Travel Insider: Why this weekend is the perfect window to book Dubai
Irish travel agents have reacted quickly to an Emirates promotion, creating several limited offer package holiday deals.
The airline's "special" promotion offers return flights from Dublin to Dubai from €499 in economy class, provided they are booked before Monday, August 24.
The fares include all taxes and charges, apply to travel between September 1 and December 10, and can also be applied to other destinations.
Return flights from Dublin to Perth start from €869, for example.
The real value, however, lies in the knock-on packages being offered by Irish tour operators and travel agents - who have acted fast to combine sale flights with well-priced accommodation stock on the ground.
Here are some of the best deals:
€599pp: Trailfinders (01 677-7888; trailfinders.ie) has direct flights plus three nights at the 3-star Centro barsha Hotel from €599pp. The price is valid for September departures.
€599pp: Independent Travel (01 539-7700; travel.independent.ie) has flights plus three nights at the 2-star Holiday Inn Express from €599pp, based on travel in November. Book here. 4-star options start from €699pp.
€634pp: e-Travel.ie (01 408-1999) has direct flights plus five nights in a 4-star hotel from €634pp, based on travel in November. Fly indirect with BA, and you can bag an even lower price - €564pp.
€799pp: O'Donohoe Travel (053 942-1136) has direct flights plus five days at the 5-star Crowne Plaza in Deira, Dubai from €799pp. TravelCheaper.ie (01 663-6536) also has four nights at the 5-star Marina View for the same price.
€1,559pp: Classic Resorts (01 874-5000; classicresorts.ie) has direct flights, private transfers, three nights at the 5-star Movenpick Hotel Jumeirah and a seven-night Royal Caribbean cruise from €1,559pp. Book by October 31 for travel between December 14 and March 14.
Window of opportunity: Dubai
Dubai traffic has grown steadily along with the economic recovery, with Emirates (emirates.ie) now flying twice daily from Dublin using a Boeing 777.
In November, the city sees day-long sunshine and temperatures of around 32-degrees - making it an attractive option for a city break, shopping holiday (Emirates has a 30kg luggage allowance) or winter sun alternative to the Canary islands.
There's more to it than bling, too. Along with the mega-malls and manmade islands, visitors can take desert tours, explore the old town of Bur Dubai, or flop on an endless string of beaches.
“Dubai boasts nice Autumn temperatures when we’re facing grey skies in Ireland," said Paula Coughlan of TravelCheaper.ie. "The most popular areas for tourists tend to be Jumeirah beach and the Dubai Marina areas,” she added.
Promotional business class prices from Dublin to Dubai start from €2,049 return with Emirates, and are valid for travel until March 16, 2016.
NB: All prices subject to availability/change. Members of the Irish Travel Agents' Association post regular travel deals at itaa.ie/offers.