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Yet for all the high-rise glitter, it's still possible
to catch a glimpse of the past in the Deira
souks, the 19th-century merchants' houses
in the Bastakia Quarter and Dubai Creek,
with its colourful history of pearl ¤shing and
Among the blingtastic hotels is Atlantis,
The Palm (atlantisthepalm.com), a marinethemed
resort set on the vast man-made,
tree-shaped island of Palm Jumeirah. The
complex has more than 1,500 rooms and
its very own waterpark. A week's half-board
break costs from £1,409 per person with
Virgin Holidays (0344 557 3859; virginholidays.
com), based on two sharing, including return
�ights and transfers.
Join the jet set on their favourite Caribbean
island, Barbados (visitbarbados.org), a ninehour
�ight away. Head west to hang out with
the stars, who love the platinum sands, limpid
seas, ¤ve-star hotels and superb restaurants
on o�er, such as The Cli� (thecli arbados.
com). Or cross to the island's wilder east side,
the traditionally local haunt where surfers are
discovering the frisky waves of the Soup Bowl
surf spot in the village of Bathsheba.
For a true �avour of the island, time your
trip to take in the Barbados Food ª Wine and
Rum Festival (foodwinerum.com), which runs
from 19 to 22 November. Chefs, including
Michelin-starred Andrew Pern from The Star
Inn in North Yorkshire, will join restaurateurs,
TV hosts and authors from the island and
beyond for cook-o�s, tastings, dinners and
parties in the streets of Holetown and on the
beach at Needham's Point.
Barbados also has a slick accommodation
scene, featuring some of the world's top hotel
groups, such as Sandals. At this all-inclusive
luxury resort on the beach at St Lawrence
Gap, unlimited ¤ne dining at 11 restaurants
comes as standard, while extras include
swim-up suites among its choice of 280
rooms. Sandals (08000 22 30 30; sandals.
co.uk) o�ers seven all-inclusive nights from
£1,719 per person, based on two sharing,
including return �ights and transfers.
I is for indulgent when it comes to the Indian
Ocean. The Maldives, Mauritius and the
Seychelles should be on your bucket list,
though each destination - 10 to 12 hours by
air, with temperatures around 30°C in winter
- o�ers quite a di�erent experience.
The Maldives (visitmaldives.com), a string
of more than a thousand tiny spits of white
Main image: Hideaway Beach Resort in the Maldives. Clockwise
from left: the pool at Sandals Barbados resort; the glitzy Atlantis,
The Palm, in Dubai; a typical scene of sun, sand and sea on
Barbados; the pool at Lanzarote's eco retreat in Finca De Arrieta