Dubai is becoming ever more popular with foreign visitors who want to enjoy a break in the sun, but fancy somewhere different to those destinations that have traditionally been the place to go on a summer break.
Okay so the flights are a tad longer, but with Dubai Airport being accessible from London in a little under seven hours, it’s not actually as far as you might think to reach what has arguably become the jewel in the Emirates crown when it comes to tourism.
But within Dubai itself there is a range of different areas where you could decide to spend your holiday, from downtown Dubai to the famous sands of Jumeirah Beach and the man-made wonder that is the Palm Jumeirah.
Jutting out from the coast in the shape of a palm (hence the name), Palm Jumeirah is a man-made island that is home to some of the most luxurious hotels in the Emirate alongside various different attractions that are suitable for travellers both young and old alike.
Perhaps the most famous hotel to be found on Palm Jumeirah is also one of the most luxurious, with Atlantis The Palm providing ample opportunity to relax in 5* surroundings.
Like the Burj Khalifa and Burj Al Arab on the mainland, Atlantis The Palm is instantly recognisable around the globe and is sure to provide an experience like no other, with stunning attention to detail and a range of facilities that are the envy of other hotels both across Dubai and much further beyond.
In fact, it’s one of those hotels where you could easily spend your entire holiday without feeling the need to board the Palm Jumeirah Monorail to head off exploring the mainland.
When it comes to accommodation, there are various options available within Atlantis The Palm, from traditional rooms – which are still very much the height of luxury – through to a selection of signature suites that simply have to be seen to be believed.
That includes stunning underwater suites that will allow you to wake every morning to the astonishing sight of a giant aquarium designed in the style of the lost city of Atlantis and housing more than 60,000 different marine creatures.
As well as dining on cuisine from around the world, you can relax in the spa or dance the night away in the nightclub – which is one of the many entertainment options.
Atlantis The Palm is far from the only option if you want to stay on Palm Jumeirah however, with the likes of Jumeirah Zabeel Saray, the Waldorf Astoria and Antantara The Palm all offering the very best in 5* luxury where you’ll be left wanting for nothing.
Fun for the family
Widely regarded as the best waterpark in Dubai, Aquaventure can be accessed for free if you are staying at Atlantis The Palm and can be visited for the day if you are staying elsewhere.
From the nine story Leap of Faith that sees you hurtle down a near vertical drop into a tube that runs through the middle of a huge tank filled with sharks and rays, to the high-speed Poseidon’s Revenge and various water coasters, there is plenty to thrill adrenaline seekers.
At the same time, there are also options for those who want a more sedate experience, including Shark Attack where you can ride on a tube through the middle of a shark-filled lagoon. That’s in a large tube – so it’s not as scary as it might sound…
But Aquaventure is only one of the attractions that can be found on Palm Jumeirah.
Also located at Atlantis The Palm is Dolphin Bay, where you can get into the water to get close to these majestic creatures, as well as Sea Lion Point – again where there is the opportunity to create life long memories when you swim alongside them in the water.
Marine lovers will also welcome the chance to visit The Lost Chambers aquarium, which takes on the appearance of the lost city of Atlantis and is home to a huge array of different species. Various shows take place each day that will keep children entertained, whilst you can even take to the water yourself if you wish to get a little closer to the action.
For something extra special, taking to the air above the Palm for a dramatic skydive back down to earth will give you the most astonishing views of the landscapes below and provide an experience like no other.
Top quality dining
When it comes to dining in Dubai, the Palm Jumeirah is very much one of the places to go and no matter what tickles your tastebuds.
Some of the very best restaurants are located around the hotels and offer a veritable treat to cater for all tastes, with some of the best Dubai restaurants being spread across the Palm.
The 101 Dining Lounge is a prime example and offers fine dining in impressive surroundings looking out across the Dubai skyline, with fresh seafood being a particular specialty.
The world-renowned Japanese restaurant Nobu is one of the various eateries that are located within Atlantis The Palm, which is also home to the Giorgio Locatelli’s Italian restaurant, a top quality steakhouse and a European Bread Street Kitchen influenced by Gordon Ramsey.
Whether you need a quick bite to eat or want to sit down to a full taster menu that provides the chance to go on a culinary journey that will appeal to all the senses, Palm Jumeirah will deliver in spades.
Whenever you go away on holiday, there is a good chance that you’ll want to pick up some souvenirs to take back home – or maybe you’ll want to try and grab a bargain that might not be available back home.
Palm Jumeirah itself isn’t really known for shopping but the monorail that runs onto the mainland provides easy access to the veritable treats to be found within Dubai itself.
Chief amongst them is the Dubai Mall, which is the largest shopping mall by areas in the world – and home to more than 1,000 individual shops.
You can expect to find all of the big names under one roof - including the likes of Cartier, Chanel and Christian Louboutin – whilst there are shops offering everything from toys to electronics.
It isn’t all about shopping however, with the Dubai Mall Aquarium being an attraction in its own right alongside the Kidzania children’s city and the Dubai Ice Rink – where you can enjoy a winter experience despite being alongside the heat of the desert.
When to go
There isn’t really a bad time to visit Palm Jumeirah, which benefits from favourable weather conditions throughout the year.
That’s because of Dubai’s position alongside the Persian Gulf, with a desert climate meaning that you should expect to be greeted by high temperatures no matter whether you decide to travel in the middle of summer or the depths of winter.
During summer the humidity levels can increase somewhat and you’ll need to be extra careful in the sun. For that reason alone, many people prefer to visit in spring before the temperatures get too high for exploring the sights of relaxing under the sun.
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