Your Travel-Good Guide to Dubai in 2021

Dubai and its hotels are ready to welcome visitors back – and we have some extraordinary bargains for you
Dubai and its hotels are ready to welcome visitors back – and we have some extraordinary bargains for you | © Jorg Greuel / Getty Images

Editorial Manager

Dubai remains one of the most popular holiday destinations in the world. Once part of a busy hub terminal in the United Arab Emirates, the desert city continues to expand, upwards and outwards. Ideal for a sunny getaway at any time of year, here’s our guide to Dubai and why you need to start planning your trip right now.

Dubai is one of the most convenient holiday destinations in the world. 2021 is set to be an exciting year for the city, with some incredible new attractions and revamped favourites looking to draw in crowds again. We’ve picked an incredible selection of hotels that offer affordable luxury to every visitor.

Impressive views of the city on a calm day near the dancing fountain of Dubai

Why visit Dubai in 2021

With a combination of relaxing resorts, desert-adventure experiences and high-end shopping malls, Dubai is the perfect destination for a long-overdue getaway later this year. Many people pass through the city on flights to long-haul destinations, but we think that Dubai itself should be one of the places you plan to visit for the ultimate sunny escape. Temperatures are consistently good, so a lot of people come here in winter, but we think some of the best deals are to be found in summer.

There are also a few cultural highlights this year to plan your trip around. Here are some of our favourites, with the full list available here.

Escape to Hatta

Not many visitors travel away from the centre of Dubai, which is a shame, as there are many great places to explore in the region, such as nearby Hatta. When you’re surrounded by tall buildings and tarmac roads, it’s easy to forget that this is a desert region, but only a 90-minute drive away you’ll find the majesty of the Hajar Mountains, which will quickly remind you where you are. Adventurers have already discovered the Hatta enclave, so the area is also now a base for a variety of extreme sports.

Get away from the city with a hike through a wadi in the Hajar Mountains, near Hatta

Museum of the Future

One of the most anticipated new museum openings this year, the Museum of the Future, dedicated to innovation and science, is set to become one of the most recognisable buildings in Dubai, if not the world. The exciting design, by Shaun Killa, is in the shape of a torus: the round part represents the earth and sky, while the empty middle signifies the unknown. Already one of the world’s most complex buildings, it is complemented by the curated exhibitions inside. The precise opening date is yet to be finalised, but construction is in the final stages.

The Museum of the Future is Dubai’s latest piece of iconic architecture

Expo 2020 Dubai

This six-month-long event was scheduled to start in October 2020 but will now take place from 1 October, 2021 to 31 March, 2022. Connecting Minds, Creating the Future will be the theme at the core of the event, and the place of Dubai itself on the global stage will be examined.
This World Expo will be the first in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) region, and the largest event ever staged in the Arab world.

Expo 2020’s Thematic Districts have been designed to reflect the subthemes of Opportunity, Mobility and Sustainability

Places to stay

1. Nikki Beach Resort & Spa Dubai


Nikki Beach Resort & Spa Dubai 2017
Courtesy of Nikki Beach Resort & Spa, Dubai

With branches around the world, including glamorous locations such as St Tropez, Barbados and Miami, this trendy beach club has built up a reputation as the luxury party destination. But Nikki Beach Resort & Spa Dubai is more than just a place to live it up. On the waterfront of Pearl Jumeirah, this blissful retreat offers the ultimate in relaxation. Feel the breeze of the Arabian Gulf while marvelling at Dubai’s distinctive skyline.

2. Rove Marina

Hotel, Chain Hotel

Dubai Rove Marina 1

One of the best features of the Rove Dubai Marina is its central location near the Jumeirah Islands – the perfect base to get out and explore everything the ultramodern United Arab Emirates city has to offer. There are endless leisure, dining and entertainment options on your doorstep, along with Dubai’s pristine beaches and views of the spectacular skyline. Relax in the casual, laid-back atmosphere of the hotel to prepare yourself for a day packed with urban exploration.

3. Vida Creek Harbour

Boutique Hotel

Dubai Vida Creek 4
Courtesy of Dubai Vida Creek / Expedia

Vida Creek Harbour is a glamorous, modern complex overlooking a pristine quay. It has two top restaurants: Stage2 is a laid-back lounge and terrace with a tranquil ambience, while the Courtyard is a breathtaking spot with views of the Dubai skyline in an al fresco setting. Most of the modern, ultra-spacious rooms include a terrace with a view of the city, and the hotel has a cutting-edge gym and infinity pool. Local attractions include Creek Marina and the Dubai Creek Tower development. Take a boat trip from the Creek Marina Yacht Club, just in front of the hotel. In the evenings, stroll along the promenade where you’ll find restaurants, retail outlets and live entertainment venues.

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