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I have stayed there and wouldn't chose to go back (had to go as DH was working out there). some people love it, but not me. shopping meccas ar huge, but no cheaper than here. What about Oman - I hear that has a bit more to it.
DH and I are off to Dubai in a couple of weeks for the third time; our first trip without the children. It is true that there is a hideous amount of construction in Dubai and to be honest pretty much the only beach hotels that are not impacted at all are the 5 Jumeirah International hotels: the Burj al Arab (mega expensive 7 star sail shaped hotel), the Jumeirah Beach Hotel (very popular with families) and the three Madinat Jumeirah hotels: Mina a Salam, Al Qasr and the villas at the Dar al Masyaf. There are also villas at the Jumeirah Beach hotel. There is no construction nearby. If, at several thousand pounds a night, the Burj is out of your price range then I would recommend the Dar al Masyaf villas which are beautiful, have private shared butler service and are located among the waterways and on the beach (see the Tripadvisor guest reviews here and click on 'Traveller Photos view photos and videos' link on the right hand side). There are over 40 bars and restaurants on the complex as well as the Wild Wadi waterpark so you don't need to see a crane if you don't want to although the dune safari is a must!
Further along the beach is the new Dubai Marina area and the Palm Jumeirah. The new Atlantis Hotel is sited right at the end of the Palm so I would think that you might also escape the construction there although you will probably see the cranes etc at a distance. I recommend that you read the Tripadvisor Dubai forum you will get all the information you need here
Of course there are many other luxury hotels along the beach and whether or not there is construction nearby you will have the most amazing time I am sure - the reviews testify to this and what draws people back to Dubai again and again is almost certainly the luxury accommodation and standard of service etc ... that and the shorter flight time over the Maldives, Mauritius, Thailand and some parts of the Caribbean and of course great weather too!
you see there are two opinions of Dubai, Moonies being one and the other being its a shopoholics dream come true. It is true that its recently become more and more commercialised, but I guess as the emirate is one of the least oil rich ones the ruler has to find a way to encourage foreign investment.
The Burj was one of the best hotels around for a while, I think they've now built better- half the Burj was submerged under the sea (thats how it was built), it's worth seeing I guess. Jumeirah beach hotel is nice too. There is meant to be a spinning tower built, I saw the winning design not sure if thats up yet tho.
There is a huge snow dome if you fancy skiing in the middle of the desert.
If you go, do a desert safari they are fun, visit the heritage village, the gold souk is worth a walk round.
Dp and I are getting married in October, and although we wont be able to book a honeymoon unitl a lot closer to the time, I have been thinking about Dubai. It would just be the 2 of us -ds would be staying with granny.
Would 5/6 nights be long enough? Where are the nicest areas to stay? Must see/do? Can anyone recommend any hotels that are good (honeymoon type good) but that we wont have to sell a kidney to pay for?