For an emirate city that's really only been branded for tourism since around Y2K, it hasn’t taken long for Dubai to establish itself as one of the most desirable and unashamedly luxurious holiday destinations in the world. |
When you land in this hotter than hot and larger than life city, it's not just the dazzling white beaches and translucent, glittering ocean that will have you reaching for your Gucci shades. In a place where you might get pulled over by a policeman in a Lamborghini, or hail down a taxi driver in a Bugatti, the opulence and over-the-top glamour of Dubai hits you right between the eyes.
Like the rest of the UAE, Dubai's riches were founded on oil, but today it's fuelled by the opulence of its own lifestyle, and the rest of us can't seem to get enough of it! With new hotels sprouting up virtually overnight, each trying to outdo the last (currently, one fifth of all the cranes in the world are in Dubai), they're filling up just as fast – and it seems like the last word on luxury is yet to be decided. If you're planning to visit Dubai to enjoy the lifestyle of the rich and famous (or maybe you really are rich and famous!), these two hotels will give you an idea of what's on offer.
Atlantis – The Palm
Just like its namesake, Atlantis rises like a regal phoenix from the ocean on the circumference of 'the Palm' – the manmade island that hosts the most exclusive residential estates in the Middle East. The sheer scale of Atlantis is almost incomprehensible, although the statistics of 21 onsite restaurants, its own Aquarium with 65,000 underwater inhabitants, and a 17-hectare water park might give you some clue.
Step into Atlantis and you leave the rest of the world behind and enter Planet Luxury. There's no expense spared in the décor and facilities and its wall-to-wall luxury, from the uber-cool surrounds of the Nasmi Beach Club, to the unparalleled indulgence of the ShuiQui Spa rooms.
If you've got a cool USD $25,000 to spare, you might care to splurge for a night (yes, just one) in the Bridge Suite - which, as its name suggests, spans the central 'bridge' between the east and west towers of Atlantis and comes complete with a private staff of seven, your own entrance foyer, 360-degree views, and a 22-carat gold chandelier (because who doesn't need that?).
If you've got the flash but not quite the cash to spring for a holiday in this celebrity-favoured hotel, you can always try your luck to get in the back door via a current competition from myoffers.co.uk that gives you the chance to win a luxury 5-star trip to Dubai for two, with accommodation at the Atlantis (the competition closes the 31st of January). Why not take the chance to start 2016 in the manner to which you'd like to become accustomed?
Burj Al Arab – The Most Luxurious Hotel in the World
The Burj Al Arab has effortlessly achieved icon status, and its highly distinctive sail is the most recognisable architectural landmark in Dubai. The multi-level suites are beyond opulent and the attention to detail is extraordinary, right down to a choice of pillows and the option to exchange your mattress if it's too soft or firm for your liking - just ask your personal butler to take care of it while you take a spin in your chauffeur driven Rolls Royce…
So, how can you spend a special romantic evening at the Burj Al Arab? Well, you might like to make an appointment with the cocktail mixologist in the jaw-dropping Sky View Bar, where at 27 floors up you're not so much viewing the night sky as being a part of it. Reach for a star, then head back down to earth for the Culinary Flight: a progressive fine-dining experience enjoying one course in each of six onsite restaurants, dining on offerings like Waygu beef tartar and Kristal caviar.
You know you're at the right address when they have to create a whole new level of classification for your accommodation. Welcome to Burj Al Arab, the world's only 7-star hotel – we're pretty sure you'll enjoy your stay!
If your ideal holiday is defined by opulence, escapism and the ultimate in luxury, Dubai is the place where your wildest dreams can come true – at a price, of course.
Patrick Chong is the Managing Director of InsureMore, an award-winning team of specialists in global single trip and annual travel insurance policies. Besides offering great deals on travel insurance, Patrick also collects and shares the best free travel competitions to help his clients get the most out of their holidays.
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