The most spectacular money-no-object experiences in Dubai

Editor’s Note —

(CNN) — Holidaymakers tend to arrive at their destination in search of bargains. A discount on accommodation here, a modestly-priced restaurant there to keep costs under control.

Dubai also attracts visitors with a different approach and little interest in price tags – unless the bill is large enough to constitute an attraction in itself.

The Emirate is a well-established playground of the rich and famous, with celebrities, CEOs, and royal family members pitching up on its shores via helicopters, yachts and supercars.

Dubai has developed a broad range of high-end attractions to cater for expensive tastes. We take a look at some of the VIP experiences on offer.

Buy your own island

The man-made World archipelago, Dubai

The man-made World archipelago, Dubai


You won’t have to worry about the neighbors telling you to turn the music down if they are not sharing the same land mass. As progress continues on Dubai’s ambitious artificial archipelago “The World,” private islands are hitting the market. One 11.6-acre offering is available for a bargain $16 million, and many more “countries” are due to become available in the coming years.

Make connections at The Capital Club

Among the most prestigious private members clubs in the world, the Capital is known as a social venue of choice for government and business elites. Membership is invitation-only and reportedly costs around $15,000. For that you can enjoy fine dining courtesy of Michelin-starred chefs and enjoy the in-house gallery – but for many guests the best feature is the chance to network with the elite.

Drive your Ferrari into a nightclub

Swanky new venue Secret Room has introduced a new offer for high rollers. For a shade under $3,000, guests can drive their supercar onto the dancefloor itself and enjoy the adulation – or ignore the irritation – of the crowd. The club owners can only accommodate one car at a time so competition is fierce.

Splash on the auctions

Dubai-based Indian businessman Balwinder Sahani paid 33 million dirhams ($9 million) for a Dubai license plate.

Dubai-based Indian businessman Balwinder Sahani paid 33 million dirhams ($9 million) for a Dubai license plate.


Bids often spiral into the realm of the scarcely-believable before the gavel bangs. One buyer spent $9 million on a bespoke license plate in 2016, although he would not have been able to pair them with the world’s most expensive tyres, which went for $600,000. Rare watches have also fetched spectacular fees, including antiques formerly owned by Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi and singer Eric Clapton.

Host a yacht party

Some well-heeled visitors bring their own. But if that seems too much hassle, you can hire a 145-foot superyacht with capacity for 25 guests at an hourly rate that works out at around $130,000 for a weekend. The Rich List Group has organized its own exclusive yacht parties for a rarified client list.

Set up camp in the Royal Bridge Atlantis Suite

The Royal Bridge Suite at Atlantis, the Palm in Dubai spans nearly 10,000 square feet.

The Royal Bridge Suite at Atlantis, the Palm in Dubai spans nearly 10,000 square feet.

Courtesy of Atlantis The Palm Dubai

Dubai’s most expensive hotel room also regularly features in lists of the world’s most expensive, with nightly rates of around $20,000. This does include a games room, massage parlour, and a staff or personal assistants, as well as a fabulous sea view. Jennifer Lopez and Kim Kardashian are reportedly among the guests to have enjoyed the hospitality.

Party on top of the world

Since 2014, the iconic Burj al-Arab hotel has made its helipad available for weddings and private parties, with a starting price of around $55,000. At 212 meters above sea level, the locations offers stunning views, although vertigo sufferers may struggle. Hotel management are happy to offer bespoke touches such as personalized messages for birthdays that are visible as the helicopter guests arrive in.

Gold treatment

The Talise Ottoman Spa within the Jumeirah Zabeel Saray Hotel promises “the world’s most luxurious spa experience.” The spa’s most extravagant treatment involves covering guests with a gold body mask, which apparently revives the skin.

Sample the world’s most expensive perfume

A delicate mix of fragrances and a jewel-encrusted bottle adds up to “Shumukh,” which went on display at Dubai Mall earlier this year with a stated value of around $1.3 million. No word on a buyer has materialized as yet, but two of Dubai’s best-known – and wealthiest – Youtubers got a remote-controlled sniff.

Join a polo club

The sport beloved of royal families the world over – including Dubai’s – has a strong following in the Emirate with several prestigious events. The best way to get involved is through membership of a leading club, for an initial outlay somewhere north of $10,000.

This article originally appeared here