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Dubai – so much more than sand and skyscrapers!

Posted On 3rd/Jul/2015 By david

Following his latest ‘FAM’ (familiarisation) trip to Dubai, Business Travel Consultant Bruce Canty kindly took the time to tell us about his experience:

‘Day one consisted mainly of travelling but after meeting with the group of agents, Sangita from Dubai Tourism, Andrew Hall from Qantas and Rachel Sutcliffe from Gold Medal we were shown the lounges that Qantas use at Heathrow Terminal 3. There were two lounges to use depending on the criteria of the passengers frequent flyer card, but both were spacious and had a relaxed atmosphere to them, there was also a business centre for clients to use with numerous docks if they need to work.

We flew Premium Economy with Qantas, which I cannot fault one iota. As you may be aware, I am not the tallest anyway, but the leg room was so substantial that even if you were well over 6ft, you wouldn’t have any trouble stretching your legs. After being welcomed on board with a very nice glass of fizz (non-alcoholic options available but why would you?!) I relaxed into the flight with the media centre, which had a brilliant selection of up-to-date films and some classics. The cabin crew were so attentive and always willing to get you anything that you wanted. The meals were designed by the Australian chef Neil Perry and were well sized, delicious and complemented by a good selection of Australian wines.

I stayed at the Waldorf Astoria for two nights, which was situated on the edge of the Palm and is tailored more towards the couples/adult market. It has a relaxed atmosphere and has numerous dining options to suit all tastes. I also stayed at Hilton The Walk for two nights, which is situated very close to the beach, shopping malls, cinema and restaurants which would suit all types of traveller looking for a bit more variety.

The main aim was to attend site visits at a number of hotels which would showcase the diversity of what Dubai has to offer.

Couples:
Jumeriah Zabeel Saray
Waldorf Astoria
One and Only Royal Mirage
The Palace Downtown

Families:
Jumeriah Beach Hotel
The Atlantis

Business:
The Conrad
Hilton Dubai Creek

There is certainly plenty to do in Dubai and I experienced just a few of the activities on offer. The Aquaventure Waterpark at The Atlantis was great fun and had lots to offer for all age ranges from the lazy river to the leap of faith ride which is a must for all thrill seekers. The desert safari which is operated by Gulf Adventures was an amazing experience from driving up and down the dunes, watching the sunset and eating at a Bedouin camp. If you have a head for heights then go to the Burj Khalifa and look at Dubai from 124 floors up and even up to 148 floors up where you can go outside! I also had a cultural lunch experience at the SMCCU (Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding) which explains everything about Emirati life and dispels any misconceptions that we might have. I would definitely recommend this if you are looking for something a little bit different.

All in all, Dubai is a great place to visit with a lot to offer, so get yourself there!’