Evening – Make your escape
As the weekend in Dubai runs from Friday to Saturday it’s best to catch a late Thursday flight – the 21:50 from London Heathrow touches down at Dubai International Airport at 08:35 the next day.
Top tip: Cabs are easily the best way to get around the city, and are surprisingly cheap.
09:30 – Room on the Palm
You’ll want to check into a hotel on the Palm, a collection of manmade islands just offshore from the mainland offering scores of private beaches. For all-out glamour, go to the One&Only The Palm. Boutique by Dubai standards, with just 94 rooms and suites, this is a stylish oasis that will instantly put you into Dubai’s opulent mentality – think marble bathrooms, Michelin-starred restaurants and oversized daybeds on a private beach. For five-star luxury on more of a budget, Sofitel Dubai offers huge rooms, each with balconies overlooking another private stretch of beach and no less than six pools.
A weekend highlight for locals and visitors alike, Friday brunch – think sushi and free-flowing fizz rather than toast and coffee – is served at pretty much every major hotel
11:00 – Shake it off
Shake off the jet lag and get a lay of the land with a stand-up paddle boarding session at Monty's Rowing School. Located at the very tip of the Palm, it’s the perfect place to take in its iconic sights, including the sail-shaped Burj Al Arab.