If you want to trade the cold and snow for warm winter sunshine then head to the desert city of Dubai in the United Arab Emirates. This thoroughly modern city with its glitzy hotels, designer shops and fine dining has earned a reputation as one of the world’s most attractive leisure destinations. It’s the ideal place to enjoy some January sunshine if you are looking for something new and different.
East Meets West
Dubai is not a city that is easy to define. It lies at the crossroads of Europe, Africa and Asia, and this is reflected in the culture and character of the city. It’s a place where the traditions of the east co-exist with the comforts of the west. Cosmopolitan sprawling shopping malls exist alongside old-world souks offering silk, spices and gold. The rich Arab-Islamic culture is enhanced by ultramodern architecture and luxury, creating a perfect blend of age-old tradition and 21st century innovation.
Shopping in Dubai
The duty-free shopping in Dubai is world-renowned and is one of the top reasons to visit Dubai in January. Each year from mid-January to mid-February the city hosts a shopping festival. This shopping extravaganza is known as Layali Dubai in Arabic and attracts thousands of visitors from around the globe. During the festival you can enjoy discounted shopping up to nearly 75%! Whether you choose to shop in the fabulous malls or the bustling souks you’ll be able to find gold jewellery, silk, designer clothes, electronics, carpets, and spices. There are also fabulous restaurants that offer a variety of European, Asian and Middle Eastern dishes. During the Dubai Shopping Festival there are also music concerts, fashion shows and children’s events.
There is an abundance of attractions and activities to keep you busy in Dubai, not least of which are the fascinating skyscrapers. The sail-shaped Burj Al-Arab hotel is one of these. It’s the only 7-star hotel in the world developed by Jumeirah Hotels & Resorts, and caters to a very exclusive few. In downtown Dubai you’ll also find the Khalifa Tower, which stands at an impressive 2,717 ft (828m). A relaxing way to explore these impressive landmarks is to book a Big Bus Tour.
Another great engineering feat is the Palm Islands, one of the most ambitious real estate developments on earth. The islands are home to luxury hotels, exclusive beachfront villas and apartments, restaurants, shopping malls, sports facilities, water theme parks and health spas. If you want to be the envy of your friends why not rent an exclusive villa on Palm Jumeirah?
While you’re in the city browse the exhibits at the Dubai Museum housed in the Al Fahidi Fort, take a guided tour of Jumeriah Mosque, get wet at the Wild Wadi Water Park, and enjoy a picnic at the Dubai Creekside Park.
Beyond the City
The desert beyond Dubai offers you what is sure to be an unforgettable experience. Take a four-wheel drive desert and mountain safari, take a guided day trip to a remote Bedouin village where you can have a traditional meal, take a camel ride and experience the thrill of sandboarding.
If you want to venture further out of the city and explore more of the United Arab Emirates you can visit the “Garden City” of Al Ain and the capital Abu Dhabi.
With so much to see and do in this vibrant place who wouldn’t want to trade the cold for some January sunshine?