Double the fun with a Stopover in Dubai

The only drawback to a trip to Europe is the long flying time. So why not make the most of the opportunity to see another culture along the route? You’ll double the experience and minimise the impact of jet lag while you’re at it!

With many airlines using the ultra-modern and thriving United Arab Emirates metropolis of Dubai as their hub point, we’ve shared with you our top five reasons why a stopover here should be just the thing for your next trip to Europe.

While the best known of the seven emirates that make up the United Arab Emirates, here’s a few more insights into why it might just be the right stopover for you.

1. Glitz, glam and relaxation

Everyone deserves a little glitz and glam in their life – and where better than in Dubai, which is known for its luxury restaurants, opulent hotels and as the ‘supercars’ capital of the world. Indulgences include diverse and eclectic dining with world-class cuisine and relaxing spas based on ancient healing philosophies.

The city is also home to the world’s largest retail centre, the Dubai Mall, next door to the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa. With its 1,200+ retail outlets including a mix of high fashion and haute couture, and hundreds of food and beverage options, the Dubai Mall covers over a million square metres… Shopaholics rejoice!

For those who’d rather be entertained than all shopped out, the mall features an aquarium and underwater zoo, an Olympic-sized ice rink, kids’ activities and a massive cinema; truly something for everyone!

2. Culture

Dubai is more than a shiny façade. It offers a unique blend of modern and traditional Arabian culture for you to engage with – whether its through a visit to the hidden mountain village of Hatta to witness the era of citadels, forts and towers or savouring the smells of aromatic herbs and spices emanating throughout the Spice Souk (market).

Journeying 130 km outside of Dubai, a day trip to Hatta will bring its history to life. The Hatta Heritage Village showcases rural living dating back centuries, with preserved buildings and displays providing cultural insights into the clothing, jewellery, weaponry and social customs of the time. The Hatta Fort is also one of the most significant monuments in the country.

Dubia’s lively Old Town features painstakingly restored architectural glory, art galleries and the Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding, where you can learn more about the culture, beliefs and lifestyle of your hosts.

3. The Desert

Learn about the desert nomads, the Bedouins, at the Dubai Museum in the Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood, before heading out yourself to the dunes. The oldest inhabitants of Arabia, these resourceful trackers survived the harsh desert realities – its arid, hot dry weather, its scarcity of resources – along with their trusted camel companions.

A visit to Al Marmoom desert is more than just scenic. Try cycling through the serenity of the sand on dedicated bike paths. If the heavens above are more your thing, stargazing in the desert offers an amazing kaleidoscopic sky that holds deep cultural and historical significance. Check out a tour with the Dubai Astronomy Group for a bit of adventure, exploration and skyward learnings.

4. Adventure

If all that’s sounding too sedentary for your needs, Dubai offers a thrill seeker’s paradise, from sky diving over the iconic Palm Jumeirah Island to active water sports and majestic hot air ballooning over the dunes. There are also golf, polo, tennis and squash games to consider. There’s even a world under the sea to explore, with shipwrecks and marine life beckoning divers beneath the open water.

To overcome the heat, there’s also extensive indoor options available for kids of all ages, with theme parks and waterparks… there’s even indoor skiing available!

Check out the Green Planet for a tropical rainforest experience. With over 3,000 species, it’s an exotic oasis under a protective glass dome, with creatures roaming throughout the fauna across the four levels of rainforest habitat.

5. Cuisine

Of course no trip is complete without taking care of the most important of needs… food!

Dubai excels on the culinary front, offering a diverse and eclectic mix of options. Be sure to sample a little local Emirati fare too, between the indulgent restaurants. Arabian flavours are a mix of Indian spices and Persian ingredients, flavoured with the influence of the desert and Bedouin lifestyle.

Be tempted by the machboos, a dish of meat cooked with spice blends and rice, or a snack of the popular puffy lightness of luqaimat dumplings with their date syrup sweetness and sesame seeds, washed down by a cup of karak chai (milky tea).

Classic mains include samak (fish in gravy with spiced rice) and aishu laham (rice and slow-cooked lamb, flavoured with dried lime and saffron).

Whatever your taste, the city’s cuisine has evolved into an amazing food scene from street eats through to five star celebrity dining. Bon appétit!

If you’d like more travel information, please don’t hesitate to contact our team on 1800 242 353.