Definitely Dubai

by Natalie Stacey on 21 October 2013, 10:10AM

Already known as the land of the tallest, the longest, the highest and the most ambitious, with its shimmering skyscrapers, glamorous hotels and Michelin starred restaurants, Dubai’s reputation has become synonymous with luxury. However, Dubai can also provide a perfect holiday for those on a budget who still want to enjoy the city’s high standards of service, long stretches of gold sandy beaches and quality tourist attractions. Just a six and a half hour flight from the UK the city has a vast selection of activities and adventures to tempt Adults, teenagers and tots alike. Plus, Dubai is the only city in the world where you can snowboard, sandboard and jump on your surf board all in one day.

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For the thrill seekers, Ski Dubai is the first indoor ski resort in the Middle East and offers an amazing snow setting to enjoy skiing, snowboarding and tobogganing, or just playing in the snow. Surf’s up at Sunset Beach where fee trial lessons take place every Friday from 10am onwards at Surf School UAE. Fly Dubai, the region’s first public indoor skydiving centre with winds of up to 200km per hour, promises the thrill of a lifetime for those bold enough to take to the air.

For an off the beaten track look at Dubai’s desert surroundings, by taking an exhilarating desert safari excursion, complete with an experienced driver in a 4x4 jeep, hurtling expertly across the dunes!  This will be followed by a visit to an Arabian style camp in the desert with a range of activities available (such as shisha pipes, camel rides, sand boarding etc) followed by an Arabian barbeque dinner under the stars.

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Water babies have the choice to cool down at not one, but two world class water parks in Dubai. Wild Wadi Water Park, located between the Burj Al Arab and Jumeirah Beach Hotel. Guests at any Jumeirah hotel along Jumeirah Beach can gain unlimited free access to the waterpark with its numerous waterslides, rides and choice of eateries. Or visit Atlantis The Palm with its splendid Aquaventure Water Park, Dolphin Bay, The Lost Chambers Aquarium and Atlantis Dive Centre. Here you can swim with dolphins, experience heart-thumping slides that catapult you through shark filled lagoons, uphill water roller coasters, never ending rapid river adventures and up-close animal encounters.

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Got the hump? Head out for a free night at the races. Camel racing is the sport of Sheikhs and is one of the most popular spectator sports in Dubai today. The racing season runs from November to March and races take place at Al Lisaili race track. Out of season, some tour operators offer a visit to these camel farms as a part of their desert safari packages.

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The historic Bastakiya district has the Dubai Museum, which is housed in an 18th century fort and tells Dubai’s amazing transformation from pearl fishing village to cosmopolitan world city. Entry costs just 50p and for just 20p you can take a ride across Dubai creek on a delightful wooden abra water taxi.

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Dubai is a world-leading shopping destination with  over 50 shopping malls all selling tax free goods. Bargain hunters should head to the Dubai Outlet Mall, where 260 designer and high-street names offer discounts of up to 70%. And make sure you visit the traditional Souks and barter on gold, rare spices and textiles. The malls also serve up some delicious restaurant options at pocket friendly prices. And to relax from all your excursions, visit one of Dubai’s free public beaches, where long stretches of immaculately kept golden sands meet the tempting waters of the Arabian Sea.

In the evening, make sure you take in the spectacular free fountain show located at the base of the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa in Down Town Dubai. Water spouts as high as 500 feet and is choreographed to famous songs. Then marvel at Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building. It is nothing short of a modern engineering and architectural masterpiece at 164 floors high. The view from the top is something truly breath-taking and the observation deck features floor-to-ceiling glass walls providing incredible views of the city below.

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The richness and diversity of cuisines on offer in Dubai is the key to its world-class reputation. Food in Dubai is not restricted to five star hotel restaurants and Michelin starred gourmet dining experiences. Dubai’s shopping malls boast a range of ‘cheap eats’, while street stalls and local bistros offer visitors the chance to sample local specialties at a very reasonable rate.

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Dubai is also well-known for playing host to international events and artists. The line-up in place for October, November and December shows just why the emirate is well on its way to becoming a global events destination.  

  • 15 November sees Grammy Award winning pop sensation Alicia Keys bring her ‘Set the World on Fire’ Tour to Dubai at the newly expanded Dubai Media City Amphitheatre.
  • Golf enthusiasts can watch Europe’s top 60 golfers battle it out in the DP World Tour Championship on 14 - 17 November for a share of the staggering $11.75 million prize money. 
  • For rugby fans, the largest annual sporting event in Dubai, is back for the 44th year. From 28-30 November the Emirates Airline Dubai Rugby Sevens takes place once again. Over 90,000 attended last year so avoid the scrum and book tickets early!
  • And for those looking for something more skyward, the Dubai Air Show, the fastest growing air show in the world, is back for the 24 year with over 130 planes from all over the world for visitors to see from 17-21 November.

With guaranteed sunshine, long stretches of gold sandy beaches, arid deserts full of adventure and an array of indoor and outdoor activities, Dubai really does have something for everyone.  Visitors can enjoy local culture, world class shopping, a selection of hotels and self-catering accommodation ranging from affordable to some of the most luxurious in the world. Award winning restaurants, a vibrant nightlife and a calendar of world famous international events plus super year round savings – why would you need to look anywhere else?

To find out more about holidays to Dubai please visit www.travelbag.co.uk/destinations/dubai-middle-east/dubai/holidays

For more information about what's happening in Dubai visit www.dubaicalendar.com

Author bio: Natalie Stacey looks after the PR for Dubai Tourism


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