The Ultimate Dubai Honeymoon for Luxury and Experiences

For a relaxed beach vacation with urban luxury, head to Dubai.
Burj Khalifa the tallest building in the world
The Burj Khalifa (Umar Shariff / Shutterstock)
Dina Cheney - The Knot Contributor.
Dina Cheney
Dina Cheney - The Knot Contributor.
Dina Cheney
The Knot Contributor
  • Dina writes for The Knot Worldwide, specializing in food, travel and relationships.
  • With more than 20 years of experience in service journalism, she also pens articles and recipes for publications, such as Good Housekeeping, Parents, SELF, Health, Men’s Health, Men’s Journal, Prevention, Fine Cooking, Weight Watchers and Diabetic Living.
  • Dina graduated from Columbia College, Columbia University and The Institute of Cul...
Updated Apr 19, 2024
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Like an opulent oasis in the middle of the desert, a Dubai honeymoon beckons with glamor and glitz, top hotels, high-end shopping and beautiful beaches. It's one of the best honeymoon destinations for newlyweds seeking a blend of luxury, adventure and cultural fascination.

This city of superlatives—home to the tallest building, the Burj Khalifa, and some of the world's most luxurious hotels—offers an unparalleled setting for a romantic getaway. From shopping in world-class malls to relaxing on sun-soaked beaches or exploring the golden dunes of the desert, Dubai caters to every taste.

When it comes to planning your honeymoon in Dubai, let us be your guide. Whether you choose to relax by the pool or explore the area's rich cultural traditions and fun activities, you'll find it all in this playground for adults.

Dubai Honeymoon Tips in this Article:

    Camels at Jumeirah beach in Dubai
    Rasto SK/Shutterstock

    Best Time to Honeymoon in Dubai

    To avoid extreme heat, don't book your romantic Dubai honeymoon between late May and late August. The best time to visit Dubai is between September and April, when the temperatures are a little more reasonable.

    Best weather: September to April.
    Festival highlights: The Dubai Shopping Festival, held in January and February, offers fantastic shopping discounts and entertainment. The Dubai Food Festival, which takes place in February and March, is a culinary celebration showcasing both street fare and gourmet dining. Meanwhile, the Dubai International Film Festival, held in December, brings glamor and cinematic brilliance.

    Dubai Honeymoon Planning Tips

    Within just 30 years, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) transformed a relatively sleepy desert into a bustling modern metropolis, one of its seven emirates. Dubai is a world of its own, says Amalia Lazarov, Founder, Travelicious Travel. "Whatever couples dream of, they can do there." From perusing designer boutiques to dining in the desert, it's easy to access. In fact, numerous airlines fly into Dubai International Airport, including the highly-regarded Etihad and Emirates.

    A honeymoon in the UAE's largest city offers the desert, beach, and a wealth of shopping and activities—all in one luxurious package. For what would feel like two getaways in one, couples can spend a few days at a beach resort and another at a sleek downtown hotel. As an added incentive, Dubai is an ideal stopping-off point on the way to the Maldives or the Seychelles. Both are a 3-1/2-hour flight away, says Lasarov.

    While this honeymoon destination is extremely cosmopolitan, the country follows Islamic religious laws, Lasarov explains. This means to show respect, you'll want to avoid over-the-top displays of PDA (save the French kissing for your hotel room). You'll also need to wear a long-sleeved shirt when visiting mosques and other religious sites. Although tourist spots tend to serve alcohol, be aware that there are "wet" hotels (which serve alcohol) and "dry" hotels (which do not). Just a few things to keep in mind before buying plane tickets.

    Entry requirements: A US passport with 6 months validity after date of arrival. Please note, 12-page US emergency passports and passports with the "X" gender marker are not accepted.
    Arabic, but English is widely spoken.
    Location: Dubai is located on the southeast coast of the Persian Gulf and is one of the seven emirates that make up the United Arab Emirates.
    Currency: The United Arab Emirates Dirham (AED).
    Flight time to Destination: Direct flights from New York City to Dubai typically take about 12 to 13 hours.
    Getting around: Dubai offers a range of transport options, including a modern metro system, buses, taxis, and ride-sharing services. Renting a car is also an option, but be aware of the traffic and different driving styles.

    Pro tip: Invite a honeymoon planning expert to join your vendor team. Browse travel agents near you on The Knot Marketplace for Dubai honeymoon expertise, reviews, testimonials and more.

    Best Dubai Honeymoon Hotels and Resorts

    Dubai is renowned for its luxurious accommodations and honeymoon suites, which range from opulent beachfront resorts to towering skyscraper hotels offering panoramic views of the city. Here are a few of our top picks to consider while on your Dubai honeymoon.

    Jumeirah, Burj al-Arab from Medinat Jumeirah in. Dubai
    Photo: Maremagnum | Getty

    Bulgari Resort Dubai

    Located on a private seahorse-shaped island on Jumeirah Bay, Bulgari Resort Dubai is home to pool villas, a spa with an indoor pool, a private beach, along with a yacht club and marina.

    4.5 Star Rating | Read Reviews

    Mandarin Oriental Jumeirah Dubai

    Overlooking the Arabian Gulf and Dubai's skyline, Mandarin Oriental Jumeirah Dubai is a mere 15 minutes from downtown Dubai. Along with a spa, it features six restaurants, bars, and lounges along with a Japanese-style steakhouse.

    5.0 Star Rating | Read Reviews

    Four Seasons Resort Dubai at Jumeirah Beach

    Situated in the prestigious Jumeriah neighborhood, this luxury resort is just minutes from downtown Dubai, with its various sightseeing opportunities. In addition to beaches, the Four Seasons offers a pool and spa; plus, the standard service that's renowned globally.

    4.5 Star Rating | Read Reviews

    One&Only The Palm

    This aquatic resort is located on Palm Jumeirah, a palm tree-shaped series of artificial archipelagos built from reclaimed land. Without leaving the resort, honeymooners can explore the infinity pool, gardens, private beach, tennis court, and spa. From the marina at One&Only The Palm, they can participate in water sports, including snorkeling, scuba diving, kayaking, and paddle boarding.

    5.0 Star Rating | Read Reviews

    Jumeirah Zabeel Saray

    Also located on Palm Jumeirah, this resort in the Jumeirah hotel and resort chain is Ottoman-inspired. Couples can indulge in the Talise Ottoman Spa, fitness center, nine restaurants and an outdoor pool.

    4.5 Star Rating | Read Reviews

    Pro tip: If you're looking for Dubai honeymoon stays that'll provide you more privacy or affordability, you might also want to consider staying at a romantic Airbnb or VRBO.

    Dubai Honeymoon Itinerary Ideas

    For honeymooners, Dubai offers a plethora of activities—especially if you're hoping for an adventurous honeymoon. You can start your day with a hot air balloon ride over the desert at sunrise, spend the afternoon lounging by a private infinity pool and enjoy a safari with a private dinner under the stars.

    Skydiving in Dubai

    Be a Kid Again

    To balance out the sophistication of this metropolis, couples can indulge their inner children. View marine creatures at The Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo (at The Dubai Mall) or The Lost Chambers Aquarium or Dolphin Bay at Atlantis Dubai, The Palm. For winter adventures, ski, snowboard, toboggan, or see penguins at Ski Dubai. The region's first indoor ski resort, it's located at the Mall of the Emirates. Or, get your adrenaline pumping on rides at Wild Wadi Waterpark Dubai.

    Go on a Boat Ride

    Venture on a romantic dinner cruise, such as a Dhow Cruise. Dhows, or traditional sailing vessels, navigate the new Dubai Water Canal, historic Dubai Creek, or cosmopolitan Dubai Marina. For another evening boat ride, consider the Bateaux Dubai, for dinner in a glass-enclosed boat that sails across Dubai Creek. During the day, try a ride along Dubai Creek in an "abra," another type of traditional boat.

    Take to the Skies

    For a thrilling experience combined with panoramic views, take a hot air balloon ride across the desert. Or eat dinner suspended by a crane above the city at Sky Dive Dubai, a dining experience you and your loved one will never forget.

    Experience the Burj Khalifa

    For the best views, ascend the Burj Khalifa, the world's tallest building. With architecture inspired by a desert plant, the futuristic mixed-use skyscraper is in downtown Dubai. Purchase tickets to its "At the Top" observation deck for sunset. Lasarov also recommends reserving tickets to this architectural feat far in advance, since they tend to sell out quickly.

    Go to the Dubai Fountain

    Designed by the company responsible for the fountains at the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas, the Dubai Fountain is similarly majestic. Stop by the shores of the Burj Khalifa Lake in downtown Dubai to view the fountain system. Built at a cost of about $220 million, it features 6,600 lights and shoots water up to 500 feet into the air.

    Drive to Ferrari World and Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi

    Located in the neighboring emirate, Abu Dhabi (the capital of the UAE), Ferrari World Abu Dhabi is worth the trip. About a one-hour drive from downtown Dubai, the theme park is home to several rides, including the Formula Rossa, the world's fastest roller coaster. While in Abu Dhabi, car-lovers will also want to visit the Yas Marina Circuit, the second Formula One track built in the Middle East. Tour the venue, go-kart, hit the drag strip, or drive the Aston Martin GT4, Ferrari 458 GT, or Caterham Seven.

    Visit the Dubai Desert

    When developing Dubai, the UAE kept some of its land undeveloped. Head to this patch of wilderness for a desert safari. Activities during this type of excursion can include dune bashing (driving over the sand), a camel ride and a BBQ dinner.

    Explore the Gold Souk

    A traditional market in the Deira section of Dubai, the gold souk features more than 380 retailers. Lasarov recommends bringing a local shopping guide, so you can bargain for jewelry. For additional shopping, stop by the Souk Madinat Jumeirah, The Dubai Mall, and the emirate's many other shopping malls.

    Get a Spa Treatment

    Multitask by booking a spa treatment at Talise Spa, in the famous Burj al Arab, an ultra-luxurious hotel on a manmade island off of Jumeirah Beach. For another spa experience, try the One&Only Spa at the highly regarded hotel, One&Only Royal Mirage. With traditional Arabesque architecture, the facility includes steam rooms, saunas, and plunge pools.

    Pro tip: Include Dubai honeymoon experiences on your gift registry so your loved ones can give you an exciting activity to enjoy abroad. Make sure to post a few photos to your wedding website—this way all of your guests (including those without social media accounts) will be able to see what you're up to.

    What to Pack for a Dubai Honeymoon

    Quad bike field in Dubai

    Prepare for the heat by bringing sunblock and linen clothing in your honeymoon luggage. At the same time, since indoor spaces tend to be air-conditioned, tote a shawl so you don't freeze. Also, remember to include a long-sleeved shirt on your packing checklist for visits to religious sites and a beach cover-up for modesty when heading to the beach or pool.

    Brittany Barber contributed to this article.

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