Dubai's not all diamonds, champagne and infinity pools. If you're more turned on by nature's creatures than manmade goods then set aside some time to visit the city's best wildlife attractions.
The Dubai Aquariam & Underwater Zoo
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Getting up close and personal with 300 sharks and stingrays isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but it’ll certainly give your heart a workout. Brave fully-fledged diving amongst the sea warriors or feel the same thrill from the safety of a cage.
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Dubai doesn't offer much in the way of history- most buildings have been constructed in the last 20 years and aside from tours of the old town on an abra, the focus is very much on the here and now. And that’s why it’s surprising to learn that Dubai Zoo is the oldest wildlife attraction in the Arabian Peninsula.
The popular family attraction is special to tourists and residents alike and houses over 230 animal species including foxes, hyenas, pumas and...
When it comes to going on holiday, there's no harm in enjoying the odd drink – even when it goes against the culture of the place they are visiting. Dubai is one of the most popular tourist destinations around that, as an Islamic country, has a very strict policy on alcohol. However, that strict policy doesn’t mean that you aren’t able to enjoy a nice tipple in one of the most extravagant locations in the world. Here are some of the best bars in Dubai:
Neos Extravagant, beautifully decorated and stunning views, this is the bar to go to when visiting Dubai. The best thing about Neos is definitely their exotic, alcoholic cocktails which will blow you away. They may not be cheap, but you really are paying for the location here and a couple of strong cocktails will stop you worrying about the price soon enough! CalabarThis famous venue is often found to be absolutely heaving with crowds who are dancing the night away to the sounds of international guest DJs. Calabar does a huge range of mixed drinks which will go down an absolute treat in the intense Dubai heat. Whatever you do, don’t get too drunk that you think a swim in the Dubai Fountains is a good idea – that’ll end up with you being in a fair bit of trouble!Skyview Bar Ever wanted to down a pint sitting on the top of the world? Well at the Skyview Bar you can do pretty much that. 27 stories up, this bar has everything from classic drinks to innovative, inspired co...
Dubai in recent years has become known for its opulence, with flash cars, stunning accommodation and party atmosphere. But is this dessert jewel suitable for a family holiday with children? Of course. Here are a few child friendly highlights:
Dubai is home to the first ever 7 star and the 3rd tallest hotel in the world, the Burj Al Arab. It sits proudly on its own artificially made island out to sea, and is known for its opulence and splendour.
In fact, the majority of hotels in Dubai are modern, new builds with everything you could ever wish for from a holiday destination; including aquariums, Michelin star restaurants and even water parks. But of course this splendour comes at a price – especially when you have a large family. So cut the cost, without compromising on quality by booking into one of the Palm Jumeirah apartments.
These are pleasant self-catering accommodation in prime position for some of the best tourist attractions in the city. Here you can sit back and relax in the knowledge you can keep an eye on the little ones.
There is so much to see and do in Dubai. Besides the must-see Burj Khalifa and a visit to the World Islands, there is a huge array of family friendly activities you can all get involved with. We’d recommend you spend a day or two at the epic Wild Wadi Waterpark. And don’t forget Children’s City, an 80,000sqft educati...
If you’re a petrol head then Dubai is considered to be a Mecca for your motoring passion. There is nowhere else in the world where you can see hundred thousand dollar sports cars scattered around the place with the casualness of a Ford Mondeo. Car parks in Dubai often resemble what you would expect from an A-list Hollywood party. Here are just a couple of the cars you can expect to see when out and about in Dubai: Laraki Epitome
Image: Elyes Azt under CC BY-SA 3.0
Nine of these cars were ever made and guess where some of them ended up? That’s right – Dubai! Gumpert Apollo
Image: Under CC BY-SA 3.0 With a top speed of 223.9 mph and a 0-60 time of just 3.1 seconds, this only place this car won’t stand out is in the middle of Dubai! Maserati MC12
Initially only 25 MC12’s were built, but in 2005 a further 25 were released and all 50 cars sold for a staggering €600,000 each! Naturally a couple of them found their way into the garages and collections of some of Dubai’s richest residents.
Police Supercars Even the police get in on this impressive act of keeping up with the Joneses, their supercar fleet features a Chevvy Camaro SS, a Ferrari FF and a Lamborghini Aventador. These will have absolutely no problem catching up with anyone who decides that they have a real need for speed. Bugatti Veyron
Image: Under CC BY-SA 3.0This may be a £1million car, but that does not make it a rarity in Dubai. Granted, they aren’t as popular as VW Polos are in the UK, but to most Dubai residents this type of supercar has become almost common place. Merced...
Sun lovers head to Dubai to bask and bathe, shopaholics adore the expansive, air-conditioned malls and luxury lovers revel in the cities decadence- but what’s out there for the explorers? From highbrow art exhibitions to motorsport mayhem, the following trips should quench your thirst for adventure.
Indulge your Need for Speed at Yas Marina Circuit
Anyone with a taste for fast cars will be in their element at Yas Marina Circuit. The iconic circuit is primarily home to the Formula 1 Grand Prix but when racing champions aren’t burning rubber on the tracks tourists are given the opportunity to experience life behind the wheel themselves.
Fancy taking an Aston Martin GT4 for a spin? How about putting the pedal to the metal in a Supersport SST? Well, here’s your chance. And there are rich pickings for the all-out daredevils too. Take a ride in the passenger seat of a Yas Three Seater SuperComp Dragster- a race car that can go from 0 – 300kph in 4 seconds. Wow.
Kayak to your Hearts Content in Abu Dhabi
Kayaking is fun, exhilarating and great exercise. Take a journey through Abu Dhabi’s mangroves on an Eco Tour. Learn about the rich ecology of the forest on a 2 hour paddle through the Eastern and Yas Mangroves and admire the magnificent, nat...
If you’re planning a family holiday to Dubai, you’re going to need some trusty travel tips to help you along the way. We’ve put together essential advice for you to bear in mind when organising your trip. Take a look at our quick guide to help you plan your trip to this beautiful city.
image by JC
Travelling with Children
This is a family holiday after all, so it’s no surprise that you’ll have one or two little ones in tow. Dubai has a very family-friendly environment and whilst it is not common to see young children dining out late at night, the UAE welcome children at all times. However sometimes you might want to ring the restaurant in advance to double check.
Dubai offers an abundance of exciting things to do for children including amusement parks, water parks, as well as plenty of other adrenaline-fuelled activities. You may perceive Dubai, the epitome of extravagance, to be full of glitz and glam but it also caters to children too, offering plenty of family-filled fun.
Dubai has a dress code based on respect for the culture and religion of the UAE. In order to avoid unwanted attention, it’s important to follow the dress code. This way you’ll have a more enjoyable stay as well as ensuring not to offend anyone.
Be sure to have everything from your shoulders to your knees covered, which let’s face it, isn’t hard to follow.
You may argue that you&...
When in Rome, do as the Romans do. When in Dubai, it’s essential to try some of the delectable, local cuisine to fully live up to the emirate experience. Dip your taste buds into Dubai and encounter a real taste of the culture. We’ve put together our top five traditional foods to try whilst visiting this stunning city.
Be sure to try a shawarma, an extremely popular food all over the UAE. This delicious dish is similar to a kebab and is usually made with lamb or chicken. Served in several different ways, it is most commonly served in an Arabic Roti. The meat is mixed with garlic sauce, pickles, fries and tomatoes to create a combination of mind-blowing flavours. A shawarma is typically enjoyed with a fruit drink in Dubai. This little piece of heaven is a ‘must’.
We know what you’re thinking: stuffed camel, really? However it’s a must-try. This unusual delicacy is truly delicious and is traditionally served at weddings in Dubai. However you can find it on the menu at restaurants what with it being such a renowned meal in the city. To truly experience an authentic taste of Dubai, opt for this meal, but don’t be surprised by its size when it arrives on your table. The camel is stuffed with a sheep, stuffed with cooked chickens, stuffed with fish, stuffed with eggs…it’s a feast fit for a king! You can understand why it’s mentioned in the Guinness Book of World Records as being one of the biggest meals in the world.
This flavoursome dish, made up of m...
So you’ve found the perfect self-catered accommodation, booked the flights and you are starting to get excited. Your trip to Dubai is just around the corner, but with so much to see and do, what should you do first? Here are a few great ideas if you are feeling active:
1. Swim With DolphinsHave you always dreamt of swimming with dolphins? Well, your dream could come true. During your holiday in Dubai spend a day at Dolphin Bay, one of the world’s largest dolphin habitats. Here you can meet the dolphins, swim with them or even scuba dive and plunge underwater with them. Plus if you pay for a dolphin experience you will also get access to the Aquaventure Waterpark.
2. Virtual Racing
Do you have a need for speed? Or perhaps your kids love cars? Then pay a visit to Xxtreme Simulation. This is an advanced racing simulation centre, where you can take part in real-time virtual car racing. Imagine what it would be like to drive an F1 car; you can experience this here in a safe and secure environment!
3. Sand BoardingWhile you are out in the desert, get an adrenaline rush by having a go at sand boarding. It’s so much fun! Explore the desert and slide down the steep sided dunes, before stopping for snacks. This is a half day safari not to be missed.
4. Bounce About
If you are looking for a break from the heat and want a fun activity for both kids and adults...
Ramadan is an exciting time and an important religious holiday. If you are thinking of travelling during this time, here is what to expect from your time in Dubai.
What is Ramadan?
For those of you who are unfamiliar with the religious holiday of Ramadan, it is the 9th month of the Islamic calendar and is observed by a period of fasting. Muslims will fast from dawn to sunset, refrain from drinking any liquids, stop smoking and will not engage in any sexual relations during this time. It is believed that refraining from these pleasures helps them stay away from these vices long term, and that this time increases their devotion to Allah.
Ramadan became a holy month for Muslims in 610CE when the Quran was revealed to the prophet Muhammad on Laylat al-Qadr (the Night of Power).
This year’s event runs from 29th June 2014 to 27th July 2014.
The Dos and Don’ts of Ramadan in Dubai
If you are planning a visit to the United Arab Emirates during Ramadan, but do not practice Islam, it is important to be polite and acknowledge their customs. You wouldn’t want to offend, would you? Some people have even gone to jail for breaking these rules.Eating and drinking in public is illegal, this includes in cars, for anyone, not only Muslims. Public displays of affection are frowned upon in Dubai at any time but this i...
Ramadan can be arduous during the best of times. Why? Fasting during long and hot summer days can be particular draining, especially if the fast is required to last for as long as sixteen or more hours at a time. Follow our trusty tips to ensure adequate nutrition and continued good health over the course of this hard month.
Consult a Doctor
Whilst you may consider yourself to be generally in good health, it’s always important to consult your doctor before Ramadan to receive medical advice regarding your individual health circumstances. It’s important to be aware that fasting from sunrise to sunset every day for 29-30 days will take its toll. Your doctor will be able to inform you of the safety of fasting and you will be able to appropriately plan your schedule and meals.
Eat Suhoor Just Before Dawn
During Ramadan, two meals are served - suhoor and iftar. Suhoor is the pre-dawn meal before the fast. Although it’s a bit of a struggle to wake up for this early morning meal, it’s certainly worth it. As well as setting you up for the long day ahead, it will also help you to wake up for the Fajr prayer, a significant prayer that marks the beginning of the daily fasting. The desire to overeat may be overwhelming but it is advised not to...
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Dubai in December
Fun, Feast and Food are the words that rightfully describe...