If you're thinking of booking a luxury holiday, you won't find many locations to be more opulent than Dubai. Well-known for its wealth, the emirate boasts all kinds of landmarks that symbolise its prosperity, from glittering skyscrapers to manmade islands.
As well as its attractions, Dubai is particularly appealing to holidaymakers as a result of its wonderfully warm climate and sandy beaches, which are in stark contrast to its urban areas, yet offer the best of both worlds to visitors.
Whether you enjoy lying back on the sand and soaking up the sun, or would rather head into the city to experience some native culture, Dubai is a fantastic location by being able to offer the opportunity for both.
If you're hoping for some retail therapy, the emirate won't disappoint. There are numerous impressive malls full of designer boutiques, high street shops and leisure facilities to visit, as well as some world-famous markets.
Known as souks, many of the bazaars are specialised, with one the most renowned being the Spice Souk. Here, traders line the streets with their sacks and cut them open so the aromas of the spices fill the air.
Meanwhile, the Gold Souk is also well known and features a truly dazzling array of precious pieces. It is a great place to pick up bargain jewellery items if you feel like treating someone - or yourself!
After all that shopping, you might decide it's time to rest your weary feet on the sand, in which case you could head to the 10 mile long Jumeirah Beach and relax with a good book. Alternatively, stop off for a while at Palm Beach and soak up some sun or get involved with some of the water sports on offer if you fancy invigorating yourself.
Not far from the shores are some fantastic waterparks, so if you enjoy getting wet you might want to call in. Wadi Wadi Waterpark gives you the chance to plunge down the tallest waterslide outside the US, while Atlantis, the Palm AQUAVENTURE provides opportunities to swim with dolphins.
While on Dubai holidays, you're sure to want to take in some of the emirate's most famous sights, so spend some time touring the area. One of the area's renowned landmarks is Burj Khalifa, the tallest tower in the world. You can take an elevator 124 floors up from ground level to the observation deck and admire some stunning views over the city below, as well as the manmade Palm Island - which was designed in the shape of a palm tree.
Head on to the Al Fahidi Fort, which was built in 1799 and now houses Dubai Museum. Here you can learn more about the emirate's history and culture by viewing exhibitions of excavated artefacts, old maps, weapons, musical instruments and examples of trades.
In the same vein, make your way round the old Bastakiya district, where you can wander down narrow roads and take in the sight of courtyard houses and old wind towers. These once provided air conditioning for the area's homes before the advent of electricity.
A memorable excursion for many visitors to Dubai is dune bashing. The emirate's proximity within the Arabian Desert means there's plenty of sand and if you book a dune bashing experience you can expect a thrilling ride in a 4x4 vehicle over and around the dunes, followed by a relaxing desert barbecue and evening show.
Dubai is a great choice for holidays that combine city living with beachside luxury - why not book your getaway today?
- dubai holidays