Dazzling Dubai

Donna Meredith on 19 May 2013

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The United Arab Emirates may seem like a whole world away from the cosy shores of the UK, but I was surprised at just how at home I felt while perusing the streets of downtown Dubai. This is a place where cultures collide in a wonderful way – a delightfully cosmopolitan atmosphere where east mingles with west between the souks and the sand dunes.

Dubai has so many incredible hotels; this is a country that does chic as though it invented style itself. I chose to stay at The Address Hotel, Downtown which is a firm favourite for its stunning, unique views and a holiday experience that exceeds its five stars, and then some. From the second you walk through the doors, you feel as though you have entered a grand and regal world of effortless class and sophistication, without the slightest hint of pretentiousness. The hotel staff are perfectly attentive; not overbearing, just genuinely concerned that every second of your stay is delightful.

I enjoyed total relaxation whilst basking in the Arabian sunshine at the hotel’s gorgeous infinity pool, whilst taking in the view of the Burj Khalifa, the largest building in the world. When taking a cooling dip in the pool I could watch the famous Dubai dancing fountains, which performed every thirty minutes and were completely mesmerising. There is ample shade to relax in during the hottest part of the day and staff are always on hand with cold towels and ice creams to cool you down. For even more relaxation visit the Spa on the 13th floor where you will be pampered in a tranquil haven of contemporary luxury and for the more energetic there is also a gym. For families, there is a covered children’s pool and a children’s club for 4-12 year olds; for party-goers there is a nightclub on the 62nd floor with floor to ceiling windows offering an uninterrupted view of the Burj Khalifa.

The world’s largest shopping and entertainment destination; the Dubai Mall, with its 1,200 retail outlets and over 160 food outlets is only steps from The Address Downtown Hotel. Within the mall you will find endless entertainment options including Sega World, Dubai Ice Rink, Dubai Aquarium, Kidzania, Reel Cinemas and the At The Top Burj Khalifa experience. You certainly don’t run out of options of things to do or places to eat.

A visit to Dubai would not be complete without a trip to the beach. I visited the Ritz Carlton on Jumeirah Beach, a stunning hotel in a stunning location. The water was crystal clear and wonderfully warm. The Jumeirah Beach Walk is a lovely area, just off the beach, lined with shops, restaurants and coffee shops. I was also able to walk from here to the Dubai Marina which was delightful to stroll around and then stop at a café to enjoy a cool drink and people watch. The water taxis were a great way to get around and are extremely cheap.

I also took a city tour whilst in Dubai which I would highly recommend to give you some idea of the geography of the area and the history and culture of the old town. Bur Dubai is a complete contrast to the modernity of the Downtown area and the spice souks and gold souks are an experience!

Dubai has left me with an ever-lasting impression of a culture that is so familiar, yet so deliciously foreign. One thing is for sure: big is beautiful in Dubai. Think Dubai, think style, elegance, class and a whole world of architectural innovation that you never thought possible.

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