Gatwick Express, LBC and the Evening Standard have teamed up to ofer you the chance to win a break for two people including flights and accommodation to a choice of five fantastic destinations. Choose from three nights in New York; four nights in Dubai or Toronto; or five nights in Hong Kong or Thailand. Get the inside track on Dubai below and scroll down to find out how to enter the competition.
There is much more to the city than glitz and glamour, you just have to look for it.
CROSS THE CREEK
Skip the predictable: instead of ascending the heights of Burj Khalifa – the world’s tallest building – take to the waters of Dubai Creek to get a sense of where the city started life and glimpse the ongoing AED2bn (£408m) project to rejoin it to the Gulf. The best way to explore the sights is in an abra, a traditional wooden boat, which can be hired for just AED100 (£20) per hour.
A TASTE OF TRADITION
Learn more about the history of the city at the Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Centre for Cultural Understanding (SMCCU) ( ). Tours include a visit to the mosque, a look inside traditional dwellings with barjeel (wind towers) and finish with coffee and dates. Tip: wear slip-on shoes – it’s customary to remove footwear before entering homes.
BED, BATH AND BEYOND
Dubai excels at hotels, a trend it continues with two new mid-range oferings: the oh-so-grand Nikki Beach Resort & Spa in the up-and-coming Pearl Jumeirah district and the central Rove Downtown (right) (a 2pm late checkout here helps make the most of your sightseeing time).
EAT STAY LOVE
Join Frying Pan Adventures’ ( ) Little India foodie tour through Bur Dubai (Old Dubai). Led by two sisters, they stop at street-seller stalls plying freshly barbecued chicken tikka, spicy potato bhondas, tandoori rotis and freshly pressed sugarcane juice – all seasoned with snippets of history and legends.
ABOVE AND BEYOND
Explore the sands from which the city rose. Platinum Heritage ( ) organises an early morning wildlife drive in a vintage 1950s Land Rover. After getting close to nature – you’re likely to spot oryx and gazelle – a shared breakfast with a Bedouin beckons.
SOUK SHOPPING ON TWO WHEELS
Ditch the air-conditioned shopping malls in favour of new company Giant Bike Tours’ ( ) expert-led three-hour cycle tour through souks illed with spice, perfume and gold.