United Arab Emirates
Country profile

Dubai: Travel and accommodation

One of the keys to Dubai’s success is its easy access by air from almost anywhere in the world. Dubai is a central hub for flights from the West to Asia and Australia, with 120 world airlines flying in and out of the city. Flight time to Dubai is around 7 hours from London or Paris and around twice that from New York.

Dubai International Airport is the second busiest in the world in terms of passenger numbers, with over 57 million people passing through in 2012 – more than a million per week. Passenger numbers are growing rapidly and are expected to reach 98 million – or two million a week – by 2020.

Emirates is the national airline, which serves over a hundred destinations in over sixty countries around the world, including Europe and the United States. Flights are frequent, with London alone having around 135 flights a week to Dubai on Emirates and other airlines, and many other European cities having similar numbers. Emirates are well known for the high levels of comfort and quality on their flights, with their distinctive uniformed staff setting the standard other airlines aspire to.

Within Dubai, transport used to be a major problem, with population numbers rising faster than the system could cope with. However, as you might expect, the emirate has thrown a significant amount of money at the problem, creating a Metro rail transport system and improving the roads and the number of buses and taxis available. The $3.89 billion Metro system currently has two lines, but is expanding rapidly with two new lines under construction. Somewhat disconcertingly, the Metro trains have no driver and run on automatic routes.

As for accommodation, Dubai is quite simply without rival. You can stay under the sea at the Palm Atlantis, or book a room in the world’s tallest building. This is the city that had to invent a whole new category – the seven star hotel – because the existing ratings simply were not high enough for them. You can stay on one of islands of the famous world map in the bay, or one of the super-luxury desert resorts just outside the city. The choice, as well as the quality, is outstanding.

As part of the drive to attract healthcare tourists, many Dubai treatment packages include a stay at one of the fine hotels in the city, giving you the chance to experience the very best in facilities and hospitality throughout your break, as well as during your procedure.

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