Warm-Weather Escapes: Dubai

For those seeking the royal treatment. —By John Vogel

Gain a new perspective from the top of Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building. / iStock

There has never been another place like Dubai, and there probably never will be again. Its towering skyline rises above the Persian Gulf coast like a desert mirage, offering a tantalizing blend of hot sun, cool adventures, and incredibly over-the-top hotels and restaurants.

The opulence begins right as you step off the plane when you book a room at the sail-shaped Burj Al Arab Jumeirah, which offers airport transfers via Rolls-Royce or helicopter. After you settle in, the next leg of the journey should involve a simulated submarine ride to the property’s ocean-themed restaurant, Al Mahara, for caviar, oysters, and British chef Nathan Outlaw’s seaweed-and-salt-baked Cornish sea bass for two.

The floor-to-ceiling aquarium at Al Mahara. / Courtesy photo

Once you’ve dined under the sea, it’s time to ascend to the top of the world by hopping aboard a 22-mile-per-hour elevator to the 148th floor of Burj Khalifa, the tallest building on Earth. Thrill-seekers who prefer to stay closer to the ground can live it up on an exhilarating dune-buggy ride with Arabian Adventures, which leads off-roading tours through the desert—then cool off inside the Mall of the Emirates, home to more than 600 stores and an indoor snow park. The complex is just one of the city’s legendary shopping experiences, including the Gold Soukthe place to find well-priced 18- and 22-karat-jewelry (just bring your haggling skills).

Had enough of the action yet? It’s worth the monorail ride to the frond-shaped manmade island known as Palm Jumeirah to unwind at a beachfront luxury hotel (you can’t go wrong with the Anantara resort, with its over-water villas and sprawling spa featuring a new Turkish hammam). It’s a transportive escape in a city that is, quite literally, larger than life.

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Emirates nonstop to Dubai International Airport

Dubai is relatively relaxed compared with other Middle Eastern cities when it comes to clothing, but it’s still a good idea to dress modestly: When off the beaches, wear loose apparel that covers your shoulders and knees.

More warm-weather escapes from our Boston Traveler 2018 issue.