We had a trip that was truly unforgettable and perfect in every sense.
The most populous city of the seven emirates of the UAE, Dubai was once a tranquil coastal town of houses, huts with roofs made from palm fronds, and pearl divers. Today, the city has reinvented itself with the discovery of oil, and is now a major center of global commerce and finance. With sparkling, towering skyscrapers alongside ancient minarets, Dubai's entry into the modern world is flashy, fun, and more than slightly surreal. Indeed, when the city ran out of coastline on which to build, engineers created huge, man-made islands, some shaped like palm trees, others like continents - a testament to the immense, monumental ambition that drives the development of the city.
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Our General Manager Victoria Hilley enjoyed her stay at the Burj Al Arab, as well as sandboarding and taking a 4x4 drive across the amazing dunes.
Visit the Burj Khalifa, currently the world’s tallest skyscraper at 2,722 feet (830 meters). The tower houses both residential and commercial spaces as well as the first Armani Hotel, situated in the lower 39 floors of the building.
Visit Palm Jumeirah, the giant, artificial archipelago that is the first of three planned Palm Islands off the coast of Dubai. Visible from outer space, the Palm's sister projects include the World, an archipelago of private islands formed in the outline of the seven continents, and the Universe, islands modeled after planets and constellations.
A giant conglomeration of theme parks and suburbs, Dubailand will, upon completion in 2018, be about the size of Singapore. Interestingly, Dubailand will also include a medical community centered around one of the world’s largest plastic surgery clinics, as well as an outpost of the Harvard Medical School.
Take a ride out to the desert for a safari adventure. You will be picked up in a 4-wheel-drive vehicle that will take you to the entrance of the desert, where your driver will deflate the tires to prepare the SUV for the sand dunes. Your vehicle will then climb and slide its way through the dunes until you reach a tented area, where you can stop for a camel ride.
Visit the Hatta Oasis, a village located at the bottom of Hajjar Mountains. Hatta is accessible by a desert safari ride through the sand dunes and volcanic peaks before reaching the village. Take a dip in the series of clear-water pools, where tiny fish will swim with you or may even nibble at your toes.
Charter a private cruise on a luxury yacht to the Musandam Peninsula, a finger of rock overlooking the Strait of Hormuz. Its remote location is home to wild, mountainous fjords, dolphins and isolated villages. Visit the town of Khusab to go dolphin-watching or snorkel in the crystal-clear waters.
Cruise down the Creek, a huge natural inlet, at a leisurely pace on a wooden dhow, a traditional sailing vessel with triangular sails and a swift hull that sits low in the water. The Creek was once the only trade route in the Emirates, a position it now shares with Jebel Ali Port. As you cruise down the inlet, you will see myriad facilities providing anchorage and port services to traders from across the region and the subcontinent.
Visit the Dubai Museum, housed in the Al Fahidi Fort, which dates back to 1787. The museum details life in the Middle East before the discovery of oil via a series of intricate, life-size dioramas depicting scenes of life at sea, life in the desert, domestic and commercial life. In addition to scenes on a date farm, in a souk, or open-air market, and inside a mosque, there are also detailed exhibits on some of the lesser-known aspects of the Emirates, including one on pearl diving complete with weights, scales, sheaves and other occupational accoutrements.
Sheik Mohammed Center for Cultural Understanding
Have lunch at Sheik Mohammed Center for Cultural Understanding (SMCCU), where you will have a traditional Emirati lunch and will be able to chat (through your guide as interpreter) with locals about their lives in this singular city.
Explore the shops, galleries, and restaurants in the alleyways of the Bastakiya quarter, an area that has been inhabited by wealthy Persian merchants since the late 19th century and was painstakingly renovated by the government in the 1980s. Narrow pedestrian alleyways snake around the district, lined with local architecture and wind-towered houses in coral-colored stone and beige clay.
Have an over-the-top dinner at the Burj Al Arab’s “underwater” Al Mahara Restaurant (Al Mahara means “the Oyster” in Arabic). The dining area is wrapped around a massive aquarium holding 35,000 cubic feet of water, coral, vibrant tropical fish, and other marine life, including black-tip reef sharks. The menu is equally impressive, with a wide variety of seafood prepared in styles that fuse Asian and European cuisine.
Wild Wadi Water Park
Indulge your inner child at the adjoining Wild Wadi Water Park, a true feat of technology in such an arid region. Wild Wadi is the most technologically advanced water park outside the US, with 12 acres of grounds and 30 rides.
Ski Dubai is the first indoor ski resort in the Middle East and offers skiing, snowboarding and tobogganing (or just playing in the man-made snow). The construction covers an astounding expanse of over 240,000 square feet, covered with fresh powder year-round. Runs of varying difficulty include the world’s first indoor black diamond slope and a quarter pipe for stunt-minded snowboarders. Appropriate clothing and equipment can be provided.
Contemporary Art Tour
Dubai is home to an extensive collection of art by emerging Iranian, Pakistani, Indian, and Arab artists, as well as increasing exhibits of work by Western and Far Eastern artists. The Al Quoz district, one of the most popular art sectors, has seen more than 30 galleries open since 2005.
Notable galleries include: The Third Line, which showcases some of the most interesting art by Middle Eastern talent; 1x1 Contemporary, which was transformed from an old warehouse and displays art from all over the Asian subcontinent; and the Flying House, based in the private home of a curator, and which contains the work of three generations of Emirati artists.
A rare opportunity to get up close to playful and cuddly penguins awaits you at Dubai's Snow Penguins experience. Touch, feed and play with several penguin species in a specially created environment, with private access available for Remote Lands clients.
Spend 3 incredible days in the playground of the rich and famous, glimmering Dubai. Get a VIP tour of the city: you’ll ride a seaplane, shop in age-old alleyway markets of Persian merchants, and visit the Burj Khalifa, while staying in one of Dubai’s (and the world’s) best hotels, like the Burj Al Arab.
This nine-day itinerary starts and ends in two most well-known cities in the UAE, Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Discover the opulence and wealth of the country along with history and culture as the journey stops at Sharjah, Al Ain and more.
This eight-day itinerary starts off in the best-known UAE city where opulence and wealth can be seen at every turn. Moving on to Abu Dhabi, a city to rival Dubai, the extravagance continues before traveling to Al Ain and Al Maha to discover the desert, wildlife, traditional markets and souks and true Emirati life.
This nine-day itinerary starts and ends in two of the most iconic cities in the UAE, Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Shop to your heart’s content with travel through Al Maha and a stay at the Qasr Al Sarab for some pure indulgence in this desert oasis.
Hop between the UAE’s two most opulent desert emirates on this exclusive 6-day luxury tour. You’ll experience a few nights in the world-renowned Armani Hotel Dubai, see the sand dunes on a safari ride, visit important mosques, and spend time at the fast-paced Ferrari World, on this exciting adventure.
Lights, camera, action: your highlight reel of Abu Dhabi, Oman, and Dubai is set to begin with this 15-day tour of all the luxurious hotspots in this exciting region of the Middle East. From desert islands to stunning fjords, this tour showcases the very best these countries have to offer, at the intersection of adventure and luxury.
Jetset between two of the world’s most luxurious destinations: the Maldives and Dubai on this 8-day tour. You’ll relax in the paradise of Kaafu Atoll, dive into the lively azure waters that surround, and fly to Dubai, where you’ll see the city from a private plane, all the while staying in the world’s best hotels.
This six-day itinerary travels from city to sands, exploring the bright lights and modern day mecca that is Dubai to the more traditional sand-filled deserts of Al Maha, opening up a world of rich culture and history in this vast and varying landscape.
Designed with typical Armani flair and set in the heart of downtown Dubai, The Armani Hotel Dubai is one of the city’s most chic addresses and a must for fashion-conscious travelers. The hotel has 160 beautifully designed rooms and suites, some designed by Giorgio Armani himself and many offering incredible views of the city, with personal Lifestyle Managers on hand to make sure your stay goes smoothly. The hotel also has as many as seven restaurants and lounges offering Asian, Indian, Mediterranean and Italian cuisine and lavish cocktails, the opulent Armani Spa & Fitness Centre, and an ultra-luxe retail area.
Burj Al Arab
The world’s first six-star hotel, it is regularly voted as the world’s most luxurious hotel and has taken opulence to a new level. All 202 duplex suites have at least 170 square meters of space and all come with their own private butler, Jacuzzi and spectacular views. The hotel also boasts six award-winning restaurants, the exclusive Assawan Spa & Health Club, a private beach, and a whole new level of personalized service.
One & Only Royal Mirage
Evoking memories of Bedouin palaces, the One & Only Royal Mirage sits on an expansive plot of coastal land in Dubai. It features three unique environments: The Palace, Arabian Court, and Residence & Spa. The Palace area has 231 well-appointed beachfront rooms, temperature-controlled swimming pools, and a watersports center. The Arabian Court’s regal architecture makes for a majestic atmosphere, featuring rooms and suites with sprawling sea views, and three fantastic restaurants. The Residence & Spa features its own private reception, as well as Arabian-styled rooms, suites and villas in an ornate environment. Here, guests will also find the indulgent One & Only Spa, an Oriental Hammam, and designer beauty and hair studios. Guests may choose from an incredible array of 13 different restaurants and bars, featuring fine cuisines from all over the world, including European, Moroccan, and of course, Arabian. A beach bar, nightclub, and sports lounge make excellent spots for guests to enjoy a casual drink with friends or family. Among the vast selection of facilities available are a fitness center, a selection of pools, floodlit tennis courts, and putting green, and much more.
One & Only The Palm
Built with Moorish and Andalusian architectural style and techniques, this palatial hotel sits on a glimmering peninsula amid manicured gardens, fountains and pools. Understated elegance may have been their goal, but this opulent hotel is well-suited to Dubai’s over-the-top nature. Guests may choose from a vast array of well-appointed rooms, all boasting exquisite views, and featuring plush, Arabian-inspired interiors. Dining options at One&Only The Palm include the hotel’s four bars and restaurants, featuring fine cuisine of both Middle Eastern and international flavors and breathtaking views of the palm island and Dubai’s incredible skyline. It’s not necessary to leave the hotel, with a host of on-site facilities that include a colossal main pool, as well as a state-of-the-art fitness facility, private spa, and internationally-renowned beauty center, but those who choose to can do so via water taxi to the mainland, just a short ride away.