Asia + The Middle East United Arab Emirates Cosmopolitan cities, skyscraper hotels, superb diving, the place to be seen, metropolitan beaches Glitz-in-the-sand… the world’s biggest construction site… a beach holiday in Dubai isn’t everyone’s idea of a break but we think this hive of go-go-go energy, sybaritic hotels and immaculately groomed beaches makes a great stopover en route to points further East. That said, your enjoyment will depend hugely on choosing the hotel that best matches your style, knowing where to shop and getting into the best restaurants – and for that, you need our kind of insider knowledge. The white sand beaches merge into colossal sand dunes, the perfect environment for camel riding, dune bashing or dinner under the stars in our private camp. For those in search of a cultural experience, we can take you away from the shopping malls and beaches into the depths of the country to discover local mud house villages. It’s worth remembering that, despite grabbing all the headlines, Dubai is just one of the seven Emirates that make up the UAE and, beyond the metropolitan beaches there are silent deserts, stark mountains, green oases, crystalline sea with superb diving and a good helping of traditional Arabian values…so long as you know where to look. Stories Places to Stay Highlights Location Stories As every one of the holidays we create is truly tailor-made, all of our clients come back with different and interesting stories. We love to hear from our clients on their return to find out about their most memorable moments. Our Destination Experts are also always travelling to our extraordinary destinations and every trip allows us to refine and add value to our clients' future experiences. Dubai from up high After five days in the buzzing metropolis of Dubai, Alex Townsend our destination expert, is in awe of Dubai and all that it has to offer. The highlight of her trip was a private helicopter ride which soared above 'The Palm' and 'The World', circling the Burj Khalifa then down to the historic Dubai creek. The jaw dropping views were exquisite. Find out more 30TH BIRTHDAY SURPRISE IN THE UAE Wanting to treat her partner to an unforgettable holiday to celebrate his 30th birthday, Francesca Rigby couldn't think of of a better place than the bright lights of Dubai and the action-packed Middle East. With some sky-high surprises in store, find out what made their celebration trip so memorable... Find out more Places to Stay At cazenove+loyd, we have no vested interest in the hotels, lodges, boats, trains and tented camps which we select. We only choose what is right for a particular client. We visit each destination in our three regions on a regular basis and have detailed conversations with our clients on their return so our choices are continually refined. Here are just four c+l reviews. This is by no means a prescriptive list, but hints at what we look for and value in places to stay. Burj Al Arab Jumeirah One of the most extravagant hotels in the world, the Burj Al Arab Jumeirah occupies an enormous, sail-shaped building on a private man-made island connected to the mainland by a long, curved bridge. The rich colours, shiny accessories and heavy fabrics might not be to everyone’s taste but the hotel really does epitomise the essence of the city and thus can be quite an experience for those wanting to indulge themselves in true Dubai style. Find out more One & Only The Palm Similar to it’s sister hotel, The One & Only Royal Mirage, it has a more understated design than some of its rivals on the archipelago. It is one of the few boutique, low-rise hotels in Dubai, with beautiful manicured gardens leading down to a pristine beach, right on the end of one of the frongs of the Palm. In fact the beach is so well manicured that it has the softest sand in the whole of Dubai. The service is unfaultable and it is a sophisticated vibe, attracting a mainly adults-only crowd. Find out more Armani Hotel Dubai Armani Hotel Dubai is located in the world’s tallest building – the Burj Khalifa. The view is not quite as impressive as one would imagine since the hotel is not actually on the higher levels, but even so the rooms still have a great view of downtown Dubai, with some looking over the enormous Dubai Fountain which is a truly spectacular sight, especially when lit up at night. And regardless of which floor you are on, we feel there is something rather special about staying in the highest building in the world. Find out more Qasr Al Sarab Nestled amongst the giant sand dunes of Abu Dhabi’s Empty Quarter sits the oasis of Qasr Al Sarab. Only a few hours by car from Abu Dhabi or Dubai, we think the combination of a busy city with this remote desert location is perfect. Although a new building, the hotel has been modelled on a local fortress and the designers have done a great job of blending it in to the surroundings whilst including every luxury one could want. Enjoy views of the rolling sand dunes from your own private villa. Find out more Highlights For over 20 years we have been creating the best luxury tailor-made holidays, we know our countries inside and out and really know how to get under the skin of each one and the best way to experience them. Desert Adventure in style A desert safari is always a popular choice for those on holiday in Dubai, either as a day trip or overnight. The mystery and romance of the desert conjures up images of the golden sands of Lawrence of Arabia, 1001 nights. A lot of the outfitters that operate in the desert have become very commercial, however we can offer an experience that brings back romance and authenticity into the dunes. Find out more Photographic Helicopter Tour What better way to see the whole of Dubai than in your own helicopter. Take to the skies and see the huge development that has taken place over the past few years and photograph one of the most extraordinary cityscapes in the world. Find out more The World’s Tallest Building The Burj soars above this extraordinary city, best viewed through the Behold Telescope, showing both the landscape in real-time and in previously saved images taken at different times of day / under different weather conditions. Only in Dubai. Find out more The Old City of Dubai Away from the fast paced, modern high rise Dubai, there are many cultural excursions worth doing. Get a sense of what Dubai's original trading town used to be with a visit to the souks in the Creek which are full of authentic charm and atmosphere. Find out more Location We know United Arab Emirates better than most. The possibilities are endless and ever-changing. On the map below, we have plotted some of our current favourite places to stay, some c+l highlights and a few pertinent client stories. And you can see if there is a team member travelling in that particular country and link through to them and what they are up to, so you can get them to call you on their return. Best time to visit United Arab Emirates Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Best time to go The UAE is a great stopover destination en route to exploring further East and it is easy to combine a few days in the city or desert with any of our Asian destinations with Emirates or Ethiad. The best time is from October to March to avoid the hotter temperatures of the summer months, though be preferred for much cooler evenings in late December and early January. Meet the Team Asia + The Middle East Venetia Chris Penny Florence Auriole We'd love to hear from you Our well travelled Destination Experts have extensive first hand knowledge of their destinations and can open doors that others simply can’t.