How millions were convinced to give this love-it-or-hate-it holiday destination a chance

She’s not alone in seeing appeal in that. Over 120,000 Britons currently live in Dubai and access to the city has become easier in recent weeks, with mandates on wearing masks outdoors dropped (while they’re required indoors, compliance was variable and rarely enforced in any of the hotels I visited), vaccinated travellers no longer need to test for Covid when accessing the country, and proof of vaccination status isn’t required when exploring the city’s attractions. 

Emerging districts of note

Still sceptical? If you have a dislike for constant heat and inescapable air-con then Dubai is probably best avoided. However, as millions of people have discovered during the last two years, there are other distractions for those willing to dig below the surface. The emerging art district on Alserkal Avenue, where about 40 warehouses have been converted into a cluster of galleries and cafés, is one; the Dubai Opera, which opened in 2016, is another; while the oldest district in the city, Al Bastakiya, dates from the 1890s. 

As for the quotes etched on the exterior of the Museum of the Future, one key passage translates as follows: “The future belongs to those who can imagine it, design it, and execute it. It isn’t something you await, but rather create.” Though there are plenty who will continue to deride Dubai’s approach over the decades to come, there’s no doubt it’s a mantra the city has taken to heart. 

The details

Rates at ME Dubai start from £282 per night (melia.com); you can book Inside Burj Al Arab tours here. Tickets for the Museum of the Future should be booked in advance via its website. British Airways flies from London to Dubai from £505 return (britishairways.com); Emirates fares for the same route cost from £535 (emirates.com). Read the full review of ME Dubai here, plus our guide to the best hotels in Dubai.


Have you visited Dubai? Tell us about your experience in the comments section below

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