DubaiTravel Guide

Dubai is a shimmering oasis in the desert, a gateway to the Middle East and beyond. Visit Dubai and you’ll find what you’re looking for – bigger and better than anywhere else. Dubai’s amazing skyline says it all, with some of the most architecturally breathtaking structures on the planet, from the gleaming tip of skyscraper Burj Khalifa, to the meticulously planned Palm Jumeirah in the sea. For the traveller, Dubai is a wonderland of exquisite hotels, a fantasy world of unsurpassed shopping and attractions, and never-ending carousel of fabulous restaurants and bars.If you’re planning to visit, explore our Dubai travel guide. We’ve collected the best tips from our travel experts, and have all sorts of suggestions for things to do, when to travel, where to stay, getting around and more. We even have a handy guide to Dubai International Airport at your fingertips.

Dubai quick facts


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Explore Dubai

Where to stay in Dubai?

Wonder how the ‘other half’ live? You could rub shoulders with them by booking a room at the Burj Al Arab hotel. The self-proclaimed 7-star property is the epitome of all-suite luxury. If your budget doesn’t quite stretch to unbridled opulence, you will be more than comfortable at chain hotels in Dubai such as the Hyatt, Hilton, InterContinental, Sofitel, Raffles – and the list goes on. Don't despair if your Dubai accommodation budget is lean – such properties do exist, but note the high season across all places to stay is September to May so it's worth booking in advance if you anticipate visiting Dubai during these peak times.

If you're looking for a majestic and lavish 5-star destination hotel in Dubai, you've found it in Atlantis, The Palm. This world-famous (and we'll tell you why in a moment) hotel has its own private beachfront setting on Palm Island and comes with an overwhelming number of attractions including sprawling water and marine parks, an almost endless array of top class restaurants and ultra-luxurious rooms ­– including, wait for it, breathtaking, multi-storey underwater suites. This is where to stay in Dubai for a truly unique experience.

If you have business on your mind or simply choose to stay in the heart of the city, the intimate and luxurious 5-star Jumeirah Creekside Hotel will exceed all your expectations. Overlooking Dubai Creek, conveniently close to Dubai International Airport and just minutes from some of Dubai's most important landmarks and shopping centres, Jumeirah Creekside Hotel offers an elegant place to stay regardless of whether you're in Dubai for business or leisure.

If you're travelling to Dubai on a budget or you'd just rather put your travel money towards experiences in this amazing city rather than expensive accommodation, the 3-star Novotel Suites could be just what you're looking for. Neighbouring the glamorous Mall of the Emirates and Ski Dubai, this contemporary hotel provides guests with chic suites, an outdoor pool with sun lounges, a Mediterranean restaurant and a 24-hour self-service Deli Boutique.

Set on Palm Island and inspired by the Ottoman Empire, this luxurious beachfront hotel offers a range of elegant guest rooms, lavish suites and royal residences, plus a 59-metre infinity pool, palatial day spa, exquisite dining venues and breathtaking views of the Arabian Gulf and city skyline. It's nestled in the calm, pristine West Crescent of Dubai's iconic Palm Jumeirah.

Opposite the upmarket Deira City Centre shopping mall, this 4-star contemporary hotel presents guests with stylish rooms and suites, an outdoor pool with relaxing sun lounges and a selection of restaurants, including a French bistro, all conveniently located just steps from the metro. Best of all, your reasonable accommodation rates will give you the freedom to spend more of your travel budget on things to do in Dubai.

Believe us when we say, this is just the start. Book your accommodation today!

  • Aerial view of the city of Dubai with sun rising in the horizon
    • Room full of golden lamps turned on in Gold Souk
    • Dubai shoreline during dusk, city lights start turning on
  • Aerial view of the city of Dubai with sun rising in the horizon
    Aerial view of the city of Dubai with sun rising in the horizon
    Aerial view of the city of Dubai with sun rising in the horizon
  • Room full of golden lamps turned on in Gold Souk
    Room full of golden lamps turned on in Gold Souk
    Room full of golden lamps turned on in Gold Souk
  • Dubai shoreline during dusk, city lights start turning on
    Dubai shoreline during dusk, city lights start turning on
    Dubai shoreline during dusk, city lights start turning on

Things to do in Dubai

Dubai prides itself on the vast array of things to do, see and experience in the city – and beyond. There is the cultural side, where you can seek out historic Dubai and wander through the ancient souks, or delve into the traditions and origins of Emirati culture and explore some of the world-class galleries, libraries or museums. Then, there’s everything else, from wild theme park rides and adventure sports to decadent day spas, boutique shopping and exquisite dining. Dubai’s attractions will keep you very, very entertained.

One of Dubai's most recognisable landmarks, this uber-luxurious hotel stands like a billowing sail on its own man-made private island. Here opulence knows no bounds with helicopter transfers, private butler service and even 24-carat gold ipads available to guests. Those not staying at the hotel can still dine at any of the award-winning restaurants, savour a decadent high tea in the atrium lounge or enjoy a cocktail in the stunning Skyview Bar, perched 200 metres above sea level.

Inhabiting Dubai's oldest surviving building, the Al Fahidi Fort, a striking citadel built in 1799, the museum houses a series of galleries and collections which showcase the city's remarkable history and transition from humble trading port to ultra-modern metropolis.

Out of all the things to do in Dubai, one of the most moving experiences is to gain an insight into Islamic religion and culture. Where better than at Jumeirah Mosque, considered to be the most beautiful masjid (mosque) in the city and the only Dubai mosque open to non-Muslims. The Sheik Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding operates guided tours of Jumeirah Mosque on set days and at set times for a glimpse of this monument. One of the most frequently photographed sites in Dubai, Jumeirah Mosque is a stunning religious landmark and wonderful example of modern Islamic architecture. The intricately detailed building is built in the classical architectural style of Medieval Fatimid and features a sandstone dome and minarets with detailed carvings, flanked by palm trees and manicured grounds. It is beautifully lit at night. The interior of the mosque is covered with ornate painted panels and carved archways on a blue background, and can accommodate around 1,200 people. The guided tour of Jumeirah Mosque, arranged by the Sheik Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding, provides an opportunity for visitors to learn about Emirati culture and religion. Remember that Jumeirah Mosque is a holy site, so be sure to dress modestly and cover shoulders, legs, backs and arms to be allowed entry. Robes and scarves are also available for hire. Shoes must also be removed before entering the mosque.

For several things to do in one location, head to Downtown Dubai. This popular district surrounds the iconic Burj Khalifa and includes Dubai Mall (which includes an Olympic-sized ice rink) and the mesmerizing Dubai Fountain, which can spectacularly shoot water 150 metres into the air.

Escape the thrum of the city in this beautifully restored historic neighbourhood, where the traditional style of life that was prevalent in Dubai from the mid 19th century has been preserved. Wander the alleyways, pathways and public squares to get a feeling for what Dubai was like in days gone by.

An experience not to be missed, take a thrilling 4x4 journey across sand dunes and into the stunning Dubai Desert. See incredible sunsets, ride a camel and be entertained by belly dancers and traditional musicians while savouring a delicious Middle Eastern feast under the stars at a Bedouin-style camp.

Famous for being the tallest building in the world, this architectural masterpiece soars 828 metres into the sky and has an incredible 163 floors. Don't miss the ‘At the Top' SKY Experience, where those with a head for heights are transported 555 metres upwards to the world's highest outdoor observation deck. There are also viewing decks on levels 124 and 125, which provide amazing 360-degree vistas of the city and surrounding desert and ocean.

All that glitters is definitely gold at the famous Dubai Gold Souk in Deira, the city's commercial centre. Imagine a market dripping in gold, with this precious metal rendered in every adornment you can possibly think of and that's what you'll find at the Gold Souk. What you won't be prepared for is how bright and shiny everything is, such is the sheer spectacle of the Gold Souk. A Bedouin nomadic existence was common in the Emirates until just a generation ago. As part of that traditional lifestyle, gold and jewellery were a portable way to store one's wealth. Gold jewellery is still a large part of a woman's wedding dowry in certain areas of India, the Arabian Gulf and Africa. Visitors from these countries and many other regions head to the Dubai Gold Souk – one of the most important jewellery trading centres in the world through which an estimated 20 per cent of the world's gold stock passes. Gold prices in Dubai are among the lowest and most competitive in the world, which draws a sizeable international contingent of buyers. Gold is sold by weight here and prices vary depending on whether a piece is handmade or manufactured by machine. Exploring the gold souk is one of the most exciting things to do in Dubai and if you're serious about purchasing, expect to barter. The variety of gold jewellery available at the Gold Souk is dazzling. Even if you don't plan on purchasing any bling, you can't help but feel thrilled by the array of earrings, necklaces, pendants, bangles, bracelets and rings on offer in 18ct, 21ct, 22ct and 24ct gold in over 300 stores. The colours of gold vary too: from rose to white gold, yellow gold and even purple! The designs range from Western styles to traditional Indian jewellery. While the Gold Souk is a sight to behold at any time of the day, it is particularly beautiful at night due to its gilded glow. To visit the Gold Souk, go down to Creek in Bur Dubai and take an abra (water taxi) to the markets. The trip takes around 10 minutes. There are also many buses that visit this area.

A popular Dubai destination, Madinat Jumeirah Resort is a luxury location styled to pay homage to an ancient citadel of Arabia. The resort consists of three boutique-style hotels with meandering waterways, seaside views and a traditional souk, conjuring up an old-world experience with all the luxurious conveniences of a modern resort. Meaning ‘City of Jumeirah', Madinat Jumeirah is designed to reflect Dubai's heritage via a fantasy vision of ‘old Arabia'. Pastel stucco, Persian-style barjeels (windcatchers) and cobbled courtyards vie for attention against lush palms and greenery, as well as manmade Venetian-style canals complete with abras – traditional wooded boats. The details of this city within a city are simply extraordinary and there are plenty of things to do in this charming hotel, shopping and entertainment complex. The stylish boutique hotels of Mina A'Salam, Dar Al Masyaf and Al Qasr are definitely worth a look. Mina A'Salam is a grand boutique hotel with an expansive façade set on the shores of the Arabian Gulf, while Al Qasr, meaning ‘the palace', is designed to reflect a sheik's summer escape with ancient architectural styles. The resort also contains the Arabian summer courtyard house-style rooms and suites of Dar Al Masyaf, and the secluded Malakiya Villas offering luxury hideaways each with an individual courtyard, terrace and pool. Fine dining and nightlife can be found at onsite resort restaurants and bars. For visitors not staying at the resort, the main attractions are the Souk Madinat Jumeirah and the Abra Tour. The labyrinthine traditional Arabian souk is accessed through lantern-lit doorways to reveal small stalls of souvenirs such as carpets, jewellery, clothing, art, crafts and furniture as well as many restaurants, bars and cafes.

Another one of Dubai's man-made wonders, this artificial archipelago, built to resemble a palm, is best appreciated from above where it appears to ‘grow' out of the coastline. Extending into the Arabian Gulf, the island is home to thousands of private villas and apartments, a monorail and a plethora of luxury hotels, including the fabulously lavish Atlantis, The Palm.

Calling itself the ‘world's biggest theme park', IMG Worlds of Adventure is not one but four epic adventure zones in one. From thrilling roller coasters and encounters with MARVEL Super Heroes to a 12-screen state-of-the-art cinema and huge choice of dining venues, this is set to become a family favourite.

Looking for an immersive experience? Then a tour is the way to go.

Flights to Dubai

Dubai food and drink

Just about any cuisine you fancy is on offer in Dubai and 1001 Arabian nights couldn’t see you through trying all of Dubai’s restaurants. As the sun goes down, when the air becomes cooler, this is hardworking population loves to relax over a meal. Weekend brunch is huge, with many international hotels famous for their lavish buffets and multi-course feasts. Celebrity chefs are not immune to the charms of Dubai, with several big names flocking to this great international crossroads, attracted by spectacular restaurant spaces in the big hotels and a moneyed clientele who not only appreciate good dining, but also love to splash out and impress. There’s a fabulous range of cocktail bars on offer. Plenty take similar advantage of the dry warm nights, with a good choice of Dubai restaurants delivering chilled tunes al fresco after nightfall, or bars that take their offering one step further, with a dance floor on the beach. Whether you’re looking for a romantic restaurant, a restaurant with a view, the best place to eat out on a budget or somewhere Michelin-starred to impress, you’ll find a dizzying choice of restaurants in Dubai.

While the financial district may be the hub of international finance, downtown is a food destination in itself, being home to Dubai Mall and the Burj Khalifa. Beyond this area, there is the Souk Al Bahar, which has very good eateries tucked away inside. As you'd expect in this moneyed part of town, eating out is done in style. Dubai International Finance Centre (DIFC) houses some great places to eat and you'll find a top class selection of cuisines – including Lebanese, Indian and Iranian – on Al Dhiyafa Road.

In the heart of New Dubai is where you'll find the fascinating phenomenon that is The Palm. For fancy eateries that are an experience in themselves, you can't go past Atlantis The Palm which has a number of fine dining options, while Dubai Media City and the surrounding hotels are also full of restaurants and bars that cater to a range of tastes and budgets.

Where do most of the tourists stay while in Dubai? Jumeirah, which is why it's a thriving hot spot for world-class restaurants and bars – including an impressive collection of premium rooftop bars. Here you'll find the famous Burj Al Arab and Jumeirah Beach Hotel, for example. Being the hub for tourists, Jumeirah is also known as the place to go for the Dubai dining classic: that extravagant Friday brunch… complete with Champagne. What's more, the beachfront here is lined with top al fresco dining options for both day and night.

The narrow streets of Old Dubai are lined with many eateries and cafes offering shady courtyards as a welcome place to rest up and refuel between bouts of enthusiastic sightseeing. The markets cater well to peckish hagglers, and the spice souk, gold souk and fish souk all have restaurants inside or close by.

Get a real taste for the local cuisine by booking a tour.

Dubai through your eyes

Where to shop in Dubai?

The fact that Dubai is home to the world’s largest mall – and hosts scores of other, smaller but still gargantuan malls, as well as atmospheric souks and even a shopping festival – should leave you in no doubt that this city knows its retail. But these malls are much more than clusters of boutiques. They are cities within the city. In a place where it’s too hot to stroll outdoors for long, the shopping malls in Dubai are social hubs where locals meet for coffee, to eat and to have fun. You’ll find the movie theatres, bowling alleys, gyms, spas and restaurants of your shopping malls back home, but in greater numbers than you could imagine. Then there are the mega-malls which go to the next level featuring an assortment of attractions including aquariums, ski fields, ice-skating rinks and so on. Shopping in Dubai is not just something to do, it is an art form. For Dubai shopping that’s a little more authentic, head to the old-fashioned souks, where traders will enter into a haggle for gold, carpets, electronics and artefacts. This city also loves art and throughout the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) you’ll find serious collector galleries such as Christie’s, designer furniture boutiques and more.

For the very best of cutting-edge contemporary Middle Eastern art, head to Alserkal Avenue in the industrial Al Quoz district, a collection of warehouses-turned-galleries where Dubai's rising hipness is on show. Rub shoulders with sheikhs and the cream of emerging and established artists at exhibition openings, talks, panel discussions, auctions and community events. A host of unique textiles, sculptures, paintings and other creations tell stories of the region's politics, history, myth and beauty in a uniquely progressive forum. In a place that constantly changes and epitomises the cutting edge of modernity, the gold souk is an unmissable slice of old Dubai. Running for about 70 years since traders from India and Iran set up stalls, it's now a dazzling, glittering collection of shops with windows dripping in gold jewellery and precious gems. It's been estimated that about 10 tonnes of gold is here at any given time. Though gold is sold by weight at the current international price, you can still barter on individual items.

As the exceptional Souk Madinat Jumeirah proves so well, not every shopping experience in Dubai has to be inside a modern mall environment. This one-of-a-kind shopping centre was designed to look and feel like an ancient Middle Eastern marketplace, transporting visitors to another world – at least for the duration of their shopping spree. With waterfront restaurants and cafés, winding alleys filled with boutiques selling various wares and souvenirs, and architecture that nods back to older times, this centre clearly offers a different shopping experience in Dubai.

ARTE, otherwise known as The Artisans of the Emirates, is a local group of artists and craftspeople, who sell their arts and crafts in markets held in different parts of Dubai. You'll find a wide variety of artwork in pieces in these markets, from paintings and handicrafts to jewellery and various accessories. Catch the ARTE markets on select days of each month in the Times Square Centre, the Green Community, or the Al Hamra Mall. Make sure you check the collective's calendar ahead of time to schedule your visit.

When many people thing of Dubai shopping, they think of Dubai Mall. The 35-hectare mall is home to more than 1,200 shops, including Galeries Lafayette and the only Bloomingdales outside the US, as well as the region's largest lolly shop, Candylicious. With an Aquarium and Under Water Zoo, an ice rink, a stunning waterfall and lake, its own gold souk and the spectacular Fashion Avenue of high-end brands, it's no wonder Dubai Mall has been the world's most visited shopping destination for years on end, with tens of millions of people passing through annually. What to buy in Dubai? No matter what you're looking for, you'll find it in Dubai Mall. Recently expanded, this massive mall is home to Ski Dubai, a 24-screen VOX Cinema, a Kempinski hotel, and a not-for-profit Community Theatre and Arts Centre. It's also where you find Magic Planet, an entertainment zone for kids with fun-fair rides, a bowling alley, swimming pool and more. Here for the retail? Find Harvey Nichols and Marks & Spencer among a vast array of chain stores and boutiques.

As the world's largest themed shopping mall, the Ibn Battuta Mall offers a retail therapy experience that's quite different from all the other centres in Dubai. You'll still find many of the usual retail stores and outlets here – over 275 of them, in fact – plus around 50 restaurants inside. But what really makes a trip here special is that it's divided into six main sections: Andalusia, Egypt, India, Tunisia, Persia, and China. Each section represents the regions explored by the historical figure Ibn Battuta, whom this mall was named after, and features its distinctive cultural designs and atmosphere. This effectively provides visitors with a multi-cultural shopping experience with each visit.

This fantastical place stands out against the hyper-modern malls this city is famous for. Located in the city's commercial district, Diera, this souk has been running for almost a decade. It all started when traders from India and Iran set up stalls, and has today, become a maze of over 300 retailers selling gold jewellery and precious gems. Next door to the market is the Dubai Fish and Vegetable Market, which offers an alternative shopping experience.

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When is the best time to travel to Dubai?

Dubai is located in the United Arab Emirates which is classed as subtropical desert. Not surprisingly, summers are scorching. The average minimum temperature in August is around 31 degrees Celsius (average maximum is over 40) so our recommendation is to visit at another time of year. In terms of climate, the best time to visit Dubai is during the winter months, between November to March. January is the coolest month, with average daily temperatures somewhere between 15 and 25 degrees Celsius. Of course, everywhere is air conditioned, but if you want to take in some of Dubai’s outdoor activities such as desert safaris or wandering the Al Fahidi historic district, winter it is.

The best time to travel in Dubai is when it’s not too hot, and when all the big events are on. It’s fair to say that winter in Dubai is peak everything. As well as annual events such as the Dubai Shopping Festival, you also can catch some big-name entertainment in Dubai over the winter months. There are sporting events such as major golf (January) and tennis (February) tournaments; shopping events and food festivals in locations such as Dubai Mall and Mall of the Emirates; entertainment events, especially on New Year’s Eve; and loads of other things to see and do. The buzz at this time of year is also what draws a crowd. If you’re the kind of traveller who prefers to avoid the masses, perhaps Dubai is the city that encourages you to reconsider—it’s one big party in winter.

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How to get around Dubai

Transport in Dubai for travellers will usually take one of the following forms: metro, bus, taxi, or boat. Some areas such as Old Dubai are very walkable but remember: what looks achievable on a map is a different story when it’s 35 degrees, so plan your wanderings for the cooler times of day.

The Dubai Metro has two lines, the red line and the green line, that each run from Dubai International Airport (DXB) and through the busiest areas of the city. There are Metro stations in Dubai at most of the key attractions such as Burj Khalifa, Dubai Mall (red line) and the gold and spice souks (green line). The Metro ticket is called a ‘Nol’ card, and it operates like the travel cards of most major cities.

If you’re wanting to get around Dubai on a budget, buses are a good low-cost option. Before you even ask, yes, most bus stops in Dubai are air-conditioned. All of Dubai’s airport terminals have bus stops, with routes intersecting every major neighbourhood, and departures every 30 minutes. Be sure to buy a top-up Nol card in advance because bus drivers won’t accept cash. For a more educational experience of the city, you might like to try one of Dubai’s many hop-on, hop-off bus tours, which can be booked online or at any of the major Dubai shopping malls.

Taxis are one of the most popular ways to get around in Dubai, because they’re so hassle-free. You can hail one from almost any corner in the city or pre-book through the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA). In Dubai, rideshare apps are also common, with Uber and Careem the most used.

The Dubai Tram system links the Dubai Metro and the Palm Monorail and circles the Dubai Marina and Jumeirah Beach Residence before running along Al Sufouh Road. There are 11 stations on the route, with 6 of these stations in or near Dubai Marina. The other 5 are in Dubai Media City, Dubai Internet City, Palm Jumeirah and Al Sufouh.

If you like to be behind the wheel, you can rent a car in Dubai quite easily. Make sure you are aware of all the road rules and note that there is no ‘legal limit’ when it comes to alcohol and driving—if you are drinking, definitely don’t drive. What you can do, however, is rent a supercar. Fancy cruising the streets in a Ferrari, Lamborghini or Maserati? You can live that dream in Dubai.

Boat? Of course! Dubai Creek is a key feature of the city, and one of the most authentic ways to experience Old Dubai is to arrive by the traditional boat, the abra. Modern versions of the abra (aka water taxis) also call Dubai Creek home now too, and with more than 40 stops across the city. The Dubai Water Bus is like an air-conditioned version of the abra, and operates between 4 scenic stops in the Dubai Marina. Hop on and hop off between Marina Terrace, Marina Walk, Dubai Marina Mall and Marina Promenade. Or, if money is no object, hire a yacht and take in the glittering waterfront view in luxury.

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What are the best beaches in Dubai?

As you would expect from a city that celebrates luxury, Dubai has some patches of sand that are incredibly upmarket, where sun loungers are arranged to perfection and the cocktails have won international awards. It’s decadent and wonderful, and an experience you’ll never forget. However, it’s not all glamour and glitz in Dubai—this city of the United Arab Emirates also caters for families, locals, travellers on a budget... basically, if you want to hit some sea and sand while you’re in Dubai, there’s a beach for you. Here’s our wrap of free beaches in Dubai, beach clubs and hotel beaches.

Opposite Jumeirah Beach Residences (aka JBR) is Dubai’s busiest beach. Confidently named ‘The Beach’, this free-to-use stretch of coastline is buzzing with activity pretty much from dawn till dusk. The reason why it’s so popular is that there is so much to do here, beyond the sun-loungers for hire and wide swathe of golden sand. For families, there are children’s play areas and inflatable Aqua Park, and the busy promenade behind the beach is lined with restaurants, cafés and beach clubs. This beach gives you uninterrupted views of the spectacular Ain Dubai, the world’s largest observation wheel.

Kite Beach is one of the most well-known Dubai beaches and stands apart from the rest due to its own edgy character. After all, it’s a favourite haunt of kite surfers and kayakers, and has a the most on-trend gourmet food shacks and cafes, plus a skate park, hanging rope obstacle course, running track, and options for water sports galore. All ages flock to Kite Beach for a fun time out. It’s free to use.

This free-to-use beach is a long expanse of sand, running from Dubai Marine Beach Resort all the way up to the deluxe Four Seasons Resort. There is a boardwalk, a children’s playground, shower facilities and some cafes. This beach has a relaxing vibe and is located on Jumeirah Beach Road.

A little further afield, on the Dubai-Sharjah border is Al Mamzar Beach Park, with its pearlescent sand and clear blue waters. Snorkelling in the shallows is a fun activity here, and just part of the array of things to do. There’s actually not just one beach, but four, large and lush green grassy areas, bicycle paths, a swimming pool, multiple barbecue areas and a skate park. There’s a handful of kiosks and cafes for refreshments. These Dubai beaches are free to use.

For an entry fee, you can also experience the best beach clubs and beach hotels in Dubai, which sit on some of the most prime stretches of beach.

Beach clubs in Dubai: Azure Beach, Beach by FIVE, Bla Bla, Cove Beach, Drift, Namos Dubai, Nikki Beach, Riva Beach Club, Soulbeach Dubai, Twiggy by La Cantine, White Beach and Zero Gravity.

Beach hotels in Dubai: Fairmont the Palm, Jumeirah Beach Hotel, Jumeirah Zabeel Saray, Le Royal Meridien Resort and Spa, Neptune Pool & Beach at Caesar’s Palace Dubai, Raffles The Palm Dubai, Sofitel The Palm Dubai Resort & Spa.

On the theme of views, Black Palace Beach (also referred to as Secret Beach or Al Sufouh Beach) is a bit of a Dubai hidden gem, with views to the spectacular Burj Al Arab. Unlike many of Dubai’s super-developed destinations, this beautiful free beach is simply a palm tree-lined expanse of white sand, without facilities or restaurants. Pack your own supplies and enjoy what the locals do: a chance to feel like you’ve escaped the city throng, but are (actually) still in the city.

Another free beach for the active beach goer, Sunset Beach is a top pick with surfers. The beach is popular, but never quite feels overcrowded, and it’s practically empty in the early morning if you love to start your day with some fresh air and a stroll. Sunset Beach is a wide stretch of milky-white sand with a children’s playground and handful of barbecue areas. Word is that the best time to visit is sunset.

As the name suggests, this beach has a chic appeal, with beach huts, colourful street art, and twinkling fairy lights for when the sun dips low. Did we mention the sparkling blue sea, soft white sand, palm-tree fringed paths? More than a beach, La Mer is a popular coastal dining and shopping destination, with attractions such as gourmet ice cream trucks, top restaurants, a retro cinema, water park and inflatable playground—not to mention that stunning beach! There’s no fee to use this beach.


Dubai Frequently asked questions

Like an onion, there are many layers to Dubai and how long you stay depends on how deep you want to go. As a general guide, spend at least three to four days in Dubai in order to have enough time to see the main attractions and have a good overall experience of the city.

There’s no denying that Dubai is a car-focussed city due to its incredible size. That said, many of the main hubs are quite walkable and allow you to see things you would miss from a car.

The best time to visit Dubai is during the cooler months from November to March, when temperatures are more pleasant and outdoor activities can be enjoyed without turning into a puddle of sweat.

Dubai takes luxury and then dials it up a notch (or ten). From stunning skyscrapers to world-class shopping and dining, everything is set to impress in this vibrant city. If adventure is more your style, don't miss the opportunity to go sandboarding in the desert or take a hot air balloon flight over the city.

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Both Dubai Marina area or Downtown Dubai offer easy access to many popular tourist attractions and have a wide range of accommodation options making them popular options for visitors.

If you plan to make the most of the beach resorts, be sure to pack sunscreen, swimsuits, and comfortable walking shoes for exploring the city and enjoying the beaches and attractions. It is also recommended that you wear modest clothing that covers your shoulders and knees.

First-timers to Dubai are often drawn to the neighbourhoods of Downtown Dubai, Palm Jumeirah and Dubai Marina as they offer a wide variety of attractions and amenities.

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