As always our travel consultant Dominic was amazing. He did a fabulous job with our booking and we had the most amazing holiday!
Will always use DialAFlight. Great team.
Really like the communications from you through the process. Definitely would recommend
Niall’s expertise has once again been much appreciated.
As always Jenson Palmer delivered with professionalism and quality
Matt Power was excellent as always.
Great experience booking with Rebecca. Extremely helpful
Luke Neilson was excellent in helping us
Everything worked perfectly and was really well organised
Perfect, in every respect. Hope to repeat next year.
Everything worked out exactly as promised. A superb service.
As always, Saf was so thoughtful and helpful. I would always contact DialAFlight first to book a holiday or flights.
Everything went smoothly as promised. Thanks to Sally
Always fabulous service, thank you
Everything went very smoothly from start to finish. Thank you very much, especially Trevor who looked after us.
Alex was great with providing us with options. He was also swift when we required some changes. Booking more flights soon with this company.
Amelia was very helpful
Top service as always from Bruce
Another perfect holiday!
Liam was extremely helpful at every stage of planning and executing our trip to Fujairah. We'll be back!
Full marks to my travel manager Oli De Bernier for his recommendation
Another great flying experience. Everything went according to plan both on arrival and departure. Ryan has always delivered what he promises.
Thanks again Meghan for all your help rearranging our Dubai trip. Had a great time will be back in touch soon to start planning our next adventure
Wished we had been advised that BA online check in wouldn’t allow us to be sat together
Excellent service from Philippa
Elliott was very efficient and kept me informed throughout.
A fantastic and relaxing holiday - everything DialAFlight dealt with was superb. Sadly that can not be said about Emirates - I booked seat and we did not get the seats I booked and paid for!
Your support was better than excellent. Gavin Dattani provided all the reassurance we required within minutes of being asked for help.
From the first time I spoke with Ash to discuss booking a holiday, right through to our departure and return we were well supported. Everyone we spoke to with queries or questions was always able to answer everything in full. Thank you! The app is also easy to navigate and use.
If we build it they will come' could be the mantra of the overarchingly ambitious project that is Dubai.
My first visit in 2002 was a stopover from Afghanistan where I'd been reporting for ITN. We were awed by the scale and luxury. We drank lurid cocktails at a swim-up bar and watched dredgers spraying arcs of sand into the sea. Someone said they were creating a huge island, the shape of a date palm. The idea seemed so fantastical as to be unbelievable.
Through audacity, far-sighted-ness and an ability to hold its nerve through the financial crash, Dubai has created a futuristic mega-city that's now the fourth largest tourist draw on Earth.
If visitors ask to see the 'real' Dubai, they're pointed towards The Creek, where wooden boats once fished the saltwater inlet and traders from India and East Africa supplied souks on the water's edge. There, visitors are assured, they can still find authentic heritage. But the Creek is being transformed. Tourist boats still chug down the waterway but today they're spotting super-yachts and giddying construction projects.
And its centrepiece, sitting long and low on the waterfront, is one of the most ambitious and high-end hotels to date - the Palazzo Versace. Imagine fusing the most flamboyant Italian fashion house with the pulsating emporium of wealth and ambition which is Dubai. You might picture the result as a fest of gaudy excess.
Yet the Palazzo Versace, a vast neoclassical construction that resembles a 16th Century Italian palace is, dare I say, subtle and tasteful amid gold and glass skyscrapers that pierce the clouds all over town. It may be restrained in Dubai terms, but it's not low-key. The entrance has striking high ceilings, and a huge glass frontage overlooking the water.
There's the vast mosaic on the floor, made up of more than a million pieces and the size of an Olympic swimming pool, beyond which there is, well, an Olympic-size swimming pool.
And marble everywhere. Then there are the furnishings. Every single piece of furniture and fabric in the hotel's 215 rooms and suites is designed and tailor-made by the House of Versace.
At this point I may have been reviewing the wisdom of bringing my three pre-teenage boys along. I wouldn't let them walk past a Versace store at home for fear they'd cause costly damage; now they were effectively living in one.
Yet, from the off they rose to the challenge. They might have spent the whole first day in their vast room playing with a console that created mood lighting and operated the curtains had our butler (yes, really) not offered them a hotel tour.
They discovered the central infinity pool is for adults only but as there are two other huge pools, it wasn't exactly a hardship.
They were quickly on first name terms with most of the staff. They struck up a friendship with a Malaysian chef who sent over duck pancakes each time we ate at the fantastic buffet.
A DESERT ADVENTURE
We swerved the famed shopping malls (some the size of 50 football pitches), instead heading to the desert in search of adventure. Our guide, Saleh, looked incongruous in the marble foyer in a huge pair of desert boots, as did his 4x4 among the Ferraris and Bentleys outside.
But half an hour later the skyscrapers had given way to sand dunes and we were spotting oryx resting in the evening sun.
That was the calm before the sand storm as the dune bashing began: this is a sort of do-it-yourself rollercoaster where your vehicle climbs to the top of a dune, then lurches perilously down the other side.
Another day trip was to a water park where my children sought out the scariest rides. As a gift to myself, for surviving, we had dinner in the Palazzo Versace's Enigma restaurant. The restaurant showcases top chefs from around the world. Each comes for a three or four-month stay. We were fed by Quique Dacosta, who has a three-star Michelin restaurant near Alicante. It was an incredible sensory experience.
This hotel is the centrepiece of what Dubai calls its 'Culture Village'. If you think culture and Dubai don't belong in the same sentence, that's to underestimate its incredible vision. In a few years Dubai will have an opera house to rival Sydney's.
So could this centre of conspicuous consumption become a destination for art and culture tourism? You wouldn't bet against it. After all it's not as farfetched as building a giant island shaped like a palm tree in the Arabian Gulf.
First published in the Daily Mail - March 2017
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