Dubai has long attracted holidaymakers with the promise of guaranteed sunshine, lavish hotels, glamorous beaches and some of the world’s best water parks.
There’s also the city’s many iconic sights, including the Palm Jumeirah island, Burj Al Arab and the breathtaking Burj Khalifa, which you may know better as the world’s tallest building.
Combine all of this with the city’s magnificent selection of super-sized shopping malls and cultural attractions, and you’ll soon see why Dubai is the ultimate holiday destination.
We’ve teamed up with Travelbag’s Paul Hopkinson to get his expert advice on booking your Dubai holiday. Here he shares his top tips on when to visit, what to see when you’re there and how to get the best deal.
Book far in advance to get the best deal
There was a time when booking a holiday at the very last minute was the best way to get a bargain, but things have changed over the years. Nowadays, it’s often more cost-effective to book your holiday far in advance.
Dubai’s hotels and resorts often fill up fast, so planning ahead is a must. Another benefit of booking early is that you can often opt to pay a low deposit to reserve your holiday, before paying the full amount closer to the time.
Find a hotel that suits you
All of Dubai’s hotels are unique, so it’s important to research each one before booking your holiday. A majority cater for families, with kids’ clubs and free entry to the city’s water parks, while others are more tailored to couples and older groups.
Choose a suitable time to visit
When planning a Dubai holiday, it’s important to think about the best time to visit. If you don’t fare well in hot weather, you’ll want to avoid the summer months when the temperature can reach 30°C and above.
November to March is often seen as the best time to visit, as the weather is more manageable around this time of year.
Aside from the weather, it’s also worth keeping an eye on which dates Ramadan falls on. The holy month often takes place in the summer, but this can change depending on the Islamic Calendar.
You can still visit Dubai during Ramadan, but be aware that certain attractions may close or run on an alternative timetable. The rules around alcohol and live events are also stricter.
Plan your day trips beforehand
Planning is key if you want to make the most of your Dubai holiday. Keeping to a daily itinerary will help you to make time for the city’s must-see landmarks and sights, including the Burj Khalifa and Dubai Mall.
Check out what deals are available in the run-up to your trip; you may be able to save money on fun attractions like the Wild Wadi Water Park and Ski Dubai indoor ski centre by booking online.
Eating out? Reserve a table at one of the city’s top restaurants
Dubai’s culinary scene has attracted attention some of the world’s top chefs. Marco Pierre White and Gary Rhodes are just two big names to have opened a restaurant here.
If you’re looking to dine out at one of these famed restaurants, it’s a good idea to reserve a table beforehand. You can often make table reservations online, on the phone or through your hotel, so book early to avoid disappointment.
Dubai’s many malls, markets and traditional souks are the perfect place to pick up a bargain. If you’re hoping to indulge in a little retail therapy during your holiday, remember to keep a close eye on your luggage allowance.
By packing light, you’ll be able to save enough room to bring back souvenirs and authentic gifts from Dubai that you can’t find anywhere else.
Among Dubai’s must-visit shopping districts are the Gold Souk, the Dubai Mall, the Mall of the Emirates and the incredible Souk Madinat Jumeirah.