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Delightful Dubai

by Abby Trahern on 23 December 2013, 14:12PM

I was lucky enough to be one of the Travelbag sales consultants on the Dubai familiarisation trip for a whistle-stop tour of the Jumeirah Beach and Atlantis Palm hotel zones.

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We flew out with Etihad Airways from Heathrow Terminal 3 to the new Abu Dhabi International Airport, a 6 hour 55min flight that was hurried along by the airline’s impressive array of entertainment options and impressive meals. Leaving in the early morning, the time difference meant we touched down in the early evening and promptly boarded a shuttle service from Abu Dhabi to Dubai. This is included in Etihad’s airfare cost, or alternatively, Travelbag can provide private minibus or taxi transfers.
 
Dubai is a constantly growing city and beach development, so each time I visit Dubai new hotels have sprung up at the ever popular Jumeirah Beach and on the Palm Islands. Dubai combines the bustling city and shopping mall areas with a relaxing beach holiday, so it makes a perfect destination for ‘shopaholics’, city sightseers, and beach lovers alike.

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For the family there are the water parks of Wild Wadi Waterpark Dubai Jumeirah and the AquaVenture Waterpark at the Atlantis the Palm Hotel, plus the ski slope in the Mall of the Emirates, and Ferrari World in the nearby city of Abu Dhabi.

Dubai has a hot and sunny climate all year with very little rain, making it a superb year-round holiday destination. The winter season is the more comfortable time to visit, as the summer temperatures can reach 50°C and the humidity rises. The most convenient and popular way to get around Dubai is by taxi as these are metered and are excellent value, while the metro is now fully operational and speedy. In addition, so long as you're not in a hurry, there is also a good public bus network.
 
Dubai has an extraordinarily high star rating of hotels with the majority of resorts in the city 5* world class resorts boasting lavish entrances and luxuriously furnished accommodations. Many are family-friendly and offer the advantage of inter-connecting rooms. Most of the hotels in Dubai offer bed and breakfast as their board basis, but most also do excellent value half-board offers too.  The hotels have a wide array of restaurants to choose from too, but if opting for B&B then there are many city, beach and mall restaurants to try the fantastic local Arabic cuisine. 

Indeed, Dubai is a multi-cultural destination catering for all tastes. Along the Jumeirah Walk you will find Chinese, Japanese, Moroccan, Indian and Italian restaurants, just to name a few!  For a romantic dinner setting head to the Dubai Creek which cuts through the heart of Dubai and take one of the Dhow Sunset Dinner Cruises. Or for a 4x4 adventure sample the Desert Dune Safari ending with dinner at a Bedouin desert camp.

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We stayed our first night at The Palace at One & Only Royal Mirage, on the Jumeirah coastline. The One and Only Royal Mirage comprises of 3 properties; The Palace, The Arabian Court and The Residence and Spa. Set within 65 acres of delicately tended gardens, this stylish beach resort suits the more discerning guest looking to relax in space and tranquillity.

Jumeirah is also location to The Westin Mina Seyahi Beach resort and Marina with its Italian styled architecture.  The hotel shares facilities with its neighbouring sister hotel Le Meridien Mina Seyahi, a smaller modern styled boutique hotel (newly refurbished in 2012). Between them they have eight restaurants and bars, five pools and 500 metres of white sand beach.  The Barista beach bar is a popular location for locals and hotel guests and is most certainly one of the places to be seen as night settles over the Dubai skyline.
 
We stayed our second night at the Jumeirah Zabeel Saray, my favourite property in Dubai at the moment. This is a relatively new Jumeirah property, located on the west crescent of the Palm with fabulous views of the Arabian Gulf and Dubai's impressive skyline. The Talisse Ottoman Spa at the hotel is one of the largest spas in Dubai and its 42 treatment rooms, together with its steam rooms, saunas and even a snow room, this is certainly the place to while away a few relaxing hours!

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Other properties on the Palm include the famous Atlantis Hotel situated at the Apex of the Palm, which with its Lost Chambers Aquarium and AquaVenture Waterpark is very well-suited to families. The newly opened Sofitel The Palm is situated on the east crescent and will truly amaze you with its 'growing leaf walls' throughout the property and you can relax in the big comfortable leather chairs in the Library room or the Cigar lounge.

Also new, the Anantara Palm Resort and Spa is another new addition to the east crescent, which brings a traditional Thai architectural influence to the Arabian setting. This resort opened in September 2013 and it will be the first of its kind in the Middle East, with 18 overwater Villas, as well as with Beach Pool Villas and spacious Two Bedroom Villas.

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I would recommend Dubai as a holiday destination to anyone, friends, couples and families, who are looking for a mid-haul beach break. This is a place where you can relax in year-round sunshine at luxurious hotels, eat in top class restaurants, marvel at the architecture of the Old City and the souks, or shop till you drop in the famous shopping malls.

Author bio: Abby Trahern is a sales consultant at Travelbag's Alton branch. For her help in organising your holiday to Dubai call her on 020 3139 7015


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