The London Economic visited Dubai during Ramadan last year for a cultural trip, it made for an interesting read, however when we visited again in October it was for very different reasons as TLE set out to experience the party side of the UAE’s largest and most populous city.
I had never been to Dubai before but obviously the place is now hugely popular and everyone seems to have an opinion, all I knew for sure is that is was going to be hot and I certainly wasn’t disappointed!
Myself and my wife set off on the overnight red eye from Heathrow and landed into Dubai in the early morning hours, this makes for perfect holiday timing as you arrive for a full day’s sun and save a nights accommodation with the night time flight.
Even in October/November the mercury reaches a blistering 30 degrees, no surprise there, what did surprise me however was that it was a comfortable heat, not too humid, not too arid, the temperature in Dubai was just right!
Do note that the days are short, the mornings start off a little hazy which turns into bright sunshine, but the sun set is early here, with it starting to get dark at around 5pm. So, my advice for fellow sun-seekers, is to get up early and make the most of the sunshine and then use the long evening time for gym, spa treatments or taking in the delights of the city.
Another great plus about a holiday to Dubai is the flight is only around six hours, almost impossible to beat when it comes to guaranteed winter sun, so perfect if you’re looking to go long haul and especially for honeymooners looking to avoid Zika.
Before the trip, I wondered if the airport would have a strict feel given the deeply religious roots of the region, however on arrival, the welcome was more luxurious hospitality and laid back charm.
After taking in the sights of the ultra-luxe modern airport we were whisked off to our Hotel the Al Bandar Rotana, Dubai Creek by a charming and efficient driver who spoke excellent English.
The Al Bandar Rotana, Dubai Creek was a short and sweet drive from the airport and within less than 20 minutes we had arrived, great news for ensuring a full day in the sun with no delays!
The Hotel was immaculate, brand new, but with absolutely no service teething issues that can sometimes be the case with new luxury hotels, the greeting was charm itself and we were checked in with zero fuss, our room wasn’t quite ready due to the early arrival, however we were invited to take a quick breakfast and before we had finished our room was ready!!
The Al Bandar Rotana, Dubai Creek is a 5 star spa hotel with 3 restaurants including it’s own Gastro Pub and a roof-top pool deck which just screams laid back chic.
The pool deck also offers amazing views of the famous City skyline and being just outside of the City Centre, it meant experiencing the scale and beauty of this incredible City from a more peaceful vantage point, making the location of this hotel just perfect for those who like to dip in and out of the centre.
The spa area is delightful and the full body massage is a must for any visitors, just the way to unwind after a day travelling around the city.
So, after a pool day on the first day which was lovely to just settle in and get some of that all important vitamin D, we dined at the hotel’s ultra luxe roof top Italian restaurant, Gusto.
Gusto offers outdoor dining with unrivalled views and authentic seasonal Italian fare of the highest standards in a luxury and romantic setting. Definitely the best restaurant in the hotel and probably the best in Dubai Creek.
The next day we set off early on an exciting trip to the two most famous Dubai landmarks, the Burj al Arab (the worlds first seven star hotel) and the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building!
First of all lunch at the Al Arab was incredible, a buffet offering a huge range of highest quality food in a traditional UAE style setting, you could eat as much as you like and as with most planned trips alcohol wasn’t included however they were happy to serve you alcohol including a range of inventive cocktails, these come at an extra price and not a cheap one but what else would you expect from a seven star hotel, in my mind, it was well worth it.
The alcohol also set us up with some Dutch courage for the next phase of the trip which was a tour to the top of the Khalifa! This also did not disappoint offering incredible views and the chance to really take in the scale and immensity of the place!
The tour ended in the famous Dubai mall, a must see for those who want to indulge in retail heaven! After finally managing to prize the credit card out of my wife’s hands we set off for more fun at the Wild Wadi Water Park.
The Wild Wadi rivalled any water park I had ever seen, anywhere in the world, with rides ranging from absolutely terrifying to much more relaxing lazy river rides, there is so much to try at the Water Park so my advice here is make sure you leave enough time to enjoy the rides and sample the man-made beach area, complete with wave machine!
The next day was a boat tour, through Cozmo Yachts. Taking to the water is a fantastic way to see Dubai from a different angle and we highly recommend it, again, alcohol is not included on the charter but if you want to bring your own, the friendly crew will happily serve it for you.
The yacht was a luxury 50 Foot – Azimut Italian Yacht, with several sunbathing decks for reclining or posing in front of thew views with a glass of champagne! After a few hours the Captain pulled in and gave us the opportunity to dive off into the crystal clear water and happily let us jump right from the top deck for that extra bit of adrenaline before serving up a delicious barbecue lunch. There were plenty of stops to take amazing pics of the Dubai skyline. The boat trip is a must if you visit Dubai, the attentive staff and thrill of being out on the water is a sure fire way to enjoy the most of your holiday.
At the end of the most incredible morning the boat pulled up next to one of the City’s most famous beach bar’s Zero Gravity.
I had heard of Zero Gravity through various friends and it certainly lived up to it’s reputation of somewhere to see and be seen, it was a young, fun and ultra glam crowd including several reality TV stars and banging tunes, the drinks kept coming and allowed us to continue our day of fun until late into the evening!
This is the place to eat, drink and be seen in Dubai, the crowd was classy but friendly and everyone seemed in very good spirits, some literally!
After the fun of the previous day and to be honest feeling slightly delicate we fancied a beach day the next day so took advantage of the Hotel’s free shuttle to the La Mer beach, a newly built beach which was utterly immaculate, being constantly raked and cleaned by uniformed staff and equipped with many food and drink outlets, at the beach, alcohol was strictly off limits, but who needs a beer for a hangover when the beach has a Starbucks!
La Mer offered a family friendly vibe, was definitely the cleanest beach I’ve ever visited and I can safely say it was the first time I had a latte instead of a lager on the sun lounger!
After our five night trip, we vowed to be back again soon, five nights was perfect for some winter sun in Dubai and we will definitely be back, but perhaps not until Autumn/Winter comes round again as I’m not sure I could handle the 50 degree heat in the Summer months.
Stay at the five-star Al Bandar Rotana, Dubai Creek from 388 AED (approx. £84) per night inclusive of breakfast based on two adults sharing a Classic Room. To book or for further information, please visit www.rotana.com.
To instantly book a yacht from anywhere in the world, and only pay 20% in advance, please visit Bookyachts.ae
For more information on the range of attractions in Dubai, please visit Attraction Tickets Direct