The Ultimate Dubai Travel Guide: Everything You Should Know
Dubai is a city where opulence meets innovation. Talk of iconic and you can not fail to mention its futuristic skyline which defies imagination. Well, this fast growing attraction nestled in the heart of the United Arab Emirates is many things. As a traveller, you are down for a treat from the moment you set foot in this dynamic desert oasis to the point you bid it adieu.
If you are itching to tick this wonder of a place off your bucket list, you want to have an unforgettable experience while at it. This ultimate guide will tell you all you need to know. Let’s get right into it:
Things To Do in Dubai
In a city as beautiful as Dubai, there will be something breathtaking every corner you take. The list of wonderful attractions can never be exhaustive. That said, there are must-visit places and attractions you should squeeze in your itinerary. Here are some of the best tourist attractions and experiences in Dubai:
The Burj Khalifa stands tall as an iconic symbol of Dubai’s modernity and architectural prowess. The Burj Khalifa holds the title of the world’s tallest building, soaring to an impressive height of over 828 metres. Its architectural design is a masterpiece, seamlessly blending Islamic and modern architecture. The sheer scale and elegance of the structure make it a captivating sight.
The Dubai Mall
If you enjoy luxury shopping, The Dubai Mall offers an unparalleled experience. Shop, dine, and explore the vast entertainment options, including the famous Dubai Aquarium.
Palm Jumeirah is an artificial archipelago shaped like a palm tree, created using land reclamation techniques. The sheer scale and ingenuity of this man-made structure make it an architectural marvel and a symbol of Dubai’s ambition and innovation.
Palm Jumeirah is surrounded by pristine beaches, providing the opportunity to enjoy the sun, sand, and sea. The waterfront living experience, with many properties having direct access to the beach, adds to the allure of Palm Jumeirah.
Jet skiing provides a unique and exhilarating way to explore the city’s beautiful beaches, iconic landmarks, and modern skyline from the water.A Jetski Dubai tour experience is especially thrilling if you are an adrenaline junkie. Riding the waves on a powerful personal watercraft provides a sense of freedom and excitement, especially with the open waters of the Arabian Gulf at your disposal.
The beauty is that you can enjoy the experience even if you are new to jet skiing as Dubai’s water sports centres often have professional instructors who can provide guidance and ensure a safe and enjoyable experience.
A visit to Dubai is never complete without a desert safari. Dubai is surrounded by vast and stunning desert landscapes, and a desert safari provides an opportunity to witness the beauty of the Arabian Desert.
Desert safaris often include camel rides, providing a traditional and leisurely way to explore the desert. Riding on these iconic desert animals allows you to experience the landscape at a slower pace and connect with the region’s cultural heritage.
Dubai Marina boasts a breathtaking skyline featuring some of the tallest residential and commercial buildings in the world. The architecture is a blend of modern design and innovation, creating a visually striking cityscape.
The marina is home to a large number of private yachts and boats. You can enjoy yacht cruises, either for sightseeing or as a luxurious way to explore the coastline and nearby attractions.
Dubai Visa Requirements
Well, before embarking on an adventure to Dubai, you should check the visa requirements for your nationality.
At the moment, there are 40 countries whose citizens are eligible for a visa on arrival, which allows them to stay for a specific period. This option is available for short visits. In many cases, you will need to apply for a visa in advance, and the process can often be done online. This is common for tourist and visit visas.
Common documents you require include a passport with at least six months’ validity, passport-size photographs, flight itinerary, hotel reservation, and proof of funds.
You could consider consulting with airlines, as they often provide information on visa requirements for specific destinations.
Tip: Visa requirements change, thus it’s essential to check the latest information from official sources.
Best Time to Visit Dubai
Dubai experiences extreme temperatures, with scorching summers. The best time to visit Dubai is during the winter months, from November to March. During this period, the weather is relatively mild and pleasant, making it more comfortable for outdoor activities and sightseeing.
Keep in mind that Dubai is a popular destination, and hotel rates may be higher during the peak winter months.
Currency and Language
The official currency is the UAE Dirham (AED), and English is widely spoken and understood, especially in urban areas and among the younger population. Signs, menus, and official information are often available in both Arabic and English. However, it doesn’t hurt to learn a few popular Arabic phrases you will use around to enhance your travel experience.
Best Ways to Get Around in Dubai
Navigating the city is made convenient by its well-established public transport system. The Dubai Metro, with its Red and Green Lines, provides efficient rail travel across key areas, complemented by an extensive network of buses reaching every corner of the city.
That said, if you could use a little more convenience, taxis are readily available and offer a swift means of transportation. Additionally, ride-sharing services like Uber and Careem provide alternative options, combining modern technology with traditional taxi services.
Renting a car is also an option if you are a car enthusiast or you prefer flexibility in your travel itinerary. However, there is a caveat, while Dubai’s roads are well-maintained, it’s worth noting that traffic congestion can be a challenge during peak hours.
Dubai offers water transport options too, including water taxis and the Dubai Ferry, providing a unique perspective of the cityscape. The Dubai Water Bus facilitates crossings over the Dubai Creek, adding a scenic element to your journey.
Furthermore, pedestrian-friendly areas, such as the Marina and Downtown, encourage walking, and dedicated cycling tracks to cater to those inclined towards eco-friendly transportation. The Nol card, a smart card system, simplifies payment for public transportation and offers discounted fares.
To stay informed and plan your journey effectively, the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) app provides real-time updates on public transport schedules, routes, and traffic conditions. It’s also advisable to familiarize yourself with Dubai’s traffic rules, which may differ from those in other countries.
While Dubai is modern and cosmopolitan, it’s essential to respect local customs. Dress modestly, especially in public places and religious sites, to show respect for local values. During Ramadan, the holy month, refrain from eating, drinking, and smoking in public during daylight hours. It’s a time to be discreet and considerate of those observing the fast.
Public displays of affection are generally discouraged, and seeking permission before taking photos, especially of locals, is considered respectful.
Greetings hold significance in Dubai. Remember to begin conversations with the traditional Arabic greeting “As-salamu alaykum” and respond with “Wa alaykum as-salam.”
Dubai’s culinary landscape offers a diverse range of flavours from traditional Emirati dishes to international cuisines crafted by renowned chefs. The spice-scented air of the traditional souks sets the stage for a sensory journey through the origins of Dubai’s culinary heritage.
In the historic Al Fahidi district, narrow alleyways conceal hidden gems serving traditional Emirati delicacies.
In a nutshell, Dubai is one of the destinations that promises an unforgettable journey where you get to experience iconic architecture, luxurious experiences, cultural treasures and more! Whether you’re seeking adventure, relaxation, or a bit of both, we hope that our ultimate Dubai travel guide will prepare you to make the most of your visit in this dazzling desert city!