Paddle in the Persian Gulf and relax on fantastic beaches
A top destination for beach holidays, Dubai has miles of beautiful sandy stretches along its coastline, and many beachside hotels have their own private beach areas. There are also several public beaches you can use for free and private beaches where a small fee will be charged. Those with a fee are generally more family-friendly and some have designated women-and-children-only days.
While western swimwear is perfectly acceptable on private beaches, visitors heading to public beaches should be respectful of local culture and make sure that shoulders and knees are covered up even when swimming. Wearing a t-shirt and swimming shorts is recommended.
In the peak holiday season Dubai beaches are busy and lively. They're packed with sunbathers, watersports enthusiasts kitesurfing and jet-skiing, as well as joggers and families having picnics. If you're planning your All Inclusive Dubai holiday, look out for any private beach options that come with your hotel.
Shop, eat, catch a film and play at the amazing malls and souks
Whatever it is you're looking to buy or browse you're sure to find it in Dubai. There are several spectacular malls and pedestrian shopping precincts to choose from and all of them offer something a little bit different.
The Mall of the Emirates is a huge complex of shops including some familiar names such as Harvey Nichols and Marks and Spencer. It has several places to take a break and relax including cafes, restaurants and a cinema. It also has fun stuff for the kids like Magic Planet which is filled with exciting games and rides.
The Dubai Mall is another huge area where you can browse for haute couture designer items at places like Tiffany & Co. and Chanel. This is also where you can take trips to the top of the Burj Khalifa, skate at the Dubai Ice Rink and watch one of the spectacular Dubai Fountain shows.
For a more open-air shopping experience try the Dubai Marina Walk, which has restaurants, shops and the Covent Garden Market where you'll find artisan soaps, souvenirs and beautifully hand-crafted jewellery. And, if you'd like an authentic Arabian style of shopping, head for the Souk Madinet Jumeirah. It has colourful stalls, winding streets and restaurants that stay open until the early hours.
Join in the lively nightlife in the fantastic restaurants and bars
The nightlife in Dubai is vibrant and fun, with plenty of choice on where to go for a delicious evening meal, a few drinks or a late-opening club. You'll find a wide variety of restaurant options in Dubai, from casual diners serving tasty falafel to opulent fine dining venues such as Buddha Bar Dubai. There's an excellent international range of cuisine available too, from Lebanese, Chinese and Indian to familiar family favourites such as McDonald's.
For places to relax with a drink you'll find laid-back English style pubs, chic bars and amazing roof-top lounges with breath-taking views. There's also the 2,000-seater Dubai Opera where you can go for a classical concert. Or you can take a look to see what's on at the enormous 15,000-seater Dubai Media City Amphitheatre.
Dubai is usually a sunny destination where tourists are warmly welcomed. It's worth being aware that local laws and customs in Dubai are quite different to the UK, so make sure to read up on local ways of life before you go, so you get the most out of your stay.