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Why Dubai is the perfect year-round holiday destination

WHITE sands, clear blue skies, sparkling seas – few cities can match Dubai for its glorious beaches and reliable sunshine.

But there’s so much more to enjoy: from theme parks to desert safaris, ski slopes to imaginative kids’ clubs – and some of the most luxurious and best value hotels in the world.

Whether you’re visiting with family, friends or on a romantic break, Dubai is the perfect year-round escape.

Beach days

Take your pick from quiet stretches of sand or lively beaches, dotted with cafes and restaurants.

The Beach at JBR, in the Dubai Marina area, has a vibrant family-friendly feel, including a fantastic choice of cafes and eateries.

Watersports fans should head to Kite Beach, home to kitesurfers, and the perfect place for paddleboarding and beach volleyball.

Or head to Al Sufouh Beach (also known as Secret Beach, because it’s a special hideaway and much-loved spot), a long arc of pristine sand with views of Burj Al Arab and Palm Jumeirah that’s a favourite with local families.

Desert adventures

Enjoy the wide open spaces around Dubai with a trip into the vast stretches of desert that reach out from the city.

Go dune bashing or sand surfing on a thrilling ride up and down the towering waves of sand, or settle in for a romantic dinner under the stars, with a private starlight safari.

For a completely unique view of the desert, soar above the sands on a hot air balloon ride at dawn.

Hotel heaven

With more than 700 hotels and hotel apartments to choose from, Dubai has everything from lavish luxury and boutique boltholes to budget-friendly family resorts.

Kids of all ages will love the spectacular Atlantis, The Palm, home to the Aquaventure Waterpark, filled with over 30 slides and giant flumes.

The golden sands that stretch out from the Jumeirah Beach Hotel are perfect for a relaxing break, with a range of kids' clubs, entertaining everyone from tots to teens.

Or to be part of the in crowd, Nikki Beach Resort has one of the city’s hippest beach clubs – with live DJ sets and cool cabanas  and the luxurious Nikki Spa for pampering treatments. 

Family fun

Theme park fans are spoilt for choice in Dubai. At Laguna Waterpark at La Mer, on Jumeirah’s beachfront, kids and adults can test their surf skills, float down the lazy river or jump around in the aqua play area – and there’s even a thrilling slide-tower for the daredevils. Meanwhile, Motiongate offers movie-themed rollercoasters and live shows at Dubai Parks and Resorts.

Kids under 11 will love to explore and learn at OliOli, Dubai’s first experiential play museum. At this indoor sanctuary there are immersive galleries, play areas (including a dark room and water area) and ever-changing activities where they can let their imaginations run wild. 

Retail therapy

Dubai is the perfect choice for a break with the girls, thanks to its giant malls and authentic markets.

Prepare to be dazzled in the vast Dubai Mall, which boasts over 1,200 shops, including 80 high-end boutiques on Fashion Avenue and The Souk, offering gold and silver jewellery. And you can’t miss the gigantic Dubai Fountain on the Burj Lake right by the mall – at 900ft, it’s the world’s largest performing fountain.

For a real souk experience, visit Bur Dubai and Deira, where the original gold, textile and spice souks buzz with life – just be prepared to barter!

Natural wonders

Combine a shopping spree with spectacular sea life on a visit to the Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo, housed inside the giant Dubai Mall.

Walk the glass tunnel to see sharks and rays at feeding time, meet otters, or take the ultimate white-knuckle trip on a shark dive.

To discover Dubai’s spectacular birdlife, explore Ras Al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary, home to flocks of pink flamingos and migratory birds.

Or join a desert safari to the magnificent Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve and see oryx and gazelles in the wild, and learn about the falcons that are an integral part of Emirati life.

Sports mode

Dubai offers so many sporting activities. Take the gang for a round on the palm-dotted greens at the Dubai Creek Golf Club and finish with cool drinks in its dramatic sail-shaped clubhouse.

The Arabian Sea that surrounds Dubai is a playground for watersports: kayak or paddleboard along the coastline, relax on a boat cruise or go beneath the waves on a scuba diving excursion.

Or swap a sarong for a ski-jacket, and whizz down the indoor pistes at Ski Dubai, where snowboarding, skiing and sledging rides are all on offer.

For an off-grid adventure, head into the mountains to the town of Hatta, which offers spectacular mountain biking, kayaking and horse riding. The charming JA Hatta Fort Hotel makes a great base.

Living history

Dubai has a long history and a rich cultural heritage.

The Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood, home to the Dubai Museum and the traditional houses in the Bastakiya quarter, gives a fascinating insight into life in the UAE’s past.

For something more contemporary, explore Alserkal Avenue in the Al Quoz district, home to cool art galleries, art installations, hip coffee shops and community spaces.

Wherever you go, you’re sure to be spoilt for choice in Dubai, all year long.

Dreaming of Dubai? Bag an affordable package holiday with On the Beach

Dubai is following a high standard of safety and hygiene measures, earning it the World Travel and Tourism Council's Safe Travels stamp. This includes the Dubai Assured programme, where inspectors visit hotels, restaurants and tourist attractions every 15 days.

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