The Novel Traveller’s Dubai

Dubai is one hot destination. Let me take you on a tour of my top tips and must sees.


“You could fry an egg on the stones, if you had an egg.” For those who remember the Harp Lager advert, you’ll have no problem conjuring up the type of heat you can expect during mid-summer in Dubai. But it’s also probably one of the hottest destinations because of its superb location as a hub linking the east of the world to the west. Why not squeeze a second holiday into your trip if you are making a connection in Dubai or take time to readjust your jet lag – it’s amazing what you can do in 24 hours!

Top three Must Do in Dubai

  1. Get whisked away by Arabian-Adventures on a Desert Dune Buggie. Complete with roll cage and fully automatic, safety is paramount on this tour and drivers must be over 18 with a full licence. Drive over the dunes dotted with Ghaf trees whose roots stretch 35meters down into the earth.Look out for a desert gazelle or camels with their herder as you set off to ride the undulating hills. The heat is intense, especially in summer and a helmet is compulsory but you’ll soon forget about it as dune bashing requires intense concentration. A thrilling adventure indeed!
  2. Go on the piste! Avoid the heat of the noon day sun at Ski Dubai. Located in Mall of the Emirates it’s quite a contrast to pull on the winter woollies after a day by the pool or on the beach. At ski Dubai little ones are catered for too and since the arrival of the penguins it’s just as entertaining to watch all going on inside while doing your shopping.
  3. Take a trip on the canal. Travel like a local for a very reasonable €10 with this hour long boat ride. The canal is being extended and soon it will be possible to travel all the way up to the Dubai Mall from the Marina. The route extends to Dubai Creek and the old town too and is a lovely way to see the coastline from the sea.

Top three must see in Dubai

  1. The Burj Khalifa is the tallest building in the world and nestled cosily next to the Dubai Mall, the largest shopping mall in the UAE, stocking all the big brands from around the globe. Tickets can be booked on line to avoid queues and save money but the 125 floor offers quite a view and it’s not cheap either so just as well I can see the entire state with new towers popping up everywhere.
  2. Early morning is a good time to catch up on a city walking tour. Stroll through the Dubai Museum to see the fascinating history of the Emirates with fishing boats and traditional craftwork. On the way pop into the stamp or the coffee museum and witness firsthand the traditional air conditioning system used before electricity using a tower with shafts to create a cool breeze. While you’re there, take a traditional water taxi, called an Abra, to the other side of the creek to experience the souks and old town, where the locals sell spices and gold alongside beautiful silks.
  3. Desert sky at night. Dine under the stars in a traditional Bedouin tent and see the night sky like never before. Take a camel ride and catch a spot of belly dancing! This tour is also offered by Arabian Adventures.

Top Three must stay

Looking for somewhere to stay in Dubai isn’t a problem with the worlds best brands filing the city and the most desirable place to holiday is arguably on the palm.

  1. The Atlantis on the Palm reaches into the sky like a great Arabian palace, which it is. But it’s also home to a theme park, an aquarium and pool where you can swim with dolphins. The rooms are luxurious and if you have a special occasion to celebrate then what about swimming under the sea in your very own suite. Boasting 23 restaurants (including Nobu) and some of the top chefs in the world (Gordon Ramsay) this really is the place to stay if you want your palette tantalised. Seafire is a spectacular steak house where you can enjoy nitro-glycerine wafting from your prawn cocktail or candy floss bursting from your dessert. If you really love the sea then Ossiano is probably the most impressive setting for a restaurant on the planet. From the Italian glass sculpture in the foyer to the personal caddies, the Atlantis pays attention to every detail and is the perfect place to honeymoon or bring along the family. With an entire new block coming on board next year this property is a must see.
  2. The Fairmont on the Palm has all the luxury you can expect from the Fairmont brand, catering equally for families and couples. Don’t be surprised if you see a falcon in the foyer and the breakfast is probably one of the best of any five-star hotel. The beach at the Fairmont has a beautiful vista of the glistening towers at Dubai Marina. The lovely Wissam and Laura, of ‘state-of-one’, were trained in Kerala and offer very unique yogic treatments and therapies at the award winning spa. Let some art meditation and personal yoga refresh your spirit as well as your body.
  3. Burj Al Arab. Even if you don’t have €2,700 in your back pocket for a night in the world’s most exclusive hotel you can still experience the opulence of the Burj Al arab for only €120 per day by purchasing a day pass to the spa. The majestic sail-like-profile of the Jumeriah groups star hotel makes it one of the most recognised on the planet. Splash out on a facial to feel years younger – you won’t regret it! You won’t need to take out a mortgage to eat in the poolside restaurant which offers a wagyu burger with sides for about €25. Water is complimentary for spa guests and parading around the infinity pool nobody will know if you’re just a day tripper!




For tailormade travel to the UAE and all over the world visit

€2230 is the total cost for 4 days.  It includes:


  • 2 nights Fairmont (Double Fairmont room, bed & breakfast)
  • 2 nights Atlantis (Double deluxe room, bed & breakfast)
  • Dune Buggies (private buggy)
  • Desert Safari
  • Burj Khalifa
  • Dubai City Tour

This price is for 2 people sharing in September and includes all taxes and charges (except for the local city tax payable directly to the hotel, max 5 euros per room per night).  Prices are subject to current availability and pricing. Expert Lisa King will find you a bespoke tour to fit all your needs.

  • Fly to Dubai direct from Dublin with Emirates in award winning style. From Dubai, Emirates connects customers to 150+ onward destinations including Thailand, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand and The Far East


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