A desert city playground with a unique combination of Arabian culture, mega-malls and audacious architecture in a setting of year-round sun, sand and sea. Great family hotels and a ridiculous number of family attractions too.
Recommended place to stay:
Burj Al Arab Hotel
Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE)|www.jumeirah.com|
Official star rating:
With its instantly recognisable sail-like shape rising from the waters of the Arabian Gulf, the Burj Al Arab is a true Dubai icon. Opened in December 1999 just in time for the millennium celebrations, the hotel dazzles with opulent interiors and jaw-dropping details such as 24-carat gold ceilings and the world’s largest atrium.
It’s pure hedonistic luxury. Al Muntaha, on the top floor, is home to French and Italian fine dining with a side of spectacular views. The luxury spa is a symphony of mosaic-clad columns and shimmering pools where your treatment might include gold leaf, diamond dust and frankincense.
The stretch of beach by the hotel is the loveliest the city has to offer. The Burj’s chic beach club ‘Sal’ is where you go to see and be seen in Dubai, and to nibble on Mediterranean delights in the adjacent restaurant housed in a mirrored cube.
The hotel is connected to the Madinat Jumeirah complex of restaurants, bars and shops, where little abra boats ply the waters, offering a fun way to get to dinner. You’re also within easy access of the restaurants in the other Jumeirah hotels on this stretch of beach – Rockfish and French Riviera are well worth wandering over to.
The Burj Al Arab sits on its own private island, connected to the mainland by a 340-metre bridge, meaning – unusually for Dubai – there are no high-rises on either side, just open sea.
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