Dubai Holidays & City Breaks

A city like no other, Dubai holidays effortlessly combines traditional Middle Eastern charm with seven-star glamour. This record-breaking hotspot is one for the bucket list, after all, it’s home to the world’s tallest building, luxury seven-figure yachts and the world’s largest mall

And if the city’s skyscraper vistas haven’t won you over, its exotic desert backdrop will. Take on its colossal dunes via a 4x4 safari, camelback or quad bike, before stopping off for a cup of traditional Bedouin tea. Or, you can always explore its epic terrain from above with a hot air balloon adventure. But if you prefer your sand gently sloping into the Persian Gulf, then Sunset Beach should be your go-to. 

Travelling with kids in tow? Dubai city breaks are perfect for families too. From LEGOLAND® to Atlantis Aquaventure Waterpark. MOTIONGATE™ is another must-visit for avid Shrek and Hotel Transylvania fans. And when you want to taste gourmet flavours in the shape of super-size gummy bears, Candylicious has your sugar rush covered.

Things to do

From action-packed skiing sessions to haggling at souks and relaxing spa days in fancy five-star hotels, there’s plenty to take your fancy here. Whether you’re enjoying the city’s opulent shopping scene or sampling its outstanding spice-filled cuisine 50 metres above the ground at Dinner in the Sky, Dubai city breaks are made up of world-first experiences.

Camera on standby! The views from the Burj Khalifa’s highest observation deck are unforgettable to say the least. Think colossal ultra-modern architecture, sweeping sea vistas and a bird’s eye view of the world’s tallest performing fountain. Top tip: head here at night and watch the city glow under the moonlit sky. All that sightseeing can work up and appetite, meaning your next stop should be Burj Al Arab for a stylish brunch. 

Beaches

Glimmering skyscrapers aside, Dubai is also home to many incredible beaches. Every sand spot across the city is glistening clean, well-maintained, and packed full of superb facilities.

Sunset Beach

Sunset Beach, often referred to as Umm Suqeim beach, offers a peaceful retreat to relax, unwind and bask in the glorious sunshine. It’s one of the quieter coastal spots, making it perfect for an undisturbed morning jog and the ideal place to watch the sunset (like the name suggests). And the scenery is just as impressive with the Burj Al Arab decorating the backdrop.  

The Beach

For somewhere a little livelier, pay a visit to The Beach by JBR. Here, the soft, golden sands are framed by outstanding restaurants and bars where you’re invited to overindulge throughout the day. Take in the bustling cosmopolitan atmosphere and watch the Arabian Gulf shimmer in the distance. 

Shopping

From grandiose mega malls to traditional bazaars located on the Deira side of Dubai Creek, Dubai holidays offer a one-of-a-kind shopping experience. Whether you want to snap up a souvenir from an open-air market or update your wardrobe with glamorous designer labels, there’s no better place to get your retail fix.

Dubai Mall

Located next to the Burj Khalifa, Dubai Mall is the world’s largest shopping destination and is a paradise for big spenders, boasting over 1,200 stores and hundreds of eateries. Avid shopaholics can also pay a visit to Bloomingdales, one of America’s most famous department stores. Besides its vast range of designer boutiques, Dubai Mall is also home to an ice rink and aquarium!

Gold Souk

For a truly enriching day of retail therapy, head to Gold Souk in Old Dubai. Here you’ll find a mesmerising labyrinth of walkways teeming with handcrafted goods and beautiful jewellery. From authentic Arab designs to glistening bespoke pieces, pick up a dazzling souvenir from one of the most enchanting souks across the city. And if you visit, be prepared to haggle!

Food and drink

Dubai’s cuisine consists of a rich fusion of Persian, Indian, and Bedouin influences, to name a few. One of the most popular dishes is Margoogat. This flavourful tomato-based stew is cooked with turmeric, bezar, and cumin. It’s well-loved for its delectable blend of Arab spices and is typically made with chicken or lamb. Wash this delicious recipe down with a traditional Turkish cocktail concocted from pomegranate, citrus, and mint. Other dishes to taste include samboosa (a hot pastry appetiser) and luqaimat (a sumptuous dessert of warm dumplings).

For an unforgettable dining experience, head to Al Hadheerah, a restaurant that flaunts 14 live cooking stations and authentic cuisine from the Middle East. Or, sample delightful dishes prepared by award-winning chefs at Zheng He’s, which offers a beautiful dockside setting and a relaxed atmosphere.

Great nightlife

This futuristic city is continually evolving and has lots to offer in terms of nightlife. From trendy rooftop bars to mega discotheques, Dubai boasts a captivating atmosphere and plenty of places to kick back after the sun goes down. 

To experience its bustling nightlife scene in full glory, pay a visit to Madinat Jumeirah, where you’ll find vibrant drinking spots and nightclubs that offer a glamorous evening out. To party on the sand, make your way to Nasimi Beach and join one of many lively cocktail parties.

Located at Meydan Racecourse Grandstand, WHITE Dubai is the biggest club in the city centre. As the world’s first outdoor rooftop venue, expect an impressive music scene and a party all-night-long vibe. Club Boudoir is another popular haunt with its electrifying atmosphere and luxurious interiors made up of red sofas and crystal chandeliers. Wherever you choose to spend your evenings, Dubai’s nightlife will make your city break one to remember.

More City Breaks

We also have travel guides available for City Breaks destinations, including: Abu Dhabi | Malaga | QatarSan Francisco | Tokyo

Map of Dubai

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36 ℃

Best time to visit: Dubai is sunny and warm throughout the year. Summer months have an average temperature of 36°C. Visit between October to April for moderate temperatures, with an average of 19 - 25°C.

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7 hours

Dubai International Airport (DXB) is located about 6 kilometres from the city centre.

Dubai is best for...

Thrill-seekers: From vertical drops at action-packed waterparks to desert jeep safaris and skydiving adventures over the Palm, if you want your adrenaline-fix, you’ve come to the right place. And did you know you can zipline above high-risers at Dubai marina? 

Shopaholics: Whether you’re after Gucci or Dior, Zara or H&M, you won’t be hard-pressed to find your favourite brands with over 1,200 retailers in Dubai mall alone. But when you really want a bargain, the souks contain some of the best gold jewellery, tailor-made clothing and personalised perfumes. 

Night owls: When you want to party from dusk until dawn, there’s no shortage of music-pumping venues. Paros rooftop bar is famed for its panoramic city vistas, while Masti is a laid-back beach shack with live DJ performances. And ladies night at Miss Lily’s combines dance classics with sizable sharing platters - the ultimate combo. 

 

Fast facts for Dubai

Language: The official language spoken in Dubai is Arabic, but English is the most commonly spoken language. 

Currency: The currency used in Dubai is the United Arab Emirates Dirham (AED)

Local time: Dubai is 3 hours ahead of GMT/UK time (GMT+3)

Fly to: Dubai International Airport  (DXB) is located about 6 kilometres from the city centre

Flight time from UK: 7 hours

Tourist Information: Further tourist information can be found at Dubai’s tourism website

Visa / Health:  Before you travel, check the latest advice from the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office.

Holiday destinations related to Dubai:

Abu Dhabi

 

 

Getting around Dubai

By car: Drive around the city at your own pace by renting a car. Rates can vary, but are usually cheaper when booked in advance. Remember that an international driver’s licence is required.

By taxi: There are taxis available all over the city, and they’re easy to find outside of malls, major attractions and hotels. It’s also a relatively inexpensive way to get around. Family and ladies only taxis are also available, just look out for the pink rooftop! 

By water taxi: Try a traditional way of seeing the city by hopping on a water taxi, which operates between 5am and midnight - think of the views!

Events in Dubai

Dubai Summer Surprises: This bright and bold festival takes place from July to September. It combines a shopping bonanza in thousands of stores with a wide range of fun family events. Watch acrobats soar through the air, pick up free tickets to cool spots such as VR Park and Dubai Aquarium and don’t forget to immerse yourself in some of its fitness classes mid-retail therapy. 

Middle East Film and Comic Con: The biggest pop culture festival in the Middle East rolls into the city each April - a must for film, comics, music and theatre buffs. Think fancy dress, superheroes and celeb-spotting! 

Camel Racing Season: In April, the free Al Marmoom Heritage Festival brings the winter sports season to a close with traditional camel racing. But that’s not all that’s on offer, expect live music, stalls full of handmade treasures and tasty local cuisine. 

Dubai weather

This year-round hotspot is made up of sizzling summer and mild winters thanks to its desert climate. In fact, we recommend packing your factor 50 with highs of 36°C in August! January is its coldest month, but there’s still plenty of sunbathing opportunities with an average of 20°C. The best time to visit is anytime between October and April where you can expect sun-baked days sitting between 20 - 26°C. 

Rainfall is rare, but February is considered Dubai’s wettest month with 40mm expected. But if you want to swap umbrellas for sunglasses, then a holiday in June is a must with 12 hours of sunshine. And who needs a bath when you can dip your toes in the Persian Gulf at 33°C.

 

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