Having decided to make that once in a lifetime long haul trip to say for example Australia or even the Maldives, we are often faced with the infamous 'stopover' question... "Would you like to break your journey with a two night stop over?"
Often people tend to lear towards the Far East such as Singapore or Hong Kong. However, a stop over in the Middle East can offer just as much...
Flying with Emirates offers you a stop over in Dubai. I love Dubai! Yes its's flash, yes it's pretentious but hey.. It's just for a few days. What can I do in Dubai you may ask?
Dubai has lots to offer , not just adults but families too. The family would enjoy the Aqua-adventure Waterpark. There is something for everyone there. Your littles ones will love the Splashers playground and families can board a six-person raft on one of the worlds largest waterslide, Aquaconda.
Something for the older kids (or the kid within us all ) The Leap of Faith which is a vertical drop waterslide with riders emerging from a tunnel located underneath the shark-filled lagoon ....!
Everything in Dubai is bigger than you would have ever seen before.. My first visit to the Mall of the Emirates left me astounded with its sheer size...It even has an Indoor Ski Slope!
It is one of many Shopping Malls filled with designer names. The Dubai Mall is very close to the worlds tallest performing fountain situated at the foot of the Burj Khalifa. . The tallest building in the world. This spectacular water and light show offers shows every 30 minutes from 6pm to 11pm the best vantage point to view the show was from the outside terrace bar at The Address hotel ...Sipping a gorgeous cocktail or two, naturally.
The Dubai Mall also has Kidzania , which is an interactive educational and entertainment centre. Kids can experience 80 role-playing professions in a replica of a real city ... Wicked!
No excuse in Dubai to go hungry. The Dubai Mall hosts 150 food outlets alone. the best vantage point to view the show was from the outside terrace bar at The Address hotel ...Sipping a gorgeous cocktail or two, naturally.
An alternative to visiting a Waterpark or relaxing on the beach , I would recommend a morning trip to Dolphin Bay at Atlantis . An experience for all ages and abilities. You can chose your activity, these range from standing in shallow waters to scuba diving or swimming alongside the Dolphins.
If you do like to lie and soak up the sun, I would thoroughly recommended The Maydan Beach Club, situated on The Walk on Jumeirah Beach Road. (JBR as it's known locally). It is in walking distance from the Dubai Marina.
It has a private beach area,infinity pools, an infinity beach bar, a plush decking area where you can sip on those exotic sundowners and listen to the chilled beats . They fly in big D.j names every week. You can dance on a sandy dancing area as you look out to the Arabian Gulf Sea.
You can spend the whole day and evening there.....They offer a Saturday Beach Bruch with a live D.j from 2pm until 6pm from AED195. Amazing place!
Evenings could be spent experiencing Dubai's more cultural side with a Desert Safari including a dune drive with a sunset photo stop, camel ride, henna hand painting and a belly dancing show!
Two nights at the five star Atlantis The Palm in a deluxe room on a half board basis starts from £479 pp including flights and private transfers.
You may have experienced Dubai and might be thinking about Abu Dhabi.
Things to do in Abu Dhabi include a visit to the Sheikh Grand Mosque . The best Tim ego visit this would be early in the day when the temperatures are slightly cooler and there are fewer visitors.
Formula 1 racing might be your thing? If so you could visit Yas Island, home to the famous Formula 1 track. You will also find Ferrari World with its futurist design and everything linked to the world famous brand.
Yas Island also,has an expansive Waterworld... They do like their waterparks!
They have every type of cuisine available . Many of the famous celebrity chefs are putting their names to venues in the city now.
Of course they have their famous Shopping Malls too. The Marina Mall has musical fountains.
Chilling out on the many public beaches can be far more relaxing. They have quite a beach scene with little cafes, restaurants and promenades where you will find the residents enjoying time out too.
Abu Dhabi offers a vibrant nightlife with cool bars and beach clubs. Thursday seems to be the night where most venues offer 'Ladies Night' where entrance is free for the ladies.. Great value for couples!
Prices for Abu Dhabi staying at the Yas Viceroy Abu Dhabi in a Marina Room with transfers from £528pp.
Oman has a great coastline and I would recommend a two hour Dolphin excursion that departs from Muscat Harbour. It's a great way to see the Omani Coastline whilst whale spotting, you will also see the Blue Whale , the largest mammal on earth. Trips cost approx £30 pp.
A great hotel to stay at would be the Shangri-La Barr Al Jissah Resort & Spa, close to Muscat.
I would also recommend a visit to the resorts Turtle Care project. Occasionally they offer night time excursions to view the Hawksbill and Green Turtles nesting on the beaches.
A great food variation too at the Shangri-La, ranging from Arabian and Asian to Seafood and Italian.
Excursions to Wahiba Sands in 4 wheel drive vehicles would be a great way to spend a whole day. An expert guide negotiates the 150 meter high sand dunes! The tour includes stops at Bedouin villages and Wadi Bani Khalid, with its lagoons and pools. Perfect for that coolin dip. This trip would cost £65pp.
Evenings could be spent at the Al Mazaar Souk. A retail, entertainment area with cafes and restaurants sampling some of the amazing cuisine Oman has to offer.
Prices start at around £429 on a bed & breakfast rate for two nights at the Shangri-La BARR al Jissah Resort.
So, a few suggestions for you giving you ideas of how to spend your 48 hour stopover in the Middle East. Please call us and we can plan your trip with you.