This awe-inspiring escape is a dream come true for couples, families and groups of friends craving a thrilling holiday adventure in a scintillating city of superlatives.
World-class dining, luxury hotels, glitzy boutiques, futuristic architecture, golden sandy beaches and vibrant nightlife are among the delights you’ll encounter during your stay.
The city is also a popular choice as part of a multicentre holiday experience – you can spend a few fun-packed days in Dubai before jetting off for a laid-back time in Thailand, Sri Lanka, Mauritius, Bali, the Maldives or another magical destination.
We’ve decided to turn the spotlight on spellbinding Dubai to reveal why it’s a great choice for an unforgettable getaway in the sun-kissed Persian Gulf.
What is the weather like in Dubai and when is the best time to visit?
Dubai is a sun lover’s paradise, with a tropical desert climate that results in warm weather all year round during the two distinct summer and winter seasons.
Lowest average temperatures are around 20°C, with the mercury averaging around 30°C in the summer months of June to August. Temperatures can sometimes rise to a blistering 45°C.
Dubai enjoys around 8 to 10 hours of sunshine daily. A great time to visit is between December and March when conditions are very pleasant. Rainfall is minimal in Dubai, with an average of just 68mm annually.
How long is the flight from the UK to Dubai?
It takes approximately 7 hours to fly directly from London to Dubai International Airport. The airport is located in the Al Garhoud district, just 5km away from the city centre. You can get to your hotel by a pre-arranged coach or minibus shuttle service, by taxi or by taking a Red Line metro from the airport. Some hotels even organise a luxury limousine to transport you from the airport.
What language is spoken in Dubai?
Dubai's official language is standard Arabic but there are many variations prevalent including Egyptian Arabic. English is the most commonly spoken language in the city.
Menus in restaurants are written in Arabic and English, while road signs in the United Arab Emirates are modelled on the British road sign system. The official currency used in Dubai is the United Arab Emirates Dirham (AED).
What are the hotels like in Dubai?
Dubai boasts countless luxurious hotels which will take your breath away with their opulence, comfort and amazing amenities.
You’ll stay in lavish accommodation, dine in gourmet restaurants, relax on private sandy beaches and enjoy an array of exciting waters sports.
Many of the city’s 5-star hotels also feature superb all-inclusive programmes, sumptuous spas for head to toe pampering, inviting palm-lined pools and lively kids clubs for young guests.
Hotels of note include the magnificent Atlantis, The Palm which is home to Aquaventure Waterpark - the world’s largest waterpark and The Lost Chambers Aquarium which features 65,000 enchanting marine creatures.
For theme park fanatics, the family-friendly Lapita Dubai Parks and Resorts, Autograph Collection has obvious appeal, being the only hotel located in the heart of the Middle East’s largest theme park destination. LEGOLAND® Water Park, BOLLYWOOD PARKS™ and MOTIONGATE™ Dubai are among the attractions on its doorstep.
What’s the best way to get around Dubai?
The city’s 5-lane highways and 100km per hour speed limit can make it a challenge to get around on foot or bike – but there are plenty of other transportation options available.
Taxis are an ideal way to explore Dubai and prices are generally very affordable. They can be hailed on the street, booked by phone or by using the RTA Smart Taxi and Uber UAE apps.
The Dubai Metro is the cheapest way to get around the city - unusually most of its rails are above ground, which means you can enjoy city sights as you travel around.
A Big Bus tour is an excellent hop on and hop off way to see the city and a water taxi is yet another option where you’ll enjoy a charming trip through the Dubai Creek.
What are the main attractions in Dubai?
Dubai really does things in a big way, with many world-beating attractions that are truly phenomenal.
This enthralling haven of fun is home to the world's tallest building, Burj Khalifa; the world's largest man-made island, the famous Palm Jumeirah and the world’s tallest observation wheel, Ain Dubai.
That’s just for starters – a myriad of other record global wonders include the world’s deepest swimming pool at Deep Dive Dubai; the largest dancing fountain show in the world and the world’s highest infinity pool at the Address Beach Resort.
The city is also currently hosting Expo 2020 Dubai, a global extravaganza which has been billed as the Greatest Show on Earth.
Dubai hits the bullseye when it comes to jawdropping theme parks that deliver a feast of fun for all the family. You’re really spoilt for choice with more than 35 incredible theme parks, from huge water parks for a splashing time to epic land parks with a plethora of daredevil rides.
Aquaventure Waterpark, MOTIONGATE™ Dubai, LEGOLAND® Water Park, VR Park, Lost Valley, BOLLYWOOD PARKS™, IMG Worlds of Adventure, LEGOLAND® Dubai and Wild Wadi Waterpark are just a few of the delights that await you.
Other major city attractions include Ski Dubai, The Lost Chambers Aquarium, Dubai Desert Safari, Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo, Dubai Miracle Garden, Dubai Lake Fountain Ride and WonderBus Amphibious Tours. Popular activities outside the city include desert jeep safaris, treks across the dunes on a camel and sunrise hot air balloon trips above the rolling sands.
Key buildings and landmarks of note include The Dubai Frame, Zabeel Palace, The Dubai Fountain, Dubai Opera, Jumeirah Mosque, Museum of the Future, Emirates Office Tower, Saeed Al Maktoum House and Burj Al Arab, the world’s only 7-star hotel.
What is the nightlife like in Dubai?
If you like to party and enjoy some evening entertainment, then Dubai is more than capable of meeting your needs.
The city really bursts into life after dark, with endless opportunities to enjoy yourself in a multitude of live music venues, lively lounges and pulsating night clubs where you can dance the night away.
BASE Dubai, 360 Degrees, Drai’s Dubai, WHITE Dubai and Toy Room Dubai are among the popular venues in the city club scene, while Hard Rock Café is the place for some live sounds and Sola Jazz Lounge at Raffles The Palm Dubai is perfect for listening to some laid-back vibes.
JBR The Walk is a trendy 1.7km evening hangout where there’s plenty going on and Dubai Marina is ideal for couples wanting a romantic evening walk. An overnight desert safari and meal under the stars is another great experience and a novel option is a hugely-popular full-moon yoga session on the beach.
If you fancy watching a movie in the evening, the city has many multi-screen cinemas, while Dubai Opera is the place to enjoy a Broadway show or classic Italian opera.
What are the beaches like in Dubai?
Dubai is blessed with many pristine white sandy expanses where you can catch some rays on a lounger or enjoy some exhilarating beach games.
There’s also the chance to take to the inviting Persian Gulf for some energetic water sports action including jet skiing, waterskiing, paddleboarding, parasailing, kneeboarding, kayaking and white-knuckle banana boat rides.
Many of the beaches are private stretches of sand associated with specific luxury hotels and some even have their own jetties, catamarans and floating mini aqua parks on the waters.
The best public beaches in Dubai include Jumeirah Open Beach, The Beach Dubai, Al Mamzar Beach, Al Sufouh Beach, La Mer Dubai and Kite Beach.
What are the shops like in Dubai?
Dubai is a dream destination for shopaholics yearning for some retail therapy – glitzy boutiques, high-end malls and bustling markets where you can barter for a bargain are just a few of the delights in store.
Dubai Mall, the second largest in the world, is home to more than 1,200 retail outlets, two anchor department stores, over 200 dining experiences and a huge range of leisure and entertainment amenities.
The amazing Mall of the Emirates features more than 600 international brands, two adjoining hotels, an indoor amusement park, cinemas and an onsite ski centre with real snow, Ski Dubai.
Battuta Mall on the Sheikh Zayed Road is the world’s largest themed shopping centre, with more than 275 fashion, department and speciality stores, plus 21 cinemas screens, an IMAX theatre and plenty of food outlets.
If your holiday is in December or January, the Dubai Shopping Festival is a must-see event, while unbeatable sales and offers are not to be missed at Dubai Summer Surprises if you are visiting during July or August.
Major markets in the city include the flea market in Zabeel Park, the Gold Souk, Covent Garden Market, Bur Dubai Souk Market and Dubai Spice Market.
Is Dubai good for dining out?
Dubai is a foodies’ heaven, with everything from street food outlets and beachfront BBQs to imposing food courts and world-class dining venues to tantalise your taste buds.
The city is home to spectacular gourmet restaurants which can satisfy the most discerning palate – eating places of note include Zheng He’s, where Western and Chinese flavours blend perfectly in a dockside setting; Ossiano, a wonderful underwater seafood restaurant at Atlantis, The Palm and the exquisite Buddha Bar in the Grosvenor House Hotel and Al Hadheerah, a hidden gem among the sand dunes.
Many of the city’s top hotels have their own award-winning restaurants so you might not even need to leave your resort to dine in style.
Popular street food spots in Dubai include Al Habasha in Deira’s Abu Hail area, Sultan Falafel in Deira, Spice Souk Cafeteria, Maiz Tacos Food Truck in Downtown Dubai and the Sudanese shop in Karama.
You’ll find flavours from around the globe in Dubai, with a vast range of dining venues from many countries including France, Lebanon, Iran, Italy, America, Britain, Germany, China, Turkey, Japan, Greece and India.