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Dubai Travel Guide

Introduction to Dubai

Dubai is an international centre for shopping, business and finance. Even though you may just be passing through, it's an interesting city to experience on a stopover – not many metropolis' are based in the middle of the desert. As you fly in, you'll see the architectural wonders of The Palm, and the tallest building in the world, the Burj Khalifa. Betwixt the skyscrapers, you can practice your powder skills in Ski Dubai, spend thousands in Dubai's Malls, or treat yourself to a decadent spa break in the Jumeirah Resort. If you're braving the heat, the Grand Mosque and Safa Park are great daytime activities that don't include spending too much money.

 

The hotels here are renown for being utterly luxurious, and they do have one for every type of traveller: whether you're here on business or kicking off your honeymoon.

Other things to do in Dubai

Dubai is quite the playground for the well-moneyed, with the Dubai mall housing more than 1,200 shops, with a further 560 in the Mall of the Emirates. The Souks are just as fun, as you'll be haggling for things you didn't know you needed!

 

Once you're finished, slide back to your hotel for spa treatments – the Burj al Arab Jumeirah is the only 7 star hotel in the world, if you're lucky enough to be staying there. You could also stay at the Madinat Jumeirah, which is inspired by the ancient Arabic citadels in the Middle East – the wooden water taxis are certainly a unique way to see the city! Check out Dubai's top-of-the-range hotels, apartments and suites now.

 

For adventures outside of the city, you can't beat a desert safari. Usually you'll be taken out into the desert in a 4x4 to enjoy a traditional Arabic meal under the stars, and if you're lucky, there may be belly dancing included. The Wadi Waruyah Waterfall is the only natural fall in the UAE, and the National Park is well worth a trip if you need to get away from the metropolis for a while.

 

For a break from the concrete closer to home, Dubai's Miracle Garden is a flourishing green park near Jumeirah, and it's a favourite with little ones. They can even channel their inner Attenborough at Ras Al Khor, the local flamingo hang out! If the kids are in need of cooling down (and the adults too) Ski Dubai is perfect for a break from the sweltering heat.

 

Here's how to do Dubai on the cheap.

Eating and drinking in Dubai

Alcohol here is expensive, as the nation here is predominantly Muslim. That said, there are cocktail bars here that could rival Paris or New York's, offering every spirit and shisha under the sun – quite literally, as many of the best bars have rooftop terraces. Estrella Lounge and White Dubai offer brilliant views of both the skyline and the stars.

 

When it comes to food, once again it's limitless – you can find every cuisine from all corners of the world here, and many of the restaurants are found within the malls and hotels. Zuma is a favourite across the globe and you can find Dubai's branch within the financial centre. They serve up delicious contemporary Japanese cuisine, in stylish surrounds.

 

For tastes that are closer to home, 'ghuzi' is a tasty Middle Eastern dish of roast lamb, served on traditional kebab skewers with a bed of rice and veggies. You'll also find houmous and falafels in plenty of the restaurants, and don't forget that they don't eat pork in this country either – but it's not unusual to see camel on the menu!

Dubai climate

It's hot and humid in Dubai for most of the year, but in summer the temperature rockets up to the 40's. Most buildings are air conditioned, and built to deal with the extreme climates.

When to go to Dubai

The best time to visit Dubai is spring and autumn, while winter can be ideal, bearing in mind the risk of rain. Summer can be uncomfortably hot, but is also the cheapest time to visit Dubai. And remember, most indoor areas are air-conditioned so you can escape the heat.

Flying to Dubai

You can fly direct to Dubai from Dublin Airport. You can get to downtown Dubai with a taxi, or take the Metro at Terminal 1 or 3. Make sure you pack extra room in your case though, because Dubai's Airport is a serious shopping mall for duty free products!

 Dubai Deals

Hotels in Dubai

Car hire in Dubai

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