Destination Guide: Dubai, United Arab Emirates

A shimmering oasis and gateway to the Middle East and beyond, Dubai is a destination like no other.

Must do

Surprising, eclectic and often puzzling, Dubai is much more than just a stopover, so take some time to get to know it.

  • Burj Khalifa - the world’s tallest building can be seen from anywhere in the city, but the real fun is taking the super-fast lift to the viewing platform on its 124th level.

  • Jumeirah Mosque - a much-photographed landmark, the Jumeirah Mosque is the only mosque non-Muslims can enter.

  • Bastakiya district - with all the glistening modernity in Dubai, it's easy to forget there's an old town. Explore the Bastakiya district to see distinctive Arabian archways and original homes.


Just about any cuisine you fancy is on offer in Dubai. Weekend brunch is huge with many international hotels turning on lavish buffets and several-course feasts.

  • TOMO, Raffles Dubai - Partner Chef Takahashi with his team of skilled chefs from Japan has gained an extensive following of Japanese nationals and people of other nationalities in the UAE who appreciate the real taste of Japan.

  • Levantine - enjoy Lebanese cuisine in a beautiful setting. Enter via the grand staircase and choose low, traditional seating if you like, standard tables, or the romance of the terrace bar.

  • Jetty Lounge - with a fabulous beachside bar and an amazing view of the Dubai skyline, award winning Jetty Lounge is a perfect blend of Arabian ambience and modern Dubai attitude.


The fact that Dubai is home to the world’s largest mall – and hosts scores of other, smaller but still gargantuan malls, as well as atmospheric souks and even a shopping festival – marks this out as a place that knows its retail. 

  • The Dubai Mall - shop at the world’s largest mall by total area.

  • Karama Souk - if you’re in the market for shoes, bags, watches, jewelery and souvenirs (and prepared to haggle!) venture into the warren of alleyways, tiny family restaurants and small shops at Karama Souk.

  • Deira Gold Souk - Dubai is known for really cheap gold. Whether or not you're ready to buy, a stroll through the dazzling Deira Gold Souk is a must!


Virtually every hotel brand in the world is represented in offerings of quality that, due to incredible competition, never dips below decent and often soars into a seven-star stratosphere.

  • Raffles Dubai - inspired by the great pyramids of Egypt, Raffles Dubai is a stunning landmark in Dubai's skyline.

  • Sofitel Dubai Downtown – offering the finest in French luxury, this five-star destination has panoramic views of Burj Khalifa, the world's tallest building, and the epic Dubai Fountain.

  • Fairmont Dubai - located in the heart of Dubai's Financial District, the luxurious Dubai Hotel is minutes from Dubai attractions, shopping, golf courses, and beaches.

Find these hotels and the latest accommodation offers with FCM SmartSTAY - exclusive to FCM customers.

Did you know... It may be the desert, but you can ski any time of the year in Dubai. Ski Dubai is an indoor ski resort in the Mall of the Emirates, featuring 22,500 square metres of snowfields.