The perfect luxury vacation in Dubai
Why you should visit Dubai, UAE
Drawing comparisons to Hong Kong and Singapore, Dubai is one of the world’s most unique cities and best luxury vacation destinations. Dubai has grown exponentially from its modest roots as a fishing village at the cusp of the 20th century. Today, the city boasts the world’s top luxury hotels, spectacular infrastructure, and world-class nightlife.
The population in Dubai is a nomadic one with plenty of international residents calling Dubai home. You will find Dubai to be a cosmopolitan and tolerant city with much to offer luxury travelers.
Getting to Dubai
Plenty of airlines fly to Dubai, but the most appropriate way to arrive in style is by flying on Emirates’ A380 Airbus. The Airbus is a massive double-decker plane, and business-class passengers will find themselves on the top floor. Seats are ensconced in a micro-pod with tablets, large screens, minibar, and cozy chairs that transform quickly into comfortable beds for long-haul flights. The Emirates service is incredible with dining on the Airbus akin to a reservation at a Michelin star restaurant. The food is all Halal and a la carte. Amenity kits consist of Bulgari products to stay fresh for your arrival to Dubai’s desert heat.
The biggest perk of Emirates business-class by far is access to the plane’s cocktail bar. You read that right; Emirates’ A380 has a roomy bar in business class with a dedicated bartender, snacks, and top-shelf spirits and liquor.
We’ll drop a small tip for your return flight: take advantage of your business class ticket for a visit to the renowned custom Moet & Chandon Emirates business class lounge at Dubai International Airport. Without revealing too much, it’s in the top 5 most exclusive lounges in the world.
Where to stay in Dubai
There are many plush hotels in Dubai, but we recommend staying at the Shangri-La Hotel.
Only 15 minutes from the airport, the luxurious Shangri-La Hotel has the most incredible cityscape views, especially at night. The hotel is internationally celebrated for its fine dining with seven restaurants on-premises and wellness spa with an extensive menu of treatments and massages.
Each room in the Shangri-La feels like a suite with original local artwork, muted color tones in the upholstery and furniture, and detailed textures throughout. The accommodations are never garish, and window views offer a delightful contrast between the blue sea and taupe desert sands.
Things to do in Dubai
Getting around Dubai
Dubai is very much a driving city. The modest infusion of oil wealth in the late 1990s was reinvested into Dubai’s infrastructure, which you will notice is very advanced not just for the region but also on the world stage. High-end sports cars are a mainstay on the city’s multilane highways, but Uber is a classy way to get around. You won’t hail an UberX Toyota Corolla here as Uber’s fleet of vehicles starts at Lexus or higher. Dubai is also the only place where you can call an UberChopper. That’s right, an Uber helicopter. While it won’t take you door-to-door, you can book the Chopper through your regular Uber app, and a luxury vehicle will pick you up from wherever you are and take you to The Palm Jumeirah for a 20-minute heli tour of the city. At the end of your tour, a return trip will take you anywhere you need to go, and the costs are included in the 630 AED you will pay for the chopper.
Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Boulevard
Take a trip down this loop for the top sights in Dubai. Within this circular road, you will find the Burj Khalifa, Dubai Mall, Dubai Fountain, and Dubai Aquarium. Though it’s not recommended due to the stifling summer heat, you can walk between all of these places reasonably quickly, and the Dubai Mall is a great way to stay cool and reach all of these spots.
The Burj Khalifa is the tallest building in the world and looks as impressive from the ground as it does from the 163rd floor. Taking a trip to the top affords you panoramic views of the city and the Persian Gulf. You will also get a glimpse of the oasis in the desert that the city truly is.
From the top of the Burj Khalifa, you will see the Palm Islands, three sets of artificial archipelagos in the gulf. These human-made islands now house luxury residences and top hotels in the area. They are an incredible sight from above and deserve a visit in person.