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Insider tips for a holiday in Dubai

Article published
18.9.2015 at 06:00
Camel in desert.
Dubai is worth a second visit after seeing the shopping centres and the world's tallest building. You can reach this metropolis daily from Helsinki Airport during the winter season.

Dubai is a popular winter destination and for good reason.  The sun is always shining, everything works well and the time difference to Finland is only a couple of hours. The obvious places to visit are the world's largest shopping centre at Dubai Mall, the 828-metre-high Burj Khalifa, and Deira's bazaars and gold souk.

When you have experienced these, why not go for something different. We asked some Dubai residents for a few tips, and you can find out even more about the city at

Alserkal Avenue ( is an important art and culture hub, a centre that brings together all kinds of artists into one warehouse compound. They put on pop-up events constantly. Arte ( is an artisan art and craft market held at Times Square Center twice a month.

The Friday brunch is a must of Dubai's restaurant life, and it will keep you going for the entire day. A good option is the Friday brunch at Umm Al Quwain Beach Hotel (, complete with live music and open from 3 pm to 7 pm. Some even dare to try the water pipe, or shisha.

Another favourite is afternoon tea, such as the elegant service at Fairmont Hotel ( on the Palm Island, where you can also admire incredible sea views.

Dubai's camels are trained by a Finn

The locals enjoy camel races. Race events at Al Marmoun from October to March are only a 30-minute drive from Dubai, and your car is the best place to watch the race. Did you know that Dubai's camels are trained by Finnish vet Pentti Koivisto (

As a former British protectorate, Dubai loves all things equestrian, cricket and rugby.

You can watch race meetings for free at Meydan on Thursdays and at Jebel Al on Fridays from the beginning of November ( The final day of Dubai World Cup is 26 March, and the women celebrate the occasion in full Ascot style, donning elegant outfits and hats.

Those who prefer spectator sports should head to legendary Barasti Beach sports bar. The private beach reserved for adults is free, and is one of the main spots in which to be seen. The DJ starts around 11 and continues up to four in the early morning.

Kite Beach is free for all and has undergone a complete overhaul. A 15-km running path runs along the shoreline of this large beach, and there are also facilities for beach volleyball and tennis. After an active day, why not grab a gourmet burger from the van and sit at a picnic table to treat yourself.

Finnair flies direct from Helsinki Airport to Dubai from 12 October 2015 to 15 April 2016 up to 6 days a week, and Norwegian from 19 November 2015 to 25 March 2016 up to 7 days a week.