Dubai / UAE hotels - advice and forces rates?

Discussion in 'Travel' started by jim30, Jul 15, 2012.

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  1. Folks

    Myself and the Mrs are toying with the idea of some late winter sun, and for once in our lives seeing what the fuss is about in Dubai. We're looking for a decent hotel, not necessarily a beach hotel, and ideally somewhere which is free of children.

    Couple of questions for you, as its been nearly a decade since I was last in that area, and then I was working, so saw some far less salubrious bits of it.

    1. Is it better to do Dubai or Abu Dhabi?

    2. Any particularly good resorts/hotels for an early thirtysomething couple who are allergic to children?

    3. Does anywhere do Forces rates, or if not, is there a good time of year to book and get decent rates?

  2. Send Rogerout a PM.
  3. Dubai's a horrible trashy shithole with some fairly nice hotels and OK shopping malls, if that's what you like. The temperature and humidity are vile and no-one but an eejit would consider sunbathing in 40 degree plus temperatures. The traffic is horrible and the place is crawling with white trash.

    Abu Dhabi is equally traffic-congested but nowhere near as horrid; less to do and, being generally a more devout place, much less tolerance for iffy behaviour than Dubai (which isn't hugely tolerant either, come to that).

    Both Emirates are characterised by arrogant and unpleasant Emiratis and a large underclass of incredibly badly paid folk from South Asia and the Philipines who actually do the work.

    Have a think about Oman, instead - much nicer place, top class local folk as well. Ibadhi Muslims are a tolerant lot.
    • Like Like x 3
  4. i was out there in march last year, temperature was pleasant, , im planning on october this year aswell for 10 days, i am taking bin lids though..again.

    we stayed at the arabian courtyard hotel and spa in bur dubai, off the track enough to not attract kids, even though i had mine with me. it was close enough to everything, well a short taxi ride away, free bus service to and from the beach, good choice of restaurants and a pub swimming pool, spa and all that health stuff for the wife, i sat round the pool mitt beer. Rooms were massive, king size bed, kitchen, small living room, which i didnt expect and it was all done out in traditional middle eastern style decor.

    i emailed them direct and got a really good rate but to fair it wasnt much difference from the big players like expedia.

    depends what you want from your holiday, location, price nightlife etc etc
  5. yeah got to agree with Glad it all over, Oman rocks, the crowne plaza in salalah do forces rates. or embassy rates, as does the Hilton, some nice local soukhs to walk around, with dam good local scoff. The perfume soukh would see the wife in heaven at all the natural perfume oils she can buy and also you can do the frankincense trail. for your enjoyment, hire a landcruiser head north towards thumrait on the muscat road, thats a journey in itself, to some serious off roading or head off to mirbat which is about 45 minutes up the road.
  6. Schaden

    Schaden LE Book Reviewer

    Any particular reason for M/E rather than say SE Asia?
  7. Fair point. So much better choice Thailand, Vietnam, Laos or Cambodia
    Must be better options.
  8. I'm there regularly and whilst I prefer Abu Dhabi to Dubai there is rather a lot more to do in Dubai. You can drive to Abu Dhabi in an hour and a bit (watch for the big **** off speed bump on the Emirates road it gets everyone) and do pretty much everything there is to do there in a day. You can get a taxi for about £50 as taxis are very cheap there (only call +97142 080808, they're government operated and always safe and properly priced. Although some of the drivers are a bit shit and you may have to navigate). Ferrari World on Yas Island is touristy but quite worth visiting.

    Avoid Atlantis The Palm (the stupid palm tree shaped island) like the plague it's the tackiest collection of nude germans and screaming kids you can imagine. Being in Dubai it attracts a special breed of people who live in scummy english council estates but think because they're in Dubai they can pretend to be footballers and get away with it.

    I would be inclined to agree with everyone else and say that Dubai and Abu Dhabi are pretty shit. The beer costs too much, driving is physically scary, and the whole place is generally just geared for business and not pleasure. I would personally choose a country which has some history and culture, rather than a country which 25 years ago was an empty desert, with a population that is only 15% native. Tradition and culture do not exist in the slightest, except possibly for the fact that you can't get porn on the hotel wifi because it's illegal.
  9. I really fail to see the attraction of Dubai, or any country in the ME. Yes its ok to visit for a day or so, to see the nice hotels and shopping centres and maybe the skiing place but thats it. Once the oil runs out, Dubai will turn into a right shithole.

    I did enjoy my time in Oman, but again, I wouldn't go on holiday there. So many better, cheaper and more interesting places to go.
  10. Dubai isn't really about oil anymore (and neither is the rest of the UAE). Tourism is actually one of the biggest points of the economy, as is service.

    But I agree that it's shit. The 'holy shit that's big' factor wears off pretty quickly and it soon becomes a hot stuffy place where everybody is rude to you.
  11. Must be a load of stupid people about if tourism is their biggest points of the economy.

    I see that their World Islands is a major failure and is actually starting to sink.

    Personally, I would happily see Dubai turn into a ghost town. I am also looking forward to the oil running out in all ME countries so they get back to the 14th century way of living they seem to all crave.
  12. As usual you spout tripe.
  13. Some of the comments above could be straight out of the Daily Mail. Having lived in Dubai for six years, here is my opinion:

    The main sources of economic wealth in Dubai are Trade/ Tourism and Oil, in that order.
    There are a large number of first class hotels in Dubai. These are used by tourists from both the GCC and the rest of the world, so get used to the idea of meeting different cultures.
    The average price per room in five star is between AED 600-750 per room per night.
    For winter sun, as specified by the OP, avoid the summer. I turn off my aircon around the end of September, and I turn it on around mid April. The climate during this six month period is extremely pleasant. December/Jan is seldom above mid 20s and seldom below 12/13 at night. Avoid visiting in June, July and August - it's roasters.
    The cost of a beer, in a hotel/bar is typically between AED25-30. Best to buy a slab at duty free on the way in and put it in your hotel minibar. You are also allowed five bottles of wine/ spirits.
    As a tourist, you will not usually come into contact with Emiratis. If you do so, in the main you will find them to be pleasant, decent people who keep themselves to themselves. Not to be confused with Saudis and Kuwaitis, who stay in the hotels, who can be very arrogant. Omanis are generally top blokes.

    The shopping is good if that's your thing.
    There are plentiful day trips to the desert for 4x4, camping experiences, hiking in the mountains, also Rugby 7s, Dubai World Cup etc
    The diving and sea fishing off Musandam is world class.
    Don't show too much flesh outside the hotel and no drunkenness or snogging in public and you'll have no problems.

    Personally, I would stay at the following:
    Grosvenor House
    Habtoor Grand (likely to be kids here)
    Westin Marina
    The One & Only (Marina and Palm)
    Al Qasr
    Jumierah Beach Hotel.
    Mina Al Salam
    Le Meridian Mina Siyahi.

    All the above have beach access. For non beach access I'd recommend the following:

    The Address Dubai Mall
    The Address Downtown
    The Palace Old Town
    Al Manzil Downtown
    Grand Hyatt

    Out of town ultra luxury:
    Al Maha (couples only, 45 mins into the desert)
    Two hour dirive from DXB - Six Senses Zighy Bay (actually in Musandam which is a detached bit of Oman). Just went there at the weekend and seriously good but pricey.

    Dubai is a big air hub. You could consider going on to Muscat, Salalah, Beirut, Amman etc etc.

    I'd avoid Abu Dhabi as it is far more conservative, and it does not have the choice of hotels, restaurants or activities that you will find in Dubai. Personally, I holiday in Africa or the Far East, which is easy to do from Dubai.

    OP, feel free to PM me.
  14. Gents,

    A very large thank you to everyone who has helped in this thread - there have been some really useful pointers on what to do.

    From my take, my first preference would be Jordan (culture, history, and I'd love to go back). The problem is that my Mrs is not 100% certain she wants to be in that area while Syria is kicking off, and its not worth the hassle to try to persuade to the contrary. We've got a big far east trip planned for 2014, so I don't want to jump the gun and go early - also we've only got 6-7 days. We're getting married in late 2013, so have a honeymoon planned in somewhere suitably exotic too.

    For us, we're not remotely active party animals - we're fairly quiet, allergic to kids and loud chavtastic types. Our thinking with UAE or the region is to see somewhere like Vegas just once, just to see what it is like. I've been to almost all the countries in the region on work business, but have never actually had a holiday out there. It would be fascinating to see what its like. From my take, I'm looking for a quiet week of doing very little ahead of a very busy year, and which has a very active honeymoon (and likely Stag weekend) planned. Hence, thinking sun, tackiness, and generally a 'oh my gosh I can't believe they did this' moment. She wants to see it once, just to convince her never to go back!

    I think Oman looks far more tempting, and I'm going to try working on that as an idea - failing that, there's always a nile cruise in Egypt (never get engaged to an ancient historian unless you like poking about dusty ruins!).
  15. As usual you're quick to start screaming but your corrections are nowhere to be seen.

    How much time do you spend in the UAE? Answer: None. You're a nurse so your idea of a holiday is a weekend in Skegness every 7 years.