The DEPARTURES Guide to Dubai

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Vacation in the lap of luxury with our guide to the Gold City, covering everything from the chicest suites to the best of fine dining to Dubai's booming arts scene. 

Dubai is in many ways the poster child for the 21st century metropolis. Superlatives are the norm here, from the world’s current tallest building, the Burj Khalifa, to multiple gilded shopping malls featuring outposts of nearly every fashion brand on earth. While global recessions have slowed the desert oasis’s once-frenetic expansion, the city is still rocking, attracting luxury-seekers the world over. 

Getting There

The Essentials
The things to know when you're considering—or have already booked—a trip to Dubai. See the article »

The World's Best Airline?
With tricked-out private suites, Bulgari-designed amentity kits, and some of the world's best wines, flying Emirates to Dubai is as posh as the destination itself. See the article »

Where to Stay

The Top Hotels in Dubai
The delivery of luxury is the absolute top priority in these exemplary properties. See the slideshow »

The Most Luxurious Floor in the Middle East
The club level at the Raffles Dubai is among the world's most glamorous. See the slideshow »

Hotels With Local Followings: Jumeirah Emirates Towers
Here, you can do as the locals do—without ever leaving your hotel. See the slideshow »

Where to Eat & Drink

The Best of Fine Dining Restaurants
From Dubai-ified renditions of clubby international chains to local mainstays, the city's dining scene is robust. See the slideshow »

Dubai’s Haute Caribbean Haunt
Ting Irie, the city's premiere Jamaican restaurant, finds inspiration in a Canadian chef's heritage. See the article »

Friday Brunch in Dubai
Workweeks here may run from Sunday to Thursday, but the brunch is on point. See the slideshow »

Eats on Al-Diyafa Street
This mile-long stretch is a window to Dubai's culinary diverstiy. See the article »

An Offbeat Culinary Tour
Posh hotel restaurants hog all the attention, but Dubai's authentic local restaurants are well-worth visiting, too. See the slideshow »

The Best Bars, Lounges, and Clubs in Dubai
Ritzy parties with fabulous views are the crux of Dubai's storied nightlife. See the slideshow »

Things to Do

Dubai's Alserkal Avenue: The Middle East’s Next Great Art Hub?
In the industrial district of Al Quoz, a group of warehouses offset the city’s shiny veneer with an edgy contemporary arts community. Read the article »

From the World's Biggest Mall to the Souk: Dubai's Best Shops
Luxury shopping in Dubai is not merely a pastime—it's a way of life. See the slideshow »

Extravagant Shopping Malls in Dubai
In Dubai, malls are so much more than convenient places to shop. See the slideshow »

Dubai's Can't-Miss Cultural Attractions
A comprehensive list of the best ways to enjoy the glossy desert city, from its thriving arts scene to offbeat tourism offerings. See the slideshow »

Exclusive Perfumes You Can Only Buy in Dubai
These eight oud-based scents—from Armani to tiny, nameless bottles of the pure essence—exemplify the unique fragrances of the Middle East. See the slideshow »