Do you think you’ve really experienced the ultimate in luxury? If you haven’t yet, a visit to Dubai is in order. Where else would you find 17 five-star hotels and one (self-proclaimed) seven star property? Where would you find an indoor ski hill on a summer’s day where the temperature can reach 40 Celsius? Where are the shopping malls adorned with real gold? It’s Dubai on all counts.
This fascinating destination attracts global visitors for its waterfront activities, beaches, posh hotels, nightlife, and shopping, of course. Dubai seamlessly blends a mix of new and old. Modern boutiques are just a few blocks away from traditional souks or markets where you can buy spices, shawarma sandwiches, gold jewelry, and souvenirs. And although it has a large Muslim population, there is a harmonious mix of Christians, Jews, Hindus and Sikhs. All these communities have contributed to the lively culture that is so unique to Dubai. And contrary to what you might have heard, you can buy alcohol there. It is easily available at bars and restaurants at fine hotels.
For a real treat, catch a sports event in Dubai. Football and cricket are crowd favourites, but you’ll also find many others. It hosts the Dubai World Cup, a thorough-bred horse race, the Dubai Desert Golf Classic, and tennis championships as well. Music fans can see stars like Elton John, Celine Dion and Shakira perform in Dubai, while movie buffs can watch the parade of celebrities attending the annual Dubai International Film Festival. The world comes to Dubai to be entertained. You will be too.
Why you should go:
With direct flights from Dublin to Abu Dhabi, getting here is easy and accessible.
Biggest, best, highest, most expensive – Dubai is the land of superlatives. When something is built here, grandeur is a way of life.
You don’t have to be an oil tycoon to be able to afford to holiday here. Hotels and restaurants are offered at many price points.
Saturday 10th April 2010
Travel Counsellor: Mary Foyle
Last April, I headed to Dubai for a week with a friend of mine. I had seen a sharp rise in the number of enquiries for this destination and really had to see what it was all about. I couldn’t make up my mind whether to stay in Dubai ‘Downtown’ or out by the beach and so I solved the problem by splitting the holiday between 2 hotels.
We started off at the beach hotel ‘The One and Only Royal Mirage’. We spent our 3 days here just chilling, lying by the pool and being pampered by the very attentive staff. We headed off one afternoon for afternoon tea at the Atlantis out on the Palm. This was a very ‘english’ affair – cups of tea, lots of bite size sandwiches and an incredible array of pastries. The hotel itself was huge and full of families. The waterpark and the aquarium attached to the hotel would be the main attractions for the kids. We ate at our hotel one night and headed to the Madinat Jumeirah for dinner on another evening. Here there was a buzzing marketplace and outside... view full story
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