There are two scenarios that tend to take people to Dubai.
1. Brits taking a short break there to escape dreary UK winter and get a bit of sun.
2. Stopovers. Dubai is the hub for Emirates Airlines so many people end up having a stopover there. You might decide to stay a night or two in Dubai on the way to somewhere else that Emirates fly like the Maldives. We highly recommend staying in Dubai for a couple of days if you’re on the way from Europe to Australia/New Zealand, or vice versa. Without a stopover that flight is unbearably long. We know 3 people who have gotten a Deep Vein Thrombosis on that route so a stopover is a very good idea.
Let’s be honest – if you’re picking Dubai for a stopover as opposed to, say Bangkok, you’re looking for a few days of luxury. We don’t blame you! If you’ve got the budget, Dubai is packed with top quality options to help put you into holiday/vacation mode, or soothe the psychological pain of your trip being almost over on the way home.
We are big fans of choosing the style of accommodation that fits a destination. For Thailand, it’s flashpacker style. For Kuala Lumpur and Dubai, it’s going luxury. As Dubai has extremely hot temperatures you will by necessity be spending most of your time inside so having luxury accommodation is really the way to go. You’ll want an hotel with a great pool too.
If you’re looking for spa treatments, you’ll easily find high quality versions of all the usual spa services at many of the hotels. There is even a spa that has a Rainforest Room and an Igloo Room.
Personally, shopping is not our idea of a relaxing or enjoyable activity but each to their own. If you love shopping, the Dubai Mall is 440,00 square feet and has every store you could wish to imagine. You’re very likely to want to shop in Dubai if you’re from outside the UK and want to shop for some of the UK brands that have outlets in Dubai but which are not available in North America.
The Dubai Mall is also home to other entertainment options and a numerous different dining options. You could even go to lunch and dinner in the mall, and do some light (or heavy) shopping in between. If shopping isn’t your thing, there are many other attractions that are located within the Dubai Mall but outside of what has been dubbed “Fashion Avenue” where the shopping retailers are located.
Another great way to relax and pamper yourself is to hit up one of the beautiful beaches on the Persian Gulf. If you want to do more than just bask in the sun, Dubai offers an array of water sports, including snorkelling and windsurfing, amongst other beach-related activities. Speaking of water, I would also recommend taking a local water taxi (an Abra) to tour old and new Dubai.
As well as being situated by the sea Dubai also has a desert backdrop. My parents have stopped over in Dubai numerous times and one of the activities they enjoyed was an air-conditioned, four-wheel-drive tour of the desert, complete with opportunity to rides camels!