Experience vibrant nightlife
Dubai’s nightlife has been touted as excellent, thanks in part to the expat community’s taste for exotic excesses. A quintessential example is Neos at The Address hotel, extravagantly outfitted and situated on the 63rd level to give you a splendid view of the Dubai Fountain and Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building.
Tuck into delicious cuisine
Like its nightlife, the culinary scene is thriving, replete with posh restaurants helmed by award-winning chefs and traditional ones serving local delights. Among the most popular current choices is the grubby seafood shack Bu Qtair, famed for its simple fried-fish curry and unpretentious vibe.
Take part in water sports
Thanks to its endless stretches of sandy white beaches, Dubai is a hotbed for water sports, ranging from the usual wakeboarding options to quirky “doughnut rides” (where you sit on a ring-shaped float and are towed across the water by motor boat).
Stay in a luxury hotel
Big fashion houses, well aware of the growing popularity of experiential luxury over prized possessions, are slowly, but very surely, venturing into the realm of hospitality and putting their brand names on hotels (see the Bulgari hotel in Shanghai and Armani’s hotel in Milan). Fifteen years after launching what it called the “world’s first fashion-branded hotel” in Brisbane, Versace is back with its second Palazzo Versace, this time in Dubai’s historic “Culture Village” district just 10 minutes away from its international airport. Naturally, the 215-room hotel is the embodiment of the fashion house’s brand ideals. Think: Versace amenities, furnishings from the Versace Home Collection, and rich Italian design and architectural elements. It might be a little overwrought, but for fans of the fashion house, it means connecting to the brand on a deeper level.
How to get there
Emirates operates 35 flights every week from Singapore to Dubai International Airport (28 non-stop; seven via Colombo). And if you have the cash to burn, spring for a business class ticket for a cabin experience that's quite possibly one of the best in this traveling class in the world. On board, not only will you be well-fed and -watered in luxurious comfort for the entirety of the journey (always go for the Middle Eastern main course option - it's excellent), you'll also be sufficiently distracted by the well-stocked library of movies in its superior (far superior to many other airlines) entertainment system. Another bonus: the wonderful Bvlgari amenity kit. A 7-hour flight will never feel quite so short.
A version of the story first appeared in the October issue of Her World.