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A holiday to Dubai offers an exciting escape to one of the world’s most breathtaking modern metropolises

A trip Dubai isn’t your average getaway, as Dubai holidays put you on the doorstep of one of the globe’s spectacular boomtowns, and whether you come for the futuristic architecture, to hit the surf at Sunset Beach, to dive headfirst into the thrilling nightlife or to shop at the glittering upscale stores, a Dubai holiday will leave a life-long impression. With ebookers, you can be sure that booking your holiday to Dubai is as breezy as the languorous afternoons on the Persian Gulf, as we offer a fantastic range of Dubai flights and hotels to take the stress out of planning, and saving you up to 15% when booked together. Just click through our carefully selected trips to Dubai, and choose the holiday that matches your desert dreams.

From beguiling boutiques to daring dining and dune buggies: things to doon Dubai holidays

With its jaw-dropping skyline, luxury shopping and world-class restaurants, Dubai is a draw for the modern traveller, but the old city centre is also well worth exploring. The labyrinthine souks in old Dubai sell everything from handcrafted gold jewellery and traditional tapestries to oud perfume and sacks of spices – a great place to find a one-of-a-kind souvenir. After a morning spent exploring the best of classic Dubai, explore the epic desert on an excursion with one of the tour companies offering journeys by quad bike, camel or dune buggy. Some desert tours even include belly dancing, moonlit BBQs and hot-air ballooning. The Dubai dining scene, meanwhile, has something for everyone, with options ranging from street vendors selling manakeesh, to refined seafood restaurants with wall-to-wall aquariums and Michelin-starred chefs. If you want to try something different, you can pick up some fresh Kingfish and Pomfret from the Deira Fish & Vegetable Market and try your hand at inventing your own take on a fish curry, or if you’re adventurous, try the stuffed camel, a legendary local speciality.

What districts are the best for a Dubai holiday?

Downtown Dubai is the place to be if you’re looking to be awed by Dubai’s record-breaking modernism. It’s here that you’ll find the biggest mall in the world (The Dubai Mall), the tallest building in the world (the Burj Khalifa) and the tallest hotel (the JW Marriott Marquis), as well as a great selection of shops and family-friendly attractions. Media City is a hotspot for concerts and dining, while Alserkal Avenue in the Al Quoz neighbourhood is full of vibrant galleries and casual cafes. Jumeirah Beach is a lively district packed with hotels, bars, restaurants and malls.

Getting around on holidays in Dubai

As befits one of the most modern cities in the world, Dubai has plenty of transport options. You’ll find it easy to travel by taxi, Uber, tram and driverless metro. There are also ferries and water taxis, as well as abras – traditional boats that travel Dubai Creek and the new Dubai canal. If you’re looking to splash out there are Uber choppers, and hiring a car will allow you to explore on your own terms.

Top Dubai 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 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.

Best time to go on holiday to Dubai

Dubai has a tropical and arid climate, and the months of June through August are extremely hot and humid, with temperatures reaching as high as 48°C. The coolest month is January, when temperatures average 24°C. If you are interested in outdoor activities, consider planning a visit during the months of September through May. Dubai hosts many annual events, but some of the most popular include the Dubai International Jazz Festival and Dubai Shopping Festival, both held in February, the Dubai World Cup, held on the last Saturday in March, and the Dubai Summer Surprises, held in June through August. Ebookers can help you reserve hotel accommodation for whenever you decide to visit the city.

How to move around in Dubai

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.

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