Dubai is often regarded as an ultimate luxury travel destination. In fact, in a recent survey, this desert city was named the second most popular luxury travel destination worldwide for 2017, just behind Paris.
The secrets of Dubai’s success probably lie in its famed Arabian hospitality, which is said to have its roots in welcoming travelers in the deserts centuries ago. Add in the wealth of experience brought by its culturally diverse, multilingual population, and you get an incredible modern travel experience.
In just 24 hours in Dubai, you can:
- Taste a multitude of delectable cuisines within a wide range of dining experiences;
- Visit the world’s best regarded names for shopping, leisure and theme parks;
- Look up and wonder at the city’s iconic architecture, and
- Get an incredible night’s sleep in one of the best hotel suites or rooms.
In a city synonymous with the very idea of opulence, it is no mean feat to pick out 10 ultimate, luxurious experiences that are a cut above the rest. However, here are 10 of the best:
The City by Seaplane
For the height of exclusivity, you can charter a seaplane for your own use. After a thrilling water take-off from Dubai Creek, home to the newly rejuvenated Marsa Al Seef area, your pilot will take you on a customized tour of Dubai’s famed skyline. You can then marvel at the city’s renowned artificial islands — The Palm and The World — from above. Limousine travel can also be arranged from your hotel for end-to-end luxury.
A Luxury Yacht Tour
If a luxury yacht is your preferred method of travel, you could, alternatively, take a tour of the city from the water. Chartering a private yacht from Dubai Marina offers you the opportunity to soak up the best of Dubai’s panoramic views, and to take a refreshing dip in the marina lagoon. You’ll pass the Palm Jumeirah and beaches of Dubai with a refreshing drink in hand, before enjoying the cooling breezes of the Arabian Gulf.
Private VIP Shopping
Aside from its bold architecture, Dubai is famous for its designer shopping. So, once you’ve explored the incredible views, your thoughts may turn to reveling in the very best of its shopping experiences. Visiting the traditional spice and gold souks are crucial to an authentic Dubai experience, where you’ll rub shoulders with both sheikhs and worldwide celebrities.
For a more personal VIP experience, however, you may wish to make use of Dubai Mall’s VIP service. The service offers valet parking, a VIP lounge, a porter service and the opportunity to be driven around the mall by buggy. You’ll need to spend upwards of AED 100,000 per month in the mall to maintain access to the service.
For fashionistas, a trip to the Fashion Dome in Mall of the Emirates should be on the to-do list. As well as being home to many of the world’s most renowned fashion names, the mall offers the chance to have a pair of customized shoes hand-crafted at the ultimate emporium for shoe lovers, Level Shoes.
It’ll be no surprise that you can dine in luxury from dawn until dusk, and beyond, in Dubai. Whether you are looking for an opulent breakfast fit for royalty, or a totally unique dinner experience, you can find it in this incredible city. Almost all cuisines can be found in their most magnificent form; Dubai certainly is heaven for food-lovers. Some of Dubai’s most surprising lavish dining experiences include dining in total darkness, or a surprise culinary journey around the world — a feast for the eyes and ears, as well as the taste buds.
Swimming with Dolphins
For a unique family experience that you’ll never forget, head to Dolphin Bay. Visitors can opt to swim or scuba dive alongside a pod of playful dolphins, with a private VIP experience available, too. In addition to petting these friendly creatures, you’ll be able to meet the resident sea lions. Children as young as six years old can hug, kiss and play with these lovable animals one-to-one.
Afterwards, head to the Aquaventure theme park to complete your water fun-filled day. Dolphin Bay guests receive complimentary entry, and private VIP cabins can be hired for your comfort.
Hiring a Supercar
Supercars cruising the streets in Dubai are not an uncommon sight. The emirate’s love of supercars is no secret; you’ll certainly see plenty of Ferraris, Maseratis and Lamborghinis during your visit. The good news is that you need not be limited to gazing enviously. There are several car rental companies that can provide you with your dream car. Dubai has a relatively high speed limit, making it a great driving playground. For the best driving experience, enjoy the wide, open roads on a Friday when the roads are commuter-free.
The Ultimate Spa
In Dubai, you are spoilt for choice when it comes to spa experiences. Thanks to their popularity, spa hotels in Dubai can offer an enormous variety of luxury treatments. Traditional hammams have been an important part of regional culture for many generations, and many Dubai residents still opt to head to a spa as an antidote to modern city life. For rejuvenation and relaxation, an indulgent treatment or massage is an essential part of any visit to Dubai.
The Definitive Desert Safari
A desert safari is on the itinerary of most visitors to Dubai. For the ultimate experience, however, upgrade to a premium desert safari. You’ll be whisked off into the desert in a luxurious Range Rover, and accompanied by an expert guide who’ll be able to show you the very best of the flora and fauna in a local conservation area. Afterwards, relax under the desert stars with six-course dinner in a sumptuous, silk-carpeted and fully private area.
The Sport of Kings from the Water
For many, the pinnacle of Dubai’s social year is the Dubai World Cup, one of the greatest horse races in the world. Not only do the world’s best thoroughbreds come together, but you’ll also find global celebrities and many of the UAE’s royalty and VIPs in the premium lounges. Just being present at this event is a dazzling experience, but for the ultimate in luxury, you need to be viewing the race from the sun deck of a chartered yacht in Dubai Racing Club’s own marina.
The Royal Polo Experience
Finally, for an equally luxurious, and alternative equine event, Al Habtoor Polo Club is the home of a favored sport of Dubai’s VIPs. It is also the venue for the Dubai Polo Gold Cup Series. Mingle with royalty at one of the five tournaments held between October and April each year. From the Gold Lounge, you can enjoy the best of the action with cocktail in hand.
This is a sponsored post from Habib Khan, a seasoned hotelier. He is currently the CEO of Planet Hospitality, and General Manager of Arabian Courtyard Hotel and Spa. Khan has more than 30 years of diversified international experience in the hospitality industry. Check out the Arabian Courtyard Hotel and Spa on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.