Have a superlative holiday in a city that glitters with marvels. Whether you’re after a stopover, a city break or a longer stay along the spectacular white coastlines, this city’s mega-malls, supercars, theme parks and beaches provide entertainment for days.
Luxury holidays in Dubai mean something a little different here too: the sky's the limit when it comes to service and it's not uncommon to find gold in vending machines. At its most romantic, it can offer pale red deserts and sunset sundowners under pointed arches. At its most traditional, it can show you an old creek running through its heart, and unravel a spool of souks before you. At its most decadent, Dubai can show you the Burj al Arab: a hotel plastered in gold leaf, with a fleet of Rolls Royces.
Check out our Dubai holiday packages for more; flights are included in the price, so you're bound to find a good deal – plus, all our holidays are ATOL protected.
Dubai’s hotels are marvellous and many. Atlantis The Palm is famous the world over for splendour that's family-friendly, with a mile-long beach and one of Dubai’s best water parks, you’ll run out of holiday before you run out of things to do. The Hilton Garden Inn is enviably central, at the Mall of the Emirates. This modern, fresh four star is perfect if you want to sightsee and shop in the centre of Dubai. See more of our carefully-selected hotels below.
Dubai has a hot hotel scene. Its resorts break records, make headlines and compete to be the most luxurious in the world. Explore our selection of Dubai hotels to fit your holiday type.
Jumeirah Al Naseem Madinat
Choose yourself a perfectly-located Dubai beach hotel. The understated, luxurious Jumeirah Al Naseem Madinat looks out towards the Burj al Arab and is within walking distance of the Wild Wadi Waterpark. It has a huge, wonderful private beach that’s over 2km long. There’s also a turtle rehabilitation centre in the grounds, home to rescued loggerheads and hawksbills.
There’s nowhere in the world quite like Atlantis The Palm. Styled like a lost city and with its own adjacent water park, this extraordinary resort crowns the outer ring of The Palm. Many of the rooms are designed with families in mind, and the kids’ club has extensive activities, from a Command Centre featuring the latest tech, to an underwater theatre screening evening films.
Buggies will whisk you to wherever you want to go in this great Dubai All Inclusive hotel – and there are plenty of places to explore, since the resort has its own stables and water sports. The grounds – spacious and sumptuous, with roaming peacocks – are dotted with airy suites and 15 great restaurants. Try Asian cuisine at the White Orchid, where you’ll be tempted by the traditional Teppanyaki table.
Famous the world over, the Burj Al Arab stands on a plinth-like private island and is shaped like a billowing spinnaker sail. It often gets called the most luxurious hotel in the world. You'll see why when you see the rooms – or if you visit Gold on 27, its swanky cocktail bar. Celebrated English chef Nathan Outlaw devised the menu at Al Mahara, the hotel’s standout seafood restaurant.
Service levels are unreal at this hotel – and the spa is sumptuous. There are beautiful pools, winding boardwalks, and a kilometre of white sand beach. Eight superb restaurants are on hand to satisfy your appetite – from authentic Moroccan food, to modern dining on the beach. When night falls, dress up and have an evening of music in the Courtyards or a cocktail on the Rooftop Terrace.
Save yourself some money and avoid the biggest queues: pre-book some of the best experiences in the city before you go. Here are our top five suggestions:
Book ahead to climb the world’s tallest building: the Burj Khalifa. At a whopping 828 metres high, the ascent of this needle-sharp sky-scraper isn’t for the faint-hearted, and the observation platform sits half a kilometre up. High-focus telescopes give you a falcon’s-eye view of the city’s landmarks – shrouded as they are in the desert heat haze.
Set at Jumeriah Beach Hotel, in the shadow of the Burj al Arab, this fantastic water park is a refreshing oasis in the city. It’s fantastic fun for kids: plummet, slide and splash down all the best rides. Try Tantrum Alley, Burj Surge, or just take in a few laps of the lazy river.
Looking to discover the real Middle East? Join this four-hour tour, exploring the contrast of old and new, as well as the city’s history and learn more about the culture of Dubai. From the Al Fahidi Fort, to the white sands of Jumeriah Beach, see it all.
A boat is a great way to see the city’s Old Town from a new perspective. Cast off on an evening cruise in a traditional wooden craft lit up with twinkling lights. The dhow makes its way leisurely along Dubai Creek, allowing ample time for photographs. Look out for the Rolex Towers, the Wind Towers at the Dubai Heritage Centre, and the minarets of mosques on the shore. The cruise includes a buffet meal.
Dubai gets famously hot in the summer but has beautiful clear skies and warm temperatures right through winter. The best time to visit is from October to March. In July and August temperatures are as high as 50°C but the city is well prepared to withstand the heat.
From Dubai, check out the other emirates: Ajman, Sharjah, Ras Al Khaimah and Abu Dhabi are all within driving distance. With British Airways you can add a car, fly in and out of different cities, and add multiple hotels to one booking. Use our custom trip tool to start your search.
Abu Dhabi, the capital of the UAE, has a historic core and a calmer pace of life than Dubai. But it’s trying to catch up with its glittering rival, opening a Ferrari World and, more recently, its own Louvre. Now, it’s the perfect combination of the cosmopolitan and the cultural.
Stay: The Emirates Palace is easily the most extravagant of Abu Dhabi’s hotels. It has over 1,000 crystal chandeliers.
Eat: There are plenty of restaurants along the waterfront at Yas Marina.
Do: The brilliant white domes of the Sheikh Zayed Mosque are a city landmark. Inside, you’ll find the largest handmade carpet in the world, and space for 40,000 worshippers.
Ras Al Khaimah is the UAE’s northernmost emirate. There are plenty of popular beach resorts and a crowd of expats come here looking to party on the weekends. The Hajar mountains are close enough for a hike in the morning – and you can be back in time to snorkel before sunset.
Stay: The area’s luxurious hotels here are often cheaper and quieter than Dubai’s: even the palatial Waldorf Astoria. Mirage-like in the desert, it boasts extravagant architecture and the beach to end all beaches.
Eat: Marjan, the Middle Eastern offering at the Waldorf Astoria, gets repeat visits from the Sheikh himself.
Do: Drive the Jabal Jais mountain pass, a road that takes you close to the top of the region's highest peak.
Ajman is the next emirate up from Sharjah, and has a similar vibe. In this lesser-visited area of the country you can retreat, relax – or look out for the pink flamingos in their mangrove habitat.
Eat: Mezze and tagine, thanks to the resort’s Middle Eastern restaurant.
Do: In Ajman, beaches, souks and mangroves abound and there’s an authentic Dhow yard.
Sharjah, the emirate north of Dubai, offers visitors a slightly more ‘authentic’ UAE experience than its metropolitan neighbour. Here you can take time to explore the souk and the Corniche. Sharjah is a dry emirate – meaning no alcohol is served within its hotels.
Eat: Look out for karak (traditional tea) and chaat (Indian snacks) at small shops on the roadsides.
Do: Visit two wonderful museums: Sharjah Museum of Islamic Civilization and the Sharjah Art Museum.
Dubai is set in the Arabian Desert, and it doesn’t take long to find your way out of the city and into the dunes. It’s said that each emirate’s sands are a different shade. The sand in the desert around Dubai is a pleasing pale red.