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Dubai, flights and hotels info please

(25 Posts)
admylin Wed 11-Nov-09 08:47:33

We would like to try Dubai this summer and I'm looking for tips on where to stay and flights. Is it better to book flights and look for a hotel myself or are their package deals around?

brimfull Wed 11-Nov-09 08:49:29

bloody scorching there in the summer!
we went in october and it was in the 30's

admylin Wed 11-Nov-09 08:53:22

I know, it'll be hot so we'll need to be in an area with plenty of air conditioned places to get to easily with taxi (or hire car?). LAst year we went to texas and we just went from shopping mall to shopping mall indoors which was abit boring after a while but no way could we do any out door sight seeing.

HappyBump Wed 11-Nov-09 09:06:14

I would suspect there will be lots of package deals advertised nearer the summer next year. Hotels always drop their rates in Dubai over the summer as the temperatures are about 50 degrees (I live in Dubai and usually escape for part of the summer if I can).

I am curious why you would come here in the summer if you were bored in Texas in the summer? ... it will be much the same here with regards to going to malls, etc.

Saying that the roads will be quieter and it will be much easier/faster to get around. There is a large selection of indoor malls. Dubai Mall has an icerink, aquarium and discovery centre, play centre, hundreds of shops and restaurants. Mall of the Emirates has a small ski hill.

The sea/ocean will be too hot to enjoy but the pools are chilled, and you can use them in the early morning/late afternoon &evening.

Nice places to stay are the Jumeriah chain of hotels, they have a website. They are expensive. It depends on your budget.

If you want to stay near the Burj Dubai (tallest building in world) and the Dubai Mall then there are a few hotels in that area. The Address, The Palace Hotel ...

admylin Wed 11-Nov-09 09:11:47

Thanks for those tips !

We want to visit Dubai as it'll be a meeting place for family from other parts of the world, it's in the middle so to speak and it's the school holidays but maybe on 2nd thought it would be better to aim for christmas 2010.

Texas was also a family visit!

HappyBump Wed 11-Nov-09 09:23:01

TBH it depends what you enjoy doing. There are a lot of lovely restaurants and bars here to dine in, the shopping is fantastic (although not as cheap you would be led to believe, but the selection is very good).

One thing to be careful of if you are thinking of coming in August next year is that it will be Ramadan (I think it is about 10 days earlier each year than the previous). Last year it started around the 18th August and lasted for 30 days. So 2010 will start around 8th August and last until early September.

The upside is that the prices will be even cheaper, the downside is that although you will probably still be able to eat in most of the hotels during the day fairly normally, all the coffee shops and restaurants in the shopping malls will be closed and you will not be able to eat or drink anything in public. This might be a challenge if you aren't used to the heat.

December 2010, the temperatures are usually low to mid 20's, so some people find it a little chilly! However you will be able to dine outside and wander around the outside markets (souks) and the older district and enjoy the creek, go on desert safaris, etc.

admylin Wed 11-Nov-09 09:27:58

Oh, forgot about Ramadan. Sounds like it's going to be December after all!

When we went to Pakistan one Christmas it was Ramadan (about 10 or 11 yearss ago I think) and w ehad to hide in the kitchen with the shutters closed to eat!

HappyBump Wed 11-Nov-09 09:35:41

You sound like you have some fab destinations to holiday in! Lucky you.

Ramadan is less 'strict' here I think and if you stayed in your hotel you probably wouldn't notice as most restaurants are still open in some sort of fashion (behind screens, etc.). However, you shouldn't walk around eating and drinking in public not only would it be frowned upon it is actually against the law. I have been pregnant during Ramadan and it is allowed for pregnant women to eat/drink in public but I think I would have felt disrespectful to flaunt drinking/eating so I hid in my car to do it... it's amazing how easy it is to get used to being discreet!

Christmas will be nice. Enjoy planning.

admylin Wed 11-Nov-09 09:48:16

Yes we do have some good places to visit! Last time in Bangladesh they were all busy with the other Eid (can't remember the name) where they bought cow/goat/sheep depending on income and slaughtered them in the courtyard.

mumofsatan Wed 11-Nov-09 12:15:16

Agree with what Happybump has said. Definitely too hot in summer. I'm in the Middle East and most of us sensible ex-pats escape during the summer.
A package deal should be much cheaper. It drives me mad how expensive it is for us to fly to Dubai (from 1 hr 15 mins away) and for the hotels. It is actually often cheaper to fly back to the UK and get a package deal from there hmm

Happybump I've 'enjoyed' the joy of being pregnant in the ME during ramadan. Not fun wink
Is the Dubai Mall the one with fountains in? We are visiting in 3 weeks and someone recommended a mall with fountains that are apparently not to be missed?

HappyBump Wed 11-Nov-09 13:29:37

hello Mumosatan! Where are you?

Yes, Dubai Mall is the one with the fountains. There is a show every night with fountains, lights and music, starting at about 6pm and then on every 20 mins or so until quite late. The show is great to see. I think there might be National Day celebrations when you are here (Dec 2nd or 3rd), so maybe more spectacular than usual and EID has been called around 27th I think ...

Definitely crazy how hotel prices are better from the UK or elsewhere and also it is much cheaper to fly to Dubai rather than "from" Dubai.

mumofsatan Wed 11-Nov-09 15:03:52

Hi Happybump, I'm in KSA so we are almost neighbours grin
We are there from 2nd to 6th so will maybe think about going for the 2nd or 3rd (which is DH's birthday) although my friend warned me that a lot of things will be shut for National Day.

We are staying in the JB hotel. We were going to stay at the Al Bustan rotana which is a bit more reasonably priced but at the last minute I thought 'sod it' and booked the JB where we went on our honeymoon. Can't wait to escape to a little bit of normality (and of course a glass of wine) wink

HappyBump Wed 11-Nov-09 15:11:36

KSA! lucky you wink I suspect you will be needing a very large glass of wine!

I can't remember things being closed for National Day last year or the year before ... however, they could have been and it just passed me by!

JBH - lovely, beautiful hotel. My sister stayed there earlier this year when she visited with her family (she got a really really cheap deal with BA/JBH). Great access to the whole of the Mina al Salam/Al Qasar beaches as well, not to mention Wild Wadi. The 360 Bar should be open then too.

You can book tables for dinner at the restaurants next to the fountain display. You would have to phone ahead if you want a table outside though. Depending on what your budget is and what sort of food you like ... We had an excellent meal at the Rivington Grill a few weeks ago. If you look at Time Out on-line I think they list the restaurants near the fountain (Souk Al Bahar)

mumofsatan Wed 11-Nov-09 15:25:42

Happybump, thanks for that, really useful.
can't wait now, we REALLY need a holiday after a very crappy year
will look into your recommendations ref the restaurants. Many thanks x

nearlychrimbo Wed 11-Nov-09 22:29:45

Would mid May be ok heat wise? We were thinking of going then with our 5 yr old.

Would 14 nights be too long do you think?

HappyBump Thu 12-Nov-09 04:13:39

Mid-May could be okay for you. The temps should be mid-30ish, I think. It's not too humid so it doesn't feel as hot as some places can. I think it is still nice ... but I love the heat! It depends on how well you tolerate the heat!

14 days sounds like a long time however it really does depend on what you like to do. If a two week beach/mall holiday suits you then it would be perfect.

There are lots of activities for a 5 yr old. 3 waterparks (Aquaventure, Wild Wadi and Dreamland). You could do a desert safari. Creekside Park, Dolphinarium, Beaches, Malls, etc. Culture-wise there is a little bit to see, but really most of Dubai is brand-spanking new and the old part of town is very small and could most probably be covered in a day or so.

JumeirahJane Thu 12-Nov-09 04:48:08

Hi admylin.

I live in Dubai, and went back to Europe for a month in summer - 50 degrees is far too much for an adult let alone children to endure. Oct-April is more pleasant.
December is a good bet - it's currently 30 degrees smile and I've finally switched the air con off!

Definitely go for a package deal, by all means research on the hotel's own websites for info, but hotel discounts here are not currently as low as the rates they give to European tour operators, and often you'll get free nights thrown in (7 for 5 or somesuch). The Al Qasr hotel and Mina a Salaam are especially lovely. Also Jumeirah Beach hotel as suggested by Happybump (hi happybump, pleased to meet you grin)

nearlychrimbo - hi. I do think 14 days might be a bit long with a 5 year old, friends generally find 10 days is optimum. May can also get into the 40s, which makes outdoor exploring a no-no. Let us know if you need more advice or opinions on anything smile.

nearlychrimbo Thu 12-Nov-09 22:12:36

J Jane thanks for your advice. ITs my hubbys big birthday and wanted to go somewhere differnt, special and luxurious..Dubai seemed to fit the bill.

I think 10 days also, we love the sun, sea and pool and water parks sound great, but I am worried about our 5yr old if the sun would be way to much ofr him.

The earlist we could go is 16 May

JumeirahJane Mon 16-Nov-09 05:35:31

I agree, it's great for a luxury break!!! Re your fears about the heat, the waterparks have good shaded areas, so there is respite if needed. You just have to take it seriously about being out of the sun during the hottest part of the day. And that's where the malls, restaurants, and cafes come in. And exploring the old parts of the city is better first thing in the morning anyway. But only you know how well your DS tolerates the heat smile Hope you make it here and enjoy yourselves.

Mumof3dxb Sat 21-Nov-09 16:49:50

Hi everyone
Just jumping in here to agree with all the advice so far regarding the weather and activities.
Actually we had floods in December and January the last 2 or 3 'Winters'. It just rained so much, what little drainage there was blocked up.

Personally I still find it quite hot in May. I do the school run starting around 7.30am and it's usually in the 30's already so even by mid to late morning it's way uncomfortable to be outside. The city does come alive after sun set literally so you'll find the malls quite packed (avoid them at the weekends if you can). You may have to adopt the local timing where the local kids take a siesta in the afternoons and wake up in the early evening ready to party!

You may like to consider a visit Desert Palm which is a resort inland where they keep stable for horses so it is very green.
Also be prepared for hotel/restaurant/shop staff to be very attentive to your little one as they love kids and don't hold back like in UK so don't be alarmed they want to carry/hold/hug him.

All best!

nearlychrimbo Sun 22-Nov-09 08:08:38

so where should we stay? Which hotel would you recommend

mumoverseas Sun 22-Nov-09 13:05:33

well I hope it doesn't rain until after 6th December as we are there from 2nd to 6th grin
We are staying in the Jumeirah Beach Hotel which I love. Far more expensive than others I've stayed in but I thought I'd push the boat out for DH's birthday wink

JumeirahJane Sun 22-Nov-09 15:17:44

Yes, the one mumoverseas is staying in is very nice, and right next door to the Wild Wadi waterpark, so free entry (correct me if I'm wrong) for all guests. There are so many to choose from - easier to say what to avoid (IMHO)
I wouldn't be tempted by Atlantis, as nice as it looks on their website - I've heard the rooms are tiny by Dubai standards, and the restaurants, while nice are extremely pricey (4 restaurants owned by Michelin star chefs under one roof incl. Nobu). Plus point is next to the newer Aquaventure waterpark, but this in itself is an easy trip from any Jumeirah hotel. With a family, Nor would I stay in Deira or on Sheikh Zayed Road, where hotels are geared more toward business stays than families. Happy to offer opinions again when you have a shortlist grin.

Oh and if you're searching on UK websites, the Jebel Ali beach resort and spa is a popular choice, and often comes out cheaper than others in the same category, but bear in mind that this is because it is a good 15/20 mins by taxi out of the city beyond the Marina. If thinking about hiring a car - in a word, don't - even residents take several weeks to steel themselves to the traffic chaos, and crazy driving.

Hey mumoverseas - have a lovely time here. Just as you were posting, we had a few drops of rain from passing clouds - the irony!

JumeirahJane Sun 22-Nov-09 15:58:07

Oh dear just re-resad my post - not offering many constructive ideas am I? In a nutshell, for location, try Jum. Beach Hotel, the Ritz Carlton, Habtoor Grand, Hilton Jumeirah, Al Qasr and Mina a Salaam. If money is no object, a night or two at the Burj al Arab seven star hotel envy would make your DH's birthday very memorable!

mumoverseas Mon 23-Nov-09 05:35:29

bloody rain angry looks like we had a bit here last night as everything in the garden is orange!

Yes, you are right about the JB, all guests do get free entry into the Wild Wadi which is a big saving as no doubt DD will want to go there every day for 10 mins which would get expensive otherwise.

A friend of mine stayed at Atlantis a few months ago and said it was lovely but expensive and also a lot of the areas in the waterpark here DC (aged 6 and 3 were too young/small for)

I've stayed at the Al Bustan Rotana before which is much cheaper than JB and some of the other hotels you mention but not on the beach.

I'm just looking forward to being able to shop for more than 2 hours without the damm shops shutting wink oh, and the wine. And the bacon....

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