Welcome to the city of the future! Over the last three decades, this spot on the Persian Gulf has grown from a sleepy fishing village to one of the world’s most modern metropolises, thanks to oil wealth. It is a place you go to enjoy a luxury break and the finer things, but there is also plenty to explore beyond the city limits.
Where to go
Ascend the Burj Al-Khalifa for amazing views over the city. Splash with the kids at the Wild Wadi Water Park. Shop amongst the opulent boutiques of the Dubai Mail and the Mall of the Emirates. Jet ski, surf, parasail and jetpack off the many beaches. Take a tour to visit Bedouin communities and learn about their way of life. Enjoy the sound and light shows at The Dubai Fountain. Meet the local sea life at the Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo.
Food & Drink
Fancy some camel? Camel meat is a popular dish here, alongside beef and chicken, although you won’t find any pork, as the UAE is a Muslim nation. Street food is a particular highlight - be sure to try Shawarma, a kebab-like dish. If you’re a bit cautious about spicy food, order yours with extra mint sauce. For something a little more formal and refined, head to Pierchic (Madinet Jumeirah), sitting on a jetty out on the Gulf - they offer some of the best seafood in the region. If you want to try something truly decadent, try Stay by Yannick Alléno (One&Only The Palm) for ultra-modern chic and world-class French cuisine.
As one of the most popular travel destinations in the world, of course there’s a thriving nightlife scene. Our favourites include the Blue Marlin Ibiza UAE Beach Club (Ghantoot) for distinctly Mediterranean chill and 40 Kong (Sheikh Zayed Road) for its stellar rooftop views across the city.
Where to stay
Our pick for Dubai is the Desert Palm PER AQUUM
, a wonderfully decadent boutique hotel with two restaurants, the LIMEspa and a huge range of activities such as horse-riding, rare bird watching, cooking lessons and wine tasting, just to start. How to get there
Etihad, Emirates, Qantas and Virgin Atlantic fly to Dubai from London daily.