Try and get a seat by the window for your flights to Dubai – as the plane descends, you'll want to see the sheer scale of its dramatic sprawl along the coastline, which is just as impressive as its skyline. In little more than 40 years, this city has transformed itself from a tiny settlement to a glittering metropolis and world-class destination.
While Dubai's startling feats of engineering such as the Burj Khalifa, the Palm islands, Burj Al Arab and The Dubai Mall are jewels in its crown, the city’s multi-faceted appeal extends to more than just its architecture. Some people are attracted to the buzz of the place – the frenetic pace and energy of a global business city and tourism hub. However, you might prefer the tranquility of its desert retreats, golf courses, calm seas and beaches.
Beyond clusters of gleaming five-star hotels, with their luxury suites and infinity pools, there's a historic side to the city too. Visit Al Fahidi Historical District (formerly known as Bastakiya) to see traditional Arabic architecture, then tour the Heritage and Diving Villages of Shindagha.
Visiting Dubai is largely about consumption and one of the most popular activities here is shopping. As well as record-breaking malls packed with designer names, there are traditional souks and vibrant markets. And while Michelin-starred celebrity chefs have embraced Dubai’s high-end culinary credentials, there are still scores of independent restaurants with authentic flavours to explore.
It all adds up to a city of contrasts, and there's nowhere better to witness Dubai's diversity than the Dubai Creek. Here, traditional abras cross the waters, and dhows unload their cargo beneath shimmering skyscrapers. Nothing stays the same for long though, and there are always new and ambitious projects afoot, like the upcoming Creek Harbour development and the indoor city, Mall of the World.
The latter will have air-conditioned shopping streets, a theme park and a healthcare district. It almost sounds too good to be true, but given Dubai's already incredible rise, you wouldn't want to bet against it.
Dubai is the capital of the Emirate of Dubai in the UAE, and one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Located in the Southern Peninsula of the Persian Gulf, this global city is home to 2.7 million inhabitants. Famous for its grand skyscrapers, luxurious hotels and pristine beaches, Dubai attracts millions of tourists and business travelers annually.
Cheap flights to Dubai are now available for a limited period of time, so prepare to enjoy the cosmopolitan thrills and spectacular coastline of this progressive city! Dubai is home to Dubai International Airport (DXB), a short 15-minute drive from the city centre.
Why visit Dubai
From colourful souks sporting traditional wares and the finest silk, to world-class shopping malls laced with opulence and grand design, this city is a shopper’s paradise.
From quad biking in the dunes and snorkeling off the pearly beaches, to its vibrant nightlife and fine-dining, Dubai is the epitomy of living la vida loca!
A modern oasis, sprung out of the desert on the Persian Gulf, you will marvel at the incredible feats of human engineering, such the Palm Islands and Burj Khalifa to name but a few.
Essential details you need to know before your trip
|Country||United Arab Emirates|
|Currency||Arab Emirates Dirham (AED)|
|Language||Arabic / English|
|Hub Airport||Dubai International Airport (DXB)|
|Time Zone||GMT + 04:00|
|Travel Adaptor||Type C / D / G|
Best time to visit Dubai
Dubai’s desert climate means that the city experiences two seasons – hot and sizzling. The winter months, between November and March, is the best time to experience the blue skies and prime beaches. Be prepared for crowds and inflated prices and if possible, pre-book attractions to escape the queues. Note that January to March is Dubai’s rainy season, so beach bums may want to explore the museums and galleries during these shower spurts. The city clears out during the scorching summer months of June to September, where temperatures reach a sizzling 40°C. Outdoor activities are simply unbearable and you’ll need plenty of water and sunscreen. On the upside, hotel prices are slightly cheaper and you’ll have the beaches all to yourself. The city hosts a range of festivals throughout the year. Bargain hunters can fill their baskets at the annual Dubai Shopping Festival in January, while the International Jazz Festival in February rustles up famous artists from around the world.
Weather & Climate in Dubai
Average temperature (°C) & rainfall (mm) per month
In recent years Dubai has become the number one destination for holidays in the Middle East. With its modern architecture, hot climate and coastal location, this modern world wonder is the most progressive emirate in the UAE, with a booming trade and tourism industry. Always striving to build the biggest and best constructions, Dubai is home to some of the most iconic landmarks in the world. From state-of-the-art theme parks to grand structures like the Dubai Fountains and Burj Khalifa, this city certainly knows how to pull out all the stops.
Opulent living and world-class attractions go hand-in-hand with this city. Modern architectural feats like the World Trade Centre and Emirates Towers are interspersed with mosques and colourful souks, brimming with Middle-Eastern jewels and spices. Visit the Dubai Museum at Al Fahdi Fort to trace the city's historical development and see how it was built.
Wildlife sanctuaries and sprawling green parks are dotted in between the multicultural neighbourhoods. Explore the man-made wonder that is Palm Jumeirah, along with its pearly-white beaches, from where you can indulge in any water sport your heart desires. Other popular activities include desert safaris where off-road vehicles take you into the Arabian Desert to experience camel rides and sleep in Bedouin tents