Pictured left to right outside the new store are: Paul Hardwick, Fred. Olsen Travel Agents Director of Retail; Emma Bailey, Fred. Olsen Travel Agents; Tutti Taylor, Fred. Olsen Travel Agents; Councillor Candy Vaughan, Mayor of Eastbourne; Trevor Ridler, Fred. Olsen Travel Agents Business Development Manager; and Shirley Waters, Fred. Olsen Travel Agents..
Louise Westgate, assistant manager at our travel agents in Woodbridge, spent a week soaking up the sun in Dubai. Here are her memories from what was a wonderful trip.
Accommodation (Hotel names/Ship name): Hilton Ras Al Khaimah Resort
Duration: 8 days
We travelled Virgin Premium Economy which was very comfortable. The in-flight entertainment was excellent with the latest films available. Virgin also has in-seat chat so you can chat to your friends in other seats on the seat back screens. We were lucky enough to be upgraded to Upper Class on the return flight which was amazing. In this section, there were lie flat beds, delicious food and a bar area where you could enjoy complimentary drinks and snacks.
We stayed at the 5-star Hilton Ras Al Khaimah Resort Spa and Villas which is exclusive to Virgin Holidays and sold on an all-inclusive basis. The transfer from Dubai Airport to Ras Al Khaimah is approx one hour. I absolutely loved this hotel; it would suit all couples and families perfectly. There are several swimming pools to choose from including an adults only pool and a separate pool for the children. Numerous restaurants are available including an international buffet, Asian, Brazilian and Italian fine dining, and a beach BBQ restaurant. Some require an additional supplement but you are given a credit of 70 Dhs towards the cost.
The beach is beautiful and the sea is so warm it's like stepping into a bath. I stayed in a Deluxe Sea View room which was huge with two double beds and wonderful sea views. Wi-Fi is available in the public areas, there's a great Children's club and villas are available for larger families.
From the hotel, you can walk into Ras Al Khaimah town and wander round the shops and market places. Dubai city centre is also easily reached by taking advantage of the free daily shuttle service which takes around an hour. Therefore this hotel is perfect for travellers who want to go to Dubai and the malls but want a relaxing base outside of the city centre.
Various excursions were included. We went nearly all the way to the top of the Burj Al Arab, the tallest building in the world, which has spectacular views. We crossed the Dubai Creek on an Abra (traditional wooden boat) and also had some time in the Atlantis Water Park (next to the Atlantis Palace). The lazy river was my favourite water ride but I did try the scary ones too.
The view as you approach the Atlantis Palace is impressive. I loved everything on the trip but being upgraded to Club Class on the Virgin flight was the highlight for me.
Dubai has something for everyone; huge shopping malls, soft white sand beaches, water parks and traditional markets. It's just under an eight-hour flight and you can travel there all year round. The service in the hotels is excellent and the standard is very luxurious. The drinks and eating out can be expensive so those that are on a budget are probably best to pay up front for the all-inclusive that is offered during a stay at the Hilton Ras Al Khaimah. If you would prefer to stay in Dubai itself then the business area is a lot cheaper than staying on Jumeirah Beach and is only a 20-minute taxi ride away. The taxi prices are very reasonable.
Must see? Burj Al Arab (tallest building in the world)
Must do? Atlantis Water Park
Must try? Brazilian restaurant at the Hilton Ras Al Khaimah
This trip would be perfect for someone looking to relax but also enjoy the hustle and bustle of Dubai's city centre. This part of the world is also a great destination for those in search of some winter sun. Call into any of our travel agents and speak to our friendly team for more details.