Tips for making the most of a Dubai holiday including the best places to visit
Dubai holidays can be ideal if you’re torn between a city break or beach holiday, as the UAE city offers the chance to do both.
The holiday hotspot is renowned for offering up heaps of glitz and glamour from its iconic skyline (including the world’s tallest building) to the awe-inspiring Dubai Mall with over 200 shops, and the countless brilliant restaurants and nightlife spots.
However, there’s also plenty on offer for families, from thrilling theme parks to plenty of attractions and family-friendly beaches to have on your radar.
To give you a helping hand, we’ve put together a guide on making the most of a holiday including the best things to see and do, the best beaches, and extra travel tips.
Check out the guide below…
Best things to see and do in Dubai
The Burj Khalifa: Dubai’s skyline is filled with some pretty impressive skyscrapers but one building that stands out above the rest is the incredible Burj Khalifa. Measuring over 828 metres (approximately 2,716ft), it’s the world’s tallest building – in fact, we’ve rounded up some impressive facts about the building worth bookmarking if you are planning a trip. For phenomenal views of the city, head to floor 124, dubbed ‘At the Top’.
Dubai Mall: If you’re after some retail therapy, Dubai Mall won’t disappoint. With over 200 brands on sale throughout the mall you won’t struggle to get your shopping fix, or if you’re after some window shopping make sure not to miss out on the souks. One of the biggest highlights has to be the eye-catching Gold Souk which never fails to floor tourists. Oh, and it’s also home to an ice rink, aquarium, A380 experience, a Kidzania, and even a virtual reality park – you can check out the full list of entertainment on offer here.
Dubai Creek: Head to Dubai Creek and you’ll find plenty of traditional ferries for a boat ride unlike any other. It’s also handily located by plenty of the city’s top attractions, so it can be easy to include as part of a wider itinerary. Thinking of staying nearby? Booking.com has a handy guide to some of the best cheap hotels near Dubai Creek.
Dubai Marina: If you’re looking to enjoy the city’s nightlife and foodie scene, then Dubai Marina is worth having on your radar. Tripadvisor has a great round-up of the Marina’s best restaurants if you’re after views. If it’s the bars you’re after, you can find a guide to the best rooftop spots on the Dubai Marina website.
Jumeirah Public Beach: One of Dubai’s most popular beaches, this one is free of charge to visit but still offers facilities such as showers and changing rooms. Expect fine golden sands, swim-friendly crystalline waters and some pretty epic views of Dubai’s skyline. Oh, and make sure to leave some time for a spot of snorkelling – there are some incredible and colourful fish residing in the waters.
The Grand Mosque: This impressive mosque can hold up to 1,200 worshippers. There are free tours for visitors from Sundays to Thursdays in the mornings, which are suitable for anyone who has never visit a mosque before. You can get more information on the Visit Dubai website.
Theme parks: Families and thrill-seekers won’t be left disappointed thanks to the plethora of brilliant theme parks to be found in Dubai. Legoland Dubai with its rides and water park is always a hit with families, while Riverland, Bollywood Parks and Motiongate offer attractions to suit all ages. Attraction Tickets has plenty of discounted Dubai theme park tickets whether you’re planning to hit one park or multiple destinations in one visit.
JBR Open Beach: Another beach without an entrance fee, JBR Open Beach is right by Dubai Marina, so it’s ideal for those who want a trip to the beach but also plan to explore the local restaurants and shops. There are sunloungers and umbrellas available to hire.
Umm Suqeim Beach: The beach has earned the nickname of ‘Sunset Beach’ thanks to picture-perfect views it offers at dusk, especially with the backdrop of the seas and iconic Burj Al Arab building. In the daytime, the views are still spectacular, not to mention that the golden sands and turquoise waters are popular with sunseekers. The waters are swim-friendly but there are also a few waves which make this a popular spot with surfers.
Kite Beach: This beach has heaps of watersports facilities, as well as changing rooms, eateries, showers and toilets, so it’s no wonder that it’s popular with both tourists and locals. There’s even a small waterpark sure to be a hit with kids! (Entry to the beach is free although there are fees for the water park and other facilities).
Al Mamzar Beach Park: Families will want to bookmark this park which offers not only beaches and lifeguard services, but there are plenty of swimming pools, sports courts, and both children’s playgrounds and picnic areas. There is an entrance fee of AED5 per person which is approximately £1.
Extra travel tips
Best time to go: The best time to visit is from November to March when it’s still hot, but temperatures are more bearable. Avoid the summer months if you don’t do well in heat as temperatures can soar as high as 42C.
Can you drink? Tourists can buy and drink alcohol in licensed venues such as hotels, restaurants and clubs. However, it is a punishable offence under UAE law to drink or be under the influence of alcohol in public.
Save up to 60% off attractions: It’s well worth looking into a Dubai Pass if you’re planning to hit the theme parks and attractions as you could save up to 60% of your budget. You can find out more on visitdubai.com.
Latest travel advice: You can find out more about Dubai’s entry requirements including its Covid rules in the Foreign Office’s travel advice here. Currently the UAE is on the UK’s amber lists. This means you can visit for holidays but when returning to the UK you’ll need to take a pre-departure test, and PCR tests on days two and eight. Adults who are not fully vaccinated will need to self-isolate for 10 days at home.
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