A tale of two emirates

Travel TipsReviews

By Tracy Ian

An Arabian escape in October 2018 was just what I needed! Sunshine, great hospitality, amazing hotels and good company.

Our journey started in style flying with Emirates in their fabulous business class cabin – fully reclining seats, magnificent in-flight entertainment, our own personal mini bars and even Bvlgari amenity kits! Wow, what a treat! The seven-and-a-half-hour flight “flew” by and before we knew it, we’d landed in Dubai.

On arrival we had a 50-minute road transfer from Dubai Airport and to our first port of call, the stunning Waldorf Astoria Ras Al Khaimah. This elegant beach front hotel, in the peaceful Emirate of Ras Al Khaimah, is surrounded by deserts, sand and sea and is utterly blissful.

Everything about this hotel is palatial, from the magnificent reception area with its grand clock, to the spacious rooms with their huge walk-in wardrobes, black marble bathrooms and luxury toiletries. Our room was extensive, and enjoyed a large furnished balcony with wonderful sea views.

We spent our time here relaxing, enjoying the pools and white sandy beach and, as the hotel is part of the Al-Hamra Village community with its 18-hole golf course, marina and shopping mall, we strolled around the area for a bit of exercise. For those more energetic guests the hotel offers a 24-hour fitness centre, floodlit tennis courts and water sports from wakeboarding to diving and for those who love to be pampered the Waldorf Astoria spa is a must!

The hotel had a great choice of restaurants too – we ate breakfast at Qasr Al Bahar which has a super buffet and loved the Lexington Grill, a New York style steakhouse restaurant, for dinner.

Leaving Ras Al Khaimah behind we travelled back to Dubai for a change of scene. The differences between these two Emirates couldn’t be further apart – RAK is chilled out, relatively undeveloped and close to nature whereas Dubai is much more fast paced with a contemporary city centre and ongoing development. Dubai is about being the biggest and best, if you’re tempted by the hustle and bustle of a growing city Dubai will suit you completely as it has everything from ultramodern architecture, luxury shopping a lively night-life scene, artificial islands with magnificent hotels, fabulous beaches... the list goes on.

Our stay here was at the Rixos Premium Dubai located in the heart of Jumeirah Beach Residence.

The rooms in this 35 storey hotel offer panoramic views of Jumeriah Beach and the world’s largest Ferris Wheel, Ain Dubai, on Bluewaters Island. It’s all about activities and entertainment here – happy hours, brunches, parties and live entertainment!

Our room here was very trendy with bright furnishings and fantastic views from the floor to ceiling windows.

Dubai has so much to offer that it’s hard to see it all in a few days but here’s a snapshot of what we did whilst we were there.

We toured the city taking in Madinat Jumeriah with its colourful souk and one of the World’s most daring developments, The Palm Jumeirah, to see all the fabulous hotels and villas. We saw a spectacular show called La Perle, spent a relaxing afternoon on a luxury yacht out in the Arabian Gulf, had an evening at one of the city’s most energetic bars, Barasti Middle Deck, and took a trip to Dubai Parks where we visited Motiongate Dubai, Bollywood Parks Dubai and Legoland Dubai. Phew…. a busy, but enjoyable few days! Lots of time to relax and sleep on our flight home!

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