Dubai is already open for tourism, and Emirates has a free hotel deal for its passengers.

Get a free stay at the JW Marriott Marquis Dubai

Effective right now, Emirates passengers can claim a free stay at one of the world’s tallest five-star hotels when they book an Emirates flight to Dubai. Even better? The perk applies to economy class passengers, as well as the high rollers in business and first class.

Economy ticket holders will get one free night at the JW Marriott Marquis Dubai, while business and first passengers get double the fun with two free nights. Those in business or first will also get a room upgrade, while all passengers will benefit from 24‑hour check‑in and checkout to help you make the most of your trip.

The JW Marriott Marquis skyscraper hotel boasts award-winning dining options, its own shopping galleria and a spa and is located near attractions like the Dubai Mall, Burj Khalifa and the Dubai Opera.

To take advantage, you just need to book return tickets to Dubai from now until December 23, for travel from December 6, 2020 until February 28, 2021.

Then, email with your confirmed booking number, the names of all the passengers in your booking, phone number and email address. Emirates will ping you right back with a hotel booking confirmation.

Any free nights must be taken from your day of arrival in Dubai, which must be your final destination. Tickets with a final destination outside of Dubai, transit passengers and tickets with a stopover in Dubai will be not be eligible for the offer.

As you might expect, there are blackout dates - December 27, 2020 to January 2 2021 inclusive, meaning no free new year celebrations at the Marquis! Visit the Emirates website for full Ts and Cs.

What’s it like to holiday in Dubai right now?

Dubai is open and ready to welcome tourists keen to check out its beaches, world-class shopping and fine dining restaurants.

All passengers arriving in Dubai must take a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test up to four days prior to their date of travel (maximum 96 hours) - though citizens of the UK and Germany are exempt from this requirement.

Children under the age of 12 and passengers with a severe or moderate disability are exempt from the PCR test. Know that you may be required to take another test upon arrival.

Once in Dubai, it is compulsory to wear a mask in public places at all times, including on Emirates flights, though children below the age of six who struggle with wearing masks are exempted from wearing them.

You can remove your mask when you are seated at a restaurant or café and social distancing measures are in place throughout the city and on public transport.

Hotels in Dubai, including the JW Marriott Marquis, use contactless check in and rooms are sanitised. All indoor venues, including malls, enforce mandatory temperature checks at the entrance and employ digital safety guidelines including contactless menus at restaurants.

Loads of outdoor activities are on offer, including helicopter rides, hot air balloons, desert safaris and camping, dhow cruises and kayaking.

Emirates flexibility policies

Customers who purchase an Emirates ticket for travel on or before 31 March 2021 can enjoy generous rebooking terms and options if they need to change their travel plans.

Options include changing your travel dates or extending your ticket validity for two years. You can even get a refund and I had no problems taking advantage of this policy when I needed to cancel a recent booking from London to Dubai (with no questions asked).

Emirates agreed to refund me in full, but warned it might take 90 days for the money to hit my account. Luckily, the money turned up just a few days later, which was much quicker than expected!

You can find out more about the current policies on the Emirates website.

Emirates is also offering “multi-risk travel insurance and COVID-19” cover on all tickets purchased on or from 1 December 2020, at no additional cost.

In addition to COVID-19 medical cover, this latest offer from Emirates has provisions for personal accidents during travel, winter sports cover, loss of personal belongings, and trip disruptions due to things like unexpected air space closure and travel recommendations or advisories.

Summing up

On first read the free hotel stay sounds like a great offer. A word of warning, and it could just be coincidence, but I have noticed that Emirates ticket prices have risen on the route I’ve been keeping tabs on.

A return business class ticket from London to Dubai, for travel in December, is now close to £2,000 (or more), whereas I could find fares for £1,600-£1,700 a week or so ago. Economy fares seem to have jumped from around £350 to £600-£800.

Ultimately, if you can find a good fare and are thinking of a trip to Dubai, this promotion could work well for you.

Anyone planning to book an Emirates flight and take advantage of a free stay at the JW Marriott Marquis?