Tradition and ambition in Dubai combine to provide a unique travel experience for adventurous honeymoon couples.
Once a haven for pearl divers, fishermen and traders of spices, gold and slaves, Dubai today offers ultra-modern shopping malls, classic sporting events, luxury hotels and impressive man-made islands.
Dubai is divided into two parts - Deira on the northern side and Bur Dubai to the south of Dubai Creek.
Beneath the shimmering office towers of Deira lie atmospheric alleyways and ancient souks where you can browse for spices, antiques, handicrafts and jewels.
For a fascinating glimpse into Dubai’s past visit Al Fahidi Fort and Sheikh Saeed’s Al-Maktoum’s Palace or the archaeological sites at Al Ghusais or Jumeirah to find artifacts dating from the 7th to 15th century.
Climb atop a camel and trek into the sand dunes, discover the ancient fortressed village of Hatta or swim from Dubai’s white sandy beaches. Afterwards relax with a cold beer on the terrace of your luxury resort.
Dubai offers a choice of palm-fringed beaches fronting luxury hotels, including the following…
Jumeirah is a 3km long beach of soft white sand that gently shelves into the shallow turquoise waters of the Arabian Gulf; perfect for children and families.
Fringed with a pretty line of palm trees, the beach is divided into sections, never gets too crowded, is manned by lifesavers throughout the day and has barbecue facilities.
Nearby is the Jumierah Park, which provides a break from the sun and is a pleasant place to enjoy lunch in the shade.
Popular with locals, expats and visitors, Jumeirah Beach is close to some of Dubai’s best hotels and resorts, including the famous Burj Al Arab and Jumeirah Beach Hotel. You can use the facilities in these hotels by paying a small amount.
A road runs parallel to the beach making it easy to drive along and to pick a good spot to swim and sunbathe. On 'women's day' the beach is closed to men, allowing women to enjoy the beach and swim without unwanted male attention.
Jumeirah Beach is accessible to some of the finest hotels in the world – pop in for a refreshing cocktail and don’t miss the eye-catching Burj Al Arab hotel, designed to resemble a billowing sail, that dominates Dubai’s coastline.
A pretty park adjoins Jumeirah Beach with walkways, kiosks, barbecue pits, picnic tables and a children’s play area.
One of the best beaches in Dubai, located on the Deira side of the Creek, accessible through a park of the same name.
Al Mamzar is ideal for snorkelling: the water is warm, crystal clear, sheltered (like a swimming pool) and with shoals of fish.
Facilities include barbecue sites, changing areas, toilets, playgrounds, picnic areas for families, and food stalls.
Between Jumeirah Beach Hotel and Kite Beach, this white sand beach has fabulous views of the Burj Al Arab and is popular with Jumeirah families and surfers during the winter months.
There are showers but little shelter, so don’t forget your sunscreen.
A 30km stretch of virgin sand on the eastern side of the UAE looking out over the Indian Ocean and the nearby Shark Island.
Pristine coral reefs off the coast make it supurb for snorkelling and diving and the breakers coming in off the Indian Ocean are just right for wind and body surfing.
Come on a day trip or stay longer at one of the luxurious beachfront hotels.
A long and pristine beach ideal for sunbathing and watching kite surfers ride the winds and waves. No facilities.
Note: Unlike many popular beaches elsewhere in the world, alcohol is not permitted in public places in Dubai, so there are no beach bars.
Head to the local souks for traditional leather goods, gold, brass, jewellery and silverware.
For haute-couture clothing, jewellery, electronics and sporting equipment, explore Dubai’s famous duty-free shopping at the Mall of the Emirates on Sheikh Zayed Roa or The Dubai Mall – the largest shopping malls outside North America - or Souk Madinat Jumeirah, designed to resemble a traditional souk but with the comfort of air-conditioning.
For original paintings, Islamic calligraphy and sculpture by Dubai-based artists, as well as locally produced pottery, ceramics, glassware and handicrafts, head to the city’s oldest commercial mall.
Read more about Shopping in Dubai…
Dubai boasts some of the world’s most prestigious and luxurious hotels – just perfect for newlyweds – including the following 5-star hotels…
Burj Al Arab Jumeirah
Ave nightly price: AUD2,500 per suite
Description Designed to resemble a billowing sail, the Burj al Arab soars to a height of 321m, dominating the Dubai coastline. Acknowledged as the Best Hotel in the World by Institutional Investor Magazine, the all-suite hotel offers guests a chauffeur driven Rolls Royce, private reception desk on every floor and a butler to provide 24-hr service. With its distinctively high, sail-inspired exterior, this resort hotel has a private beach, a luxury terrace with cabanas, 3 outdoor pools, 2 indoor pools, and a full-service spa. 6 restaurants and several bars are located on site. Boasting views of the ocean and Jumeirah Beach, these rooms feature extensive technology including free WiFi, a 21-inch iMac, 2 HDTVs, Bose iPod/iPhone docking station and media hub, and an all-in-one printer/copier/scanner/fax. Burj Al Arab Jumeirah out of its own man-made island off the Jumeirah coast, south of the city and 15 miles (25 km) from Dubai International Airport. Visible from almost everywhere in the city, it is linked to the shore by a gently curving causeway.
Jumeirah Dar Al Masyaf
Ave nightly price: AUD1,160 per room
Description: Set amongst tranquil gardens, waterways, exclusive pools and the resort’s private beach, the intimate and exquisite summerhouses of Jumeirah Dar Al Masyaf offers elegant and spacious guestrooms and courtyards, personalised and generous butler service and an understated Arabian luxury experience. The summerhouses offer an exquisitely designed hideaway, large terraces overlooking the fresh seawater ways and high tech bedroom facilities. Jumeirah Dar Al Masyaf's luxurious guest rooms and suites are all located in Arabian-styled houses. All of the spacious rooms are decorated with furnishings of authentic Arabic style, and have luxury bathrooms. Facilities of Jumeirah Dar Al Masyaf include a world class golf, Sinbad’s Kids Club, onsite Madinat Theatre, Madinat Jumeirah’s own private beach, watersports, tennis and luxury yachts. With over 40 world-class restaurants, bars and lounges to choose from, you’ll enjoy a dizzying choice of dining options – each with a distinct theme, location and style. Whether you feel like an evening of terrific Thai or a night on the tiles with the finest cocktails, you’ll find your tastes fully satisfied at Madinat Jumeirah. The resort also provides extensive leisure and health facilities including Talise Spa and Talise Fitness, indoor and outdoor pools, as well as Souk Madinat Jumeirah, a traditional retail and dining experience showcasing the best of Arabia. Dubai International Airport is located 25 minutes away from the hotel. The property provides a complimentary shuttle service to Wild Wadi, Madinat Jumeirah, Jumeirah Beach Hotel, Burj Khalifa/Dubai Downtown and DIFC.
Jumeirah Al Qasr
Ave nightly price: AUD990 per room
Description: Elevated and surrounded by water, Al Qasr is an authentic recreation of ‘old Arabia’ and forms an island overlooking windtowers, pools, meandering waterways and a superb two kilometer-wide private beach. Situated on 2 km of private beach, 5-star Jumeirah Al Qasr offers extensive landscaped grounds with canal-style waterways, rooms with furnished private balconies and a seafood restaurant suspended over the Arabian Gulf. Guests relaxing on Jumeirah Al Qasr’s private, sandy beach are offered free fresh fruit and cool towels. Talise Spa features overwater treatment rooms. Other on-site amenities includes a large pool complex with dedicated children’s areas and a marble lobby lounge with palm trees. Magnolia, one of Jumeirah Al Qasr's 44 restaurants and bars, serves a variety of organic dishes. Guests can watch the sunset at Koubba Bar, or enjoy an extensive Arabian-style lunch buffet. Jumeirah Al Qasr's spacious rooms overlook the Arabian Gulf or hotel grounds. A private dressing area, walk-in rain shower and antique furnishings are standard in all rooms. The property provides complimentary shuttle service to Wild Wadi, Madinat Jumeirah, Jumeirah Beach Hotel, Burj Khalifa/Dubai Downtown and DIFC. The hotel is also next to Madinat Jumeirah Souk. Dubai Internet City is a 15-minute drive from the hotel.
Ave nightly price: AUD484 per room
Description: Inspired by the great pyramids of Egypt, Raffles Dubai is a stunning landmark in Dubai’s skyline. This award-winning hotel features an outdoor pool, an extensive spa and free in-room WiFi. Handcrafted ornaments and luxurious fabrics decorate the rooms at Raffles Dubai, each with a generously-sized private balcony with views of the Dubai skyline. All units also have a flat-screen TV, a minibar and a luxury bathroom. Interactive in-room digital system, allowing guests to access and manage all elements of their stay via the TV or iPad. Butler service are available for all rooms. Raffles' spa beckons with a pampering menu to relax and revitalize. It includes saunas and steam rooms. There is also an outdoor swimming pool and an extensive gym. There is a wide selection of international fare on offer at Raffles’ 7 dining outlets including awards winning Japanese restaurant, TOMO, and Raffles Salon, which serves traditional afternoon tea. A shopping adventure lies around the corner as Raffles Dubai adjoins Wafi, one of Dubai’s most exclusive shopping malls. Dubai International Airport is a 15-minute drive away.
The Oberoi Dubai
Ave nightly price: AUD424 per room
Description: Ideally located 5 minutes’ drive from The Dubai Mall, this 5-star hotel offers views over the iconic Burj Khalifa. It features a business centre, gym and 3 restaurants. Free WiFi is available throughout the entire property. Featuring elegant furnishings and contemporary artwork, the accommodations at The Oberoi, Dubai come with a balcony or floor-to-ceiling windows. Each room includes a flat-screen satellite TV, a minibar and tea/coffee making facilities. Dining options include an all-day dining restaurant, an Indian speciality restaurant and a bar where you can unwind with a drink. For a fee, you can access the spa which features a wide range of massages and beauty treatments. Yoga classes can be arranged upon request. You can drive to Dubai International Financial Centre in 20 minutes. Dubai International Airport is 18 km from The Oberoi, Dubai. Free valet parking is possible. It provides complimentary shuttle transfers to Dubai Mall, Business Bay, Dubai International Financial Centre and Emaar Square.
Jumeirah Emirates Towers
Ave nightly price: AUD406 per room
Description: A sleek 305m tall architectural masterpiece of steel and glass, located in the centre of Dubai’s commercial district with an entire floor dedicated for lady travellers and a range of cosmetic luxuries in each room. One tower houses offices, the other a business hotel joined by a shopping podium. Situated on bustling Sheikh Zayed Road, this hotel is minutes’ drive from Dubai Mall. The property offers unlimited access to Wild Wadi Waterpark and the private beach. This award-winning hotel provides elegantly furnished accommodation, all featuring flat-screen TVs with satellite channels. Each has a seating area with plush sofas. The restaurants and bars provide unique culinary experiences, from chic grills to authentic Lebanese cuisine, contemporary British, honest Italian and modern Japanese. Guests also have the opportunity to relax at the Talise Spa, by the pool or at the nearby pristine beaches. Guests can also enjoy some retail therapy at the Boulevard shopping mall or let out some steam at the state-of-the-art Talise Fitness. The property provides complimentary shuttle service to Wild Wadi, Madinat Jumeirah, Jumeirah Beach Hotel, Burj Khalifa/Dubai Downtown and DIFC.
The best time to visit Dubai is during winter from mid-November to late-March, thereby avoiding the intense heat that is the norm in Dubai for most of the year.
Dubai has a subtropical desert climate, with mild or pleasantly warm winters, from November to April, and scorchingly hot summers, from May to October, when the combination of temperature and humidity makes the heat oppressive.
For more climate info: Dubai Weather Guide…
Dubai is one of the seven emirates that make up the United Arab Emirates, and is located east of Saudi Arabia facing the Persian Gulf in Southwest Asia (more commonly known as the Middle-East).
As an international air hub connecting Australasia with Europe, the Middle East and Africa, Dubai International Airport receives daily flights from the major cities of North America, Europe, the Middle East, Asia and Australia.
For more information on How to get to Dubai…
Latest update: Where to Honeymoon in Dubai: 8 September, 2022