A shopping paradise and commercial capital
Dubai is without doubt one of the most extraordinary holiday destinations in the world. Its superlative attractions include tax-free shopping, high-class restaurants and hotels that offer the ultimate in luxury and sophistication. From its origins as a small fishing village, Dubai has sprung up into the modern sky-scraping metropolis that it is today, all thanks to the discovery of oil. As a highly respected centre for commercial and business interests, flights to Dubai from the UK often include a mixture of both leisure and business travellers. On arrival visitors are greeted with one of the most modern and forward-thinking cities in the world, featuring world-class hotels that simply would not be found anywhere else on Earth. As well as the incredible attractions of Dubai city, the stunning coastline offers beautiful soft sandy beaches where you can soak up the sun in the lap of luxury.
Dubai is a paradise for the shopaholic, with its tax-free status offering the most highly sought brand names at low prices. An annual shopping festival attracts millions of tourists to Dubai every year. Once you have blown all your cash, relax by the pool or play a round of golf, pamper yourself in a spa or head down to the beach.
When to Go?
Dubai's location in the Middle East means that it is hot throughout the whole year, but the cooler months are between November and April. However because Dubai is such a modern, well-designed city, almost every building has good air-conditioning. As a devout Muslim country, it may be advisable to avoid visiting Dubai in the month of Ramadan, unless you are unfazed by the strict rules on eating, drinking and smoking during daylight hours.
How to get there?
Regular flights to Dubai are available from a number of airlines including Emirates, BA, Virgin and Cathay Pacific. You can also book a flight to Dubai from several UK airports such as Newcastle, Manchester, Glasgow, Birmingham, and of course London Heathrow and London Gatwick. Dubai International Airport serves the city of Dubai and the other local emirates.
Dubai is not so much a place to go for history and culture, but rather one of relaxation and a spot of self-indulgence. Its open spaces and park areas break up the urban sprawl and give people somewhere to retreat from the sun under the shade of a palm tree. The colossal Dubai Mall is the world’s largest shopping centre, and is just one of 70 other shopping malls in Dubai alone. The Jumeirah beach area is an upmarket residential and resort area where you can see the Burj Al Arab, the world’s second tallest hotel and already an iconic feature of the Dubai skyline.