While the hot weather is a major deterrent for some, if you are looking for an affordable time to visit the quiet and peaceful version of Dubai, then seize the moment and pack your bags for a summer weekend! If humidity is not your nemesis, then this is the perfect opportunity: you can hit the pools, the nightlife and the malls without being too bothered by the powerful summer heat. Since many leave the UAE for summer, you will have the shops to yourself and won’t need to worry about reserving every activity well in advance.
Getting There: Egypt Air offers tickets for under 2000LE, while budget airline Fly Dubai offers midseason sales for as little as 800LE; but you’ll have to travel from Alexandria’s Burj El Arab Airport. If you are looking to fly to Abu Dhabi , then Etihad Airways has some similarly low rates. To book online, also try some travel sites such as Vayama , Kayak and Cheaptickets for shockingly cheap deals.
If you need a hotel, hotels.com , booking.com and kayak.com can provide a range of hotels at the best prices for your budget. So coordinate dates for flights and hotels on one easy site and you’re off for a mini-break!
For early July into August you can stay at Grosvenor House for around 1000LE per night, Sofitel Dubai Jumeirah Beach starting at around 775LE, Atlantis the Palm starting at 1700LE per night.
Transportation is easy and unlike in Cairo, all taxi cabs are air-conditioned and easy to flag, with several limousine services that you can call to reserve. The newly opened outdoor metro system is the stuff of science fiction dreams; fully air-conditioned and impeccably clean, the carriages have premium seating areas, TVs and wireless internet for working commuters.
Eating: Try Lime Tree for the most colourful and flavour-packed breakfast that you can imagine. Most of the food is displayed in a floor-to-ceiling glass refrigerator case holding fresh and zesty salads, juicy and unique sandwiches, in addition to the most luscious and tempting of baked goods. From raspberry chocolate cake to hearty cheesecakes and every tart, cake and cookie you could dream of; the selection is mouth-watering.
JW Steak House, Prego and Da Vinci’s come highly recommended for some refreshing Italian cuisine. Take advantage of the multicultural population and try foods from around the world; be it Asian, Italian or anything else that strikes your fancy.
Night life: Stop for an exotic cocktail and some Latin dancing at Trader Vic's, a local favourite that will have you feeling as if you are vacationing in Maui . Cavalli Club has created quite a stir lately: for those in search of the chic, glamorous and branded type of night on the town, this is your spot.
If you crave a good party or a casual night out with your friends then try 360° and Barasti for day partying, Sanctuary at the Atlantis or Club 400 at the Fairmont for clubbing, while drinks at Sho Cho’s is an absolute must- especially on Sunday nights.For the high-end places, be prepared to spend around 400LE to 700LE. It’s not cheap at all; but it will be a night to remember.
Activities: A trip to Dubai would not be the same without a visit to the unbelievable 800m-high Burj Khalifa skyscraper (formerly Burj Dubai). Dubai Mall's promenade has the best view of the skyscraper, and if you wait around till 9PM, the supersized fountain will hold a breathtaking fountain show with oriental music.
For adventurous travellers, Dubai boasts countless daytime activities. Dubai Dolphinarium is perfect for marine life-enthusiasts, while daredevils should try Sky Dive Dubai, where you can take the plunge over a breathtaking aerial view of the Palm Islands. Other ideas range from water parks and safaris to good old-fashioned bowling, Dubai-style. A few to check out are: Aqua Venture, Wild Wadi, Dubai International Bowling Centre, Sega Republic, Desert Safari, Jebel Ali Shooting Club and Ras Al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary.
Shopping: Dubai is well-known by Cairenes as a shopper’s dream come true, with plenty of international brands to choose from, without Egypt’s burdensome sales tax. Take the opportunity to roam the many stores of Dubai Mall from high-end labels to average to off-the-beaten-track shops. Mall of the Emirates has your favourite international brands from Harvey Nichols to Top Shop, and houses the Middle East’s first indoor ski slope, Ski Dubai. The recently opened Mirdiff City Centre has Pottery Barn and Dubai’s first branch of Cairo’s very own Abu El Sid if you’re feeling homesick.
Whether you recline at the hotel pool, spend the day feasting, err on the side of daredevil or buy your own weight in cloths; Dubai in summer may no longer be just a sweltering city to be avoided. Reduced summer rates and low crowds can make it the perfect weekend getaway; but only if you do it right.