Enjoy sun and snow in a magical Middle Eastern break

With the days getting colder, my girlfriend and I are in need of a bit of sunshine. Neither of us has ever visited the Middle East, but we’ve always been curious about Dubai. We want to relax, take in some of the sights, eat great food, do a bit of shopping and most importantly have fun! I’d love if you could give us some recommendations to make our trip magical.

With the days getting colder, my girlfriend and I are in need of a bit of sunshine. Neither of us has ever visited the Middle East, but we’ve always been curious about Dubai. We want to relax, take in some of the sights, eat great food, do a bit of shopping and most importantly have fun! I’d love if you could give us some recommendations to make our trip magical.

Dubai is one of seven emirates that make up the United Arab Emirates. Famous for its desert like subtropical climate Dubai never gets cold, with even winter nights seeing temperatures in the mid teens, making it the perfect getaway. December to February is a pleasant time to visit as these are the coolest months with temperatures averaging around the mid 20’s. The landscape of this modern city is breathtaking as the skyscrapers rise out of the middle of the desert.

Soak up the sun at the Le Meridien Mina Seyahi Private Beach on the Jumeirah coastline. It’s one of the largest private beaches in Dubai, boasting a large marina with 145 high-class boats and yachts. Lounge by the Arabian Sea and dine at the award-winning Barasti Beach Bar. This beachfront restaurant specialises in international cuisine and serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Guests can order drinks at the bar and enjoy alfresco dining. Whether you want to sit back and work on your tan or go wild and rent jet skis, this is the perfect place.

Embrace the local Arabian culture and visit the traditional souk at Madinat Jumeirah. Take your time as you wander along the meandering avenues past towers, lantern-lit hallways and narrow waterways. Discover the treasures hidden along the way with Middle Eastern fashion, jewellery, antiques, art, oils and spices for sale. You’ll be spoiled for choice with a series of world-class restaurants and bars to entertain you throughout the day and long into the night.

A short romantic boat trip will take you from the souk to the Wild Wadi Water Park. The park is designed around the life of the Arabian legend Juha. Here you can cool off from the sweltering heat and let the fun flow! With over 30 rides on offer you are guaranteed an action-packed visit.

Relax at the parks spa with a FISHO pedicure. The toothless Garra Ruffa fish cleans pores, removes dead skin cells and also serves as a micro massage for the feet and legs, improving blood circulation. The experience is slightly ticklish at first, but skin instantly becomes softer and smoother.

You may be in the dessert but that doesn’t mean you can’t participate in a variety of winter activities! Discover the ultimate indoor snow resort at Ski Dubai, the only indoor ski resort in the Middle East. With an amazing mountain-themed wintery setting, enjoy skiing, snowboarding, tobogganing or just playing in the snow.

Ski Dubai has five runs that vary in difficulty, height and gradient. The longest run is 400 meters with a fall of over 60 meters. Test your skills on the world’s first indoor black run or practice your turns on the gentle beginner slopes. Have lots of festive fun by rolling down the snowy hills in the Giant Ball run, jumping a 10ft ramp, turning down the tube slides, sightseeing in the chairlift, or just relaxing over a hot chocolate at minus four degrees. Dine at the St Moritz Cafe and admire the penguins! All clothing and equipment is provided by Ski Dubai.

After gallivanting on the slopes, have a wander around the Mall of The Emirates. The centre is located in ‘New Dubai’ and offers 223,000 square metres of shopping, leisure, and entertainment. Mall of the Emirates features 520 international brands, including department, fashion, lifestyle, sports, electronics and home furnishing stores. Indulge in some retail therapy or pick up some Christmas gifts for loved ones at home. Take in a movie at the multiplex cinema or catch a show at the DUCTAC community theatre and arts centre. Choose from over 85 coffee shops and restaurants to satisfy your needs.

Where to Stay:

Prices are subject to availability at the time of booking and per room per night on Hotels.com

Holiday Inn Dubai Al Barsha (****)

Prices start from €146

This Al Barsha, Dubai hotel features an outdoor pool, a rooftop terrace and on-site gym. It is on the popular Sheikh Zayed Road, a short walk from the Mall of the Emirates. The 4-star Holiday Inn Dubai Al Barsha offers elegant guest rooms furnished in a contemporary style, with traditional Arabic features. Each room features a TV, DVD player and tea/coffee maker. Guests can choose from a total of three restaurants which serve various cuisines, from Thai and Indian to Arabic. There are also two bars, including a sports bar showing live events.

Grand Excelsior Hotel (****)

Prices start from €97

This hotel is situated close to Mall of the Emirates, The Emirates Golf Club and Ski Dubai. Also nearby is Wild Wadi Water Park and Souk Madinat Jumeirah. The Grand Excelsior Hotel has an outdoor pool, health club, steam room and sauna. This Art Deco hotel also includes its own nightclub. For a surcharge, guests can avail of hotel transportation including a roundtrip airport shuttle and shopping centre shuttle. In-room complimentary wireless high-speed Internet access is also available. Rooms have city views and are equipped with 32-inch LCD TVs with cable channels and free movie channels. 

Cosmopolitan Hotel (****)

Prices start from €96

The Cosmopolitan Hotel is close to Ski Dubai, Mall of the Emirates and Wild Wadi Water Park. It has a full-service spa, outdoor pool and steam room. Pulse Spa has two treatment rooms and services on offer include massages, facials, body wraps, and body scrubs. A variety of treatment therapies are provided, including aromatherapy and hydrotherapy. Hotel guests can make avail of complimentary transportation during their stay including a beach shuttle and a shopping centre shuttle. Guest rooms feature 32-inch LCD TVs with premium digital channels and free movie channels.

Seven Sands Hotel Apartments (***)

Prices start from €96

This Dubai hotel combines the convenience of an apartment with a great location and is situated within a minute’s walk of the Mall of the Emirates and Ski Dubai. The Metro and airport are also easily accessible from The Seven Sands. Jumeirah Beach is less than six kilometres away. Each spacious, apartment-style suite comes complete with a kitchen, balcony, two flat-screen TVs and a separate living room with a sofa bed. Suites also include washer and dryers. An outdoor pool, gym, hot tub, and steam room are situated on the rooftop. Other amenities include an Indian restaurant, and 24-hour room service.

For more information and travel tips on planning your holiday visit www.Hotels.com or call 1800 55 3338 to wake up happy on your holiday!