Despite the fact that Dubai has just announced a strengthening of safety protocols for Brits entering the emirate, the self-styled City of Gold is set to continue its popularity with UK holidaymakers in 2022.
It’s easy to see why. With its powdery white sand, luxury shopping opportunities, the finest of dining and extreme sports all abundant and in close proximity, packing so much into a short stay in Dubai is a breeze.
On top of that, a slew of recent reforms have been announced to make the city more attractive than ever; weekends have been extended to include Sundays (traditionally, a working day in much of the Muslim world), alcohol is increasingly permitted, and unmarried ex-pats can now live together.
This week, the BBC airs a new show looking at the lengths of luxury you can uncover in Dubai, titled Inside Dubai: Playground of the Rich. And if you’re keen to make the most of your trip to the United Arab Emirates’ most populous city this year and follow in their footsteps, then here are 5 ideas for your luxury Dubai holiday in 2022.
HAUTE CUISINE ON HIGH
We’re sure you already know that Dubai boasts the tallest building in the world, the Burj Khalifa, which stands proudly at 830 metres high. It shouldn’t surprise you to learn, then, that the world’s tallest restaurant is housed within the Burj Khalifa, too.
Sitting (or should that be standing?) on the 122nd floor of this world famous skyscraper, At.Mosphere boasts floor to ceiling glass windows, all designed to allow you to truly luxuriate in the spectacle of dining in the sky. That’s if you can take your eyes off the food, that is; here, the ingredients are a roll call of the most indulgent available anywhere on the planet, with 12+ Japanese Wagyu rubbing shoulders with foie gras and yellowfin tuna on a menu of the heaviest of hitters.
Naturally, you’ll pay for the privilege; the tasting menu at At.Mosphere is currently priced at AED 780 for six courses (that’s around £160). And that’s before you consider the fizz…
A MALL TO MALL SHOPPING EXTRAVAGANZA
The City Of Gold is perhaps best known for its luxurious shopping options. For starters, Dubai is home to the world’s largest shopping centre, the Dubai Mall, where you can indulge in some retail therapy from designer houses such as Gucci and Armani (if you have the holiday budget for it, that is!).
With a whopping 1,200 shops, Dubai Mall should be your first port of call when visiting the City of Gold with shopping on your itinerary. But there are several other brilliant malls that you simply shouldn’t miss, including the Jumeirah Emirates Shopping Boulevard for luxury business clothes, the Dubai Marina Mall for shopping with a waterfront view, and the Souk Madinat Jumeirah, which is great for a more traditional bazaar shopping experience. You can even enjoy a spot of skiing whilst you shop, at the Mall of the Emirates. Yep, for any and all shopping tastes, Dubai has got you covered, so long as your credit card has the capacity.
SEE THE CITY BY SUPERCAR
Aside from world beating skyscrapers, bank balance testing shopping and gravity defying fine dining, Dubai is perhaps most well known for its association with supercars.
Of course, anywhere well known for its ostentatious displays of wealth and luxury has its fair share of Lambos, Ferraris and Bentleys, but in the City of Gold, you’ll see them everywhere. In fact, the inner lane in Dubai is reserved for luxury cars travelling only at the most serious pace, with speeds of 200kmh not uncommon.
If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em, as they say, so why not consider Rolls Royce rental in Dubai as a (relatively) affordable way of seeing the city whilst doing a lap of luxury. Daily rental starts at around £500 for a luxury car.
And once you’ve secured your vehicle, you’ll be pleased to know that there are some incredible road trips to take out of the city and into the surrounding countryside. Check out Time Out Dubai’s guide to the essential UAE road trips for more.
Do be aware that UAE law has a zero limit for intoxication when driving. Do not get behind the wheel even after a single beer. You will be jailed.
ADRENALINE CHASING AT DUBAI’S WORLD FAMOUS THEME PARKS
If 200kmh isn’t fast enough for you, then why not raise the adrenaline even further at one of Dubai’s famous theme parks?
The IMG Worlds of Adventure is the largest indoor theme park in the world, spanning an incredible 1.5 million square feet (that’s 28 football pitches, to put things in perspective). Here, you’ll find rollercoasters Spiderman Doc Ock’s Revenge and the Velociraptor reaching truly dizzying speeds
But perhaps even more thrilling for coasters is Motiongate, which features rides based on movie blockbusters; the Capitol Bullet Train, in particular, is as hair-raising as it comes.
Alternatively, for something a little different, Bollywood Parks brings the world of India’s movie industry to life, whilst Legoland Dubai provides younger visitors with a fun-filled day on its rides.
Of course, in a city of such sweltering heat, water parks are big business, too, the undisputed champion of which is Aquaventure, one of the biggest water parks on the planet.
ENJOY A TRADITIONAL HAMMAM SPA
Phew, we’ve been travelling at great speeds, dining at greater heights and generally splashing the cash in a rather dizzying way, but nothing says luxury like a spa day. And the people of Dubai really do know how to unwind in luxury.
The city is full of beautifully decorated luxury spas, both traditional and modern. While you’re here, you have to check out one of the traditional Hammam spas, which is a Turkish or Middle Eastern style spa, more akin to a steam room or wet sauna, all designed to cleanse and relax your body and mind. Aaahhhh.
Perhaps after such decadence, you might be considering moving to Dubai? In which case, we’ve got you covered; check out these 6 essential tips for expats moving to Dubai.