubs: Drift Beach at One&Only Royal Mirage, where the vibe is urban chic and private cabanas offer extra seclusion. And for the classic Dubai holiday snap, head to Sunset Beach, a beautiful stretch of sand with unspoiled views of the Burj Al Arab.
Dubai’s mighty malls, filled with designer stores and tourist attractions, are rightly famous – but they’re not the only way to shop. For some open-air retail therapy, head to Al Seef, a new lifestyle destination on Dubai Creek, where you can soak up views across the water as you stroll along a promenade lined with boutiques and restaurants. Another outdoor dining and shopping hub, City Walk, has everything from trendy homewares to handcrafted burgers, plus stunning views of the Burj Khalifa from its tree-lined esplanade. Or pay a visit to The Ripe Market, held every Friday and Saturday in Academy Park, to browse the artisan stalls for local crafts, organic produce and gourmet treats.
Great outdoor adventures
No trip to Dubai is complete without venturing into the wide open spaces of the desert dunes. Just a short drive from the city, head out on a private desert safari, or get a shot of adrenaline as you drive your own dune buggy; both activities are available from Arabian Adventures. For even more adrenaline and a view of the Palm Jumeirah from 13,000 feet, take to the skies with Skydive Dubai. And for those more comfortable on two wheels, pick up a bike from Trek Bikes and hit the Al Qudra desert cycling track to tackle the 50km or 85km loops.
Walk on the wild side
Dubai is packed with fun ways to experience the wonders of nature. The Green Planet’s indoor rainforest is a firm family favourite, with its lorises, two-toed sloth and a tamandua anteater. It also has six comfy tents where you can spend the night inside the tropical bio dome before feeding the animals their breakfast in the morning. If that’s not enough for your budding zoologists, head for the oasis landscapes of beautiful Al Qudra Lakes, home to oryx, desert foxes and dozens of native birds. Or let the wildlife come to you: splurge on an underwater suite at Atlantis and from the comfort of your bed or bath you can watch thousands of marine creatures gliding past.
Food, glorious food
Don’t miss local favourite Salt, where wagyu sliders are cooked up in an Airstream trailer right on Kite Beach. Step it up a notch at Sal, a classy pop-up restaurant housed in a dazzling mirrored cube on the Burj Al Arab’s pool deck, with vast open windows overlooking the Arabian Ocean and southern Mediterranean flavours on the menu. Or head to one of the city’s hottest addresses and pull up a seat at Cé La Vi for delicious Asian-fusion cuisine and unbeatable views of the Burj Khalifa from the spectacular roof terrace, where the pool really does seem to disappear into infinity.
Doesn’t that sound like your perfect holiday?
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