Dubai is experiencing a remarkable resurgence in its tourism sector, with the city welcoming 4.67 million international overnight visitors during the first quarter of 2023.
- Dubai has surpassed pre-pandemic international visitation levels in the first half of 2023, with 20% year-on-year growth.
- Data released by Dubai’s Department of Economy and Tourism (DET) indicates that the city is well on its way to becoming the world’s most visited international destination.
- Guests’ average length of stay increased to four nights, a 14% increase over the same period in 2019, highlighting the city’s appeal for longer-stay travellers.
- Visit www.sandtontimes.co.za for more stories.
Imagine waking up to panoramic views of the Arabian Gulf or taking a dip in an infinity pool perched high in the sky? Dubai certainly offers the ultimate indulgence for those seeking a lavish escape. With its iconic skyline, luxurious lifestyle, and a vibrant blend of cultures, Dubai continues to captivate travellers from around the globe. If you’re considering a holiday, here are five compelling reasons why Dubai should be at the top of your travel list:
1. Unparalleled Luxury
Dubai, a city known for its opulence and innovation, offers a diverse range of experiences for travellers seeking luxury and nostalgia.
Step into the world of timeless luxury at Palazzo Versace Dubai, a masterpiece reminiscent of a 16th-century Italian palace infused with subtle traces of Arabian architecture. From the striking entrance to the high ceilings, landscaped gardens, and meticulously crafted Italian furnishings, every detail reflects the Versace lifestyle.
This hotel boasts 215 hotel rooms and suites, along with 169 residences, each adorned with furniture and fabrics exclusively designed by Versace. The nine restaurants and bars offer al fresco terraces, reminiscent of Italian Palazzos, where guests can dine, meet, and enjoy the pleasant weather. The three outdoor pools, adorned with mosaic tiles and surrounded by lush palm trees and flowers, provide a serene retreat. With unobstructed views of the Dubai Creek and skyline, Palazzo Versace is a perfect venue for weddings and social events.
Transformed into a 13-deck floating hotel, the Queen Elizabeth 2 (QE2) offers guests a chance to relive the nostalgia of a bygone era. Carefully restored rooms and suites retain their original features, including statement period furniture. The QE2 also features several restaurants and lounges, allowing visitors to savor delectable cuisine and enjoy memorable dining experiences. An interactive museum aboard the ship provides insights into its rich history and storied past.
In a city where extravagance is the norm, experiencing Dubai’s high-octane lifestyle often involves high-performance supercars. Several companies, including E and S Luxury Car Rental, VIP Rent A Car, Paddock Luxury, and Prestige Exotic Car Rental, offer top-of-the-line vehicles like Ferraris and Maseratis for rent.
Cruise down Dubai’s iconic Sheikh Zayed Road or explore the picturesque Jumeirah Beach Residences and Downtown Dubai in style. Renting a supercar in Dubai is not just about transportation; it’s an opportunity to see and be seen in a city known for its luxury and glamour. Whether you’re behind the wheel or just admiring these automotive marvels, it’s an experience worth indulging in.
2. Iconic Landmarks
Dubai, a city known for its architectural marvels and opulent attractions, boasts a trio of iconic landmarks that define luxury and grandeur in the most extravagant way.
Situated on its private island, Burj Al Arab Jumeirah is synonymous with luxury and extravagance. This iconic hotel redefines opulence with suites overlooking the Arabian Gulf, eight signature restaurants, and a world-class spa. Guests arrive in style, either chauffeur-driven in Rolls-Royce cars or via a dedicated helicopter transfer service.
The terrace at Burj Al Arab Jumeirah is a haven of relaxation, offering two swimming pools, 32 luxury cabanas, a restaurant, and a bar. The suites, with floor-to-ceiling windows offering panoramic Gulf views, feature reactor speakers, complimentary Wi-Fi, widescreen interactive HD TVs, wireless chargers, and media hubs. The Sky View Bar, suspended 200 meters above sea level, serves afternoon tea and cocktails.
The Burj Khalifa, an architectural masterpiece, stands tall as a symbol of human ambition and innovation. It’s not just a skyscraper; it’s a mixed-use tower with residential and office spaces, the elegant Armani Hotel Dubai, and the luxurious Armani Residences. Building this marvel required an incredible 22 million man-hours.
Celebrating its 15th Anniversary in 2023, Atlantis, The Palm is nestled between the turquoise waters of the Arabian Gulf and Dubai’s majestic skyline. This world-renowned resort offers a range of experiences, from dining in award-winning celebrity chef restaurants to thrilling adventures at Aquaventure Waterpark.
These three iconic landmarks represent the epitome of luxury, innovation, and architectural brilliance, making Dubai a must-visit destination for those seeking the extraordinary.
3. Culinary Delights
Step into the sumptuous world of Le Goûter Vault at Bijou Patisserie, the lobby lounge of Sofitel Dubai The Obelisk, and unlock a treasure trove of flavors. This French-inspired afternoon tea is a delightful journey through signature patisseries and savory delights, all within the elegant confines of a sophisticated vault.
Whether you’re savoring delicate pastries or indulging in savory bites, every moment is a culinary delight. The charming surroundings and exquisite offerings make Le Goûter Vault a must-visit for those seeking a taste of sophistication and luxury.
If you’re in the mood for a truly lavish dining experience, head to Nusr-Et, the restaurant of the famed Salt Bae. This restaurant is not just about extraordinary meat dishes but also about opulence. Here, you can sip on a golden cappuccino, a beverage that’s as Instagram-worthy as it is indulgent.
Nusr-Et goes beyond being a dining spot; it’s a feast for the senses and a visual spectacle. From the gold-inspired dishes to the theatrics of Salt Bae himself, every moment is a memorable one. So, whether you’re looking for a once-in-a-lifetime meal or a place to capture unforgettable moments for your social media, Nusr-Et delivers both in style.
4. Retail Paradise
Dubai is renowned for its shopping experiences, and when it comes to outlet shopping, it takes retail therapy to a whole new level. Whether you’re a fashion aficionado or just love a great deal, Dubai has two exceptional destinations that should be on your radar.
Dubai Outlet Mall is a shopper’s dream, aiming to be the ultimate value retail destination. Here, you can revel in extensive deals and discounts that often reach up to a staggering 90% off on some of the world’s most beloved brands, all under one roof. One of the highlights is “Bargain Mondays,” making shopping at Dubai Outlet Mall more accessible than ever. It combines easy access to a vast array of brands with additional opportunities to snag unbeatable bargains. Among the outlet stores, you’ll find fashion giants like Balmain, Burberry, Diesel, Sunglass Hut, Superdry, Montblanc, and many more. It’s a paradise for brand enthusiasts looking to elevate their wardrobe without breaking the bank.
If you’re a fan of high-end fashion and lifestyle brands, The Outlet Village is your go-to destination. Nestled in Tuscan-inspired streets, this shopping haven brings the world’s best luxury brands within reach, all while offering a taste of Italy’s charm. Here, you’ll find renowned names like Armani, Boss, Coach, Dolce & Gabbana, Lacoste, Michael Kors, TUMI, and more, all offering their signature styles at wonderfully affordable prices.
So, gear up for a shopping spree like no other and make Dubai your ultimate shopping destination.
5. Thrilling Adventures
Get ready to explore land, sea and air with an array of activities that take you from a jet-ski to the desert or even high in the sky with a hot air balloon. Exploring Dubai has never been more exhilarating!
Land Rover has been at the forefront of off-road exploration since the late 1940s, making them the perfect partner for desert safaris. With Platinum Heritage Tours, you’ll embark on safaris in vintage Land Rovers that are museum-quality treasures. These vehicles, introduced to the desert in 1948, hold a special place in the UAE’s history, making them ideal for safaris that honor the region’s rich culture and heritage.
These high-end experiences are designed to provide exceptional desert adventures. Professional Conservation Guides will guide you through the desert in modern Range Rovers, and you’ll even enjoy a fine dining six-course meal in a private cabana.
No trip to Dubai is complete without experiencing a hot air balloon ride. Balloon Adventures Dubai, the longest-operating balloon company in the city, offers breath-taking hot air balloon experiences. Drift above the Dubai desert and take in stunning views of endless sand dunes, emerald oases, and the desert’s wildlife, including oryx, gazelles, and camels. As the sun rises against the backdrop of the majestic Hajjar Mountains, you’ll be welcomed by the warmth of the desert’s people upon landing.
To make your hot air balloon adventure even more unforgettable, Platinum Heritage Tours offers the option to add a sunrise hot air balloon flight to your desert safari. You’ll be transported to the traditional Bedouin camp in vintage Land Rover vehicles.
For those who prefer exploring Dubai’s iconic coastline from the water, HERO offers self-drive boat tours that are both thrilling and accessible. You don’t need prior experience to take control of your own HERO boat. Cruise along the Dubai coast and get up close to famous landmarks like Ain Dubai, Burj Al Arab, and Palm Jumeirah. HERO boats are safe, sturdy, and incredibly easy to drive, ensuring a fun and memorable adventure on the water.
With options for morning and afternoon tours, all starting from the glamorous Dubai Harbour Marina, HERO boat tours give you the chance to be the captain of your own adventure. Dubai’s desert, skies, and waters are waiting to be explored, and Land Rover, Balloon Adventures Dubai, and HERO are your trusted partners in creating unforgettable memories in this extraordinary city.
For more information, visit the Platinum Heritage Tours website.
Dubai’s allure as a top international destination is undeniable. Its unique blend of luxury, culture, and adventure makes it a compelling choice for travellers seeking an unforgettable experience. Whether you’re indulging in opulent accommodations, exploring iconic landmarks, savouring diverse cuisines, shopping till you drop, or embarking on thrilling escapades, Dubai offers a holiday like no other. So, why wait? Plan your journey to this remarkable city. Dubai awaits, ready to enchant and amaze you.
Head back to The Sandton Times Home Page for more stories.