Mystery Shopper: A relaxing week in Dubai

Location: Harrogate, North Yorkshire

Wanted: A relaxing week in Dubai for two in November. They want to be near the beach and if possible would like to spend some time in the desert.

Budget: £5,000

Michael Langford Travel Services
20 bower road

I was greeted immediately and welcomed into a very clean store.

The agent started asking questions at once and was very enthusiastic; she had been to Dubai and was due to go on a trip organised by Emirates.

She was friendly and patient throughout. I was given a number of options with If Only, the cheapest being a stay at Le Méridien Mina Seyahi Beach Resort & Marina for £3,950, including flights.

I was also quoted an additional £1,210 for a night at the Al Maha Desert Resort, and the agent recommended Friday brunch at Al Qasr. The options were good but I would have liked her to have narrowed them down.

She did not try to close the sale or take my details.

18 oxford street

I was served by an agent who was friendly but who seemed a little unenthusiastic and did not initially offer suitable options.

However, after a colleague recommended she call some operators, she warmed to the task. She suggested a £4,585 trip with Hayes & Jarvis, staying at the Jumeirah Zabeel Saray Hotel, and including one night at the Bab Al Shams Desert Resort & Spa.

Thomas Cook
16 James Street

I felt the agents here lacked enthusiasm and could have had better knowledge of the destination.

I did not feel they really wanted to get the best for my needs. I was recommended a £3,273 Thomas Cook Signature trip staying at the Jumeirah Zabeel Saray Hotel. 

The agents could not book or price a desert hotel as they only offered their own operators. I was not asked my budget and no attempt was made to close the sale.


All the agents gave recommendations within budget but the winning agent was knowledgable and enthusiastic.

Winning Agent

Claire Marks, Manager
“I have worked in travel for 22 years. I started training here and have returned a few times during my career. I also went travelling at one point. I love making people happy and creating dreams for them.”

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