Golf in Dubai
Golf Holidays to DubaiAfter spending four years living and playing golf in Dubai, Rich Mason joins Chaka Travel as our Middle East Manager. Rich is a former golf professional with stints on the PGA EuroPro Tour and brings a wealth of knowledge of the golf courses, hotels and visitor attractions in Dubai. Read about his time living and playing golf in Dubai here. Rich is passionate about Dubai and has a wealth of knowledge and can cater for all types of golf holidays from ultra-luxury to those who are on a much more limited budget. He can’t wait to hear from you and to will be delighted to help you plan a golf trip to Dubai to remember!
Rich Mason, Middle East Manager After spending four years living and playing golf in Dubai, Rich Mason joins Chaka Travel as our Middle East Manager. Rich is a former golf professional with stints on the PGA EuroPro Tour and brings a wealth of knowledge of the golf courses, hotels and visitor attractions in Dubai. Read about his time living and playing golf in Dubai here. Rich is passionate about Dubai and has a wealth of knowledge and can cater for all types of golf holidays from ultra-luxury to those who are on a much more limited budget. He can’t wait to hear from you and will be delighted to help you plan a golf trip to Dubai to remember! We are Dubai holiday specialists and offer great deals on golf and resort holidays to this amazing destination. It has diverse cultures, magnificent hotels, lively nightlife and a wonderful variety of cuisines. The climate is generally superb from October until April (between 25 and 35 degrees) – between May and September the heat gets turned up and it is only suitable for the serious sun-worshipper Culturally, Dubai sits on the crossroads of where east meets west & old meets new. Visitors will find themselves immersed in Arabian culture, alongside relaxed attitudes towards alcohol and attire, although topless sunbathing is not acceptable and men should not go shopping bare-chested. Did we say shopping? Dubai is the ultimate ‘shop till you drop’ destination. The Dubai Mall is the second largest in the world, boasting over 1200 retailers, an aquarium, a rainforest café and an indoor theme park! Besides it’s first-class golf courses, Dubai offers endless recreational activities such as scuba diving, sailing, windsurfing, fishing and water skiing and the standard of presentation is top of the range. Snow skiing is also available in an amazing indoor centre. Tired of sport? You can go on desert safaris, dune driving, camel riding, trips to Bedouin villages, tours of mosques or cruise on traditional dhows. If you somehow manage to see all you want to in Dubai, It is easy to visit neighbouring Emirates like Abu Dhabi and Sharjah.
Resorts in Dubai
Golf courses in Dubai
Built as a true desert style grass course, players love the natural flow of the holes through the undulating sand dunes and wonderful desert landscape. In 2014, a two-year enhancement project was completed, adding spectacular vistas whilst maintaining the integrity original design.
“Arabian Ranches will always be close to my heart, as it was the first place I worked when leaving Loch Lomond for Dubai in 2014.
It’s a tremendous members club and as soon as you step foot into the luxurious Spanish colonial clubhouse, you feel welcomed and right at home.
The food and beverage at Arabian Ranches are second to none. They have the newly renovated Ranches Restaurant with a large terrace looking over the 9th and 18th greens and Birdies Sports Bar which is at the academy – fully fitted with indoor swing room, pool table and terrace.
Then they also have a fantastic Italian restaurant on site called Maison Mathis. So plenty of options for a few beers and dinner as the sun goes down over the links, once you’ve got all the sand out of your shoes!”
The par 71 course at Dubai Creek that measures 6,967 yards is a memorable journey from the first tee to the 18th green. The superbly manicured fairways are undulating, demarcated by mounds, date and palm trees, and frequently by water. Apart from the Creek, which comes into play on at least four holes, several artificial lakes add to the beauty and difficulty of various other holes.
The Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club course sets up for a thrilling finale to a round with its two par 4 closing holes. The 17th and 18th have the Creek guarding the entire left side of the fairway. While the 17th can still be conquered with some smart play, the 18th requires mandatory cerebral involvement on every shot. There is water on the left and a long bunker on the right, beyond which is water again. A good drive will still leave you with a long iron into the tiered and sloping green, which is guarded at the front and right by a body of water.
“What a finish! Dubai Creek is a fabulous golf course and actually hosted the Dubai Desert Classic for a few years before returning to its sister club, Emirates Golf Club. The finishing two holes are two of the best you’ll find. With Dubai Creek on the left side, the holes are tough but just make sure you get some photos before bombing it into the water!”
A brand-new golfing experience in Dubai, the serene, lush lifestyle destination is just 15 minutes for Downtown Dubai and in turn has unrivalled views of the Burj Khlifa and downtown skyline.
Offering a challenge to golfers of all ability, Dubai Hills Golf Club is billed to become one of the key golf destinations in the Middle East.
“As with all new golf courses in Dubai, there was a lot of hype around the opening of Dubai Hills in the winter of 2017 and this course has 100% lived up to expectations.”
“The detail that has gone into the design of the whole resort is top draw, you can really see this even in the fine detail. Walking from green to tee as you meander through pristine flower beds, local wildlife surrounding the purpose-built lakes and the finest views of Downtown Dubai and the stunning Burj Khalifa, all add to a unique golfing experience.”
“Simply a must play for all golfers of all ability when on a Dubai golf holiday.”
Open day and night, Emirates Golf Club’s second championship golf course, which opened in 1996, was named ‘The Wadi’, taken from the Arabic word for ‘valley’. Redesigned in 2005 by golf legend and six-time major winner Nick Faldo, the course now combines a stunning visual design with the nuances and challenges of any championship course in just the right measure, providing visitors an exceptionally enjoyable golfing experience.
The new course was re-named ‘The Faldo’ when it re-opened in October 2006. A par-72, the course has proved to be as popular as its predecessor and lures players to the challenge of its 7,052 yards day or night thanks to incorporated LED floodlights throughout the course.
“The best thing about the Faldo Course at Emirates Golf Club is that fact that’s all 18 holes are fully floodlit. If you’ve not played floodlight golf before, it’s a must at least once! It’s cooler at night, fun and a refreshing change to the standard glorious sunshine you become accustomed to in Dubai! “
“I must also mention the views at night! Emirates Golf Club is located right in the heart of Dubai’s stunning skyline which comes to life at night!”
The flagship course at Emirates Golf Club, The Majlis championship course is a challenging par 72, 7,301-yard layout. Designed by Florida-based course architect Karl Litten, the original 18 holes were built in and around the dunes of a beautiful site on the edge of the city of Dubai, donated by His Highness General Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, on whose instructions the desert flora was maintained in its natural state.
The Majlis course has developed a worthy reputation worldwide as a testing layout for even the best golfers. The course features hundreds of indigenous species of flora and fauna, beautifully complemented by meandering fairways and seven fresh and saltwater lakes.
The Majlis, the first grass course in the Middle East, takes its name from the Arabic word for ‘meeting place’. One of the most prominent features on the course is the Majlis building itself positioned between the 8th and 9th holes and a Dubai landmark since 1988.
“Probably the best-known golf course in UAE thanks to it’s amazing views of the Dubai skyline and let’s not forget, host of the annual Omega Dubai Desert Classic won by names such as Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Sergio Garcia, just to name a few! ”
“The course is stunning, one of the very best you’ll ever play, and it’s got great history.”
Although Address Montgomerie has evolved into one of the Middle East’s most luxurious and desirable golfing destinations in recent times, the key to its success has always remained contingent upon the quality of the golf course that would become the focal point for one of Dubai’s most exclusive residential communities, Emirates Hills.
Address Montgomerie championship golf course was designed by Colin Montgomerie in association with Desmond Muirhead. The course covers 265 acres which consist of 123 acres of turf, 49 acres of man-made lakes (a total of 14 lakes), 93 acres of landscaped gardens and is scattered with 81 large bunkers.
“The Beverly Hills of Dubai! The Address Montgomerie is set bang in the middle of Emirates Hills, then most luxurious post code in Dubai. The course flows alongside massive mansions and luxurious gardens belonging to some of Dubai’s top celebrities and elites.”
“The course itself is one of the more playable in Dubai, wide fairways and large greens makes for a fun test for golfers of all skill levels. That is until you arrive at the 18th hole, a monster Par-5, with water everywhere. I’m still confused how to make it to the green dry!”
If you have an appetite for a first-class golfing experience combined with 5-star service and notable prestige from Dubai’s finest golfing destination, The Els Club is for you. Those who appreciate life’s finest pleasures will embrace this true sporting gem which has been sensationally designed by US Open and the Open Championship winner Ernie Els.
The course features pleasing undulations and strong elevation changes for visual and strategic interest. Extensive use of sandy waste areas and of native grasses and vegetation between wide fairways, along with a classic style of bunkering, add to the links effect.
Richards Comments“As a personal favourite, everybody on a Dubai golf holiday simply must play The Els Club. Very well known for many years now as the most pristine and manicured course in the region, as soon as you walk into the courtyard on arrival, you’re greeted by the most amazing view of the putting green, 9th and 18th. It almost looks like a fine water painting!” “The superlatives also don’t end with the course condition, The Els Club have just had Claude Harmon lll take over from his father, Butch Harmon, in the academy. Many of the worlds top professionals use The Els Club as a base and in turn, you can get your game in tip top shape here.”
The 9 Hole par 35 Resort Course is situated in the idyllic grounds of the JA The Resort Golf Course and is both scenically stunning and a fair and exciting challenge to all levels of player. Each hole is uniquely landscaped with exotic trees, shrubs, wooden gazebos and a large salt-water lake that comes into play on 5 holes.
Pure Dynasty Paspalum greens and Bermuda fairways are well manicured and provide championship standard surfaces. The presence of peacocks, guinea fowl, partridges and the occasional gazelle roaming the fairways completes the wonderful Resort Course experience.
“Jebel Ali Golf Club was the first golf course built in the region and has hosted multiple professional tournaments in its time.”
“Being on the same site as Jebel Ali Beach Hotel and JA Palm Tree Court is a real advantage as you can get out at any time of the day.”
“The course is a real good test of golf, always in superb condition and is covered with nature and wildlife.”
Routed on over 500 acres and forged from what was previously flat and barren desert, Trump International Golf Club Dubai has become a pre-eminent destination in the golf world. The course design and the desert climate work in cohesion to provide a special golf experience and a true test of the game. There are multiple layers of the course which require the player to develop a playing strategy and increasingly unveil themselves as they progress through all 18 holes.
“Trump International is a fantastic experience, but certainly not what you would expect from a typical Trump course, it’s much more! On arrival, you’re greeted with all the glitz, glamour and gold, which you would expect from this brand. Once you hit the course however, it all changes.”
“Donald Trumps portfolio of golf courses is littered with true monsters, such as Trump Doral – Blue Monster, Trump Aberdeen and Turnberry. However, Trump Dubai couldn’t be further away from this. It’s subtle, there is no rough and its dangers are the hugely undulating greens and runoff areas.”
“The course is immaculate and can make you look very, very silly! If you like a tricky course, where you have to methodically plan out your route to the pin, this is for you.”
Designed by Greg Norman to exist in harmony with the natural desert landscape, Fire is a tough and, needless to say, a fiery challenge for golfers of all abilities. While the Earth course uses bold colours to provide its contrasts, on the Fire course they are more refined. The native grasses display a golden glint in the sunlight, and away from the immaculate playing surfaces, large terracotta bunkers punctuate the rolling terrain.
Framed by a wide variety of captivating flora, carefully selected to reflect the overall theme and to enhance its natural setting, Fire is in complete harmony with its natural surroundings.
“Many regard Fire Course at Jumeirah Golf Estates as their second course as they host the DP World Tour Championship on the Earth Course. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Fire Course is a fantastic course in its own right and vastly different to the Earth Course.”” Many of the top tour pro’s rate Fire Course above Earth and have even requested that the tournament be switched! ”
“Overall, Jumeirah Golf Estates is blessed with two amazing golf courses and both of them are must plays when on a Dubai golf holiday. Maybe 36 in a day!”
FAQ for Dubai
Planning a golf holiday to Dubai? Here’s everything you need to know, by Chaka Travels Middle East Manager, Richard Mason
Between the glitz and glam of the lavish lifestyles offered in Dubai; skyscrapers, Friday brunches, attractions and world class championship golf, there is a very complex and misunderstood judicial system and an air of mystery around the destination.
Before returning home to England last year to work for Chaka Travel, former PGA Pro Richard Mason lived in Dubai for 4 years. He’s combined this list of FAQ’s into the ultimate Dubai Golf Guide.
1. Is Dubai safe to travel to for tourists? Absolutely yes – Dubai has rapidly become one of the most popular go-to destinations for holidays and travellers and has a multitude of attractions, sight-seeing, activities, historical spots to explore and amazing golf courses.
In fact, Dubai is one of safest cities and arguably THE safest country in the Middle East. Thanks to stricter laws, crime is kept to a minimum and you shouldn’t be surprised to learn that many tourists feel very safe during their stay in Dubai.
Having moved back to London a few months ago and having been lucky enough to travel quite extensively around the world, I can honestly say Dubai is the safest place I’ve ever been to, period.
2. Can you take alcohol to Dubai? Tourists visiting Dubai can bring the following goods free of duty into the city: • Gifts with a value of no more than AED 3,000 • 400 cigarettes OR 500 grams of tobacco OR 50 cigars • Up to 4 litres of alcohol OR 48 cans of beer (each not exceeding 355 ml) • So yes, tourists can buy and bring alcohol into Dubai. Which leads us onto #3…
3. Can you drink in Dubai? The city is continually enhancing its tourism industry, and so those visiting will have no issue purchasing a drink while staying here.
Tourists will find that most restaurants, bars and hotels serve alcohol to those above the UAE’s legal drinking age of 21.
If you’re a resident living in Dubai – that’s a different story, as you should purchase and register for an alcohol license. Provided you’re a non-Muslim.
From my personal experience, Dubai has some of the best nightlife I’ve ever seen. There is no wonder it’s a celebrity hotspot and you don’t get celebrities letting loose without a few drinks!
4. Can you swear in Dubai? No, you should endeavour to keep your potty mouth shut while out and about in Dubai! Particularly in public places where crowds will form, like at the beach, or in a mall or restaurant. Be mindful of who is around you – Dubai is a melting pot of many different cultures, so it’s best to refrain from swearing to ensure you don’t accidentally insult someone.
In the comfort of your own hotel room or holiday residence, swear all you like – just don’t say anything that might cause offence in public.
5. Can you smoke in Dubai? Dubai is one of the few tourist destinations left that still allows smoking indoors – which is great news if you smoke, but horrible news if you can’t stand it.
But don’t be alarmed – all restaurants that do allow indoor smoking separate the smokers from the non-smokers in different seating areas.
And if you’re a fan of shisha – you’ll be pleasantly surprised to find lots of local cafes or Arabic restaurants that serve it. If it’s your first time visiting, and you’re not against giving it a go – you can try it as part of your ‘authentic Middle Eastern’ experience!
Those who do smoke will also be pleased to learn that Dubai’s tobacco prices are still extremely cheap in comparison to other Western countries. For example, a pack of Marlboro Gold costs AED 20 for 20 cigarettes, which is around £2!
6. Can you hold hands in public in Dubai? If you’re a married couple, holding hands is tolerated. But kissing, hugging or petting is a bit of a no no, keep this to the hotel!
7. What do you have to wear in Dubai? As a rule of thumb, make sure your holiday outfits keep you covered from shoulders to at least the knee in public to prevent any issues from arising should you cause offence to anyone. Back at your hotel, wear whatever you like.
At the beach, it’s fine to wear your swimwear, so long as you’re appropriately dressed once again after leaving the beach vicinity.
8. Do I need a visa to visit Dubai? Requirements for obtaining a visit visa to travel to Dubai vary depending on your nationality, the purpose of your visit and its duration.
If you hold a British passport, you can obtain a visit upon arrival for a 30-day period.
Gulf Cooperation Council nationals are granted entry upon arrival, and other citizens from the following countries can obtain a visa upon arrival that lasts 90 days; France, Iceland, Italy, Norway, Holland, Germany, Sweden, Austria, Finland, Liechtenstein, Belgium, Greece, Luxembourg, Poland, Switzerland, Estonia, Portugal, Malta, Spain, Cyprus, Denmark, Croatia, Slovenia, Romania, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Hungary, Lithuania and Latvia.
Additionally, citizens of the following countries can obtain a visa upon arrival for 30 days, with a 10-day grace period; Andorra, China, Malaysia, Singapore, Australia, Hong Kong, Monaco, South Korea, Brunei, Ireland, New Zealand, The Vatican, Canada, Japan, San Marino, United States and Russia.
9. What language is spoken in Dubai? Although Arabic is the primary language of Dubai and the UAE, you’ll find that English is most commonly used in public areas, on road signs, in restaurants and shopping malls.
10. What tourist attractions are in Dubai? There are SO many, and all suit different ages and lifestyles. From the Burj Khalifa, to The Beach in JBR, to the IMG Worlds of Adventure theme park, to City Walk’s HUB ZERO as well as Burj Al Arab, Souk Madinat, desert safaris, sand dune buggy rides, to the Dubai Canal and Dubai Marina… There’s SO much to see and do during your time in Dubai, with options that suit all budgets.
11. Do I have to tip in Dubai? Many restaurants and bars include the service charge in the price of the meal/drinks bought, however there may be some instances like using a valet or using a Dubai taxi that you might feel it appropriate to tip – which is fine. Anything between the 10% – 20% mark will be fine.
12. When’s the best time to visit Dubai? You’ll be very aware of just how HOT it can get in Dubai and the UAE during summer, but tourists wishing to visit Dubai will be glad to hear that this heat does cool down in the winter months. From October to April, the temperature is generally cooler – with the best time entirely being from November to March. September & May: 28 – 39 October & April: 25 – 36 November – March: 18 – 31
13. How many golf courses are in Dubai There is now a total of 12 golf courses in Dubai, which it’s quite remarkable seen as it’s such a small city.
There are also further developments ongoing. There is a Tiger Woods designed golf course opening at the Trump International resort, as well as a further Emaar golf course called ‘Emaar South’ which is located near the new DWC airport.
1. Emirates Golf Club, Majlis Course (Home on the Omega Dubai Desert Classic 2. Emirates Golf Club, Faldo Course (Fully Floodlit Night Golf) 3. Jumeirah Golf Estates, Earth Course (Home of the Race to Dubai Final & DP World Tour Championship) 4. Jumeirah Golf Estates, Fire Course 5. The Els Club Dubai 6. The Address Montgomerie Dubai 7. Arabian Ranches Golf Club Dubai 8. Dubai Hills Golf Club 9. Dubai Creek Golf Club 10. Trump International Golf Club 11. The Track at Meydan (Fully Floodlit 9 Holes) 12. Jebel Ali Golf Club
14. What are the best golf courses to play in Dubai This is such a tough question and its obviously very much opinion based, but I’ll give you my verdict!
As a former tour pro and currently playing off +1 handicap, my opinion of golf courses will be somewhat different to say an 18 handicapper, but what I can tell you is that every single golf course is top quality and a joy to play.
At every golf course you will be given a golf buggy, range balls and water as part of your green fee and the daily operation and how these golf courses run is remarkable.
My favourite course in Dubai would have to be Jumeirah Golf Estates’ Earth Course. The Earth Course is the venue for the European Tours season ending Race to Dubai and it’s such a fitting venue. The course is designed by Greg Norman who is very well known for his huge bright white bunkering, it’s just so visually impressive. The course conditioning is amazing, the club’s golf academy is a European Tour Performance Institute and as a whole it’s golfing paradise!
15. Best beaches in Dubai
The Beach – JBR (Jumeirah Beach Residences) A hip, beach hangout. For a taste of the idyllic beachside lifestyle make your way down to the relaxed district of The Beach at JBR (Jumeirah Beach Residences).
This bustling cosmopolitan area is like a beach resort anyone can access and enjoy a day in the sun with a contemporary Arabian touch. The family-friendly area is easily accessible from anywhere in Dubai. There’s plenty to do – from a wide selection of beachside dining and shopping to water sports such as parasailing and wakeboarding.
There’re also banana boat rides and even a train for the kids to enjoy. If you’d prefer to keep your feet dry, you can take a camel ride along the beach – and all with the iconic city landscape in the background.
Plus, there’s a 600m running track, outdoor gym and beach volleyball court if you’re keen to work up a sweat. Or take in an outdoor yoga class to get your day started the way you like.
If your visit coincides with the other end of the day, there’s a good chance of encountering some live entertainment to get your excitement levels up.
Take your pick among a huge variety of dining options and your day is made, I would strongly recommend The Cheesecake Factory!
Kite Beach If you’re serious about your water sports and wish to test your skills on one of the best free beaches in Dubai, Kite Beach has the challenge you seek.
Located steps from Jumeirah’s main street, you’ll find high quality water sports equipment available along the sand, with kitesurfing, wakeboarding and stand-up paddle boarding gear all ready to go. Head down in the afternoon, as this is when the wind picks up and presents some better conditions.
If staying on land is more your thing, you’re bound to find a game of beach volleyball to join, along with a welcoming vibe and plenty of new friends to make in the process. Or, if you’re looking for a more chilled out vibe, Kite Beach exudes adrenaline as much as it does serenity and a casual beachside atmosphere.
Want to walk or jog along the coastline? Kite Beach’s 14km track is the perfect spot. Whatever beachside activity you wish to enjoy, at this stretch of sand you’ll have amazing views of the majestic Burj Al Arab to admire.
You’ll also find some casual bites to eat right off the beach at the shops and food trucks; don’t miss your chance to grab some sliders and a lotus shake at the ever-popular Salt!
16. Getting around in Dubai
Rent a Car To hire a car, you need an international driver’s licence (UK Licence is fine), passport, credit card and third-party insurance. Once you’re on the open road, take a drive out to Dubai’s mountain town of Hatta.
Want to get in on the luxury car action? One of Dubai’s favourite past times is cruising down the streets in style in a car that turns heads; opt for a Bentley with Paddock Rent A Car or a Bugatti with Apex Luxury Car Hire.
Looking for ultimate flexibility? Try a pay-as-you-go car rental app, like UDrive or ekar.
Taxi Dubai’s taxis are available to hail nearly everywhere at just about any time, day or night. If you prefer to schedule a ride, you can call for a Dubai taxi pick-up at +971 4 208 0808.
While taxis are extremely cheap in Dubai, the price per kilometre does change depending on a few factors, like tolls or the time of day.
If you prefer to use an app to book a ride, Uber or Careem are available. Feeling extravagant? You can even book an Uber chopper for a bird’s-eye commute to the golf course!
Travel by Rail
Dubai Metro The metro is a world-class, fully-automated, driverless railway system. Most of the metro rides above ground providing a great view while you travel to landmarks like the Dubai Mall, Dubai Marina, the Gold Souk and Dubai’s financial district (DIFC).
Dubai Metro tickets must be purchased in the form of a Nol card – which can also be used to pay for bus, tram and taxi fare – and rides can cost as little as AED3. Discover the city by its metro stations or use the journey planner app, Wojhati, to make the most of your Dubai itinerary.
Dubai Tram The Dubai Tram runs from Al Sufouh to Jumeirah Beach Residences in 42 minutes. Running on the Nol card, the tram provides access to destinations like Palm Jumeirah, Dubai Marina, Jumeirah Lakes Towers and more.
The Palm Monorail The tram connects directly to the Palm’s monorail station, which runs from the trunk of the Palm to the iconic Atlantis, The Palm. Whether you’re having a play day at Aquaventure Waterpark, making friends a Dolphin Bay, or enjoying the Boardwalk, don’t miss the chance to take in views of the Gulf from the Palm’s crescent.
Travel by Boat
Dhow Boats and Abras Travel back in time on Dubai’s traditional mode of transportation with an abra ride down Dubai Creek or through Souk Madinat Jumeirah. Enjoy a dinner cruise on the much larger dhow boat, a vessel used traditionally for sailing. For a modern view, travel down the cosmopolitan passages of Dubai Marina or the brand-new Dubai Water Canal.
Ferry and Water Taxi Another way to take in the sights is aboard the Dubai Ferry. Starting at just AED15, you can take a tour across the city’s key water links starting from Business Bay to the Marina via Dubai Canal. Ferries from the Al Jaddaf station depart daily at 10am, 12pm and 5:30pm.
17. The best places to shop in Dubai? From traditional souks to gleaming malls
While today Dubai is famous for the country’s oil boom and riches, not many people know about its ancient history of pearl diving.
Well before the money from the oil boom, the UAE was thriving off the money made from the pearls. Pearl diving offered seasonal if not full-time work for many local Emiratis, and many UAE families can still trace their fortunes back to the historic pearl diving their forefathers did.
While pearls are no longer an exclusive commodity only from the UAE, some of today’s most top-ranking brands began their careers by using UAE pearls for prestige and quality insurance. Cartier is one of the most famous examples of a loyal customer of the pearls of the Arabian coastline, with Jacques Cartier making his first journey to the region in 1912 to hunt for the mother of all jewels, which is what the pearl is so often referred to as.
While today shopping is a national pastime in the UAE, a place where high street and designer brands from around the world stand side-by-side in shiny, air-conditioned mega malls, while old-school souks still look much like the mock historic market on display in Dubai Museum. Elsewhere, emerging artisans are carving a niche off the beaten path.
Downtown Dubai The Dubai Mall
The UAE’s highest concentration of designer boutiques can be found here, alongside the Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo and an Olympic-sized ice rink, while the Dubai Fountain and Burj Khalifa are on the doorstep. Walking through the several million square feet of retail space is a workout: you can navigate with the Dubai Mall mobile app and be sure to pack comfortable shoes – or buy a pair. With more than 1,300 shops, including anchor departments stores Galeries Lafayette and Bloomingdale’s, finding the right footwear for the job shouldn’t be a problem.
Al Barsha Mall of The Emirates
The only place in the UAE where you’ll find a ski slope, Mall of the Emirates is a magnet for Middle Eastern travellers who’ve never seen snow. The mall’s Fashion District looks like the pages of Vogue brought to life, with Bulgari, Dior and Gucci stopping shoppers in their tracks with attention-grabbing window displays. High-street offerings include Next, Topshop and the popular Turkish equivalent, Koton, while Harvey Nichols and Debenhams go head to head as the flagship department stores. The ‘Hands Free’ service means shoppers can have their bags collected and delivered later anywhere in the mall, car parks or connecting hotels (Kempinski and Sheraton hotels in the mall itself).
Jebel Ali The Outlet Village
This incongruous Tuscan village-styled mall on the outskirts of Dubai is to the UAE what Bicester Village is to England. From Armani to Ermenegildo Zegna, several discounted high-end collections can be found in bespoke boutiques or one of three multi-brand department stores: The Deal, Priceless and Galeries Lafayette L’Outlet. Hotfoot it to Coach, Dunhill, Michael Kors and Montblanc for luxury leather accessories, and bag high street bargains at stores including Banana Republic, Gap Factory, Diesel, Superdry and Ted Baker. In addition to the 100 or so shops, there’s a food court and Stay & Play, a care facility where children can be entertained while grown-ups splurge.
Richard is on hand to answer any more questions you may have, you can email him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or using the enquiry form below!
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