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Why Dubai Should Be at the Top of Your Winter Travel List

Why Dubai Should Be at the Top of Your Winter Travel List

If you’re tired of the long winter nights and bitterly cold temperatures at home and are planning on escaping for some winter sun but unsure of where to go, why not head to Dubai? The winter months of December to February are actually the best time to head to Dubai, when temperatures are enjoyable and all the tourist attractions are open (several actually close during the blistering hot summer months)! Read on to discover why Dubai is the perfect winter getaway!

Perfect Weather

Why Dubai Should Be at the Top of Your Winter Travel List

Winter temperatures in Dubai are in the comfortable mid-twenties (around 80 degrees Fahrenheit) during the daytime. This is an ideal temperature for when you’ll be out and about exploring or simply relaxing by the pool! The residents in Dubai love winter too — in fact it is their favorite time of the year! You know how you wait all year long for summer to arrive? Well that’s exactly how residents of the UAE are — it’s just they wait all year long for winter to arrive!

Beach Season

Why Dubai Should Be at the Top of Your Winter Travel List Why Dubai Should Be at the Top of Your Winter Travel List Why Dubai Should Be at the Top of Your Winter Travel List

Winter means beach season in Dubai! The scorching temperatures in the summer months mean it is too hot to even lie on the beach, and getting into the sea offers no respite from the heat as it feels like getting into a hot bath! But during the winter, the water temperature is perfect! Dubai has several free public beaches, with JBR and La Mer being the most popular. Both are trendy beaches with many restaurants, shops and cafes around. You’ll also see lots of funky wall murals dotted about the place which are totally Instagrammable!

Why Dubai Should Be at the Top of Your Winter Travel List

Dubai’s beach clubs come back with a bang in the winter months after the majority of them close during summer. Many of the beach clubs have ‘Ladies Days’ in the winter months where females can get discounted pool and beach access as well as huge discounts on food and drinks which are perfect if you’re here on a girly trip! There are lots of pool parties and all-day brunches where you pay for entrance and then you can avail of unlimited food and drinks — these are always fun and you need to experience it at least once when you are here! Beach clubs such as Blue Marlin, Barasti, Nikki Beach and Zero Gravity are always popular.


Dubai is great for shopping, especially in the weeks leading up to Christmas when the shops in Dubai’s malls put on huge sales. This carries on throughout January each year as the Dubai Shopping Festival takes place, meaning many items in all the shops are heavily reduced! From designer wear to electronic items, you’ll find a whole host of things you can get at ridiculously discounted prices — sometimes up to 75% off! Not only this, but there are lots of live concerts featuring international stars and many fireworks shows throughout the Dubai Shopping Festival period. This is the largest shopping festival worldwide and people from all over the world flock to Dubai for it, so make sure to check it out if it coincides with your trip!

Christmas and New Years Eve

Even though Islam is the official religion of the UAE, Dubai is a multi-cultural city with a sizable amount of Christian expats living here. Therefore, you’ll see lots of Christmas decorations and celebrations happening and even many Christmas markets around, including at Habtoor Palace, JLT and Madinat Jumeirah. If you’re lucky enough to be in Dubai for New Years Eve, you’ll be treated to the most amazing fireworks show too!

Desert Safari

Why Dubai Should Be at the Top of Your Winter Travel List Why Dubai Should Be at the Top of Your Winter Travel List

The unbearably hot temperatures in the summer mean visiting the desert during the summer is a no-no. However, winter is the perfect time to discover the desert! There are many companies that can take you out for an evening desert safari, where you can go dune bashing, sand-boarding, ride a camel or hold a falcon amongst other exciting traditional local activities!

Enjoy all the tourist attractions

Why Dubai Should Be at the Top of Your Winter Travel List

Why Dubai Should Be at the Top of Your Winter Travel List

Some of Dubai’s attractions such as the Dubai Miracle Gardens actually close for several months during the summertime. However, if you head to Dubai in the winter you’ll be able to enjoy all Dubai has to offer! Dubai has several theme parks and waterparks too that are best enjoyed in the summer! Whilst tourist attractions such as visiting At The Top at Burj Khalifa, the Dubai Frame and The Lost Chambers Aquarium at Atlantis The Palm will be a lot busier in the winter as this is the peak tourist season, if you get there early places won’t be too crowded.

Safety for female solo travelers

As penalties for crimes in the UAE is very severe, crime levels are very low and Dubai is one of the safest cities in the world. In my almost 4 years living in the UAE, I never felt intimidated walking alone in Dubai as a solo female. Dubai is a very suitable holiday destination for female solo travelers.

Getting to Dubai

With direct flights to over 85 different countries, Dubai is a very accessible city to visit. And with many nationalities being granted a free 30 day visa on arrival to the UAE, it means that even last minute trips to Dubai are possible!

Dubai is a fascinating city and it is certainly most enjoyable during the winter. I hope you get to visit this city during the cooler months and get to really experience it at it’s best!

Europe Outdoors

5 Winter Hotspots in Switzerland

A trip to Switzerland in winter is an incredible experience from spectacular alpine views to Christmas markets and fondue feasts. Explore the enchanting Old Towns and experience the Swiss train journeys that run through a winter wonderland from city to city. The soaring peaks of the Alps offer world-class skiing and other thrilling winter sports. Plan your itinerary around these five winter hotspots in Switzerland.

1. Zurich

Although much of the Zurich’s ancient Old Town has been lovingly preserved to resonate with pre-medieval history, the city embraces the contemporary with cultural centres in converted old factories and a riveting nightlife. Plan your trip to coincide with all the wonderful Christmas markets around the city open during the Advent period. Stroll the stalls and enjoy mulled wine with all the excited shoppers. Don a pair of skates and hit the ice on a temporary skating rink set up in the middle of the market or leave the city for authentic ice skating on a frozen natural lake. A ride on the Fondue Tram is a must-do. The tram leaves Bellevue and zips past the city’s most scenic sights while you’re served a savory cheese fondue and desserts.

2. Zermatt

The quaint mountain town of Zermatt is a popular ski resort in winter. Sitting at an elevation of around 1600 kilometers, the town is within view of the famed pyramid-shaped Matterhorn peak. Hotels, restaurants, and fashionable boutiques line the main street for a vibrant après-ski scene. The winter season brings the opening of public ice skating rinks in a car-free destination, and snowboarders and freestylers practice at Snowpark Zermatt aside hopeful Olympians. Skiiers can hone their skills on around 360 meters of pistes and make a possible crossover into some of Northern Italy’s ski regions from the Matterhorn glacier’s Theodul Pass.

3. Lucerne

The cozy and compact city of Lucerne is situated on the magnificent Lake Lucerne and surrounded by towering snow-capped peaks including Mount Titlis and Mount Pilatus. The River Reuss winds through the colorful façades of Old Town where you can have hot chocolate or mulled wine in a picture-postcard setting at a riverside café. The 14th-century Chapel Bridge crosses the River Reuss diagonally at the Water Tower to the north bank where you’ll find accommodations and restaurants. Visit the south bank to marvel at the Jesuit Church of Saint Francis Xavier with its iconic twin onion domes and marble stucco interior.

4. St Moritz

For a winter getaway filled with luxury, place the alpine village of St. Moritz at the top of your winter hotspot list. Located in the stunning Engadin Valley, the town has twice hosted the Winter Olympics with its famed bobsled run of all-natural ice and Olympic outdoor skating rink. For the unusual, you’ll want to experience White Turf horse racing, cricket, and polo on the frozen lakes. The areas of Corviglia, Diavolezza, and Corvatsch are the scene of pristine cross country ski trails. The après-ski lifestyle here is quite glamorous, so don’t be surprised to see a celebrity or two in town.

5. Swiss Mountains

Winter sports and the Swiss Mountains are practically inseparable and include an array of thrilling activities including skiing, snowboarding, tobogganing, ski gliding, snowshoeing, and more. Tourists and winter sports enthusiasts cram the resorts throughout the season for fun in a picture-perfect setting surrounded by the Alps. You’ll find a variety of resorts from cozy and affordable to posh and pricey. Some of the most popular are in St. Moritz, Zermatt, Davos, and Verbier. The resorts provide great facilities like cable cars and chair lifts. And if you’re new to skiing, no worries, you’ll find several ski schools throughout Switzerland.

Asia Insider Tips

The Four Distinct Seasons of Japan

I’ve been connected to Japan for almost all my life, and I have been living in this wonderful country for over 5 years. My daily adventures can be found on Instagram, but this time I would like to show you about 4 distinct seasons that are very unique in Japan. I hope my little stories will inspire you to plan your next trip to this beautiful country!

Did you know that winter is the best time to enjoy mount Fuji? The most famous pictures of this symbol of Japan as well as its world heritage are taken during this season! While most of the snow happens around the northern part of the Japanese archipelago, the rest of the mainland has an average temperature of 1-5°C with a clear and crisp weather for pleasant walking. Although many travelers prefer to visit the country during spring or autumn, winter has its own share of unforgettable activities and sights. Just don’t forget to soak in traditional Japanese hot springs (onsen) along your way! For example, one with a view of the majestic mount Fuji!

Although for most people in the world Japanese spring is a synonym to sakura, this season is so much more than just cherry blossom. Once white and pink petals from sakura trees gently floated to the ground, a season of various flower festivals will definitely catch your attention! Have you ever heard about shibazakura (“cherry lawn”)? Moss pink is a flower that grows close to the ground in bright colors of magenta, pink and white. The season for shibazakura starts from late April and lasts till middle of May taking place in a variety of locations such as Saitama or Yamanashi prefectures. If you didn’t have time to catch sakura blossom floating from above, why not catching it from the ground?

Summer in Japan is unlike summer in any other places in the world: it’s humid, it’s suffocating and it’s terribly hot. Although it might be difficult to cope with such conditions once in a while, summer nevertheless gives you a lot of opportunities for fun like fireworks, festivals, and, of course, travelling. What stop you from escaping typical boiling jungle of Japanese cities, and go, let’s say, into past? Located in the northeast of Chiba prefecture about 70 kilometers away from Tokyo (and 27 kilometers away from Narita International airport), Sawara town managed to preserve a touch of the old era with its streets remain as much as they were 200 years ago. Traditional residences, warehouses and merchant shops once flourished as a viable commercial center provide a terrific sense of nostalgia about the past.

We’ve finally made it to autumn, my favourite season of all. In Japan, colorful leaves are of the same importance as cherry blossoms in spring. Viewing of autumn leaves has been a popular activity in this country for centuries and continues nowadays. Starting from the middle of September, colors slowly changing from the northern island of Hokkaido and reach the lower elevations of central and southern Japan towards the end of November. Some trees around Tokyo and Kyoto remain colorful during December. In Japan, autumn brings a color to some strange plants as well. For example, these kochia leaves turn from green to bright red around the beginning of October creating a terrific scene of burning bushes. Just one of many more exciting views from a beautiful country of Japan!

Follow more of Katerina’s adventures here: