For an easy getaway, winter sun and cultural highlights, look no further than Dubai
With winter fast approaching, you may have already started dreaming of warmer climes. So if you’re seeking sunshine, think of Dubai situated on the Arabian Gulf, basking in a subtropical desert climate. Whilst it is famously home to ultra-luxurious hotels, there are many well-priced, international brands of hotel to suit every budget here too.
Dubai may be renowned for its vast shopping malls and superlative attractions including the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building at 828 metres, but there is plenty more on offer for travellers who want to immerse themselves in the city’s captivating culture. Visitors should head to Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood for a glimpse of life in the city in the mid-1800s. Located along the Dubai Creek, the district contains much of the original infrastructure that has been preserved over the decades.
With a history of trading gold, spices and pearls, it’s little wonder Dubai is nicknamed ‘The City of Gold’. If you fancy designing your own piece of jewellery as a souvenir of your trip, then pay a visit to the Gold & Diamond Park, a less-crowded alternative to the busy Gold Souk. And wandering through either souk is a fascinating free experience for everyone.
Over in The Dubai Mall, Infinity des Lumières, a new digital art gallery, offers an immersive journey through 3,000 digital exhibits featuring artists including Van Gogh and contemporary filmmakers.
Foodies will revel in the new Time Out Market Dubai in Downtown’s Souk Al Bahar, with a fabulous view of The Dubai Fountain from its terrace. Launched in April this year, it houses a carefully curated mix of cultural spaces and homegrown eateries, handpicked and tested by local Time Out Dubai experts. For a truly memorable fine-dining experience, try Sonara Camp offering Arabic-inspired dishes, classic French cuisine and fusion fare among undulating dunes in the heart of the Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve.
Golf enthusiasts are spoilt for choice. The Emirates Golf Club, which opened in 1988, has recently opened Top Golf, which boasts climate-controlled booths and high-tech balls. The Faldo course (par-72) is the only 18-hole course in the region to offer night golf, while at JA The Resort, golfers can expect to see peacocks, guinea fowl, partridges and the occasional Arabian gazelle roaming the fairways.
If you’re after something a little off the beaten path, the exclave of Hatta, surrounded by the Hajar mountains, is a 90-minute drive from the city. The area’s spectacular scenery, wadis and farms attracts nature lovers, hikers and photographers, while the Hatta Dam is an opportunity to kayak or pedalo across the turquoise blue waters surrounded by the mountainous landscape.
The city has implemented stringent Covid-19 safety measures for its guests and residents with routine checks on hotels, stores and restaurants, with the ‘Dubai Assured’ stamp awarded to ensure ongoing compliance. With Expo 2020 taking place in Dubai from 1 October for six months, there will be festivities galore – the perfect time to visit Dubai.