Emirates Skywards has introduced a new way to burn miles by allowing members to partially offset the price of a ticket.
Skywards members can use 5,000 miles to offset the ticket cost by $40 (value of a mile 0.8 cents each). You can choose how many miles you wish to use this way towards the base fare (excluding those nasty fuel surcharges and actual taxes).
You can access Emirates web page for this award type here.
When you are making a flight purchase, the website gives you an option to burn the miles that you have sitting on the account:
I have had a few Emirates Skywards miles left in my account and was trying to use them for intra-Middle East flights last year without success. The fuel surcharges that Emirates has made it cheaper to purchase a paid ticket on other airlines.
Using Skywards miles for Cash+Miles tickets ensures that you get at least some value out of them.