Every Kenwood Travel holiday comes with 40 years’ experience. And it’s not just our sales team who can be called upon to drop their destination knowledge. We even send our customer service team to test drive our holidays. Which is why you’re guaranteed a direct line to the holiday experts every time you dial our call centre here in London; whether you’re looking for a competitive price or trusted advice. So, when Kenwood customer services manager Reena jetted off on holiday to Dubai and Abu Dhabi, visiting ice cream parlours and rubbing shoulders with Premiere League footballers was all just part of getting the most immersive experience, right? Right. Here’s her expert’s guide to the UAE.
Match your hotel to your holiday
Family break, couples’ retreat, solo stay, group booking? However you holiday, the sheer variety of hotels available in Dubai and Abu Dhabi is vast. Kenwood partner the best hotels and resorts in each category, and always ensure we match the right hotel to our clients’ needs, so it was nice to see them for myself. I visited St Regis Abu Dhabi, Jumeriah Beach Hotel, Bulgari Resort & Residence and Fairmont The Palm. Bulgari was my fave’: ideal setting on Palm Jumeirah, chic design, and personalised service that made you feel special the whole time.
Choose your dates
November is a great time to visit the UAE because the weather is perfect. Highs of around the high 20s, low 30s mean days are hot and evenings are refreshingly cool, but there’s still no need for a cardigan.
There’s more to it than Dubai
This was my first time in Abu Dhabi, but straight away I knew it had so much to offer. Amazing beaches, great people and a nice opportunity to properly relax before the hustle and bustle of Dubai. Dubai is amazing of course; forever evolving with new and quirky little places to eat and meet, but if you like a slower paced, low-rise alternative, Abu Dhabi is perfect.
Prepare for action
The UAE is a classic fly and flop destination if that’s what you want – most hotels have access to a private beach, and there are nice public beaches too. But if you want to step it up, you won’t be disappointed. My high-octane highlights were: driving a Ferrari at Ferrari World Abu Dhabi, Glow Park in Dubai, and taking the lift up the New Frame observation deck in Dubai – spectacular. The dazzling malls, Madinat Souk and JBR the Walk will also keep shopaholics busy.
Try not to get too star-struck
Casually walking from breakfast to the leisure pool at Jumeirah Beach Hotel one morning, we spotted someone we thought we recognised. It wasn’t until we were stopped by a member of staff to take their photo that the penny dropped – it was Manchester City and England winger Raheem Sterling. We promptly asked to repay the favour, and Raheem graciously posed for a pic with us, with the iconic Burj Al Arab in the back ground no less. One of the Premiere League’s biggest stars, the world’s most luxurious hotel and little old me, all in the same photo. Doesn’t get more dreamy than that!
With so much proper fine dining on offer in the region, not every expert’s guide to the UAE includes the fact that Dubai is famous for its fun food too; namely its dessert parlours. We thought we’d check out one we’d heard a lot about called Fun & Shakes. We discovered Fun & Shakes is owned by the famous Mo Vlogs (a high flyer in Dubai who gets hundreds of thousands of views for his daily blogs on YouTube) so I joked to my husband that Mo had walked in, all in banter. Then my husband did the same back to me. Naturally, I didn’t believe him. But he was actually telling the truth. Mo walked in with some friends, and the rest is history. Everyone knows Dubai’s bling and glamour attracts celebrities. But I wasn’t expecting to meet these two A-listers on my trip. Wow.