Dubai’s reputation as one of the world’s wealthiest and most luxurious cities should not be taken lightly. The iconic Middle Eastern city exudes opulence and grandeur. You get the feeling if Dubai’s architects could coat the city’s pavements in solid 18-carat gold, they would.
We’ve teamed up with travel expert, Chris Blackwell, from Destination2.co.uk to create an ultimate Dubai guide, uncovering some of Dubai’s most luxurious landmarks, resorts and beaches. If you like your champagne garnished with specks of edible gold then just keep reading…
Dubai’s penchant for designer labels and brands is no big secret. The city boasts no less than 96 shopping malls, including several super-sized complexes, and a myriad of traditional souk markets, where you’ll find spices, jewelry and local goods. If you only have time for one shopping spree, we recommend the breathtaking Dubai Mall. This retail paradise boasts an incredible 1,200 stores, making it one of the largest malls in the world. Aside from its many exclusive boutiques, the mall boasts a number of fantastic restaurants, bars and attractions, including the amazing Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo – what else?
Dubai’s culinary scene is nothing short of extraordinary, with an ever-growing list of Michelin-star chefs and celebrity cooks setting up shop here. Marco Pierre White, Gary Rhodes and Jamie Oliver are just a few of the A-list names who have opened restaurants in the city’s top hotels. But it’s not just the Brits, a number of internationally acclaimed chefs and restaurateurs have flocked to Dubai’s golden sands, including Nobuyuki Matsuhisa and Vineet Bhatia. Dubai’s restaurant scene is a cultural melting pot of international cuisines, with Japanese fusion cooking, British classics, modern Mediterranean fare and authentic Indian dishes all on offer.
Golden sands and turquoise waters are two characteristics of Dubai’s paradisiacal beaches, many of which are privately owned by the region’s 4 and 5-star hotels. The standard of the beaches in Dubai is impeccably high; most provide space for relaxation and chilling out, along with water sports and diving for those looking for a more active break. The beaches that are open to the public often require a small entrance fee, which often goes towards the upkeep of the beach and facilities.
Tourist spots and landmarks
Dubai is often referred to as a ‘city of superlatives’. The UAE hub’s determination to stand out from the crowd has led to some of the world’s most spectacular landmarks being built here. Of course, you cannot mention Dubai without name-dropping the magnificent the Burj Khalifa skyscraper, which, if you didn’t already know, is currently the world’s tallest structure. The tower is 828m tall, cost an estimated 1.5 billion dollars to build and is twice the height of the Empire State Building. Inside you’ll find luxury hotel suites (designed by none other than Giorgio Armani), as well as the popular At.mosphere restaurant and a viewing platform on the 124th floor. Other worthy landmarks include the Burj Al Arab hotel, the Palm Jumeirah island, the Jumeirah Mosque and the fabulous Wild Wadi Water Park – a must visit for all ages.
Dubai’s evening entertainment tends to be based at the city’s hotels and resorts, due to restrictions on the sale of alcohol. But be in no doubt, nightlife is anything but low key here. As you’d expect, Dubai’s nightclubs are as lavish as they are extravagant, with big name DJs and celebrity guests regularly making an appearance. 360° at the Jumeirah Beach Hotel is one of the city’s best hotspots and a must-visit for anyone looking to enjoy a boozy night out on the town. The circular nightclub extends out into the sea via a jetty for a truly unique going out experience. Leather white sofas, intimate mood lighting and one of the best views of the Burj Al Arab have made this hip spot famous among Dubai’s evening crowd.