Asia, Middle East
A vibrant culture, historical gems and immense natural beauty, Dubai, a glittering metropolis fringed by glorious beaches and vast deserts, has it all. It's also home to record-breaking buildings and boasts many world firsts including a 7-star hotel.
Today you'll fly overnight to Dubai, a vibrant, modern city with a unique culture, a cosmopolitan atmosphere and tempting year-round sunshine. Day 2 Tour & dhow cruise
This morning you'll arrive in Dubai. Surrounded by desert, it is the most populous city in the United Arab Emirates, boasting an array of architectural gems and some of the world's most beautiful beaches.
On an orientation tour, you'll see highlights including the Dubai Marina, the Burj Al Arab and the Madinat Souk. The Palm Islands are man-made islands created in the shape of a palm tree, and we'll head to one of them - the Palm Jumeirah. We'll also take the monorail to see its attractions, including luxury hotels and beautiful beaches.
This evening we'll see even more on a dhow cruise in the Dubai Marina. This is a great way to take in the city's glittering skyline as we sail past towering skyscrapers on this traditional Arabic vessel. Our cruise also includes a welcome drink and dinner.
Today is free for you to do as you wish. Your 5-star hotel boasts excellent facilities including a gym, spa and swimming pool. If you'd like to see more of the UAE, perhaps join our optional full-day excursion to its capital, Abu Dhabi, home of the stunning Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque. We'll also visit the Breakwater, home to the city's fascinating Heritage Village and Marina Mall, which features a viewing platform, ice rink and musical fountains. Then we'll head to Yas Island, which boasts an array of attractions, from a waterpark to an award-winning golf course.Day 4 Dubai
Dubai boasts some innovative, record-breaking buildings, which we'll discover today. First we'll visit the Burj Khalifa, the tallest man-made structure in the world. Here, we'll head to the 'At the Top' observation deck to enjoy marvellous 360-degree views of the city, desert and ocean. The Mall of the Emirates is home to Ski Dubai, the first indoor ski resort in the Middle East, and is a further highlight.
We'll also take in the Dubai Museum, an intriguing attraction housed in the Al Fahidi Fort - the oldest building in the city.
The bustling markets are another popular draw, so we'll head to the gold and spice souks, where we'll also find a great choice of shops, restaurants and bars.
Today we'll make our way to nearby Sharjah, which boasts a vibrant cultural scene, plenty of museums, theatres and galleries, and historical gems including Souk Al Asrah. At more than 200 years old, this large covered marketplace is one of the oldest in the UAE. Step back in time as you explore its narrow alleyways, sample traditional Arabic coffee and linger at stalls selling intriguing handicrafts.
Thousands of artefacts are displayed at the Sharjah Museum of Islamic Civilisation, while the Blue Souk is a stunning mall packed full of shops.
Enjoy free time to explore at leisure this afternoon, or why not join our optional desert safari excursion. No visit to Dubai is really complete without heading out on a desert adventure and our expert guides will take us on a thrilling journey. It begins with a stop at a camel farm, where we'll get up close to these creatures known as the 'ships of the desert'. We'll then drive up and down the golden dunes, stopping on the highest peak for fabulous views of this seemingly endless landscape, which is particularly magical at sunset. We'll then experience authentic Arabian hospitality as we head to a Bedouin camp for a traditional coffee with cardamom and dates, followed by a barbecue under the stars accompanied by a belly dancing display.
Today we'll transfer to the airport for our flight back to the UK.
Please note that the itinerary for 2020 will differ slightly from that shown here. On day 2 the orientation tour has been removed.
Dubai orientation tour including the Dubai Marina & a photo stop at the Burj Arab