Dubai marina
Dubai Marina
Dubai

Dubai is so much more than a stopover. It’s a thriving oasis in the middle of the Arabian desert. Whether you want to chill poolside or take in all the big sites, Dubai can be as indulgent or traditional as you wish. Discover another side to this city of skyscrapers and shopping with the help of our travel guide. 

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Places to stay

Famously home to the world’s first “seven-star” hotel, Dubai is well-known for its luxury accommodation. The glamorous resorts and beach clubs of Jumeirah Beach make it one of the most popular places to stay in Dubai. Downtown Dubai is home to some of the most famous landmarks in the city, including the tallest building in the world. It’s also where you’ll find Dubai Mall, making it an ideal spot to stay for shopaholics looking to tackle the mammoth shopping centre.

The bazaars and narrow alleys in the central neighbourhood of Bur Dubai showcase the soul of the city while also being a budget-friendly area to stay. For those that love nothing more than lounging by the pool, The Palm is home to dozens of luxurious 5-star resorts that come with everything from private beaches and lavish spas to wellness centres and fine dining. If you want to lap up the luxury, set yourself by the One&Only The Palm resort’s pool which overlooks the Persian Gulf.

Things to do

With everything from indoor ski slopes to camel rides in the desert, Dubai is the place to be if you want to check-off all your bucket list activities at once. Wake up and take in all the smells and sights of the Spice Souq in Deira. Dubai is the place to treat yourself so steal away to the Bulgari Hotel’s spa for an indulgent hammam treatment.

Even if you’re not one for shopping, Dubai Mall is worth checking out. With everything from an aquarium to a Virtual Reality Park, you’ll never run out of things to do here. Spend your day sunning yourself at one of the city’s many beach clubs like the Instagram-able, La Mer. One of the best ways to get a taste for traditional Dubai is sampling the local cuisine on one of Frying Pan Adventures’ food tours.

The delightful afternoon tea served on the top floor of the “7-star” hotel, Burj Al Arab Jumeirah, is the height of sophistication. Venture to the mini-city of Madinat Jumeirah and spend the afternoon perched on a private beach, overlooking the Arabian Gulf with a drink or shisha in hand. As the sun sets, find a position in front of The Dubai Fountain and watch as its mesmerising water show lights up the night. Can’t decide where to go for dinner? Take a stroll around the gorgeous Dubai Marina area, which is packed with delicious dining options like The Maine Oyster Bar & Grill.

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Where to go

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Desert day trip

Escape for an Arabian night or day out in the desert. In the Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve, you can fly falcons and spot oryx and gazelles. For an off-road adventure, hop on a quad bike and navigate up Dubai’s most famous sand dune, Big Red. Al Maha Desert Resort & Spa take glamping to another level with their luxury tents for you to sleep underneath the starry desert sky.

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Shopping

While there are plenty of big brands and even bigger shopping centres, Dubai has plenty of other shopping experiences. For traditional shopping visit the Spice Souk for an aroma of the city or the Textile Souk where you’ll find a rainbow of kaftans and saris. Get your glow on with a visit to the Dubai Gold & Diamond Park, where customised jewels are on offer. BoxPark is a trendy hub for cool designers.

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Getting around

From the airport: Uber, taxis, transfers and shuttles are available from Dubai Airport to the city centre. 

In and around the city: to get around Dubai, hail a taxi, use the public bus or driverless metro system that runs between the major financial and residential hubs of the city. There’s also the option of the hop-on hop-off bus which offers multiple departure times to the major sights in the city and the beach.

You can cross Dubai Creek by water taxi or abras, the local passenger ferries. Or take to the skies in a seaplane or hot air balloon and see the megalopolis of Dubai in all its splendour. Don’t miss your chance to get into Dubai’s desert with popular tours such as desert camel safari, camp safari.

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Important information

Disclaimer: + Meals, entertainment and service offerings vary between flights and cabins.

Disclaimer: ^ You must be a member of the Qantas Frequent Flyer program to earn and redeem Qantas Points. A joining fee may apply. Membership and Qantas Points are subject to the Qantas Frequent Flyer program terms and conditions.

Disclaimer: ** Prices are per room, per night and vary depending on date of check in, length of stay and room type. Conditions apply.

Disclaimer: ~ Qantas activities are provided by Viator. Conditions apply.