Dubai is an oasis of pure pleasure. Relax at Jumeirah Beach Park or go on a ride over sand dunes in an SUV driven by a local. Camel riding is also available, but if there's one thing Dubai's truly known for, it's the shopping. The mega-malls are a must-see (especially the Dubai Mall, one of the largest in the world), but for a really dazzling experience head to the Gold Souk, where gold of every type is traded. And no holiday in Dubai would be complete without a visit to the Burj Khalifa, the world's tallest building.
Emirates, British Airways and Virgin Atlantic are among the airlines which offer direct flights to Dubai. Flights take off from a conveniently wide variety of UK airports, including London Heathrow, Birmingham, Newcastle and Glasgow International, and the average journey time is around seven hours.
Taxis are plentiful and Dubai does have a bus system, although it can take a bit of time to work out the timings and they're not always very regular. On the other hand, the metro system is one of the best in the world, offering the ideal way to get quickly around during your holiday in Dubai. You can get a day pass which will grant you unlimited travel on buses and the metro, although it has to be said that cars are very important in Dubai and you may be better off arranging to hire a car in Dubai. As with many popular destinations, it's always worth booking your car as much in advance as possible for a good deal.
Hotels in Dubai have a reputation for being opulent and expensive - the Burj al-Arab, for example, is the iconic "seven star" hotel which is one of Dubai's most famous landmarks. However, there are also plenty of far more affordable hotels, so use our search tool to help you find the best deal for your holiday in Dubai.
Similarly, you don't need to splurge your cash on the glitzy and eye-wateringly pricey restaurants dotted around the place. You can seek out some more humble and authentic spots instead. If you fancy a snack, why not pick up shawarma, a delicious kebab which is sold on Dubai's streets and will cost hardly anything. There's also plenty of authentic Indian and Middle Eastern restaurants to discover - stay away from the show-off tourist hotspots and you can enjoy your Dubai holiday without breaking the bank. And remember to always haggle when shopping for souvenirs in the souks.
Updated 22nd May 2013
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"Mind if I state the obvious for a moment? Dubai is quite an expensive place to visit. This Middle Eastern super city is all about wealth: its top attr..." 10 April 2013
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posted by bgibsonThis was my favourite area in Dubai, because it seems to have some authenticity and history in the streets. Some souks (although not the best ones), the Grand Mosque, the Hindu Temple and the Creek are all well worth a visit or two.
posted by xbynumI'd never tried smoking a shisha before but went to Dubai with my friends and ended up in a shisha bar and it was actually quite enjoyable. A really sociable atmosphere.