LIC # ID-1182



Dubai’s location in the ‘centre of the globe’ puts us in an enviable position for travel, providing residents with easy access to multiple continents and holiday destinations in Asia, Europe and Africa. And it’s now even easier to get away: Dubai Airport is preparing to host an extra 19 million passengers this year in the new Emirates Concourse 3, while Flydubai, Pegasus Airlines, Qatar Airways and Emirates are all launching routes.. Now grab your passport and get booking.


Gold Souk and Spice Souk are worth checking out; even if you're not intending to buy, they're both feasts for the senses. The Creek is still the lifeline of Dubai, and still full of boats, old and new. Take an abra (water taxi) across with the locals for a bit of fun. The Dubai Museum is very enlightening, and gives a well presented story of how Dubai was born. For a presentation on how the other half live, try a visit to the iconic seven-star sail shaped hotel Burj al Arab; it's so posh that you have to pay just to get in for a nose around.


Gold, spices, electrical goods, perfume, designer goods, you name it; Dubai has famously made a festival out of retail therapy, with tax-free and low import duties meaning bargain prices. Aforementioned souks, plus monster malls such as the 400 shop Mall of the Emirates, and not to mention the airport. For fakes aplenty head for Karama.


Whatever you want, it's all here. There are 450 restaurants in the hotels alone; the usual suspects, plus offerings from Gordon Ramsey at the Hilton Dubai Creek and fellow star chefs. For traditional Middle Eastern fare think: mezze of Humus, warm flatbreads, Kibbeh (meat patties), Tabbuleh (salad with bulghar wheat), and Baba ganoush (aubergine dip). Then succulent roast meats, fish casserole, lentil soup and Indian style Biryani. Save a few pounds by dining on a Shawarma kebab sold at many roadsides.

After dark

Major players come to perform in Dubai, from Elton John to Sting, plus Middle Eastern superstars too. There are nightclubs and bars galore in the hotels. Dhow dinner cruises on the Creek are jolly fun.

Day trips

Dubai-based Arabian Adventures offer all sorts of extras; take an off road vehicle into the desert for a Bedouin style dinner. Or go for a look at the luxury tented camp called Al Maha. Trips to Oman and the other Emirates are available. You might like to watch traditional sports such as falconry and camel racing, or see some horse racing. Hikes through the mountains and wadis of Hatta are popular. Other sports on offer include sand boarding, rock climbing, jet-skiing and kite surfing.

Getting there, getting around

To fly direct, the national airline is Emirates,, which flies from Heathrow and Gatwick, Manchester, Birmingham, Glasgow; or British Airways,; Virgin Atlantic,, from Heathrow. Dubai is an upmarket destination, so you won't find too many bargains but try Tour operators with specific Dubai programmes include Kuoni, Try for flights. Once in Dubai, taxis are plentiful for visitors, as is car hire.