The United Arab Emirates exudes a unique, mystical glamour on a level higher than other holiday destinations. The ancient desert kingdom of Dubai has grown a starry reputation for being the king of the UAE and a playground for rich sheikhs, sun-kissed celebs and wannabe WAGs, while more recently Qatar and Oman are emerging as equally glamorous hotspots. Abu Dhabi also became the ‘mini-break du jour’ a couple of years ago as a result of Sex & The City 2 being set there…well if it was good enough for Carrie et al…
However, despite the UAE’s exclusive exterior, it is possible for us mere mortals to feel like a VIP on an Oman, Qatar, Abu Dhabi or Dubai holiday, as there are simply so many hotels to choose from. There is a wide selection of three and four star options – you don’t have to go ‘six star’! What’s more, in general the UAE tends to be quieter in the summer months, as the locals leave for cooler climes. So you might get a good hotel deal if you shop around.
While there are six other emirate cities that make up what is known as the UAE, Dubai is the most well known, having undergone a rapid transformation - from a humble beginning as a pearl-diving centre, to one of the fastest growing cities on earth. Having earned the reputation of being the ‘gateway between the east and the west’, Dubai is dynamic, safe, centrally located and the sun shines every day. And it goes without saying that the shopping and leisure facilities are out of this world. So, whether you want to explore the deep blue waters of the southern Gulf, experience the desert on your doorstep or simply sunbathe on a posing pad, you can in Dubai!
However if you’re after the holiday of all holidays in regards to glitz, glamour (and even gold – yes, really), then head to Dubai’s neighbour, Abu Dhabi. The Emirates Palace hotel in Abu Dhabi has raised the ‘bar’, by unveiling an innovative ATM that dispenses gold! This new ‘Gold to Go machine’, which monitors the price of gold minute-by-minute, dispenses small gold bars that weigh up to 10 grams and which come engraved with the Emirates Palace logo as an exclusive and luxurious souvenir to keep. Only in the UAE!