Dubai is a solid favourite for winter sun from September through to May, but summer, especially July and August, offers visitors great value with fantastic deals on accommodation, food and attractions.
In July/August 2013 over 5,500 Irish holidaymakers chose Dubai, up over 9% on the same period in 2012. Whether your clients are families, couples or groups of friends, Dubai is at its most affordable during these months – offering great value late summer holiday deals and still with exceptional levels of customer care and service that are unparalleled elsewhere in the world (www.summerisdubai.com).
The many reasons to recommend that your clients book nowto visit Dubai this summer include:
- Value: During July/August many hotels offer:
o Substantial discounts on accommodation
o Half-board upgrades
o Children, under 16, go free
o Promotions on dining and attractions (including dine around offers)
- Guaranteed Weather: Escape the unpredictable Irish summer climate and be guaranteed warm weather with very little chance of rain. Relax around the pool/beach and enjoy Dubai in exceptional comfort with air-conditioned environments throughout – all hotels, restaurants, bars, indoor attractions, malls, taxis, the metro and even many pools are climate controlled. During festivals, such as Ramadan, the focal point of the activity is after sunset, when temperatures fall.
- Safe, Clean Beaches: Public and private beaches are safe, clean and offer plenty of shade. Most public beaches, such as Jumeirah Beach and Al Mazmar Beach Park, are free or charge only a nominal entrance fee. Many hotels have private beaches – Le Meridien Mina Seyahi Beach Resort has a 500-metre stretch and Atlantis, The Palm is home to Nasimi Beach – and don’t be surprised if greeted by staff offering a refreshing spray or water, fresh fruit, or a helpful clean of the sunglasses.
- Late Openings: During July/August family attractions, restaurants, and shopping malls such as the impressive Dubai Mall and Mall of the Emirates, through to the historic gold, spice and textile souks, the more modern Souk Al Bahar and Souk Madinat, and the discounted Dubai Outlet Mall, are open and thriving well into the cooler evenings.
- Dubai Summer Surprises: This month-long shopping festival, from 2nd August to 5th September, will see discounts and promotions at over 6,000 stores, as well as family fun entertainment all over town, with music and entertainment programmes laid on all month too.
- Relaxation: Dubai is home to a wide range of fantastic spas, many of which have unique themes, styles and concept treatments. Spa treatments are equally global with specialists practicing techniques from Bali, Sweden, Turkey, Thailand, China and beyond. A perfect way to relax and cool down during the heat of the day.
- Great Cuisine: Dubai’s food scene is a reason to visit in itself. There are literally thousands of restaurants catering to every taste and budget, from authentic Emirati street food costing small change, through to luxury gourmet dining prepared by Michelin-starred chefs.
- Ramadan: From 28th June – 27th July 2014 followed by three days of Eid, Ramadan is a festival like no other and offers a fascinating insight into Emirati culture and religious traditions.
- Stop-Overs: Dubai is the perfect stop-over holiday destination as your clients travel onward (or back from) South-East Asia, the Indian Ocean and Australasia.
Ramadan and Eid
During Ramadan every healthy Muslim is required to fast from dawn until dusk. Tourists, while encouraged to show respect, are not required to do the same. As twilight falls the city really comes alive, with most hotels arranging bustling family-friendly ‘Ramadan tents’, known as Iftar, out in the open or by the beach. Here tourists can mingle with locals and sample a variety of traditional dishes and entertainment late into the night as the daily fast is broken.
During Ramadan the Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding (www.cultures.ae) also hosts fascinating Iftar events and meals for just €27pp. Try authentic Emirati cuisine in a traditional setting and talk with local people about UAE and Islamic culture and traditions.
International hotels and resorts continue to serve food and drink throughout the day, with alcoholic beverages being served from 7.00pm onwards. Many cultural and heritage sites, watersports facilities and leisure attractions remain open. Restaurants, malls and shops will also stay open, although opening times may differ, opening later in the day and staying open until late into the night. An array of shopping offers and discounts, traditional musical entertainment and children’s events also take place.
Eid Al Fitr is celebrated over the three days at the end of Ramadan when, again, tourists and locals come together for banquets and late-night celebrations.