The Jumeirah Zabeel Saray hotel's Talise Ottoman spa and hammam is a palatial retreat away from the bustle of the city. For a more intimate yet luxury experience, head to the private treatment suites of One&Only The Palm. The spa at the Jumeirah Dar Al Masyaf-Madinat has 26 treatment rooms offering both traditional eastern therapies and modern bespoke remedies.
The year-round sunshine and glorious Persian Gulf in Dubai offer great beach opportunities. Atlantis The Palm’s white sand welcomes visitors to its purpose-built shores, where diving and snorkelling are a must. Relax on glorious private beaches along the coast, sipping ice-cold drinks from the hotel bars. Or go sailing or kitesurfing on the Jumeirah Beach ‘golden mile’.
Eating out in Dubai
Dubai is a melting pot of cultures and ethnicities, and this is reflected in the cuisine. You’re just as likely to find gourmet French bistros as home-made Indian dhal and chapatti stalls. Food is its own culture here, and the diversity on offer is staggering. A must – try a ‘shawarma’ kebab served in the many street cafés across the city.
The Dubai Mall is the biggest in the world, with over 1200 shops to browse, and lots of attractions throughout. The Mall of the Emirates is smaller – but not much – and houses high-end boutiques and designer stores. The more traditional Gold and Spice souqs are fun to visit, especially the Spice Souq, but be warned you will be sneezing the whole way around.
Dubai’s amazing attractions
Take the lift up to the 124th floor of the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building, where a viewing platform awaits the adventurous traveller. The awe-inspiring Dubai Fountain ‘dances’ to music each night outside the Dubai Mall. For those looking for more traditional culture, the stunning Jumeirah Mosque is a sight not to be missed. Or travel out to the desert for a safari.
Dubai may be a glittering, modern metropolis but it is surrounded by a spectacular, ancient desert. For the adventurous traveller, there is plenty to do in this forbidding landscape. Go on a Bedouin-style safari, race camels and eat traditional Arabic food in a tent. Don’t miss out on a trip across Al Khor (The Creek) on an abra water taxi, or a sunset cruise on a dhow.
Arts and culture
Naysayers would argue that art and culture doesn’t exist in Dubai. But like any major city, there is a vibrant art scene underneath the glitz and glamour. Galleries are in high demand by the international crowd, and displaced artists from nearby countries are happy to oblige. The enclosed art and cultural district of Alserkal Avenue houses more than twenty galleries, all with differing genres of contemporary art.