06 December 2016

 
The famous Burj Al Arab is a fixture on the Dubai coastline
Dubai, the last word in opulence
Sadie Nicholas, devoted to Dubai, makes her 29th visit...
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ver the past decade my husband Jon and I have clocked up 29 trips to Dubai, visiting close friends who live there. With opulent hotels, sumptuous restaurants, plus glamorous social events such as the Dubai World Cup - the richest horse race on the planet - it offers ordinary mortals a taste of celebrity lifestyle. But on our recent trip we had our five month-old baby boy, Albie, with us.

Time to curtail the party nights and embrace a family holiday. Fortunately Albie is a champion sleeper, so we weren't going to share a room and risk disturbing his slumber. We'd also need a kitchen with a washing machine and a fridge for his milk. But self-catering isn't Dubai's thing and it's illegal to drink alcohol in a privately-owned home. This is set to change.
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Dubai marina
The pool at The Grosvenor House Hotel
located on the marina. Our two-bedroom, two bathroom residence had a huge open plan living, dining and kitchen area, and because it's within a hotel we could enjoy alcoholic drinks from room service. The cot and baby bottle steriliser we'd requested were waiting when we arrived.

One quick call to the onfloor butler and a baby bath was also delivered. We spent our days by the pool where there were large day beds with retractable hoods, perfect for spreading out in the shade with Albie's toys. It was a 15-minute walk past the glitzy yachts to Marina Mall where there was a Waitrose and taxis to bring us back with our shopping. Grosvenor guests can also use the pool at the beachside Royal Meridien hotel - haunt of Abbey Clancy and Denise Van Outen - five minutes away in the complimentary shuttle bus.

The Grosvenor offers a babysitting service on the proviso parents don't leave the premises. We hired a hotel nanny for three nights so we could sample the Grosvenor's restaurants including Toro Toro, a funky South American affair with good steaks, accompanied by pomegranate caipirinha cocktails. But our greatest pleasures were watching Albie splashing in the pool, blowing raspberries at the lifeguards and gazing, perplexed, at the camels on the beach.


Original article published in Jun 2015. All info and prices correct at time of publication.
Dubai will host Expo2020, attracting about 20-million visitors, prompting its ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum to vow he'll sort out the self-catering market. Meanwhile, we booked a serviced apartment within the Grosvenor House Hotel,
"We spent our days by the pool where there were large day beds."
 
 
 
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