THIS DEAL HAS EXPIRED
One of the great things about a short break in Dubai is the fact that you can choose between flying overnight or during the day.
Overnight flights work out perfectly if you're only spending a long weekend in the city as it means you can cut the cost of your hotel, whilst maximising the time you spend there.
You may not have heard of them but Royal Brunei Airlines offers daily flights to Dubai from London before heading on to Brunei in the Far East, and they offer the flights cheap. We checked Expedia and the flight out to Dubai is a day flight but their flight back is overnight so you could the Thursday and Friday off work and be back in work on the Monday morning, albeit a little tired. With their 3am flight back, this means you really only need three nights in a hotel and so save on costs straight away. Three months in advance were these exact return flights from £363 per person, leaving £137 of our £500pp budget to play with.
You don't want to be too far away from the airport so the Suite Novotel at the Mall of the Emirates is in a perfect location. On the Metro it's just three zones from the airport which costs 6.50AED (about £1.20) each way, plus 2AED for the card, so you can easily get between the Novotel and the airport on a budget. For three nights on a room only basis, you'll be looking at £125 per perosn based on two sharing a room. This only leaves us with £12 left over per person. Because you won't need a hotel for the last night, you'll probably have to look at this trip in several parts, otherwise the booking engines will automatically add on the fourth night.
You may even find that a fourth night is free on certain offers, however, we've chosen the Suite Novotel because of its location and its facilities. The Mall of the Emirates is one of the largest shopping malls in the world, with a cinema and entertainment centre to boot. For those who can afford a little extra, the mall also boasts Ski Dubai, the Middle East's first indoor ski resort with a range of activities to take part in.
As part of the Accor brand of hotels, the Suite Novotel, is a good three star hotel with a gym and outdoor pool (which, by the way, is a must for any leisure hotel in Dubai.) With the Mall of the Emirates next door, you'll also have a range of dining option available to you, from the budget fast food chains, to the more formal restaurants. As you will have seen, this doesn't leave any room to play with for money, but you don't want to be in a grotty hotel in a business district with no pool when you're in Dubai. It's simply a no-go. At least we've been able to get out to Dubai for less than £500, even if we don't have the money to eat for the weekend!
There is a Carrefour in the mall so you can pick up some groceries if you really do have to stick to your budget but otherwise, head to the Burj Khalifa and the Souk Al Bahar to enjoy dinner with the beautiful backdrop of the world's tallest tower.
If you can spare the cash, a trip up to the 124th floor observation desk of the Burj Khalifa is 100AED (about £22) per adult (or 75AED per child) and can be booked in advance on Expedia. For those who want that extra special something, make a reservation at Atmosphere on the 122nd floor. This restaurant and bar offers the same panoramic views across the city and is perfect for wining and dining your special someone to really make the weekend more magical.
Dubai has so much more to offer so if you can push the boat out, stay out for longer and enjoy everything about it. Emirates Airlines also offers flights to Dubai from many regional airports including Birmingham, Newcastle and Glasgow which makes for very convenient travelling if you aren't London based.