Holiday dilemma! Dubai or the Maldives?

From the cold snow back to warm beaches here's Joe with a comparison between two dream destinations, Maldives versus Dubai... If you would ask me, I'm sure I would choose both but let's see ;)

Planning a luxury holiday and torn between destinations? Dubai and the Maldives are both really popular when it comes to this kind of break, and if you're having trouble making your final decision between the two, read our guide to work out which is for you.

Both locations offer the ultimate in luxury - each in its own way - and, on the face of it, it can seem pretty simple to choose between them. After all, one's an island paradise and the other is the height of urban chic, right? Well, yes - but, if your aim is just to find sun, beaches and a little luxury, picking between the two can get pretty tough. To help you work out which you fancy, I've listed the top desirable qualities in a holiday and named a winner or loser. Find out which is a romantic haven and which is a water sports wonder below...
Burj Al Arab Hotel, Dubai
Romance - Winner: The Maldives. While both destinations offer that age-old winning combination of sun, sand and sea, if it's romance you're after, the Maldives has to be your choice. I mean, who can say idyllic green islands with gorgeous white sand beaches aren't romantic? Plus, by law each isle is limited to having just one resort, which means you get peace and seclusion - and the romantic atmosphere that comes with them. After all, you don't want to watch the sun set with hordes of other travellers, do you? What's more, as well as luxury hotels, there are gorgeous over-the-water bungalows to stay in, which really set the mood.

Lavish accommodation - Winner: Dubai. Ok, the Maldives has great luxury hotels too, but Dubai is the ultimate world champion of opulent accommodation and it doesn't look like it'll be losing its title any time soon. It is home to the grand Burj Al Arab, which is the most luxurious hotel in the world (you'll probably recognise it from pictures - it's the one designed to look like a billowing sail) and scores of other famous establishments, like the Jumeirah Beach Hotel.
Dream Island, Maldives
Beaches - Winner: the Maldives. To be fair, you're not likely to be disappointed by the beaches in either destination, but I reckon the stretches of sand at the Maldives have the edge. Thanks to the limited number of resorts per isle, they don't get crowded, and they're naturally beautiful, while a lot of Dubai's are manmade. Plus, if you choose to stay in one of the famous ‘cabins on stilts’ here you can be right on top of the sea and sand 24/7.

Water sports - Winner: the Maldives. A world-renowned destination for scuba diving, the Maldives is home to stunning coral reefs and reams of colourful fish. Especially handy is the fact that each island has a dive centre that caters for beginners and experienced divers alike, so it's easy to get involved in the fun. Plus, there's plenty of scope for all sorts of other water sports, like kayaking and kite surfing.
Male, Caital of Maldives
Shopping - Winner: Dubai. If your idea of the perfect holiday involves plenty of retail therapy, you'll want to go to Dubai. Make sure you include the fabulous Mall of Emirates on your to-do list, because it's home to a great combination of fancy designer stores and more affordable high street brands. Don't forget to head to some of the souks (markets) either - they sell almost everything you can think of, but the Gold Souk will be a particular treat.
Zabeel Park, Dubai
Iconic sights - Winner: Dubai. When it comes to must-see landmarks, Dubai is a clear winner, purely because it's home to some of the world's most famous buildings. The Burj Al Arab, which I mentioned briefly above, is one to make sure you visit, but the ultimate place to head to is the Burj Khalifa. This is the world's tallest building, being 828 m tall and having 160 storeys. It's also got the highest observation deck on the planet, so if you've got a head for heights, get yourself up to the 124th floor and check out the view - it's pretty impressive!

Again a super thanks to Joe for this article and to Wikimeda for the nice views. What a travel it would be :)