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Top 10 luxury experiences in Dubai

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With the world’s tallest, largest and flashest, Dubai always thinks big. This guide to luxury Dubai highlights the cream of the crop in the city synonymous with over-the-top.

Seven stars at Burj Al Arab

Off Jumeirah Road, the Burj Al Arab hotel is a byword for luxury. Celebrities arrive at the sail-shaped building by helicopter but you don’t need to be a guest to ride the express panoramic elevator to the 27th-floor Skyview Bar.

Seeking gold at the souq

Grab your sunglasses to shade your eyes from 300 shop windows gleaming with gold jewellery at Deira’s Gold Souq. Dubbed the City of Gold, there’s 25 tonnes of rings, bracelets and necklaces on display in the souq’s narrow covered lanes.

Khalid Bin Waleed Road, Deira

Finest dining at Verre

Dubai is a gourmand’s dream, with a feast of superlative restaurants operated by world-renowned chefs. Splash out at Verre by Gordon Ramsay, where masterful French techniques transform the freshest produce into food from heaven.

Dubai desert safari

For the complete Dubai experience, travel into the desert on an off-road safari. These exhilarating adventures take you across rolling dunes to remote villages and camel farms. Luxury evening safaris include a desert sunset, camel rides, belly dancing and a Bedouin barbecue around the campfire.

Learn to dive in the Gulf

Several professional PADI dive centres are based in Dubai, including Al Boom Diving in Jumeirah. Learn scuba basics, earn your open- water diving certificate or snorkel the reefs in the Gulf of Oman. Charter a luxury yacht from Dubai Marina in New Dubai, complete with onboard chef and masseur.

Shopping at Mall of the Emirates

Shopping is just the beginning at Mall of the Emirates: one of Dubai’s most luxurious shopping experiences features an indoor ski field complete with après ski bar. Inside the dazzling mall you’ll find Harvey Nichols, high-street brands from H&M to Zara, and designer stores including Paul Smith, Gucci and Emporio Armani Caffè. Off Sheikh Zayed Road, there’s a free shuttle service from major hotels.

Interchange 4 on Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai

Pampering at Cleopatra’s spa

A soak in the spa and plunge pool at Cleopatra’s will recharge your batteries for the next round of shopping. Suitably themed to suit its Egyptian location in the Wafi mall, Cleopatra’s offers a full menu of pampering treatments, from Ayurvedic to male grooming packages. 

Between 26th Street, 13th Street and Sheikh Rashid Road, Dubai

Drinks at the Buddha Bar

Chill out with laidback lounge beats at Buddha Bar in the Grosvenor House hotel at Dubai Marina, New Dubai. Chandelier lighting, plush textures and a giant Buddha take their cue from the original Buddha Bar in Paris but the sheer opulence and adventurous cocktails are pure Dubai.

Creek dinner cruise

There’s nothing like sailing down Dubai Creek past illuminated waterfront towers in the moonlight. Traditional wooden dhow cruises serve a buffet dinner. For a four-course East-meets-West meal choose a glass-sided Bateaux Dubai dinner cruise.

Golf among the dunes

Dubai’s golf courses are some of the finest in the Middle East, with a choice of desert oases and Creekside links. Tee off by the water at the Dubai Creek Club in Deira, floodlit for night golf and boasting a health club and swim-up bar.