Dubai remains the playground of the Middle East for many, despite neighbouring upstarts Bahrain, with its annual grand prix, and Qatar, set to host the World Cup in 2022, jostling for the attention of travellers from all over the globe.
Spread over 13.5 square miles, and three terminals – Terminal 3 opened in 2008, becoming the world’s largest building by floor space - Dubai International Airport gives the weary traveller an early glimpse of the glitz and glamour that await in the emirate of Dubai, the second largest of the United Arab Emirates, which is only a handy two and a half mile journey from the airport.
Travel to and from Dubai Airport
Transportation from the airport is equally simple, with frequent services on the Dubai Metro from Terminals 1 and 3, a 24-hour taxi service and regular buses into the city centre, specific hotels or far flung destinations like Abu Dhabi, which is around an hour and a half away.
What airlines fly to Dubai from the UK?
A number of airlines offer direct and indirect flights to Dubai from the UK, often daily, including Emirates, British Airways, Virgin Atlantic and Qantas. However, it is important to remember that at Skyscanner we not only compare prices from airlines, we also check online travel agents such as Travelpack, Travelbag and Travelup to find you the very best deal.
Where to stay in Dubai
Are you looking to stay on the beach, near the marina or within walking distance to the world's biggest shopping centre? Whether you’re after a five star resort or just a good deal on a cheap hotel, Dubai has it all. Take your pick from our round-up of the best hotels in Dubai for every budget.
If you have an early morning flight or arrive into Dubai late, a night in an airport hotel can help you get a good nights sleep. There are a number of great hotels in Dubai, here are some of our favourite airport hotels to help you find the perfect place to stay. And you can now plan your holiday in Dubai with Skyscanner.
Business Class Flights to Dubai
Dubai is one of the most popular destinations for British business travellers. With Skyscanner it's easy to find the best value business flights to Dubai. Business class is more comfortable, giving you the ability to arrive in Dubai completely refreshed. The service varies between airlines but as a rule of thumb you can expect roomier seating, a more elaborate food menu, and an increased level of service. Some airlines, such as Emirates, include lounge access with business class tickets: perfect for finalising a bit of work before boarding.
Airlines offering direct business class flights from the UK to Dubai include Royal Brunei, Emirates, Qantas and British Airways. Cheap business class flights are often available through smaller airlines such as Ukraine International Airlines and Egyptair. To compare business class flights choose your departure city and date before clicking the 'Cabin Class & Travellers' drop-down. Select business class (or premium economy or first class) from the next drop-down to find great value flights at your preferred comfort level.
When’s the best time to book flights to Dubai?
Don’t leave it to the last minute! For the best deal on flights to Dubai book 20 weeks in advance. This could save you a third on average flight prices.
What to see and do in Dubai
Once on holiday in Dubai, the splendour of the city’s many skyscrapers and extravagant hotels can barely be missed. A visit to the tallest man-made building in the world, the Burj Khalifa in Downtown Dubai, is of course essential. At 828 metres tall – that’s almost 450 metres taller than New York City’s Empire State Building – the Burj Khalifa is a genuine architectural and engineering marvel. There’s also an outdoor observation deck built in at 452 metres high for the hardy souls looking for the best vantage point in the middle east.
Outside the building, on the manmade lake, resides the world’s largest water fountain, which has regular water and light displays set to music - including timeless classics such as Whitney Houston’s ‘I Will Always Love You’ and Lionel Richie’s ‘All Night Long’ - throughout the day and evening to keep visiting travellers entertained.
Downtown Dubai is also home to the world’s largest shopping centre in the shape of the appropriately named Dubai Mall, which was visited by 65 million people in 2012 – that’s more people than visited the entirety of the City of New York. The complex covers more than 13 million square feet and is home to an aquarium, an ice rank, a cinema, a hotel, 120 restaurants and cafes, an indoor theme park and, funnily enough, some shops. Over 1,200 of them to be precise.
It’s not the only mall in town, mind you, with the Mall of the Emirates offering a viable alternative to the Dubai Mall experience, with one unmissable upgrade: a ski slope. If you want your shopping experience less snowy, then a trip to one of Dubai’s more traditional Souqs might be in order. Far less polished than the malls, the hustle and bustle of the Souqs give a more authentic and atmospheric Middle Eastern experience than the air-conditioned malls.
All that shopping might leave you hungry. Luckily, Dubai is home to some excellent cuisine, at both ends of the price range and from all over the globe. Exquisite restaurants serving European cuisine can be found in many of the city’s finest hotels, such as the Grosvenor House Hotel or the Hilton Dubai Creek, neither of which are shy of flying in a Michelin-starred chef to compose a menu for them.
At the other end of the scale, and leaving you with distinctly more cash in your wallet, there are hundreds of cheap eateries serving local food, with the best of them to be found on the Al Dhiyafah road including our top restaurant tip Ravi, which serves the best Pakistani curry in town. If all that eating and shopping leaves you in need of a good lie down, then it might be worth a trip to one of Dubai’s infamous man-made Palm Islands, Palm Jumeirah or Palm Jebel Ali, the latter of which is still under construction. Palm Jameirah offers a variety of hotels, restaurants and beaches for visitors – yet with temperatures in Dubai routinely between 30 and 40°C, you may not want to linger on the beach too long.
If you like your Dubai beaches more traditional, then the short trip to Jumeirah Beach may be more to your liking. Not only does this give you a chance to enjoy the white sandy beaches, and blazingly blue seas, but also a glimpse of the world’s only 7-star hotel, the Burj Al Arab, which not only hosts Dubai’s wealthiest visitors, but also, occasionally, an assortment of sporting events on its helipad.
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Airports near Dubai
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