PUBLISHED: 12:53 23 June 2014 | UPDATED: 12:53 23 June 2014
There is so much to enjoy during a trip to Dubai. Rebecca Underwood explores the delights of this sparkling diamond of the United Arab Emirates
For those seeking an escape from the pressures of life in the fast lane, consider the delights of Dubai — located in the United Arab Emirates, on the glittering azure waters of the Persian Gulf. Dubai offers visitors a tantalising glimpse into Arabia’s kaleidoscope of colours; the golden hues of the shifting desert sands, the dazzling displays at Deira’s gold souk, marinas crammed with sleek white yachts moored alongside colourful dhows, long stretches of soft white sandy beaches and towering silver skyscrapers reflecting the sun’s shimmering rays.
Fly from Heathrow with Emirates, voted ‘world’s best airline for 2013’ by Skytrax, and take advantage of excellent service at check in and an outstanding level of comfort on board. Dubai is known for its astounding construction projects and features the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa, soaring into the sky at more than 829m.
Last year, it was reported that Dubai was the seventh most visited city in the world, which is reflected in all that this fascinating destination has to offer; a beach lover’s dream and a shopper’s paradise, with a choice of more than 70 malls including the fabulous Dubai Mall, the world’s largest shopping centre complete with an Olympic sized ice rink and an aquarium.
For a front row seat to view Dubai Mall’s dancing fountains display, Carluccio’s provides an al fresco dining experience like no other. Select a table in front of Lake Burj Khalifa and prepare to be thrilled by the spectacle of water jets soaring up to 150 metres and all perfectly in tune with the beat of the Arabian music. For more retail therapy, visit the Mall of the Emirates where you’ll find more than 500 stores vying for your attention or you could practice your moves on the indoor ski slopes.
For another unforgettable treat, and a very rare opportunity, consider taking part in the falcon experience, bookable through Emirates Holidays. You’ll be whisked away over the desert sands to the Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve and introduced to the noble art of falconry, which is still a popular pastime for sheikhs and kings. An expert falconer provides assistance and explains how to respond to the harris hawks as they soar into the sky and return at immense speed to your gloved hand, expertly retrieving a morsel of meat that you might have thought hidden from view.
And don’t miss the gold souk, located in the Deira district. As you wander around the narrow lanes crammed with tiny shops you’ll be enticed by the most breathtaking displays of gold jewellery, trinkets and treasures in every kind of design. Practice your bartering skills and you’re sure to secure a bargain or two. And if you’ve worked up an appetite make your way to the award-winning Fish Market at the Radisson Blu Diera Creek where you can select fresh fish and vegetables from the displays and choose a style of cooking and sauce to suit your palate. For a more relaxed shopping experience visit the Burjuman Centre on the Trade Centre Road. Outlets include Dior, Chanel, Hermes, Fendi, Versace and Valentino. Stay at the Burjuman Arjaan by Rotana, next to the mall, and you won’t have far to carry your purchases.
Also be sure to visit Dubai Marina and hop aboard the ferry sailing by the enormous cruisers and dhows and soak up the atmosphere. Dubai offers all this and much more. Treat yourself and prepare to be dazzled.
Book your Dubai airport transfers in advance and avoid the queues. Holiday Taxis provides punctual, reliable and friendly drivers. Visit www.holidaytaxis.com