Thanks to If Only Holidays I got the opportunity to travel to the United Arab Emirates and see some wonderful sights and remarkable hotels.

The flight to Dubai was just under 7 hours each way. I was very lucky to get to fly from Birmingham to Dubai direct with Emirates Airlines. The legroom was ample, the staff are fantastic and very tentative and there is plenty of entertainment on board (films, games, music). We got to sit upstairs on the A380 for the journey home and this was an experience in itself, it felt like we were on a private plane!

First stop Dubai…. The Fairmont on the Palm Hotel.

The Fairmont is a beautiful hotel at the base of the Palm. Currently there is building work behind the hotel on some of the beach as they are putting in a promenade to make the hotel more accessible.

We ate at the Brazilian restaurant at the Fairmont and it was incredible. You had a green light on the table. When it was on they bought meat and you turned it off if you wanted a break. The meat was on big skewers and they sliced it off at the table straight onto your plate. It also happened to be ladies night at the hotel as it was a Monday so free cocktails for the girls!!

The Burj Khalifa

We ventured up the highest building in the world! 828 metres with the world’s tallest observation deck at 452 metres this is well worth a visit. The elevator to get to the observation deck travels at 10 metres per second so can make your head spin! You can see all over Dubai including downtown Dubai and the Mall. On a clear day you can even see over to the Burj Al Arab and the Palm.

The Atlantis Hotel & Waterpark

The Aqua Park was so much fun! From speeds and thrills to the lazy river and gentle rapids there is something for the whole family and all ages. You need your flip flops to get between rides though as the floor gets incredibly hot!

The hotel itself was very large and very busy. We didn’t stay there but we got to see the rooms, restaurants, shops and facilities. For families with children this would be an idea hotel.

Per Aquum Desert Palm

We visited this hotel for a site inspection and lunch. The food was delicious.The hotel caters very much to horse lovers. You can play polo on site and have horse riding lessons when staying here. The boutique hotel is very contemporary and the rooms are very modern.

Al Maha, a Luxury Collection Beach Resort & Spa

This hotel was breath-taking! Situated in the middle of the desert it is a conservation area. The hotel offers a few excursions included in the cost of the stay including camel riding, a falconry display and a bar in the middle of the dunes where they provide you with prosecco and you watch the sun go down! We stayed in the lead in room which had its very own plunge pool. Occasionally you saw birds and the odd Oryx come along to say hello and have a drink! The hotel offer a 3 course menu (starter, main and dessert) and in between courses provide you with 4 smaller courses…. You don’t leave hungry! The hotel provides golf buggies to take you to and from your rooms as the grounds are large if you don’t fancy the walk. Sitting on the bar balcony you can see the watering hole for the local Oryx and gazelle. I almost thought I’d see a herd of elephants or some giraffe stroll past at some point.

Fairmont Ajman

I loved Ajman. Only 30 minutes away from Dubai airport and this hotel offers 2 free shuttles a day to get into the Dubai Mall area of Dubai. You can leave the hotel and walk down the street, you don’t need to get taxis everywhere. The hotel only has sea view rooms, the pool bar is in eye view away from the children’s pool which is covered by a canopy and the facilities and standard are as good as the Fairmont on the Palm

Oberoi Beach Resort, Al Zorah

This was our last stop. My colleague and I were lucky to receive a 2 bedroom suite with private pool! Perfect for a family and they also do 3 bed suites too for the larger families. This brand new hotel was elegant and modern and definitely held up the Oberoi’s famous name. The hotel is a bit in the middle of nowhere at the minute but easy to get a taxi into Dubai and very peaceful. It has brilliant sea views and an 85 metres long swimming pool!

For more information on Dubai and If Only Holidays contact Gemma Ashton at or call 01455 233935

View from The Burj and Al Maha……………………….