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‘City of Gold’: Dubai isn’t just about the money

Many people assume that Dubai is just for the few and only known for its oil and high rise infrastructures, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. The capital of the United Arab Emirates is steeped in culture offering so much more than just sun, sea and sand for the millions of people who visit each year. What’s more? It doesn’t just have to be another standard holiday – why not let our expert Leisure team plan the whole trip for you, ensuring you get to experience everything you want and more for a once in a lifetime vacation.
Despite the city being the most populous in the region and famous for one of the most sought-after shopping countries in the world, the ‘City of Gold’ is not just about buying anything and everything in sight, it caters for every type of holiday; from the thrill-seekers to the theatrical arts and the couples in search of a romantic getaway to the family-friendly escapes, it has it all. There are infinite attractions to visit and local delicacies to try, meaning you’ll never be short of things to do.
Dubai is the fasting growing city in the world; in 1990, there was only one skyscraper in the city, today there are over 400, but the new skyline certainly doesn’t detract from the history of the area. The Etihad Museum and Dubai Museum are a must for anyone who wants to learn the culture of the country and understand the heritage of how Dubai came to be one of the most influential cities in the world. Moreover, they also have luxury safari tours for a walk on the wild side and provide exclusive private tours to get a personalised experience.
If you’re looking to indulge in a little bit of luxury on your holiday, take a trip to the top of the Burj Al Arab for an afternoon tea experience that will be savoured for years to come. The seven-course high tea gives you flavours and styles from around the world, and make sure to try both the sweet and savoury delights. But for the best skyline tour of Dubai, head to the Burj Khalifa and feel literally on top of the world. The tallest building across the globe provides views of pure paradise for miles and is the perfect photo opportunity for all generations.
The local markets are a testimony to the culture of the area and have hardly changed at all in decades, giving you an idea of the traditions surrounding Dubai. The Gold Souk the largest gold market in the world, but if you decide to visit the busy streets, don’t be afraid to haggle your way to the best deal – it’s a normal custom in the city and ensures you get the a good price. You can also have a sensory experience at the Spice Souk, with your taste buds being introduced to a whole new palette of foods, and the smell will be something you have never experienced before.
Water seems to be a huge part of Dubai’s attractions, which counteracts the heat, especially in summer. The average daytime temperature is 41C in July so the myriad of waterparks and aquariums can be the perfect way to cool down after a busy day exploring, but the main feature are the Dubai fountains. They are a sight to behold and can be the most magical part of your trip, especially visiting them at night.
For the thrill-seekers and car enthusiasts, Dubai will definitely not disappoint. Ski Dubai is a family-friendly day out for all ages, giving you endless options; from tobogganing to rolling down the slopes in a giant snowglobe, and from watching penguin parades to skiing itself, and a chance to cool down indoors. If you’re looking for even more speed, head to Dubai’s neighbouring state, Abu Dhabi, just 50 minutes down the road where you can try out Ferrari World. Ride the infamous Formula Rossa coaster, race each other around the go-karting circuit or even take a virtual tour through the Ferrari factory.
If Dubai is something that whets your bucket list appetite, we have a few tips to make your stay even more enjoyable:
Take clothing into consideration: If you’re planning to go in the height of summer, you will want to be wearing light colours! Black clothing will just keep you insulated, making you hotter than you will already be. Also, think about the types of clothing when you’re packing – cotton and linen clothing will keep you cooler throughout the day, but avoid jeans!

Drinking is key: The extremely hot weather will leave you feeling lethargic and dehydrated, so drinking plenty of water throughout the day will help you stay energised for all the attractions you want to visit. Keeping fluids up is essential and there are plenty of places to buy water and fill up bottles, but coffee is a no-go in the heat.

Graze all day: Eat small meals every couple of hours to reduce your metabolic heat and generally feel cooler. Another tip is eating spicy food; it sounds counter-productive, but will actually reduce your core body temperature.

There are plenty of indoor attractions too: If the heat becomes a little too much, there are infinite attractions that include air-conditioning! For the animal lovers, Dubai’s Dolphinarium gets you up-close and personal with some of the most well-known aquatic creatures, big, small and everything in-between. Or another alternative – visit the Dubai Mall and see why they are famous for their shopping habits.
Dubai may appear expensive, but for what it can provide as a holiday destination, it’s an absolute bargain. Let our experienced travel agents create your perfect trip away to the Persian Coast and organise a personalised itinerary just for you. Give us a call on 01489 579 975 to book an appointment or email the team at