An Urban Beach in the Desert
This man-made metropolis has become synonymous with glittering extravagance, but the desert city harbours surprises beyond its luxury malls and five-star resorts.
Dubai is defined by its ability to constantly reinvent and outdo itself. Even repeat visitors will always find something new to see: like the warehouses of Alserkal Avenue, home to avant-garde designers and cutting-edge galleries, or the Dubai Design District, a hipster hub of creative studios and tech start-ups launched in 2017.
The Dubai Frame, which opened January 2018, offers a whole new perspective on the city. Two parallel towers are connected by a glass-floored footbridge,150 metres above ground, with vistas of the old town and the Arabian gulf in one direction, the high-rise skyline and the rippling dunes of the Arabian desert in the other. Stepping inside is like walking into thin air.
From desert safaris to gold, spice and textile souks, super-sized amusement parks to pull-out-all-stops resorts, Dubai combines the vibrant appeal of a city break and the relaxed indulgence of a beach holiday.
The Four Seasons Resort Dubai, set on a private beach in the highly desirable Jumeirah beach, offers the best of both worlds.
There are two outdoor pools and a watersports centre, where staff pamper guests with complimentary refreshments and sunscreen. A wealth of fine dining options, from Asian-inspired seafood to Arabic-infused mezze. And a sumptuous spa inspired by Dubai’s ancient pearl industry, with a treatment menu featuring gold leaf, pearl extract, caviar and chocolate.
Making its debut in December 2017, Dubai’s Bvlgari Resort is the brand’s biggest and most show-stopping property. Situated on the manmade island of Jumeira Bay, connected by a 300-metre bridge to Dubai’s golden mile, the complex features a Beach Club, the Bvlgari’s first Marina and Yacht Club, seven dining options, a spa inspired by Roman baths, and an exceptional kids club.
While you’re in Dubai, make time to visit the UAE’s most astonishing new landmark, the Louvre Abu Dhabi. Designed by Jean Nouvel, the building floats on the water like a mirage, its webbed dome casting a mesmerising ‘rain of light’ over works of art by the likes of Picasso, Mondrian, and Ai Weiwei.