It is only natural for first-time visitors of Dubai to feel excited and tensed at the same; excited to see the splendid city and tensed as to what to expect. Dubai is a city of extremes; while it is modern in appearance, the city is also proud of its culture and heritage. This makes the visit to Dubai an interesting journey.
To make your holiday in Dubai easy, here is a travel guide to the city which would help first-time travelers.
Best Time to Visit Dubai
Dubai is a warm country with the temperature going beyond 50oC during summer season (June to September). This is surely not the ideal time to visit the city if you are planning to indulge in outdoor activities. On the other hand, winters days are pleasant and nights cooler, making it the best time to visit Dubai. Winter falls between November and February. Also, there are lots of festivals and activities planned during the winter season, making it the perfect time to visit the place.
How to Travel to Dubai
Dubai is one of the biggest and busiest airports in the world. You would easily find flights from everywhere around the world to Dubai. Emirates and Etihad are two of the best airlines for Dubai. On the other hand, you would also find several budget airlines for your Dubai travel. One of the best ways to save money on your flight is to book in advance, especially if you are traveling during the peak season.
Where to Stay in Dubai
When it comes to accommodation in Dubai, you are spoilt for choices. The options range from luxury to budget-friendly hotels. Most of the luxury hotels are located in Palm Jumeirah and Dubai Marina, offering you access to a private beach and also an amazing view. Some of the best luxury hotels in the city are Burj Al Arab, Hotel Atlantis the Palm, etc. There are several mid-range hotels as well, where you would enjoy a comfortable stay without the luxurious trimmings. On the other hand, people on a tight budget have the options of opting for Airbnb, hostels, budget hotels, etc.
How to Commute in Dubai
If you are visiting Dubai with a tour company, you would not have to worry about transportation. However, even if this is not the case, you would know that the city has the best public transportation system. Taxis or cabs are easily available and are not too expensive. Moreover, Dubai is well-connected through the metro. You would find a metro station at or near almost all the popular attractions of the city. If you are short on time, you can also arrange for a private taxi that would take you around the city at your convenience. There are also some luxury options like limousine tours, perfect for special occasions.
Best Things to Do in Dubai
Dubai is one of the most popular holiday destinations in the world, and hence it would not be surprising to know that there are several interesting things to see and do here. Let us check out some of the must-do things in the city.
Morning Desert Safari: Morning desert safari in Dubai gives you the chance to see a glorious sunrise as well as to indulge in some adventurous activities like dune bashing, sandboarding, camel riding, etc. Some morning desert safaris also offer hot air balloon ride and a delicious Arabic breakfast. If you want to enjoy something more than just adventure, you can opt for evening or even overnight desert safari.
Dubai Museum: Dubai Museum in Al Fahidi Fort would take you back to the times when Dubai was merely a fishing village. This interesting tour would give you a glimpse of the Bedouins before oil was discovered and Dubai became the flashy city it is today. Check out the modest homes, the traditional attire, the occupation, etc. of the Arabs in the past, at the museum.
Dubai Mall: The largest mall in the world, the Dubai Mall has so much to do that you can easily spend an entire day here, without getting bored. There are more than 1200 stores to shop from, the Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo where you can view different marine animals and a huge ice rink where you can indulge in ice skating all around the year. The mall also has a huge food court and a grand multiplex with 21 theatres.
Dubai Fountain Show: Just outside the Dubai Mall is the Burj Lake, where you can see the grand Dubai fountain show, every evening. The sight of the dancing fountains along with soulful music and colorful lights is marvelous. You can watch the performance of the fountain every half an hour from 6 to 11 in the evenings.
Dubai Souks: The souks of Dubai are famous for their ambiance as well as the variety of products. Chief amongst the souks is the Dubai gold souk with more than 300 stores selling gold and other precious jewelry. Then there is the perfume souk where you can create your own perfume. Spice souk follows the perfume souk and gives you the chance to buy some aromatic spices. On the other side of Dubai Creek is the textile souk where you can buy fabrics and clothes in a variety of materials.
Things to Know about Dubai
Apart from the above-given information, here are some additional tips that would make your holiday in Dubai pleasant.
- Dubai is a safe city with a minimal crime rate. However, it would be better to be cautious and stay indoors or in crowded places after dark.
- You can buy drinks only at bars, restaurants, and nightclubs that have a liquor license. Also, drinking and driving is a strict no-no, as it can lead to imprisonment and even deportation.
- Refrain from public display of affection or PDA. It is frowned upon by the locals and is also illegal.
- As it is warm during the day, it would be best to wear loose, cotton clothes. However, carry a jacket or shawl as most places are air-conditioned and it can be really cold indoors.
- Although Dubai is liberal compared to the other Emirate cities and Middle Eastern countries, it is best to dress modestly as a respect to their culture. Make sure that your shoulders, knees, and cleavage are covered, especially if you are visiting places of worship.
- Swimwear is allowed only near swimming pools and at beaches. Cover yourself appropriately till you reach the pool or hotel.
With all the information in hand, get ready for an awesome first holiday in Dubai. However, once you visit the place, you would surely want to visit again and again.
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Booking a Flight. When finding cheap flights, we try a combination of search engines to ensure we’re not missing out on the best deals. We use SkyScanner, Expedia, Kiwi.com, Kayak, and Google Flights, then compare them to the prices shown on the airlines’ website.
Booking Accommodation. We prefer staying in hotels. Booking.com is our favorite when it comes to finding the cheapest rate. Again, it won’t hurt to check the hotel’s main website. They usually offer discounts for booking directly with them. For last-minute booking, check out HotelTonight. There are also other types of accommodation like Airbnb, hostel (Hostelworld has the largest inventory), and Couchsurfing.
Sightseeing & Tours. We like DIY tours - it gives you freedom and flexibility. You can take advantage of the CityPass and Sightseeing Pass. But we have joined in several tours that maximized our time and made our trip easier. Feel free to check out Intrepid, and Trusted Tours & Attractions for discounted offers.
Author's Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the company in question before planning your trip.
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