In the past, Dubai was merely a stopover for South Africans travelling elsewhere around the world. Rather than consider a stay of any length, travelers would choose to transit through Dubai international airport for anything from a few hours to a couple of days while waiting for the next leg of their journey to another destination. However, in recent years, this outlook has changed entirely and Dubai is now an extremely popular destination, even just for the weekend, as South Africans yearn for a brief escape to some fun and relaxation.

Reasons why Dubai is now a leading destination for South Africans

Here we will take a look at the reasons Dubai has become a leading destination for taking even just a brief vacation from South Africa:

Affordable airfare and improved flight options

As already mentioned, traveling from South Africa to Dubai was once a necessity to reach destinations further away. However, recent improvements regarding infrastructure, attractions and general appeal has led to a vast increase in the number of South Africans choosing Dubai for reasons of leisure.

For this reason, many leading airlines including Etihad and Emirates have established and increased flight options from both Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban. In fact, these airfares are so affordable that Dubai is now a leading destination for South Africans taking a weekend break or vacation destination.

That being said, the stunning beaches, beautiful resorts and a wide range of Dubai Parks and resorts also leave little reason to question their judgement.

Choose Dubai for rest and relaxation  

So, why has Dubai become such a happening vacation destination for South Africans? Well, there is so much to see and do here you will never be short of entertainment. At the same time, there is also plenty of opportunity to relax and unwind in one of the stunning resorts or on the beautiful beaches. Whether you are trying to get away on your own, with a partner or your family, you can look forward to letting your worries melt away.

Some of the stunning beaches that you can enjoy include the beautiful Burj Beach, the Blue Flag Mamzer Beach Park, and the fun-packed Kite Beach, amongst others. Many of the immense hotel resorts also have their own beaches so that residents can enjoy soaking up the sunshine and relaxing in peace and quiet.

Relax in a surreal world on Dubai Marina Beach

Dubai is the home of theme parks, water parks and family fun

With such an impressive range of family attractions and theme parks, Dubai is also fast becoming one of the most sought after vacation destinations for South African families. Dubai Parks and Resorts are largely responsible for this reputation, where you can enjoy the thrill of accessing three theme parks and a water park all in one place.

Furthermore, there are over one hundred rides to be enjoyed here, and when it comes to fun, adventure, and excitement, there is literally something for everyone at this mega theme park. Naturally, this makes the parks ideal for organizing a fun itinerary for everyone in the family and the wide range of fabulous attractions offers visitors the chance to be as active as they dare when they come to Dubai.

Here are just a few of the most popular attractions in the parks: 

  • Motiongate –If you love the movies and you are looking to have some fun, the Motiongate Dubai theme park is an excellent choice. You can enjoy a range of movie-themed attractions that will appeal to both kids and adults. This includes areas and attractions based on movies by huge global studios such as DreamWorks and Lionsgate (Think Shrek, How to train your Dragon, Kung Fu Panda, Hunger Games, Step Up and more). You will find everything from white knuckle rides through to children’s rides here, so you will all be able to enjoy the thrill of the movies from a unique perspective.
The Hunger Games Rollercoaster is now open at Dubai Parks & Resorts Motiongate Theme Park
  • Bollywood Parks – Another of the resort’s great theme parks that are ideal for families is Bollywood Parks. Here, you will find yourself in a fabulous setting that mimics a Bollywood set and is packed with entertainment (Think Krrish, Ra.One, Dabangg and more). You can immerse yourself in the vibrant color, dance, passion, and action that has become synonymous with Bollywood movies and you can even take in live performances for a fabulous cultural experience. This theme park provides you with the ultimate Bollywood experience with five different zones to explore.
  • Legoland – If you are staying in Dubai with younger kids, an attraction that you shouldn’t miss is Legoland Dubai, which can also be found here. The kids can enjoy interactive fun, adventure, rides, and attractions at this theme park while the adults enjoy a little nostalgia. There are many different rides, shows, and experiences that can be enjoyed here, along with six themed lands for the kids to explore.
  • Legoland Water Park – Finally, the Legoland Water Park at this mega theme park will enable you to have some fun and cool off at the same time. This water park is perfect for families that have younger children and there are many attractions to be enjoyed here. This includes themed water slides, the Lego rafts on the river, and many other fabulous rides for the kids to enjoy.
  • Riverland – As if the above was not enough, you can also take a stroll through Riverland at this resort, where you will be able to enjoy entertainment, fun, food, and more. The area has a number of distinct districts, so you could be wandering through the India Gate area one minute and the French Village the next. You can look forward to a diverse experience and enjoy everything from fine dining to great shopping. In addition, you can look forward to taking in the wonderful surroundings that reflect a range of destinations and cultures from around the world. You can even soak up the ambiance of the Pacific Islands at the stunning Lapita Hotel at the heart of the resort.

Dubai is a destination of true diversity

Yes, Dubai is no longer just a stopover for traveling South Africans but rather a premiere vacation destination which is suitable for singles, couples, and families. From luxury resorts, enticing swimming pools and endless relaxation to theme parks, water parks and the beautiful Riverland; this vibrant paradise in the Middle East is not only the perfect escape but also an affordable getaway for every South African.

Mark Buck is the Managing Director of United Europe Travel Services (Pty) Ltd, a travel wholesaler based in South Africa

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