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Sofitel Dubai Jumeirah Beach
Sofitel Dubai Jumeirah Beach
Jumeirah Beach - Dubai Marina, Dubai
5.0 out of 5.0
4.4 out of 5 (44 reviews)

Overlooking the beach and warm waters of the Arabian Gulf, Sofitel Dubai Jumeirah Beach places guests on The Walk, a pedestrianized strip flanked with handicrafts ...

£119

£119
Le Meridien Dubai Hotel & Conference Centre
Le Meridien Dubai Hotel & Conference Centre
Airport Road, Dubai
5.0 out of 5.0
4.6 out of 5 (18 reviews)

Set amidst 38 acres of landscaped gardens, this modern, low-rise city hotel is two kilometres from Dubai International Airport and the Dubai Creek Golf and Yacht ...

£84

£84
Melia Dubai
Melia Dubai
23, Kuwait Street, Dubai
5.0 out of 5.0
4.2 out of 5 (13 reviews)

Melia Dubai places guests to the west of Dubai Creek, 12 km (7.5 miles) from Dubai International Airport. It's a 10-minute drive to the Dubai Museum, the city's ...

£62

£62
Majestic Hotel Tower
Majestic Hotel Tower
Mankhool Road, Dubai
4.0 out of 5.0
4.1 out of 5 (97 reviews)

This high-rise hotel, offering skyline views from its 28 floors, is situated in the Bur Dubai district of Dubai, 3-minute walk from the BurJuman shopping centre, ...

£50

£50
Holiday Inn Express Dubai Airport
Holiday Inn Express Dubai Airport
Umm Ramool Street 54, Dubai
2.0 out of 5.0
3.8 out of 5 (10 reviews)

This family-friendly Dubai hotel is located near the airport, within 3 mi (5 km) of Festival Center, Dubai Festival City Mall and Dubai Tennis Stadium. Deira ...

£46

£46
Millennium Airport Hotel Dubai
Millennium Airport Hotel Dubai
Airport Road, Casablanca Street, Dubai
4.0 out of 5.0
4.7 out of 5 (6 reviews)

Located in Deira, this hotel is within 3 mi (5 km) of Dubai Tennis Stadium, Deira City Centre, and Dubai Creek. Dubai Festival City Mall is 2.8 mi (4.5 km) ...

£76

£76
Atlantis The Palm
Atlantis The Palm
Crescent Road, Dubai
5.0 out of 5.0
4.7 out of 5 (204 reviews)

Offering 1.5 km (0.9 mi) of beach access, this lavish resort is located on Palm Island, a palm-tree-shaped artificial island just off Dubai's Jumeira coast. ...

£246

£246
Rose Rayhaan by Rotana
Rose Rayhaan by Rotana
Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai
4.0 out of 5.0
4.3 out of 5 (58 reviews)

This family-friendly Dubai hotel is located in the business district, within 1 mi (2 km) of Dubai International Financial Centre and Dubai Mall. Burj Khalifa ...

£60

£60
Map

Your Dubai holiday

There is archaeological evidence of life in Dubai dating back several thousand years. However, very few documents predate the series of European empires that occupied the territory from the late 18th century.

Britain was the most influential foreign power in Dubai during this period, and in 1892 formalised Dubai’s status as a British protectorate. The tax-free model, which remains a pillar of economic policy today, was introduced a few years later and Dubai quickly developed into an important port for international trade.

The turbulent global economy between the two World Wars hit Dubai’s lucrative pearling industry and trade partnerships hard. Increased social unrest threatened to bring down the Al-Maktoum dynasty that had ruled since 1833.

However, the discovery of oil in 1966, and the formation of the independent United Arab Emirates in 1971, launched an era of breathtaking expansion and modernisation.

Today, dwindling supplies of the black gold have shifted development projects to the commercial and tourism sectors, with visionary ruler Sheik Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum determined to make Dubai a world leader in every sense.

Spectacular, ostentatious, mind-blowing: these are just some of the ways to describe typical Dubai holidays. Indulge in the brazen luxury and VIP entertainment of the world’s most extravagant resorts, set on the sun-soaked Persian Gulf coast. Whether you are looking for retail therapy, spa treatment, or fine cuisine, this is a place to pamper yourself.

Record-breaking constructions are popping up all the time, so find a flight to Dubai and explore this man-made miracle in the Arabian Desert.

Top Dubai Emirate attractions

The Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding (SMCCU)

The SMCCU welcomes visitors to learn about the local culture, religion and beliefs in the Arab world.

Wild Wadi Water Park and Wonderland Amusement Park

The amusement park is fun for the entire family and includes rides, games and a water park.

Chillout

This restaurant and nightclub built entirely out of ice is a unique way to beat the heat.

Dubai Fountains

The fountains are choreographed to music and shoot water as high as 500 feet into the air.

Burj Khalifa

The tallest building in the world, this structure has an observation deck on the 124th floor. It is also home to the Behold Telescope, which allows visitors to view their surroundings in real time or view archived images.

Dubai Creek

Take a stroll on the boardwalks along the creek, which separate Deira to the north from Bur Dubai to the south.

Ski Dubai

Visit the third-largest indoor ski slope in the world. Located inside the Dubai Mall of the Emirates, you can ski and snowboard on 6,000 tons of snow.

Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo

Located in the Dubai Mall, this is one of the world's largest aquariums and is home to 33,000 aquatic animals, including sharks, giant catfish, penguins, otters, and piranhas.

Dubai Museum

Using life-size dioramas, the museum depicts daily life in Dubai before the oil strikes.

Bastakia Quarter

Here, in one of the oldest areas in Dubai, you can see historic mosques and some ancient architecture.

Dubai Museum

The Al-Fahidi fort, built in the 18th century to defend against foreign aggressors, is the perfect setting for a museum offering a glimpse into the city’s modest existence before a big oil discovery. A collection of finds from archaeological digs—some dating back to 3,000BC—proves that there was life in Dubai long before skyscrapers. A video presentation charts the staggering transformation from desert town to futuristic metropolis.

Outside the fort, the history lesson continues in the pokey alleyways of the Bastakiya district. Here you can see how wind towers kept houses cool before the advent of air conditioning. The government is making a concerted effort to market the district’s cultural credentials, with plenty of restored buildings opening as galleries and museums.

Burj Al Arab

This seven-star hotel (according to its own rating system) is probably the most recognisable landmark in the city. The innovative design—curved like a sail catching a stiff breeze—set the standard for modern development in Dubai. The 780m² gold-plated Royal Suite, complete with private cinema, is probably out of reach for most, but afternoon tea at the ‘Skyview bar’ is a good place to sample the high life.

Burj Khalifa

Officially the tallest building in the world at over 828 metres, the Burj Khalifa is the undisputed centrepiece of Dubai’s impressive skyline. The tower cost an estimated £670million and was named at the last minute after the ruler of Abu Dhabi, who helped save Dubai from bankruptcy during the recent economic crisis. Its 160 stories contain mostly luxury residencies and corporate suites, but the public observation deck on floor 124 offers spectacular panoramic views of the city and beyond.

Jumeriah Mosque

The city’s largest mosque is also the only one in the city that non-Muslims can enter, albeit with a registered guide. The mosque’s sweeping arcs and proud minarets turn crimson at sunset and then glow golden under soft artificial lights through the night. The organised visits are part of a cultural programme designed to help integrate Dubai’s multifarious population with traditional Arabic culture.

Tip * Booking your Tours, Transfers & Airport Parking before you go will save your money & time and ensure a stress free start to your holiday

Insider tips for Dubai Emirate travel

Bab Al Shams

This desert resort offers customized menus for the perfect romantic dining experience.

Duke's Bar

Located in the Al Khaleej Hotel, the bar has an 80s feel, a friendly staff and inexpensive drinks.

The Black Beach

This is an out-of-the-way, intimate bay that sits on Jumeirah Beach Road between two palaces. It is often deserted, so it makes for a nice private getaway.

Al Quoz's Young Artist Auctions

You can get great art for a fraction of the usual cost at this monthly auction, which features many up-and-coming artists.

Abdul Rahman Isaq Mohd Trading

A store with an eclectic mix of African sculpture, Viking helmets, rusty swords and other items that the owner has been collecting for years.

Where to stay in Dubai Emirate

The Atlantis hotel is the standout complex on the man-made Palm Jumeirah Island, and not just because of its salmon-pink exterior. Voted ‘Best Visitor Attraction’ in the 2009 Best In Dubai Awards, the ocean-themed resort specialises in luxury and pleasure. Guests have free access to the exhilarating water park and spectacular underwater city-style aquarium called the Lost Chambers, as well as the opportunity to swim with dolphins.

With 1.2 kilometres of private shoreline and unbeatable views out over the Persian Gulf, the Westin Dubai Mina Seyahi Beach Resort & Marina is the place to be for beach lovers. If you can drag yourself out of Westin’s trademark ‘Heavenly Bed’, the resort offers an array of water sports and outdoor activities. Shopaholics (and ski fanatics) will be delighted by the easy access to the giant Mall of the Emirates.

The Jebel Ali hotel’s elegant blue marble lobby sets the tone for this elegant five-story resort known as the ‘Legend of Dubai’. Golf enthusiasts will want to play a round on the championship-standard 9-hole course, set among 128 acres of gardens and beaches.

Located right in the heart of downtown Dubai, the Moevenpick Hotel and Apartments makes sightseeing easy in the traffic-congested centre. Guests can choose from nine different dining options, ranging from authentic Indian food at Chutneys to Somerset’s traditional British pub-grub.

How to move around in Dubai Emirate

Airport

Dubai International Airport, famous for its duty-free shopping, is just 4 kilometres from the city centre. New arrivals at either terminal can easily find a taxi, with fares typically starting at 25AED (£4.50). Special airport buses with extra room for luggage also circle the main corridors in the inner city.

Taxis

Taxis are well regulated, relatively inexpensive, and generally safe. The government-owned Dubai Taxi Corporation has distinctive cream-coloured vehicles, and offers special pink ‘ladies taxis’ for added security. All taxis are legally required to have a working meter. If a driver claims the meter is broken, look for another.

Water taxis operate around Dubai creek and the main coastal resorts, with fares starting at around AED50 (£9). A cheaper, and more serene, way to cross the creek is in traditional wooden boats called abras.

Public Transport

The city’s bus network is cheap and comprehensive, but rarely used by anyone except low-income workers.

In response to growing traffic congestion, the government is constructing an automatic, driverless metro system. One line is presently operational, with another expected to open in August 2011. The metro is scheduled to be complete by 2015, though delays are possible due to the economic crisis.

All public transport is paid with rechargeable ‘Nol’ cards, with fares varying according to the distance travelled.

Consider a car hire in Dubai if you value the extra freedom and opportunities you get from having your own vehicle. Just be ready to sit in the occasional queue.

Dubai Emirate restaurants

As you might expect, Dubai has a wealth of top-end restaurants serving dishes from all over the world. Bear in mind that restaurants outside of the main hotels in Dubai and resorts are forbidden from serving alcohol, and that opening restrictions will apply during Ramadan.

For a truly decadent dining experience, try the Al Mahara restaurant in the seven-star Burj Al Arab hotel. Diners can try exquisite seafood dishes while watching hundreds of live fish through the floor-to-ceiling aquarium window.

Gordon Ramsay brought his fine dining to Dubai in 2001, and Verre (in the Hilton) continues to be one of the city’s top restaurants. Michelin-starred head chef Scott Price is now in charge of the kitchen, adding some innovative twists to the world-class menu. As you’d expect in a Ramsay establishment, the service and classy black-and-white decor are impeccable.

The award-winning Fish Basket (Oud Metha) is a great place to sample some of the city’s outstanding Lebanese cuisine. Seafood is obviously the main draw here: fish selected from a market-style display will be cooked to order and served with staple sides like hummus and fattoush.

Kabalen (Sheikh Ahmed Bin Hamdan Al Nahyan Building, Street # 16, Al Karama) is a charming family place serving excellent homemade Filipino food at bargain prices.

Those missing home might want to stop at the London transport–themed Double Decker (Al Murooj Rotana, Sheikh Zayed Road), where British pub staples and international plates mingle on a no-frills menu. Live football and karaoke may not appeal to everyone, but the down-to-earth vibe can be refreshing in ultra-chic Dubai.

Prices reflect the lowest "base rate" found over the next 30 days. Rates are subject to change and may not include taxes and fees, hotel service charges, extra person charges, or incidentals, such as room service. Converted rates are provided for your convenience. They are based on today's exchange rate, but the hotel will charge you in the local currency. Local charges may apply