Honeymoons

Sun, sea, sand and shopping: 10 reasons to honeymoon in Dubai

Known as millionaire’s paradise, glossy Dubai has an edgier side, making it a perfect destination for some grit and glamour, says Eimear Phelan

For those dreaming of a sun-kissed honeymoon that’s high on relaxation, the dazzling city of Dubai is a smart choice.

Flanked by desert on one side, the ultra-modern Persian Gulf state is fringed with beautiful beaches lapped by the azure waters of The Arabian Sea. Modern and exciting, scratch beneath the shiny surface and you’ll find ancient culture on offer too. It’s a fun, glossy place to recharge after your wedding.

1. Synonymous with luxury, Dubai’s hotel scene is vibrant and impressive. Each property offers something different, no matter what your style or budget. Our digs, the chic JA Ocean View Hotel, prides itself on spectacular views. Shaped like an open book to maximise views, the fresh, funky rooms look out over the beach with the Palm Jumeirah in the distance.

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2. Spend several days at your hotel, just soaking up the setting and enjoying the legendary Emirati hospitality. At JA Ocean View the infinity pool makes a nice break from the beach, though the 25° waters of the Arabian Gulf are hard to resists.

3. Once you’ve replenished your vitamin D it’s time to do what Dubai does best: shop. The Mall of the Emirates, with over 500 shops, offers the very definition of retail therapy. Can’t handle all that choice? Then hit the mall’s indoor ski slope to let your credit card cool off.

4. No trip to Dubai is complete without brunching in the city. Make like a local and allow at least three hours for this chilled out, unlimited food and drink ritual. All the hot spots book out fast so be sure to call ahead.

5. Dubai may be a 24-hour city that requires stamina, but it’s also an indulgent place to relax. Factor in spa time at Calm Spa, JA Ocean View Hotel’s in-house spa, and get yourself pool-ready or simply work out those long-haul shoulder knots.

6. After all this urban living amongst the skyscrapers escape the city for JA Al Sahra Desert Resort. 45-minutes from the city you can take a camel trek with the skyscrapers of Dubai sparkling in the distance. Once you feel a little saddle sore, hop off to enjoy a glass of prosecco and watch the breathtaking desert sunset.

7. Dinner here is a highlight, dining beneath the stars on delicious mezze plates while being entertained by local dancers and instruments which are still played in the region today.

8. If the desert calm leaves you wanting more, decamp to the exclusive JA Hatta Fort Hotel. The beautiful five-star property offers traditional luxury alongside spectacular views of the chocolate-brown Hajar mountains from each of the chalet-style rooms. Dine beneath the stars at a private fireside feast cooked over hot coals, before smoking some traditional shisha pipes by the fire.

9. Once you have seen the mountains this close you’ll want to get out and explore them. Head to the hot spot of Hatta dam and try your hand at kayaking. (hattakayak.com) With no breeze or currents, it’s suitable even for novices. If you don’t fancy getting wet, Hatta also has great hiking and biking trails.

10. After getting the adrenaline pumping, experience some culture in Hatta Heritage Village. It’s free to enter and offers a fascinating view of how people in the region lived in the past, with 30 buildings and huts showcasing Emirati life.

Need to Know

Fly direct from Dublin to Dubai with Emirates (emirates.com) for around Ä600 return. Irish Brides was a guest of JA Ocean View Hotel (rooms from Ä243) and Hatta Fort Hotel (Rooms from Ä170. JA Hatta Fort Hotel only has 48 rooms so can be difficult to book.) Book with jaresortshotels.com.

See also visitdubai.com